St. James controlled the first half of Friday’s game against Marlboro County.
Unfortunately for the Sharks, the Bulldogs turned the tables in the second half en route to a 34-17 win.
Trailing 17-7 late in the first half, Marlboro County scored just before halftime to draw within three points and proceeded to shut out St. James in the second half while running away with a victory.
“We played really well defensively and we kept the ball. They didn’t have but a couple drives,” Sharks coach Robby Brown said of the first half. “But in the second half we stalled on offense and they did a great job in the second half. We didn’t move it and then they hit us for a few big plays and that was pretty much the game. And then it got kind of out of hand there at the very, very end. Our kids played well throughout the whole time but we just came up short.”
St. James took a 3-0 lead on a first-quarter field goal by John David Vereen and, soon after the Sharks recovered an onside kick, Jay-Mion Pressley scored on a 17-yard run to push the lead to 10-0.
After the Bulldogs shortened the lead back to three points in the second quarter, Berkeley Young scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak to push the lead to 17-7 Sharks.
“We played good in the first half,” Brown said. “We moved the ball, and we kept the ball, which was the main thing, in the first half.”
But that was all the scoring St. James could muster as they fell to 0-7 and 0-1 in Region VII-4A despite a valiant effort.
“I just think with all the adversity that this team has gone through this year – and they have gone through a lot – I do think they grew up a lot tonight,” Brown said. “It definitely gains confidence. They competed very well, they competed hard. But at the end of the day we just came up short. But obviously it helped you gain confidence when you move the ball up the field against Marlboro County in the first half.”
The Sharks host undefeated Myrtle Beach next Friday.
“They’ve got some really good players and they do a really good job with their system,” Brown said. “We’ll have our hands full and it will be a challenge for us. But we’re going to get to work in the morning and get ready for Myrtle Beach and see if we can get better every day.”