Two third-quarter scores in a four-minute stretch helped Blythewood overcome an ugly first half, and the Bengal defense threw a second-half shutout in their 34-19 victory against Sumter.
Greg Huegel’s 24-yard field goal and David Israel’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Javon Smith in the third quarter propelled the Bengals (3-2) to a 28-19 lead by the 8:11 mark of the period. Lynard Jamison’s 22-yard touchdown run late in the fourth closed out the scoring.
Meanwhile, the Blythewood defense, led by Jalen Williams, kept the pressure on the Gamecocks (1-4) all night. Williams was credited with five sacks.
“We gave up three big plays to them,” Blythewood coach Dan Morgan said. “We felt like we handed them the points instead of making them earn that. We were a little disappointed, but our kids responded to that. They realized that we just gave it to him, and let’s get back after them, and they stepped it up.”
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Gamecocks coach Reggie Kennedy said his team was thrown off a little by the re-entry of Blythewood starting quarterback Smith, who had a deep cut on his throwing finger early in the game and was benched, but came in as a receiver in the second half.
“We got off to a terrible start but we survived that with some big plays,” Kennedy said. “But in the second half, we got a different look out of 12 (Smith). And they made the plays down the stretch to win the football game, and we didn’t.”
Smith had two catches for 71 yards, including what proved to be the clinching score.
The Bengals defense blistered Sumter quarterback James Barnes. Although he had an 86-yard touchdown run and threw a 57-yard TD pass, he was 9-for-27 on the night, with two interceptions.
Jamison led the Bengals offense with eight catches for 117 yards, and had 14 carries for 59 rushing yards.
Big plays lifted Sumter in an ugly first half that included four turnovers in the first four minutes, three interceptions, four fumbles, two missed field goal attempts and a safety.
The Bengals took a 3-0 lead on Greg Huegel’s 36-yard field goal, the result of an early pick.
After Blythewood’s Josh Wilkes came down with an interception, Sumter defensive back Erick Wright returned the favor.
Wright intercepted a Josh Smith pass at the Sumter 27 and returned it 73 yards to the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 7-3 lead at the 8:55 mark of the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, Blythewood recovered a fumble in the end zone for a safety that cut the Gamecock’s lead to 7-5. The Bengals took a 12-7 lead on David Israel’s 12-yard touchdown run with 9:49 remaining in the second quarter.
Sumter got its second big play 24 seconds later. Barnes ran 86 yards for a score on a quarterback keeper. The 2-point conversion play failed, and the Gamecocks held a 13-12 advantage.
Blythewood put together a lengthy scoring drive late in the second quarter. The Bengals knocked out a 10-play, 61-yard drive to take a 18-13 lead on Jamison’s 7-yard run into the end zone with 3:29 to go.
Sumter wasn’t finished, though. Barnes connected with Justin Martin for a 57-yard pass play with 54 seconds left in the half to give the Gamecocks a 19-18 lead at intermission.
“All of our kids played a part,” Morgan said. “We had some big plays with Javon Smith at receiver and our backup quarterback David Israel, and our defense played great. Jalen Williams had a monster night on defense, and our linemen were opening up some holes for him to get the pressure on. It was a great night.”
B – Greg Huegel 36 field goal 9:59
S – Erick Wright 75 interception return (Vince Watkins kick) 8:55
B – Safety 5:46
B – David Israel 12 run (Huegel kick) 9:49
S – James Barnes 86 run (pass failed) 9:25
B – Lynard Jamison 7 run (run failed) 3:29
S – Justin Martin 57 pass from Barnes (pass failed) :54
B – Huegel 24 field goal 9:15
B – Javon Smith 51 pass from Israel (Huegel kick) 8:11
B –Jamison 22 run (kick blocked) 1:07
RUSHING – Sumter, Anderson 11-60, Barnes 11-39, Jenkins 8-17, Crawford 4-10. Blythewood, Jamison 14-59, Richardson 7-24, Fletcher 11-53, Smith 4-13.
PASSING – Sumter, Barnes 27-9-2. Blythewood, Smith 10-5-1, Israel 23-13-0.
RECEIVING – Sumter, Martin 2-76, Tyler 2-59, Franklin 2-7, Burson 2-6. Blythewood, Jamison 8-117, Rabon 6-61, Branham 1-20, Smith 2-71, Fletcher 1-1.