Hunter Eldridge threw four touchdown passes in the first half, and Bluffton held on late to win the first of two scheduled meetings with crosstown rival May River, giving John Houpt his first win as a head coach.
After having a 70-yard scoring run by quarterback Ahmad Green called back by a penalty, the Sharks drew first blood on Bryce Summers’ 28-yard field goal.
The Bobcats answered on their first play from scrimmage, as Eldrige hit I’Kiem Jefferson for a 61-yard touchdown pass for a 6-3 lead.
Eldridge connected with Jermaine Patterson for a 20-yard TD, and after the Sharks muffed the ensuing kickoff, he found Lee Kirkland for his third TD pass of the night and an 18-3 lead.
Freshman quarterback Ahmad Green gave the Sharks life with a 4-yard touchdown run, but Eldridge and Patterson hooked up again for a 57-yard TD that put the Bobcats up 24-9. Green capped a long drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to pull the Sharks within eight at halftime.
The defenses dominated the second half, with the help of some offensive miscues. The Bobcats appeared to be driving for a score that would seal it when an errant snap resulted in a Ridge Dowe fumble recovery to give May River the ball with 3:39 left.
The Sharks drove to Bluffton’s 30-yard line before the Bobcats’ defense made one last stop, as Shamar Sandgren broke up a pass to the end zone on fourth down to clinch the victory.
The Bobcats (1-1) travel to Beaufort High next week, while May River (0-2) visits Whale Branch.