Waccamaw just keeps proving people wrong.
The Warriors, behind yet another stout defensive effort and a big night from Kevin Gasque, earned a crucial Region VIII-AA victory in beating Aynor 34-6. The win mean’s Tyronne Davis’ team has likely already done enough to earn a playoff berth and can now go to work on boosting their seeding.
“I think we can go pretty far,” Gasque said. “Loris didn’t score on our defense. They [Aynor] didn’t score on our defense until our defensive back caught a cramp. They scored 14 on Dillon before the half. I think we can be pretty good.”
And why not?
The Warriors’ season has already included a few milestones: A first ever win over Carvers Bay and a region victory after going more than two full seasons without one. And now, with two regular-season games remaining, the team has already matched Davis’ highest win total between his stints at Waccamaw and Georgetown.
And win No. 5 this year was a complete effort, start to finish.
The Warriors (5-3, 2-1 Region VIII-AA) got 172 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries from Gasque. The defense also did its part.
It created a pair of turnovers and gave up just six points and about 160 rushing yards against a team averaging better than 300 per game. All of that was evident early.
Waccamaw got on the board first on a seven-yard Tim Greene touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Later, a 55-yard Smith run gave the Blue Jackets (4-4, 1-2) the ball inside the red zone. On the next play, Warriors’ defensive back Tyriq Grant picked up a bad snap and raced 59 yards to put his team up 13-0.
“It’s so hard to recover when stuff like that happens,” said Blue Jackets coach Jody Jenerette, adding that Grant’s defensive touchdowns was the seventh returned fumble against his team in the past two seasons. “I thought we could at least keep it respectable, [make] it a dog fight. They kicked our tail. That’s what good teams do – they punched us in the mouth and we did not respond.”
It was indeed Waccamaw that made all the plays.
The Warriors did some solid work early on Aynor’s Kamron Johnson and Daquan Smith. The two running backs combined for just 112 yards in the opening half, after which Davis’ team led 20-0. It then cruised in the second half, giving up its only points on a rare Blue Jackets’ pass play over the top.
For Waccamaw, it added up to some very real playoff hopes. After putting up just five winning seasons in 25 years of football, the Warriors need just one more win – at Marion next week or at home against Dillon on Halloween, to guarantee a sixth.
“That’s what we’re going after next week,” Davis said. “Marion’s a tough team. They played Aynor very tough. … We’ve got some work ahead of us. But if we beat Marion, we’ll pretty much guarantee no worse than third.”
W - Tim Greene 7 run (conv. failed)
W - Tyriq Grant 59 fumble return (Davis Hogan kick)
W - Kevin Gasque 61 run (Hogan kick)
W - Gasque 1 run (Hogan kick)
A - Kamron Johnson 46 rec from Caleb Jenerette (conv. failed)
W - Kelton Grant 44 run (Hogan kick)
Aynor - Kamron Johnson 22-63; Daquan Smith 14-100.; Waccamaw - Kevin Gasque 14-172; Kelton Grant 5-59
Aynor - Caleb Jenerette 3-7-1, 69 yards.; Waccamaw - Trace Mills 0-3-0
Aynor - Johnson 1-46; Jackson Woodle 2-24