Kickoff Classic highlights in slow motion
Waccamaw had all of the momentum on its side coming into the week. The Warriors (1-1) were coming off one of the biggest wins in school history, looked like a juggernaut on both sides of the ball and already had game experience under its belt.
Aynor didn’t care.
The Blue Jackets (1-0) dismantled the Warriors, scoring 25 points in the opening quarter and forcing Waccamaw into tough positions on the field. Turnovers, sloppy play and a fast-and-furious Aynor defense put Waccamaw behind the chains on offense, or defending short fields, throughout the first half.
“I thought we played Aynor football,” said head coach Jason Allen. “I’m a little disappointed with some things that were not of our character, but other than that I was really pleased with our effort.”
Effort on the Aynor sideline was evident from the first drive of the game. The Blue Jackets took the opening kickoff and marched down the field, running right at Waccamaw’s defense and challenging the Warriors to make stops. After a quick Fred Pollard touchdown, Waccamaw fumbled away possession on its first offensive play, and Aynor added another touchdown 24 seconds later.
Those headshots landed on Waccamaw and dazed the young squad.
“We got punched in the mouth early and we didn’t respond,” said Waccamaw’s Coach Shane Fidler. “That’s partly young and inexperienced, and that’s OK, because now they’ve had that experience… We want them to punch back. We’ve got to get tougher and see more situations like this; that’s why these teams are on the schedule, so we can see these situations. We want to know going forward, when it’s November and you’re in the playoffs, what to expect.”
A battle-tested Waccamaw offense, which raised eyebrows with a 44-0 thrashing of Carvers Bay in Week 0, looked lost at times against a fast and physical Aynor team.
“Billy Jones, my defensive coordinator, only gave up one score with our starters out there and that was on a busted play,” Allen said of his defense. “Our goal coming in was to stop the run with our front seven, take (Tyree Funnye) and (Kam Green) out of the game, and make them run the ball to play our style of football. I thought we did that pretty much the whole night.”
Although the result was far from what he wanted, Fidler recognized the challenge of this week for his team in facing a unique offensive attack. He gave his team no opt-out from the challenge, telling them postgame that their toughness was not up to par.
“Defensively, we said all week that you can’t replicate that (Aynor offense). We have guys in positions and can’t make the tackles,” he said. “Last week we made a lot of tackles… we just got out-toughed this week. We’ve got to be tougher than whoever we play... We are young… We want to see, next week, if guys are going to come back and work. We need them to do what we ask of them.”
While emotions ran high on the Waccamaw sidelines and huddle following the game, Aynor came away cool and collected, aside from a few Waccamaw play calls that prompted Allen to put his starters back in the game late, perhaps sending a message to the upstart program.
Allen and the Blue Jackets will face the 2018 Class A state champions next week, as Green Sea Floyds comes to town. Waccamaw will play host to Andrews next Friday.
WAC – 0 6 0 7 – 13
AYN – 25 8 7 14 – 54
AYN – Fred Pollard 15-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 10:12
AYN – Anthony Eaddy 3-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 9:48
AYN – Andrew Brown 53-yard pass to Riley Phipps (2-point conversion failed) 8:05
AYN – Phipps 9-yard run (Matthew Stanley kick good) 1:02
WAC – Denson Crisler 23-yard pass to Kam Green (extra point failed) 5:59
AYN – Pollard 2-yard run (Brown run for 2-point conversion) 00:46
AYN – Brown 2-yard run (Stanley kick good) 7:08
AYN – Deondre Ranson 27-yard interception return (Noel McQueen kick good) 7:45
WAC – Kaimon Skinner 65-yard run (extra point good) 7:15
AYN – Brown 20-yard run (McQueen kick good) 4:42
WAC – Denson Crisler 5-15-48-1-2
AYN – Andrew Brown 3-3-82-1-0
WAC – Kaimon Skinner 12-97 TD
AYN – Andrew Brown 13-102 2TD
WAC – Kam Green 3-42 TD
AYN – Riley Phipps 3-82 TD