After a simply perfect first half on offense, tailback Mark Timmons and the Carolina Forest Panthers are off and running into the 2010 season.
The Panthers scored touchdowns on their first five possessions of the game and rolled past Socastee 33-7 Friday night in the opener for both teams.
Timmons scored four touchdowns and tallied 203 yards on 21 carries as the Panthers compiled 250 yards rushing and 320 yards total offense.
Timmons, a quick 5-foot-6, 160-pound senior, set the school record for rushing yards in a game, snapping the previous mark of 197 set by Kenny Chestnut in 2001.
The soft-spoken Timmons passed the credit for his record-setting night on to his teammates.
"I've got to give to my O-line and my quarterback - if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be able to do it," said Timmons. "I'm excited about it, I'm just ready to go home and come back Monday and work and go hard for the season."
The Panthers drove 65 yards in 13 plays to open the scoring with Timmons scoring on a 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
Three plays later, Christopher Nwanegwo picked off a pass by Socastee's Jordan Renfrow and the Panthers took over at the Braves' 36. Three plays later Timmons plowed into the end zone with 11:55 left in the first half for a 13-0 Panthers' lead after Nwanegwo's PAT kick was blocked.
Carolina Forest scored on its third straight possession when QB Daniel Daly shook off a would-be tackler in the pocket and found Harold Atkinson for a 13-yard catch-and-run touchdown and a 20-0 lead with 4:31 left in the half.
The Braves responded with their only scoring drive of the game as Chase Holcombe dove one yard into the end zone for a touchdown to trim the lead to 20-7 with 1:00 left in the half.
But Timmons wasn't through with the half just yet, bursting up the middle for a 72-yard run and scoring his third TD of the half a play later from four yards away with only 37 seconds left in the half.
Leading 26-7 at intermission, the Panthers scored their fifth straight touchdown just over two minutes into the second half when Timmons burst up the middle for a 37-yard TD sprint to close the scoring.
"We're not the same Carolina Forest team that was here last year," said Timmons. "We're a new team and we just wanted to show our fans that."
Daly, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior, completed all five of his first half throws and finished 7-of-8 for 72 yards and a touchdown, all behind solid offensive line play.
"We feel this is the best offensive line we've had in a long time," said Carolina Forest fifth-year coach Drew Hummel. "We've got some great runners behind it and we've got a good quarterback who's smart enough to check plays and put us in good situations. Danny Daly did a great job."
Socastee's option-oriented offense was limited to 165 yards on 44 carries. The Braves also committed turnovers on their first two possessions of the game.
"They've got a good football team and they did a good job," said Socastee coach Tim Renfrow. "We didn't execute and we had some opportunities to make some plays defensively but we didn't. We've just got to get better and we'll keep working."