LAKE MARION BLOWS WACCAMAW OUT IN SECOND ROUND PLAYOFFS 41-8
March 6, 2014Lake Marion High School
Waccamaw opened the game with a lengthy drive starting from their own 25-yard line. Despite getting into Lake Marion territory, the Warriors turned the ball over on downs and the Gators would take over on their own 30-yard line. Using their “Hulk” formation, the Gators chalked up two quick first downs to move into Waccamaw territory. Six plays later, Ricardo Gilliard rushed into the end zone from 14 yards out to put the Gators ahead 6-0.
From there, Lake Marion struggled to put points on the board in the second quarter. In total, the Gators finished the first half with 122 yards and six points. With such little productivity, Gators head coach Chris Carter knew that a few adjustments needed to be made.
“We realized that they were stacking the box on us,” Carter said. “We felt like, when we first went out there with the game plan we had, we had some other things in the stable that we could go to.”
In the second half, the Gators (7-4) abandoned their “Hulk” formation and went into a spread formation with Deriante Jenkins at quarterback. The junior opened the half with a 60-yard pass to James Valdez for a touchdown that was negated by an ineligible receiver penalty. The minor setback did minor damage as Jenkins connected again with Valdez on a post route for 65 yards, extending the Gators’ lead to 13-0 with 11:21 to go.
“Puffy, that’s his nickname, he’s really starting to emerge,” Carter said. “He’s starting to learn the system. He’s going to be a special player. I think the one thing he has to do is get in the weight room and get a little size, but he has natural talent. He’s a natural athlete.”
Like Lake Marion, Waccamaw had their fair share of struggles in the first half on offense as well. The Warriors only posted 26 yards against the Gators’ defense and they, too, made changes by moving quarterback Jalen Simmons to a wing position.
“At halftime, we made some adjustments,” Davis said, “and we felt we could run certain things at them and we were able to do that.”
The move paid off as Simmons and running back Justin Holmes carried the load for Waccamaw in their opening second-half drive. The run-heavy series spanned 68 yards and ended on the eighth play as Stephon Funnye rushed in on a jet sweep for nine yards and Waccamaw’s only score with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter.
Lake Marion again responded by marching out their spread package with Jenkins at the helm. A key pass from the 6-6 quarterback to DontreyVyon Jones picked up 35 yards, placing the Gators in Waccamaw territory. Seven plays later, the Gators handed it off to James Davis and he rushed in for a 5-yard touchdown making it 19-8 with 5:16 left in the third.
The Gators poured it on in the fourth quarter. Their opening drive lasted all of six plays, with Valdez ending the series with a 49-yard run, making it a 25-8. Their next series was shortlived thanks to a 56-yard scoring run by Alex Brown, making it 33-8.