HEMINGWAY — It was a game filled with penalties, turnovers and injury stoppages, but in the end, Waccamaw found a way to win.
Waccamaw defeated cross-county rival Carvers Bay, 33-18, at Carvers Bay’s Big Bear Stadium on Aug. 26.
“We talked about it all summer, how tough we had to be and how technically sound we had to be,” Waccamaw football head coach Amondre Johnson said. “…Our kids are extremely tough. I said it last year and I’m saying it again this year — we are relentless. We play from the beginning to the end. Whether we’re up by 100 or down by 100, we keep playing.”
That relentlessness shone through when sophomore defensive back Aiden Hastings intercepted Carvers Bay senior quarterback Jakiyah Lance, who was filling in after starting quarterback Kenneth Bateman left late with an injury, and returned it to pay dirt to put the Warriors up 33-18 with 47 seconds left in the game, putting the game out of reach.
“That really sealed the game and nailed it down,” Johnson said. “…He’s one of the players that really tries to get better every day. He’s young and he makes a lot of young mistakes, but tonight, he proved in the moment, he can make the big play.”
The Bears opened up the scoring in the first quarter when senior wide receiver RJ Bromell ran for a 65-yard score on a reverse. An unsuccessful 2-point try left the score at 6-0 early in the first quarter.
However, after getting great field position because of a kickoff that went out of bounds, Waccamaw marched down the field, converting two fourth downs along the way, and capped off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run from freshman running back Andre Grate. The score stayed tied at 6-6 following a blocked PAT with 2:28 to go in the first quarter.
Picking things up about midway through the second quarter, Carvers Bay was forced to punt, but a roughing the kicker penalty on the Warriors gave the Bears a fresh set of downs, and the Bears took full advantage with a drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Bateman to junior wide receiver Jasaia Young. The Bears were unsuccessful on the 2-point conversion, leaving the score at 12-6 with 5:05 to go before intermission.
The half then ended with a flurry of scoring, which included, in chronological order, a 3-yard touchdown run from Waccamaw junior tight end Miles Robinson (2-point try no good), Bromell scoring his second touchdown of the game with a 45-yard touchdown reception (2-point try no good) and Waccamaw then answering with a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jaret Yonker to sophomore wide receiver Colin Behney (extra point was good).
Add all that up, and you get a 19-18 Waccamaw lead at the break.
Unlike the second quarter, the third quarter saw no scoring whatsoever, and instead consisted of two Waccamaw fumbles recovered by Carvers Bay bookending a Bears turnover on downs.
Moving on to the fourth quarter, Waccamaw senior defensive back Timmy Clark stopped a promising Bears drive in its tracks with an interception deep in Warrior territory. Waccamaw was then forced to punt, but caught a lucky break when the ball bounced off a Carvers Bay player and into the hands of a Warriors.
However, that drive resulted in a missed 36-yard field goal, so the score was still 19-18 with 3:31 to go.
But on the very next play, Carvers Bay gave the ball right back to the Warriors in the form of a fumble. Even though the Warriors were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play, they were still able to milk clock and score when Yonker called his own number from one yard out and put the Warriors up 26-18 with 1:14 to go. Things got even worse for Carvers Bay, as a roughing the snapper penalty resulted in a touchback on the kickoff. Things got even worse still for the Bears after the Bateman injury and the Hastings pick six sealed the deal.
The win improved Waccamaw’s record to 1-1, while Carvers Bay dropped to 0-2.
Next up for the Warriors is a home game with Eugene Ashley (1-0) on Sept. 2, while Carvers Bay will host another Georgetown County rival, Andrews (1-1), the same night.
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