SYLVANIA – It’s an age-old question. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
That question was put to the test Friday night as Jefferson County and the top offense in all of Class AA met Screven County’s top-ranked defense in a top-10 battle for the 4-AA region championship.
Ultimately, the immovable object of the Screven defense prevailed as the Gamecocks (9-0, 7-0) claimed their second consecutive 4-AA region championship with a 44-20 win.
“I thought our coaches did an excellent job of coming up with a gameplan and our players were able to execute that plan,” said SCHS Head Coach Ron Duncan. “To hold that offense to essentially 14 points all night is impressive. I’m proud of our guys.”
Screven County jumped all over the Warriors (9-1, 6-1) in the first quarter, needing only three plays, and a Jefferson County personal foul, to go 76 yards, capped off by Kim Hunter’s 17-yard scamper to the end zone.
The Gamecocks’ defense showed why they are one of the best in the state on Jefferson’s first two possessions, forcing the Warriors to punt for the first time in several games. On the second punt attempt, the snap sailed over the punters head into the end zone where he kicked it out of the back for a safety.
Screven took the ensuing kickoff and after a big return, drove 38 yards on seven plays with fullback CJ Wright scoring from four-yards out. A two-point conversion gave the Gamecocks a 17-0 lead after the first quarter.
Jefferson County was finally able to score in the second quarter to snap the Gamecock’s six-game shutout streak, but the Screven County offense was able to answer on their next possession.
The Gamecocks nearly returned the kickoff for a touchdown, but it didn’t matter as two plays later, Hunter took a late pitch from quarterback Armani Bunbury and was able to find the endzone for an 11-yard score and a 24-7 lead.
Screven’s defense was aided by a couple of costly Warrior penalties, including an illegal formation penalty which negated a 59-yard touchdown pass that would have cut the deficit to 10 just before halftime.
The Gamecock defense asserted itself again to open the second half. Warrior quarterback CJ Hales was pressured after dropping back to pass and threw an ill-advised pass that found SCHS defensive back Eli Broadnax who returned the interception 60 yards for a touchdown.
Jefferson County was able to mount a drive on their next possession, but the Gamecocks held the Warriors on a fourth and four on the Gamecock 22 to regain possession.
On the next play, the Gamecocks’ first offensive play of the second half, Erick Roberson took another late pitch from Bunbury and raced 78 yards for the score to end any hopes of a Warrior comeback.
Sandwiched between two Jefferson County touchdowns was an 80-yard kickoff return by Bunbury to finish off the scoring for Screven County, who will host a first round state playoff game on Friday.
“We’re going to celebrate and enjoy this tonight,” Duncan said. “Tomorrow we’ll wake up and get start getting ready for the state playoffs.”