By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com
BURTON – As his Battery Creek High School football team prepared for the second-half kickoff Friday night, Walter Wilson insisted the ensuing defensive series would make or break their night.
The Dolphins bent, but they did not break.
Battery Creek’s defense came up big all night, and Trey Booth broke it open with a long touchdown run as the Dolphins downed visiting May River 31-20 in a key Region 8-3A matchup.
Booth rushed for 155 yards on 21 carries with nearly half of it coming on a 76-yard touchdown run that put Battery Creek up 24-6 with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
The back-breaking run came two plays after Brandon Wilson’s tackle of Cam Adams in the backfield on fourth-and-2 halted the Sharks’ hopes of regaining the momentum.
Battery Creek set the tone early, marching down the field on the opening possession before settling for Brandon Benke’s 32-yard field goal. The Sharks answered the bell, as quarterback Ahmad Green broke off a 38-yard touchdown run for a 6-3 lead, but Armani Gibbes’ long kickoff return set up quarterback Jordan Gwyn’s 5-yard TD run, and the Dolphins never trailed again.
Gwyn made two big-time throws on the Dolphins’ next possession to set up his own 11-yard TD run for a 17-6 halftime lead, and the sequence of Wilson’s huge hit in the backfield and Booth’s breakaway all but sealed it.
The Sharks’ chances of a comeback were slim when Green left with a left foot injury during the first series of the second half. The freshman quarterback had 177 yards on 14 carries before his early exit and was May River’s only viable offensive threat in the first half.
Cam Adams did his best to keep the Sharks in it with two second-half touchdown runs and finished with 104 yards on 18 carries and 46 yards on two receptions, but Battery Creek’s suddenly-potent offense never let up.
Booth’s second touchdown run – a 1-yard plunge – made it 31-14 with 7:51 left, and the Dolphins were able to grind down the clock. Gwyn rushed for 91 yards on 21 carries and was 6-of-9 for 111 yards, including completions on his first five passes.
Battery Creek (4-5, 2-2) has the week off next week, providing an extra week of preparation before the playoffs, while May River (2-6, 1-2) is locked into the No. 4 seed regardless of its outcome against Region 8-3A champion Wade Hampton next week.