The Summerville-Stratford cross-county rivalry had become stale of late but the Green Wave and Knights revived it Friday night.
Summerville claimed a 33-25 victory at McKissick Field during a game Stratford had a chance to win in the final minute with a 2-point conversion play. Down by a touchdown, the Knights drove 85 yards to score on a 5-yard pass from Josh Davis to Jaylin Hayward to cut Summerville’s lead to 26-25 with 42 seconds remaining in the final quarter. It was the fourth touchdown pass of the night for Davis, who threw for nearly 400 yards.
“We’ve been waiting for Josh to have a game like this,” Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel said. “He’s shown us he can in practice, but being a first-year starter he is really just coming into his own right now. It’s good to see him have this kind of a game in this atmosphere.”
However, Summerville blocked two field goals earlier in the game so the Knights went for two. Davis threw a strike to a receiver in the end zone but Green Wave defensive back Jaden James batted the ball away before the receiver could catch it, leaving Summerville ahead by a single point. James also made the block on one of the Knights’ two unsuccessful extra points.
“We didn’t come here to tie; we wanted to win the ball game,” McDaniel said. “We had a good play called but it just didn’t work out for us. We are going to take chances and I have no problems with what we did there.”
Stratford followed with an onside kick attempt but Summerville’s Brody Hopkins fielded the ball in stride and dashed across midfield and into the end zone to clinch the victory.
Summerville improved to 2-1 while Stratford dropped to 1-2.
The Summerville-Stratford game once represented one of the most heated and competitive rivalries in the state. Summerville coach Joe Call experienced it as a Green Wave athlete and McDaniel experienced it as a Knights’ athlete.
But as new high schools opened in Berkeley and Dorchester counties the Green Wave and Knights developed stronger rivalries with teams inside their county. To find a recent game in the Summerville-Stratford series that wasn’t one-sided, one way or the other, you have to go all the way back to 2013.
The 2019 version of the series is one fans on both sides of the field should be proud of.
“This was a Summerville-Stratford football game,” Call said. “Me growing up in this rivalry and Coach McDaniel growing up in this rivalry, that’s how every game was. Earlier in the week I said just throw the records out because this game is going to be a battle no matter what. Both these teams have a lot of pride going all the way back to the Coach (Ray) Stackley days and the Coach (John) McKissick days. Our defense gave up a lot of big plays but they made a play to stop their two-point attempt right there at the end to seal it for us.”
Summerville running back K.J. Rollins scored on runs of 10, 13 and 1 yards while running back Derrion Larry and receiver Perry Wilder also had some key rushes for the Green Wave. Summerville quarterback Colby Shirey also factored into the Wave rushing attack and completed a bomb to receiver Kamari Nix, who dashed some 40 yards after the catch to find the end zone on a TD reception that gained 85 yards in the fourth quarter.
Stratford receiver Damarius Anderson made a dozen catches for approximately 130 yards and a touchdown. Hayward had two scoring grabs and Davis also connected with David Washington on a touchdown pass.
“It was a sloppy game at times but both teams competed well and competed hard,” McDaniel said. “They just made a couple of plays more than we did. We are still a young football team so playing in an atmosphere like this is going to help us down the road.”
Stratford hosts West Ashley (1-2) on Friday. The Wildcats are coming off a 28-10 loss to Goose Creek.
“They have a new coaching staff and I haven’t really seen them on film much,” McDaniel said. “I know they are an athletic team that is hungry. What it boils down to right now is really how each team prepares. What are you going to work on so your team gets better? It’s our last non-region game so we hope we come out and execute and it gets us ready for region play.”
Davis has passed for 765 yards and five touchdowns for Stratford and Jaedon Alston leads in rushing with 171 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. Damarius Anderson is the top receiver with 20 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Cudd has 16 grabs for 200 yards.