For three quarters, Carvers Bay and Georgetown locked horns in a defensive struggle full of penalties, punts and missed opportunities.
After scoring on its opening drive, Carvers Bay couldn’t pierce the Georgetown defense again until midway through the fourth quarter when the Bears finally pulled away with an 18-6 victory over their county rivals.
Despite the win, which moves Carvers Bay to 2-0 after a season-opening win over Marlboro County, Bears coach Nate Thompson and his players were far from satisfied.
“We played like we were in quicksand,” he said. “I think we were still in Marlboro, and we needed to wake up. If anyone thought this was going to be a blowout, they were sadly mistaken. It was a hard-fought rivalry game on both sides.”
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On the Bears’ first drive of the game, quarterback Janaz Sumpter found receiver Dijon Goss wide open behind the defense on a long pass to the Bulldogs’ 19-yard line. On the next play, running back Tyrek Reed scampered up the middle and into the end zone for a 6-0 lead.
Then the defenses took control. Both teams had chances throughout the rest of the first half, but neither could dent the scoreboard. Carvers Bay twice invaded the Georgetown (0-2) red zone before it was stopped on 4th down.
Led by quarterback Bret Kirtley, the Bulldogs’ offense had difficulty moving the ball, but they had a chance to score after recovering a fumble at midfield just before halftime. After a series of penalties by both sides, Georgetown was stymied on 4th down and went into the locker room trailing by six.
The third quarter was more of the same as the teams traded punts and miscues. Carvers Bay was forced to play without two of its offensive stars as Sumpter and Reed left with injuries.
Finally, midway through the 4th quarter, the Bears broke through when backup quarterback Nathan Martin found Tyrin Gamble on a swing pass, and the wideout sprinted down the sideline for a 59-yard gain to the Georgetown 5-yard line. Moments later, Toronto King ran untouched into the end zone to extend the Carvers Bay lead to 12-0 after the failed two-point conversion.
“I’m so glad Toronto stepped up, and Nathan came in and stepped up to fill in while I had a mean cramp,” said Sumpter, who did return late in the game.
The Bulldogs finally found a way to crack the Bears’ defense when Kirtley found Fred Taylor open in the middle of the field for a touchdown with 3:52 remaining. The missed extra point left Georgetown trailing 12-6.
After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, Carvers Bay marched back down the field and put the game out of reach on another King touchdown run in the final minute.
Carvers Bay backup quarterback Nathan Martin connected with wideout Tyrin Gamble on swing pass that went for 59 yards and took the ball down to the Bulldogs’ 5-yard line with 6:48 remaining. This set up Toronto King’s touchdown run that gave the Bears an unsurmountable 12-0 lead.
Carvers Bay’s Toronto King: After a slow start in a game dominated by the defenses, King broke through with a pair of touchdowns in the 4th quarter to seal the Bears’ win.
Carvers Bay’s Tyrek Reed: Reed scored on the opening drive of the game and would have had another touchdown if his punt return hadn’t been called back on an illegal block.
Georgetown’s Fred Taylor: Taylor gave his team a spark in the 4th quarter, reeling in a pass over the middle and racing past defenders into the end zone to get the Bulldogs on the board and cut the deficit to six.
By the numbers
The number of times Georgetown moved past midfield in the first half against the stingy Bears’ defense.
Touchdowns scored in the 4th quarter by Carvers Bay running Back Toronto King.
Number of times the Bulldogs’ defense stopped the Bears on 4th down inside the red zone.
They said it
“We were not as focused this week. This game was a wake-up call for us. It was hard today. It was like pulling teeth.” – Carvers Bay head coach Nate Thompson
“We probably played around in practice a little too much, and as leaders, we have to step up and get our boys ready. Coach is right; the leaders have to step up. I feel like I should have played better and the whole team should have played better. We’re going to be hungry and focused in practice. – Carvers Bay quarterback Janaz Sumpter
“It took a while, so it felt good when I finally broke through on a couple. My lineup started blocking well and opening up holes.” – Carvers Bay running back Toronto King
Carvers Bay: vs. Waccamaw
Georgetown: at Andrews
CB -- Tyrek Reed 19 run (conversion failed)
CB -- Toronto King 5 run (conversion failed)
GT -- Bret Kirtley 37 pass to Fred Taylor (kick failed)
CB -- King 10 run (conversion failed)