This was not the beginning the St. James Sharks envisioned when they kicked off their 2013 season. The Sharks dropped their home opener 20-14 to the Andrews Yellow Jackets on Friday night and fell to 0-2 on the season.
“We are miles ahead of where we were,” third-year St. James coach Mark Fischer said. “All of our expectations are high, and we are not meeting them.”
The Sharks opened the game by forcing a quick three-and-out. Then the Sharks’ offense moved the ball well before stalling out at the Yellow Jackets’ 30-yard line. But the momentum quickly shifted.
Andrews sophomore running back William Lewis scampered around the left end and then outraced the Sharks’ defense down the sidelines for a 66-yard scoring run to put the Yellow Jackets up 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Following a three-and-out by the Sharks that handed Andrews the ball on the St. James 22, senior fullback Kalin Hudson scored from the 1 on his fourth straight carry to make it 14-0 Yellow Jackets.
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The Sharks could never fully recover from Andrews’ quick burst.
The Yellow Jackets made it a winning debut for first-year coach Scott Durham, a former quarterbacks coach at Goose Creek who took over when Steve Blanchard stepped down this summer.
“It feels good. As I told them, a win is a win. They are all special,” Durham said. “They are hard to come by and anytime you can get one, enjoy it.”
The Sharks were able to keep it close throughout. They cut it to 14-7 on a 31-yard run by senior Jacob Loud when the Andrews defense lost the big tight end on a misdirection play. Loud took a direct snap from center and by the time Andrews realized who had the ball, Loud was in the open.
Miscues were costly all night for the Sharks. At least 10 times the Sharks mishandled the ball in the backfield or had trouble with the snap.
“We have got nine of us, 10 of us are on the same page, but you know … it was great heart and great effort ,” Fischer said. “but we miss a snap here, a ball slips out of our hand here …. I take all the blame. “
Andrews quarterback Ethan Wright gave the Yellow Jackets a two-score lead with 2:38 left in the game as he faked a pitch left and then bootlegged right for a 10-yard scoring run. But St. James cut it to a one-score game when Josh Roper found Alan Crum on a 14-yard scoring strike with 56 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick was free for a second, but after the referees cleared the pile Andrews had the ball.
A-William Lewis 66 run (Cecil Murphy kick), 5:02
A-Kalin Hudson 1 run (Cecil Murphy kick),0: 10.8
SJ-Jacob Loud 31 run (Nicole Myers kick), 6:22
A—Wright 10 run (kick blocked), 2:38
SJ-Alan Crum 14 pass from Josh Roper (Myers kick), 0:56.1
RUSHING—Andrews, William Lewis 7-81, Kalin Hudson 12-49, Leon Davis 11-39, Ethan Wright 6-10, Cecil Murphy 1-4, Carlos Smalls 2-3. St. James, Josh Roper 8-50, Alan Crum 8-29, Tyrell Dukes 5-8, Loud 3-32, Devane Hunter 2-11.
PASSING—Andrews, Ethan Wright 2-9-1-15. St. James, Roper 10-22-0-92.
RECEIVING—Andrews, Jaqwon Wright 2-15. St. James, Loud 4-43, Tyrell Dukes 2-23, Crum 2-12, Holmes 1-14, Tom 1-0.