Gators win fourth straight over Green Wave
The Gators survived a third-quarter surge by the Green Wave Friday to remain undefeated.
After taking a 21-7 lead into the half, Goose Creek (3-0) allowed Summerville (2-1) to cut the lead to 4 in the third. But the Gators covered more than 170 yards for two scores in the fourth to earn a 34-17 win.
“They are a very, very good football team,” Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said. “I thought they were very good defensively and made some plays on offense. But I was really proud of our guys. We had not been challenged this year so I'm pleased this group came out here and played 48 minutes of physical, tough, hard-nosed football because that is what it takes to beat Summerville.”
Caleb Kinlaw, the Gators' feature running back, carried 19 times for approximately 160 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow tailback Tyrik Johnson made one of the game's biggest plays as he broke a tackle with just more than six minutes remaining and dashed 18 yards for a touchdown to put the Gators up 28-17 with the PAT kick.
Goose Creek quarterback Dantez Bennamon completed 9 of 16 pass attempts for more than 100 yards and a touchdown.
“We gave up a couple of long runs and helped them with penalties, but that's the nature of the game,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “My hat's off to them; they did what they had to do to win.”
Goose Creek's five scoring drives all covered 80 yards or more. The longest spanned 94 yards. The final covered 88 yards, but 82 of that came on a Kinlaw run.
The Gators opened the game with an 80-yard scoring drive capped by a 5-yard run by Bennamon. Key plays on the drive included a run by fullback Evan McField on a fourth-down play that netted enough yards for a fresh set of downs and a 30-yard reception by Deondre' Daniels.
Summerville answered with an 86-yard scoring drive capped with an 8-yard run into the end zone by David Coccoli. Wave QB Sawyer Bridges (21 of 31 passing for 190 yards) completed five passes to three different receivers on the drive.
But Goose Creek then marched up field to score on a 1-yard Kinlaw run.
The teams swapped punts, which could have turned the momentum in Summerville's favor if one of the Wave's top playmakers hadn't been injured returning Goose Creek's punt.
Darin Smalls, a defensive back/wide receiver/kick returner who was a big factor in Summerville's previous two wins, did not return to the game after suffering the injury.
The Wave pinned the Gators down at their own 6 with another punt, but Goose Creek responded by driving 94 yards to score on a 17-yard reception by Jordan Barnes. Bennamon also connected with Barnes for gains of 8 and 12 yards on the drive.
“They were putting Smalls on Jordan Barnes and obviously when he went out we felt we had a mismatch and we took advantage of that,” Reedy said. “You know, that's the game.”
The score put Goose Creek up by two touchdowns entering the half.
The third quarter was all about Summerville. Two penalties resulted in the Gators making the second-half kickoff from their own 25. Summerville's Johnston McCurry returned the kick to the Gator 38 and in less than two minutes the Wave scored on a 22-yard pass from Bridges to William Luck.
Halfway through the quarter, Summerville pulled within 4 on a 41-yard field goal by David Kennedy.
But the fourth quarter belonged to the Gators, who ended Summerville's three possessions of the final 12 minutes with a fumble recovery, a fourth-down stand and an interception.
Summerville drove all the way to the Goose Creek 10 before turning the ball over on a fumble. The Wave then recovered a fumble, but the Gator D held and roughly a minute of clock time later Kinlaw broke free for his 82-yard scoring run with just under two minutes remaining.
Summerville 7 0 10 0—17
Goose Creek 7 14 0 13—34
G — Dantez Bennamon 5 run (Alex Jacobus kick)
S – David Coccoli 8 run (David Kennedy kick)
G – Caleb Kinlaw 1 run (Jacobus kick)
G — Jordan Barnes 17 pass from Bennamon (Jacobus kick)
S – William Luck 22 pass from Sawyer Bridges (Kennedy kick)
S – Kennedy 41 field goal
G – Tyrik Johnson 25 run (Jacobus kick)
G – Kinlaw 82 run (kick wide)