WHITMIRE — The Whitmire Wolverines fell to the Wagener-Salley War Eagles 36-0 in their first game of the season, but Head Coach Charlie Jenkins is already looking to improving the next time the team takes the field.
Jenkins said he was just glad the game went on as planned despite the stormy weather that moved in.
“With the threatening weather that was all around Friday night, I am just glad we got to play. I am glad to have a real game on film so we can study it and fix some things. I am glad we came out of the game relatively healthy minus some bumps and bruises,” said Jenkins. “I told our guys they we want to win them all but our goals this season are to win the Region and to host a playoff game. Those goals are still out there.”
The War Eagles started out strong in the first quarter, scoring their first TD with nine minutes still on the clock. The PAT failed.
In the second quarter, the War Eagles scored three more times and made successful two-point conversions after each, ending the half with a 30-0 lead.
The two teams kept each other out of the end zone on the third quarter but the War Eagles pushed it over the line with 10 minutes left on the game clock. The PAT failed.
Friday’s game included around 25 penalty flags against both teams. Infractions included holding, false start and face mask calls. Jenkins said the main cause for the penalty flags was a combination of environment and inexperience.
“Week Zero, so one less week to prepare. Then it rained on us a lot here in Whitmire during August so we did not get as much time on the field as we needed,” Jenkins said. “On top of that we are breaking in a freshman center and a new quarterback. We only have four returning starters on offense.”
Despite the loss, Jenkins said he was impressed with Bailey Holloman, saying he kept his composure and kept fighting as he led the team in his first start as varsity quarterback.
“Also Devin Vo was on the field almost all night as a wing back, safety and kick returner. He never backed down and competed all night. Freshman Matthew Prather made his first start as a defensive back as a varsity player and I think he will be a really good player for us this year, and down the road,” Jenkins said.
All in all, Jenkins said he expected the War Eagles to be a force to deal with after watching them play Class AAAA Aiken to a scoreless tie in a jamboree last week, with Wagener-Salley controlling the game.
“I told our staff and players that they looked pretty dang impressive to me. They looked even better standing on the field with them,” Jenkins said. “Our defense was just physically outmatched. When you are outmatched, you have to take some chances hoping to tackle them for a big loss or force a turnover. We had some success with that, but you cannot guess right all night.”
Jenkins said the War Eagles kept pounding the Wolverines’ weak spots.
“Their defensive front gave our offensive line fits. They were so much quicker off the ball than we were,” he said. “We had some good plays but we had too many mistakes to ever get in a groove.”
Next up for Whitmire is Great Falls High School. Jenkins said they will need to work on line play on both sides of the ball, and need more aggression on defense.
“Offensively we have to be much more precise with everything we do,” he said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.