Photo by Frank Sulkowski/WJCL Sports
An inexperienced Bluffton High School defense had its hands full with a talented Screven County team Saturday night, as the Bobcats dropped their season opener 45-20 in the Erk Russell Classic at Georgia Southern.
Hunter Eldridge threw touchdown passes to Jermaine Patterson and Shamar Sandgren, and John Swinton added a scoring run for the Bobcats, but the Gamecocks’ high-powered offense was too much as Screven County built a big first-half lead.
The Bobcats threw the first punch when Eldridge hit Patterson for 58 yards on first play of the game and the duo hooked up two plays later for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead, but Screven County answered with a quick strike of its own to tie it.
After the teams traded turnovers, the Gamecocks scored on four straight possessions to take a 35-7 halftime lead. Screven County came out swinging in the second half, as well, as a long kickoff return set up a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-7.
The Bobcats showed some fight, though, as Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to set up John Swinton’s 9-yard touchdown run. A Screven County field goal made it 45-13 before Eldridge and Sandgren hooked up for a 37-yard touchdown to cap the scoring.
The Bobcats (0-1) play at May River at 7:30 p.m. Friday.