Warhorses punish Panthers, 51-0
The Class AA No. 2 ranked Barnwell High Warhorses appear to be getting stronger with each passing week.
The Warhorses, who struggled at times in a 24-6 season-opening win over Williston-Elko High, have now eclipsed the 40-point mark for the second straight week.
The Pelion High Panthers were their latest victims Thursday, Aug. 31 in a 51-0 rout.
This was a train wreck from the beginning as the Warhorses steamrolled over the Panthers in the first half for a 36-0 commanding lead.
The lopsided first half saw the Warhorses put up 225 yards of total offense to the Panthers’ minus three yards of total offense
For the Warhorses, the charge was led by an offensive line that paved the way for 348 yards on the ground.
A unit consisting of Jackson Ridgeway, Briggs Kearse, Jackson Carter, Envy Brown, Julius Arnold, Isaiah Williams and Austin Jackson opened gaping holes to run through.
Brandon Harvey benefited the most from the superb blocking. Harvey finished with a game-high 155 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries.
With the win, Barnwell High moves to 3-0 in the standings.
“A lot of credit goes to the players. They came out and played really well tonight,” Barnwell High coach Dwayne Garrick said. “Offensively our line blocked well. Defensively, we caused a lot of disruptions up front and pressured them into mistakes.”
Almost from the start, it was clear Pelion High was overmatched.
After taking the opening kickoff, the Panthers gained two yards on the first two plays, then a sack followed on third down to force a punt.
On the ensuing punt return, Dallyon Creech of the Warhorses returned the ball 37 yards to give the offense great field position at the Panthers 34-yard line.
On the Warhorses’ first play from scrimmage, Mikal Lee ran for a 31-yard gain down to the three-yard line. Two plays later, Brandon Harvey capped the three-play march with a one-yard run. Hunter Webb added the extra point.
Down by a touchdown, the Panthers faired no better on the second possession. On first down, Brashaun Spann stopped their ball carrier for a two-yard loss. After a short run on second down, the Panthers tried to pick up a first down by passing. On the play, Julius Arnold beat his blocker and sacked Pryce Whitten in the end zone for a safety.
After the free kick, the Warhorse offense was on the move again. This time, the team was more lucky than good. On second down and short at the Panthers’ 14-yard line, a Warhorse ball carrier found running inside but he had the ball stripped away. Jackson Carter, however, was “Johnny on The Spot” for the team to make the recovery in the end zone for a touchdown.
The three-and-outs continued for the Panthers’ offense on their next possession. After getting the ball back after a punt, the Warhorses hit pay dirt again. This time, Harvey cashed in on a three-yard run with 11:02 left in the second quarter.
Trailing 22-0, the Panthers’ offense continued to sputter. On second down and 10, Whitten tried to pass, but the ball was tipped and intercepted by Griffin Corley. On his attempt to score on the play, Corley was caught from behind and lost control of the ball. The ball then traveled into the end zone where teammate Markel Corley pounced on it for a touchdown.
After another quick three-and-out by the Panthers, the Warhorses were on the scoreboard again after Brandon Harvey scored on a 68-yard run. The extra point made the score 36-0 at halftime.
“We got pretty lucky on the fumbles tonight. Twice we coughed up the ball and fell on it for touchdowns,” Garrick said.
The second half was pretty much a repeat of the first 24 minutes of play. The Warhorses received the opening second half kickoff and marched 65 yards for a score. Lee finished the drive with a 30-yard run.
With a commanding 43-0 third-quarter lead, it was then time for the backups to give the Warhorse faithful a glimpse of the future.
Freshman Marcus Robinson, who had an interception in the opener against Williston-Elko High, continued to flash his potential. Robinson fueled a seven-play, 63-yard march with runs of 11 and eight yards. His six-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left in the third quarter completed the drive.
The only scoring in the fourth quarter was a safety against Pelion for intentionally grounding the ball in the end zone.
For the game, Lee finished with 76 yards rushing. Mason had 70 yards.
Defensively, the Warhorses were led by Julius Arnold and Brashaun Spann. Arnold had six tackles and a sack. Spann tallied four tackles, including two for losses and two sacks. Ryan Harper also had a solid game with five tackles and a sack. Michael Guty and Alvin Donaldson each had four tackles. Griffin Corley registered three tackles and an interception.