BARNWELL 69, WILLISTON-ELKO 14
WILLISTON — Barnwell's football players gathered in a light rain Saturday morning and took a glance or two at the scoreboard while they waited for head coach Dwayne Garrick to join them.
It was a nice sight for the Warhorses, 69 points on the scoreboard and a dominant win in their season opener at Williston-Elko, and Garrick quickly looked at the board before delivering his message to his team:
"That's what it's supposed to look like."
Just 13 hours before the final horn, the Warhorses headed into the locker room with a 28-14 halftime lead over a Blue Devils team that was moving the ball well through the air and had made a couple of the defensive stops head coach Derek Youngblood wanted to see.
Just as the teams were ready to run back out onto the field, they reversed course and jogged back to the locker rooms. Lightning ended the night prematurely and sent everyone home, forcing a Saturday morning finish.
Barnwell, the second-ranked team in the state in Class AA, made sure it was over quickly.
Jamari Chisolm's touchdown run from around 30 yards out right after the second-half kickoff was his third of six scores in the game, and the rout was on. Barnwell outscored Williston-Elko 41-0 in about 45 minutes of real time, pounding the rock from the wishbone and suffocating the Blue Devils' offense.
"We missed some opportunities in the first half yesterday," Garrick said. "They did a good job getting the ball to (AJ Chandler). He's a really good player. Tres (Rimes), the quarterback, is a great little player. We got in the wishbone yesterday one play and hit an iso for about 40 yards, and we never got back in it again.
"We're trying to get some identity as a one-back team, but today I said we were gonna do what we've got to do to take care of business."
That meant loading up the box and finding the openings created by the Warhorses' hulking offensive line – Garrick said they got a good push, but added that the game film will truly tell how well they played – and it worked.
Chisolm ended the game with 282 yards – 145 Friday, 137 Saturday – and those six touchdowns on 15 carries. That made up the bulk of the team's 360 rushing yards on 24 attempts.
"Jamari did a good job. He bounced a little bit. Got to the edge a couple times, but he's a good player," Garrick said. "He's a good running back. So, yeah, we're gonna be OK."
Chisolm scored four times in the third quarter to increase Barnwell's lead to 55-14, and Dallyon Creech and Jakavein Williams rushed for scores in the fourth.
Meanwhile, the Warhorses' defense was absolutely dominant.
Rimes and Chandler gave them fits in the first half Friday, with Rimes passing for 211 yards and Chandler catching six balls for 189 yards and a 60-yard score. The Warhorses' defensive backs bracketed Chandler, one underneath and one over the top, on Saturday to keep that from happening again, and the front seven generated plenty of pressure throughout all four quarters to bottle up the run game and force Rimes to make quick decisions on passing downs.
Barnwell picked off Rimes twice Saturday, one for Deshawn Watson and one for Demaurion Ginn, and the Warhorses held the Blue Devils to 24 yards of total offense – 15 on one Deshawn Singleton run – in the second half.
The Warhorses jumped ahead Friday night with Chisolm's 34-yard touchdown run with 8:05 left in the first quarter, and they doubled that lead when Craig Pender and TJ Miller connected for a 31-yard touchdown at the start of the second quarter.
Chisolm's second touchdown, a 23-yarder, put Williston-Elko in serious trouble down 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
The Blue Devils had an answer, though, with Chandler catching a deep ball from Rimes down the home sideline for 60 yards and a score, and Javier Rudolph's two-point conversion made it 21-8.
Pender threw his second touchdown pass of the game just 21 seconds later, hitting Marcus Robinson over the middle for a 63-yard sprint to the end zone.
Williston-Elko kept fighting, making stops and getting another touchdown on the board when Rimes ran it in from 4 yards out. An interception by Davon Harrison kept the Warhorses out of the end zone before halftime, and the Blue Devils appeared to have momentum on their side.
That momentum flipped – hard – Saturday morning.
Barnwell faces another county rival this coming week when it hosts Blackville-Hilda. Williston-Elko hosts Silver Bluff on Friday.