Don’t expect Carvers Bay coach Nate Thompson to be counting his blessings as his squad’s final three regular-season game are at home.
Following Friday’s 38-0 win at Marion, Carvers Bay has three games left – each at home against Region VII-2A foes Mullins, Johnsonville and Latta.
“Sometimes I think I’d rather be a road warrior. Well, we’re undefeated on the road. The two games we’ve lost were at home,” Thompson said with a laugh.
Making his first career start while filling in for injured starting quarterback Levi White, Janaz Sumpter ran for two touchdowns and, more importantly, Thompson said, connected with Dijon Goss for a pair of passing scores.
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“We did accomplish throwing the ball tonight. That was something I wanted to do, you know, not let people key on our running game,” said Thompson, who added that White could potentially return next week. “We wanted to try to open up our passing game – that way the defenses don’t all crowd the box, so we did accomplish that tonight. So that was one of the big things, the good takeaways that we came away with.”
Sumpter, just a sophomore, exceeded expectations. He scored the Bears’ first touchdown from a yard out, later connected with Goss on 30- and 40-yard touchdown passes, with a 20-yard scoring run sandwiched in between.
“Sumpter did a great job. He can do some things and he played within what he can do, and that was a major thing,” said Thompson, whose team is 3-0 in region play. “The other kids rallied around him and that was major. One thing about this team, it doesn’t matter which quarterback was in; they rallied around him.”
Carvers Bay’s defense once again came up big, posting its third shutout in the last five games. Aside from a 42-2 loss to North Myrtle Beach, the Bears have allowed just six points in the last five games.
“Our defense has really held us in a lot of games, early in the games and that was a big plus,” Thompson said. “My hat’s off to our defensive quarter, he’s done a good job; and the offensive coordinator’s doing a good job. But the defensive has really stepped up and that’s the major thing.”
Byron Young provided another of the Bears’ scores on a 60-yard interception return and Tyrik Reed had a 50-yard rush for a touchdown.
“They’re playing pretty good. We’ve still got some chinks in the armor that we’ve got to clean up. That’s the major thing,” Thompson said. “We’ve just got to try to keep plugging right now. We’ve still got a little bit of a ways to go.”
Next up for Carvers Bay is Mullins.
Mullins’ got a really good team, don’t let nobody fool you. They’re good,” Thompson said. “… We’ve got to take it one game at a time. We’ve got homecoming coming and everything and that’s scary. Every game is a big game for us. From where we were last year, every game is a big game. We always tell our kids, we won’t overlook nobody. Every game, we’ve got to play it like it’s the big game.”