SILVER BLUFF 33, BARNWELL 16
BARNWELL — The Silver Bluff Bulldogs pitched a soggy shutout for much of Friday night’s game at Barnwell, only yielding points late in the fourth quarter once the game was well out of reach. The Bulldogs won, 33-16, earning their ninth consecutive victory to close out the regular season.
Barnwell’s (2-8, 1-4 Region 5-AA) Jamari Dunbar scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to complement his game-high 165 rushing yards. By then, however, the damage had already been done.
Silver Bluff (9-1, 5-0) needed just under five minutes to take its first lead of the game, efficiently moving 66 yards in nine plays for Friday’s opening touchdown. Shaquez Wright punched it in from the 2-yard line to put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
Wright would later add a 60-yard touchdown run, finishing the night with 120 yards on 13 carries.
The Bulldogs’ defense yielded nothing to Barnwell through three quarters; the Warhorses’ first seven drives ended in turnovers.
Silver Bluff head coach Al Lown was happy with the way his defense played against Barnwell’s wishbone offense, a new look for his team to face.
“Since we played Aiken in the second game of the year, we haven’t seen anything but spread offenses all year long,” he said. “I was pleased that we were able to get a couple of big interceptions there in the first half.”
The Bulldogs’ McKenzie Wilson caught everything thrown his way by both quarterbacks Friday night; he caught a pair of passes for 28 yards and a score on offense and picked off Barnwell’s William Barnes twice on defense.
Wilson’s first interception killed Barnwell’s opening drive and gave the Bulldogs excellent field position. Four plays later, Jaylen Lawrence’s 1-yard plunge put Silver Bluff up, 14-0.
Wilson added his second interception on Barnwell’s next drive, quieting any chances the Warhorses had of scoring.
“They’ve been getting better all year,” Lown said of his defense. “We stayed patient, we worked fundamentals and we’ve got some kids that are coming on and getting better right now, so I’m pleased with our group.”
Lawrence gave the Bulldogs a commanding 21-0 lead heading into halftime on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Wilson.
Wright was hit while attempting to field a Barnwell punt in the third quarter, resulting in a rare Silver Bluff turnover. However, as is often the case, the ball didn’t lie; Greg Dunbar recovered a Keyshawn Jenkins fumble just two plays later.
Dunbar found himself near the ball once again just moments later, recovering a Barnwell fumble in the end zone to put the Bulldogs up 33-0.
After the win Silver Blufff gets much-needed rest heading into the playoffs with a bye.
“We need this week off,” Lown said, adding that several players are dealing with injuries. “If we can get everybody healthy, I feel like we’re going to have a good shot.”
SB 14 7 13 0 33
B 0 0 0 16 16
SB - Shaquez Wright 2 run (Nicholas Casares kick) 7:12
SB - Jaylen Lawrence 1 run (Casares kick) 2:20
SB - Lawrence 5 pass to McKenzie Wilson (Casares kick) 0:05
SB - Wright 60 run (conversion failed) 7:26
SB - Greg Dunbar fumble recovery in end zone (kick missed) 0:00
B - Jamari Dunbar 10 run (Dondre Akins run) 3:53
B - Dunbar 4 run (Alex Donaldson run) 0:35
SB - Shaquez Wright 13-120-2, DeAngilo Drayton 9-84, Jalen Douse 6-35, Marlow Jones 4-31, Myles Corbitt 2-11, Jaylen Lawrence 3-(-4)-1. Totals 37-277-3.
B - Jamari Dunbar 20-165-2, Keyshawn Jenkins 10-38, Alex Donaldson 4-23, Detravian Johnson 3-8, Dondre Akins 1-3, William Barnes 7-1, Tyrin Williams 1-0. Totals 46-238-2.
SB - Jaylen Lawrence 2-4-28-1TD-0 INT.
B - William Barnes 2-6-18-0TD-2 INT.
SB - McKenzie Wilson 2-28-1.
B - Charles Williams 1-9, Tyrin Williams 1-9. Totals 2-18.
SB - McKenzie Wilson (2)