WILLISTON-ELKO 7, SILVER BLUFF 6
PETTICOAT JUNCTION — For the second week in a row, Williston-Elko went into a tough road environment and played to a 7-6 score.
This time, the Blue Devils (1-1) were victorious, picking up the one-point victory over Silver Bluff (0-2) a week after losing to Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
“Our guys deserved it,” said first-year head coach Derek Youngblood after his first victory at the helm of his alma mater. “This win has nothing to do with me.”
All of the scoring came in the third quarter, and the Bulldogs actually drew first blood. After outgaining Williston-Elko 128-49 in the scoreless first half, mostly on the ground, the Bulldogs broke through on a 29-yard run by Malik Washington just more than two minutes into the second half.
The score was Silver Bluff’s first of the season after a 21-0 loss to Abbeville in Week Zero.
“We just executed a lot better than we did last week,” said head coach Al Lown. “We didn’t win the game, but we made a big improvement.”
Omar Zambrano missed the extra point wide left, and that proved to be an issue for the Bulldogs.
The Blue Devils went to work on the next drive, but they seemed to be stalling some near midfield. Freshman Tyran Parker was in at quarterback as part of a rotation with senior Marcell Wright, also a key running back for Williston-Elko, and Youngblood said he had a talk with Parker about big moments.
“I said, ‘At some point, we’re just going to have to make a play,’” Youngblood recalled.
When the time came, Parker answered with a deep pass down the sideline to tight end Justice Wallace. The ball was a bit underthrown and into double coverage, but the 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior tipped it up and caught it, fighting off defenders on the way to a 52-yard touchdown connection.
“Justice is a great athlete,” Youngblood said.
Christian Sapp hit the extra point, which proved to be the deciding score.
From there, the roles reversed offensively. The Blue Devils limited Silver Bluff to 71 yards after the half, 60 of which came on two big plays.
Meanwhile, Williston-Elko had 141 yards after the break, with 89 coming on the ground. Wright had 39 of his 43 rushing yards after the break.
“They pounded on us,” Lown said.
Youngblood said the second-half ground attack was a welcome change from the struggles of the first half. While Silver Bluff had some good first-half gains negated by penalties, including a 60-yard Myles Corbitt rushing touchdown negated by a holding penalty, the Blue Devils really never got much going before halftime.
“To be honest, in the first half, I was real concerned because we couldn’t run the ball,” Youngblood said.
The Bulldogs did get one more threat in before the game came to an end. After forcing Williston-Elko into a turnover on downs on the Silver Bluff 20 with about three minutes left, the Bulldogs went on the move and got the ball near midfield on a 31-yard pass from Brandon Hill to Tarron Jackson.
The game’s only turnover ended that drive, though, as DeAngilo Drayton’s trick play pass was intercepted by Keyshawn Ogletree.
“He deserves every good thing that happens to him,” Youngblood said of Ogletree. “He’s worked his behind off.”
Despite some confusion over a late first down by Williston-Elko that sealed the win, the Blue Devils were able to run the last two minutes off and get their first win of the year.
“The big thing is, a win’s a win,” said Youngblood, whose team will travel to play county foe Barnwell next Friday. “We were wanting one bad.”
Lown, meanwhile, will try to re-focus his players for a home game against Strom Thurmond after essentially losing on one well-defended pass.
“He just made a heck of a play,” Lown said of Wallace’s catch. “That’s football.”
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University. Follow him on Twitter @ASJTimm.
WE 0 0 7 0 – 7
SB 0 0 6 0 – 6
SB–Malik Washington 29 run (kick failed) 9:53.
WE–Tyran Parker 52 pass to Justice Wallace (Christian Sapp kick) 7:54.
WE–Devon Fagans 7-15, Fabian Bing 5-14, Keyshawn Ogletree 1-1, Andre Dunbar 9-23, Marcell Wright 11-43, Parker 3-14, Andrew Milligan 3-6. Totals 39-116.
SB–Washington 5-36-1TD, DeAngilo Drayton 11-61, Myles Corbitt 10-59, Malcolm Green 1-4, Anthony Reed 4-7, Brandon Hill 1-(-10), Darnell Davis 1-3. Totals 23-160-1TD.
WE–Parker 2-4-52-1TD-0INT, Wright 2-3-22-0TD-0 INT. Totals 4-7-74-1TD-0 INT.
SB–Hill 2-7-39-0TD-0INT, Drayton 0-1-0-0TD-0 INT. Totals 2-8-39-0TD-1 INT.
WE–Wallace 2-67-1TD, Dunbar 1-7, Wright 1-0.
SB–Drayton 1-8, Tarron Jackson 1-31.
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Silver Bluff's Malik Washington (5) fights off Williston-Elko's Keyshawn Ogletree (21) on the way to a 29-yard touchdown run.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Williston-Elko's Keyshawn Ogletree (21) intercepts a late pass intended for Silver Bluff's Kenny Lamar.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Williston-Elko head coach Derek Youngblood talks to his team after beating Silver Bluff 7-6.×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Williston-Elko defenders, including Andrew Milligan (8) and Justice Wallace (81) put the brakes on Silver Bluff’s Deangilo Drayton (2).×
Staff photo by Jeremy Timmerman Silver Bluff's Tarron Jackson (12) turns to run after making a catch against the defense of Williston-Elko's Andrew Milligan (8).×