SILVER BLUFF 17, BARNWELL 0
PETTICOAT JUNCTION — From the opening kickoff, the Bulldogs were out to prove that, this time, they weren't going to let the Warhorses storm out to an early lead.
Silver Bluff (10-1, 6-0 in Region 5-AA) shut out the Warhorses (5-7, 3-4) in the anticipated rematch between the two rivals on a chilly night in Petticoat Junction. Silver Bluff head coach Al Lown stressed to his team all week the importance of ball control and avoiding turnovers, a message his team took to heart.
“Well I think the biggest thing is that we didn't put our defense in bad field position,” he said. “We made them have to go out there with a long field every time.”
On the opening kickoff, the Bulldogs forced a fumble and were in business on the Barnwell 15-yard line. The Warhorse defense held strong, forcing a short field goal from Pedro Zambrano.
Both defenses pitched shutouts until late in the second quarter, when the Bulldogs were able to put together a strong drive. Shaquez Wright rushed up the middle for 21 yards, followed by Dontay Ingram who got 20 of his own on consecutive plays. Quarterback Jalen Jackson would sneak it in from there to put the Bulldogs ahead 10-0 before the half.
Even though Jackson had the touchdown and negative rushing yards, he was able to ad-lib many plays where Barnwell was sure it had him for a loss.
“The offense played better and blocked better, and they also were more physical and got tough yards,” Lown said. “But I think that Jalen Jackson had a great game. We don't throw it that much, but he hasn't had an interception all year. Tonight he saved us a few times with his athleticism, and he didn't make any mistakes.”
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs were forced into a fourth-and-goal on the Barnwell 5-yard line. The Warhorses were able to stop the Bulldogs but weren't able to swing the momentum back in their favor.
“We were just a step off here and there,” Barnwell head coach Eddie Moore said. “We just didn't execute. ... We had them in the backfield a number of times and just let them loose.”
Silver Bluff capped the evening with a Myles Corbitt touchdown in the third quarter. Later on in the fourth, he delivered a big hit to Shakur Chisolm, who also plays defense, and knocked him out for a few plays. Chisolm was never able to get going, and the Bulldogs held him in check, gaining only 41 yards on 12 carries and 53 yards on three catches.
Though no one Bulldog player had a big night, three players rushed for 83 or more yards – Ingram with 97, RJ Stallings with 83 and Wright with 83 of his own.
“We're not pretty,” Lown said. “We're going to go out there and run the sweep. It's the kind of game we play. Control the ball, and run the clock.”
In the next round, Silver Bluff will see another rematch – this time against Bamberg-Ehrhardt – a team they beat on a last-second field goal by Zambrano.
Scott Rodgers is a graduate of Alvernia University and a staff writer at the Aiken Standard.
B 0 0 0 0 – 0
SB 3 7 7 0 – 17
SB-Pedro Zambrano 15 kick 10:26
SB-Jalen Jackson 1 rush (Zambrano kick) 1:35
SB-Myles Corbitt 4 rush (Zambrano kick) 1:27
SB-Dontay Ingram 10-97, Shaquez Wright 13-83, RJ Stallings 10-83, Myles Corbitt 6-20-TD, Jalen Jackson 5-(-12)-TD
B-Shakur Chisolm 12-41, Raheem Bradley 6-21, Javonte Dunbar 6-9, Tyrin Williams 2-9, Devonta Ashley 2-0
SB-Jalen Jackson 2-3-25
B-Javonte Dunbar 5-11-62, Shakur Chisolm 0-1
SB-Shaquez Wright 1-17, McKenzie Wilson 1-8
B-Shakur Chisolm 3-53, Devonta Ashley 2-9