Block Party: Knights survive Wave FG attempt
The effort from both sides was phenomenal last Friday as Stratford extended its winning streak with a victory over Summerville.
The Knights (6-0) earned a 28-26 win over the Green Wave (4-2) in a game that featured several momentum shifts and came down to the final play.
“What a great game and atmosphere,” said Stratford coach Ray Stackley, whose team won despite losing seven turnovers and dropping 12 passes. “This was just a typical Summerville-Stratford game.”
Stratford, ranked eighth in Class AAAA, scored first on an 80-yard touchdown pass from University of Georgia commit Jacob Park to fellow senior Thad Thompson.
But the rest of the first half belonged largely to the Green Wave, which scored 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 lead into the half.
The Knights scored 21 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to take a 28-20 lead, and that flurry set the stage for the dramatic conclusion.
“We played good but we didn’t do what we had to do to win,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “Stratford did.”
A pair of penalties on Summerville helped shift momentum in Stratford’s direction.
For a moment, the Wave thought it had delivered the knockout blow on the first possession of the second half.
Linebacker Codie Soto intercepted a Stratford pass near midfield and returned it for a score but the Wave was penalized for a block in the back during the return.
Summerville eventually punted and an unsportsmanlike penalty later continued Stratford’s ensuing drive.
With new life, Park tossed an 89-yard touchdown pass to Thompson, who leapt over a Summerville defender before dashing to the end zone.
The Knights then capitalized on two turnovers.
T.J. Deveaux stripped the ball away from a Summerville rusher and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. Tyler Tekac’s third extra point gave the Knights a 21-20 lead.
On Summerville’s next possession, linebacker Ty’reik Faulks forced a fumble and Deveaux recovered the ball for the Knights. That led to a 16-yard touchdown run by Tyree Scroggins and an eight-point Stratford lead.
In the fourth quarter, Summerville drove 83 yards to score on a 6-yard run by sophomore Chris Felder. Bridges handed off to Felder again on the two-point conversion attempt, but the Stratford D stopped him short of the end zone so the score remained 28-26.
Summerville’s Michael Murray recovered the ensuing onside kick to give the Wave one last chance.
But the Knights’ Taylor Morrison got through to block a 47-yard field goal try on the last play, preserving Stratford’s second straight victory over Summerville.
“My hat goes off to them,” Stackley said. “They had a great gameplan and they are so quick on defense. They got us discombobulated in the first half but I thought our defense really played hard the whole game.
“Park didn’t have a great first half which is very not typical of him but he played a great second half. He put the ball on the money when we needed him to.”
Park completed 17 of 40 pass attempts for 319 yards and two TDs. Thompson had six receptions for 219 yards, including the two TD catches.
Bridges completed 12 of 43 pass attempts for 190 yards and two TDs. McCurry led the Green Wave receivers with four receptions for 99 yards, including the 37-yard TD catch.
On defense for the Knights, Deveaux made 13 total tackles, while Morrison and Joe Cook had eight stops each. Michael Simmons and Cecil Smith were in on seven stops apiece.
Stratford begins Region 7-AAAA play at Cane Bay on Friday while Summerville travels to Dorchester County rival Fort Dorchester to kickoff the Region 8-AAAA slate.
The Knights’ next opponent is coming off a 34-20 loss to Colleton County, which Stratford just defeated 43-0.
“Cane Bay is a very well-coached and capable football team,” Stackley said. “They have excellent speed on offense and a very good quarterback. Their defense runs to the ball very well. We will have to clean up our act from Friday if we expect to be successful.”