Marion, Knights start off with road trip to Berkeley

  • Monday, August 25, 2014

Rob Gantt/Gazette Stratford's Kemp Shider (22) makes a grab for a touchdown during Sertoma.


A brand new era in Stratford football history will dawn against a familiar foe on Friday.

The Knights travel to county rival Berkeley to tangle with the Stags for the 31st time.

It will be the first game for Stratford under new coach Joe Marion, who took over for Ray Stackley.

“It’s going to be quite a challenge because of their speed,” Marion said. “... Our kids know they’re going to have to be ready.”

Stratford has won three in a row and 13 of 16 in the series after last season’s 29-10 victory. The Knights lead 20-10 going back to 1984.

“It’s always been competitive,” Marion said. “A lot of the games have been extremely close.”

Stratford’s last game action was a two-quarter scrimmage against Timberland in the Sertoma Classic last week. The Wolves won 13-9 thanks to a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes.

Stratford got a blocked punt by T.J. Deveaux to set up quarterback Jamison Mobb’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Kemp Shider.

Griffin Martin’s 31-yard field goal made it 9-0 in the second quarter before Timberland’s rally ended Stratford’s preseason with a thud.

Marion said he rode back on the defensive bus and could tell that group was disappointed.

“You could have heard a pin drop,” he said. “Hopefully it helps them realize that they’re good enough to compete with anyone but understand they can get beaten by anybody.”

Before Sertoma, Stratford defeated Colleton County (21-0), Conway (34-0) and West Florence (29-14) in scrimmages.

Berkeley already has one real game under the bright lights. The Stags outlasted Johnsonville, 42-27, on Friday.

Leon Simmons and D.J. Whitherspoon each scored a pair of touchdowns for the Stags, and quarterback Joseph Dress ran for one and threw for another.

After Berkeley, Stratford hosts Sumter and Fort Dorchester.

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