SUMMERVILLE - He was a sophomore quarterback at the beginning of the season.
But Summerville's Dalton Saunders is a poised veteran as the Green Wave heads into the homestretch of the regular season.
The 5-foot-10 signal-caller was on target in Friday night's 56-21 victory over James Island in front of approximately 3,000 fans at McKissick Field.
He had a big role in Summerville's first-half dominance, completing 9-of-12 attempts for 239 yards, including a 40-yard scoring strike to Chris Williams, who was back after serving a one-game suspension. He also connected with Dejon Wilkinson on a 4-yard scoring toss as Summerville took a 35-0 lead at halftime.
Saunders finished with 290 yards and three touchdown passes, completing 13-of-16 attempts."Dalton does a really good job and doesn't let anything bother him," Summerville coach John McKissick said. "He reads the defenses and gets rid of the ball really quick. Good quarterbacks have to do that. We don't run him too much because our second-string quarterback is still suspended, and so is the No. 1running back in the state."
That running back is De'angelo Henderson, who has one more game to sit out for his role in the skirmish after the Stratford game. But the running back position is in good hands, or perhaps that should be in good legs.
Marqcuis Moore carried 19 times for 157 yards and a pair of scores. His longest run went for 56 yards.
But the night belonged to Saunders, who has 1,180 yards passing on the season. He credits his success to the team.
"I trust in my line, that they will pick up the blitz," Saunders said. "I trust the receivers. I know they will catch the ball. As for me, I just have to follow my heart. I do what I have to do."
Summerville improved its record to 6-1, while James Island fell to 2-5.
Both teams entered the game averaging 32.6 points per game, but the Trojans experienced a power outage on offense while turning the ball over two times in the first quarter. Both miscues led to Summerville scores.
The Trojans came in with quarterback Chris Wilkins and his two talented receivers: Bo Patterson and Matt Porter. Wilkins had 1,043 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first six games but couldn't get untracked in the first half, completing 6-of-12 for 72 yards. He finished with 13 completions on 20 attempts for 236 yards and a pair of scores.
He hooked up with Porter for an 80-yard pass-and-run that went for a touchdown and found Patterson open for a 15-yard TD pass.
The Trojans turned the ball over on the third play of the game, and two plays later Summerville was in the end zone on Vaugn Porcher's 8-yard run. The Trojans turned the ball over two times in the first quarter, and it was 21-0 after 12 minutes.