Goose Creek High School’s football team will get a shot at Summerville High School after all this fall.
The Gators and Wave were washed out Sept. 6 thanks to Hurricane Dorian but they’ll encounter one another at John Fulmer Field Friday in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Goose Creek (8-2) has won six straight games after cruising past South Florence High School, 48-27, Friday in the opening round of the playoffs. It was the first postseason victory for Goose Creek since 2015.
Summerville (7-3) is coming off a 14-10 win over Lugoff-Elgin High School. The Green Wave drove 72 yards to win it on Antonio Robertson’s 1-yard plunge with 21 seconds left. The other Wave touchdown was in the first half, a 65-yard pass to explosive receiver Brody Hopkins.
“They’re obviously well-coached,” Goose Creek coach Jason Winstead said. “They’re healthy right now, too. They had a big offensive lineman missing early in the season. Their receiver, Hopkins, is one of the players I like to watch. He’s tremendous. Their quarterback (Colby Shirey) is a sophomore but he’s got 12 games under his belt. I’m looking for a big-time football game atmosphere on Friday. This is why you want to play high school football.”
The Green Wave has won four straight in the series, including three by shutout. Last season, Summerville blanked the Gators 34-0 at John Fulmer Field.
Hopkins hauled in a pair of touchdowns and the Gators turned it over four times in 2018.
But these Gators have proven to be different this fall. They captured the Region 7-AAAAA crown after not making the playoffs in 2018.
Winstead said his team will be able to draw from big-game atmospheres against Berkeley and Stratford earlier this season.
“This isn’t their first go-around,” he said. “I’m thinking they’re excited. We’ve talked about it. The more you win, the bigger the games get. It’s like they say, big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games.”
In the win over South Florence, Gators quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu torched the visiting Bruins for seven total touchdowns. He ran for two scores and threw four touchdown passes as the Gators built a 42-7 lead in the first half. He tacked on another rushing touchdown late.
“He was locked in,” Winstead said. “He was focused. He got it done.”
Mukuamu, a senior, has passed for 27 touchdowns and rushed for 11 more. He’s thrown for over 2,200 yards and rushed for 749 yards this season.
Damon Mouzon hauled in a pair of touchdowns while DJ Matthews and Malachi Taylor grabbed one touchdown each. Center Eddie Loftis was the Gators’ offensive lineman of the week.
Mouzon has 17 touchdown grabs and 828 yards receiving. Taylor has hauled in 10 scoring receptions on 670 yards receiving. Matthews has 472 yards receiving and six scores.
Maybe one negative takeaway from the playoff opener is South Florence scoring 20 points in the second half.
“I let them know if they want to be a good football team they’ve got to finish people off,” Winstead said. “I know it was cold and they were up 42-7 but you’ve got to keep your focus. If you want to keep moving in the playoffs, you’ve got to finish people off.”