BRANCHVILLE — The Whitmire High School Wolverines returned from Branchville with a victory after defeating the Branchville High School Yellow Jackets 16-6.
For the first three quarters of the game, it was what Head Coach Charlie Jenkins called a “scoreless slugfest.”
“Both teams played good defense and both offenses turned the ball over on fumbles and interceptions,” he said. “As the fourth quarter started, we had the ball on our four yard line with 96 yards to go. I told them it was time to make a memory and go 96 yards to grind out a win.”
Jenkins said they put together a nice drive by running and passing. They got down to the Yellow Jackets’ 35-yard line with about five minutes to go.
“Then we had a costly ‘phantom’ personal foul penalty called on us. One of our players was loudly admonishing one of his teammates for running his mouth and the referee mistook him as yelling at an opponent,” Jenkins said. “Really sad that a referee would influence such a hard fought game over a non-physical, i.e. no physical threatening or dangerous personal foul penalty, even if we did yell at the other team, but we did not.”
After that, the Wolverines went from third and one at the Yellow Jackets 35 to third and 16. The Wolverines did not get the first down and had to punt.
Bailey Holloman got off a good punt and CJ Saverance hustled down to down the ball.
“I am getting my offensive plan ready for overtime in my head and all of a sudden starting offensive tackle Matthew Mathias, who was subbing on the defensive line, busts through the Branchville line, causes a fumble that is picked up and ran into the end zone by our senior OLB Colton Evans and ran into the end zone for a touchdown,” Jenkins said.
The two point pass went from Holloman to Saverance, and the Wolverines led 8-0 with three minutes to go.
“We kicked off and they tried to go hurry up. We forced a fumble again at about the 50 yard line. We were content to run the clock out by running up the middle, but I guess they were tired and demoralized and wing back AJ Renwick broke a long run down the five yard line,” Jenkins said. “From there, Devin Vo scored a touchdown and then also scored the two-point conversion on another run and we led 16-0 with about 50 seconds to go.”
Jenkins said the Wolverines tried to sub a little at the end and the Yellow Jackets scored on the last play of the game on a long alley-oop type pass.
“Lots of credit to our players and coaches for hanging in there. Lots of credit goes to our strength and conditioning coordinator Jarod King for having our guys ready for a four quarter game. They were physically finished and we had a little gas left in the tank,” Jenkins said. “Coaches Andrew Campbell, John McCarley and Jarrod King had our defense ready. We really had their tendencies down and our players were turned in on defense. Our defense played very gritty, forcing turnovers and having two goal line stands that eventually were the difference in the game.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.