Monday, October 14, 2013
The Wando football team is 1-0. Sort of.
The Warriors defeated West Ashley, 38-32, in their first region game of the season this past Friday night at Wando Stadium. They head into the thick of region play after going 2-4 through its non-region schedule.
The prescription for halting a three-game losing streak: Kenny Waring. The junior running back scored five touchdowns and had 208 yards on 26 carries.
“He’s a special football player and a great kid,” coach Jimmy Noonan said of Waring. “A lot goes into what we do: the offensive line has to make holes and we have to block on the perimeter if we’re going to spring somebody loose for long runs.”
After jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, West Ashley scored 24 unanswered points to take a double-digit lead early in the third quarter. But, the momentum changed quickly.
After Wildcats quarterback Pedro Manigault scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, Waring returned the ensuing kickoff to the Wando 48-yard line. Then, the former Mount Pleasant Track Club All-American took the first-down play 52 yards for his third touchdown.
West Ashley (4-3 overall, 0-1 region) botched the next kickoff and had to start its drive on its own 12-yard line. Two plays later, Wando recovered a fumble, and then took a 29-24 lead after Waring’s fourth score and a two-point conversion.
Waring wasn’t done, though. He found the end zone for his fifth touchdown on a 32-yard run with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. In about three and a half minutes, Wando turned a 10-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
West Ashley narrowed its deficit with a touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, but Wando kicker Clayton Rosenbaum answered with a 40-yard field goal. Trailing by six, the Wildcats faced a touchdown-or-bust possession.
They traveled into Wando territory, but the Warriors made a defensive stand to win the game. “That was huge,” Noonan said. “It was feast or famine all night. We were stuffing them, or they were getting big chunks of yardage. I’m very proud of the defense.”
Wando travels to Stratford (7-0, 1-0) on Friday. “Right now, the standard (in 4A Region 7) is Goose Creek and Stratford, but we have a scrappy little bunch here,” Noonan said.
Is Wando capable of pulling off an upset?
“Oh heck, I will never undersell any of our kids, as long as they’re willing to work.”