The B-Town Showdown got an early start.
Before crosstown rivals Bluffton and May River square off on the gridiron Friday night, the Bobcats and Sharks found themselves locked in another battle this week — the battle to stuff the ballot box in the RBC Heritage Player of the Week voting.
The Sharks won that matchup, with May River quarterback Ahmad Green garnering 34.8 percent of the fan vote to edge Bluffton quarterback Lee Kirkland (29.3 percent). Hilton Head Prep quarterback Stone McDonald (11.8 percent) and Whale Branch running back Irvin Mulligan (8.7 percent) also made strong showings.
Despite my best efforts, it seems fans have found a way to exploit the system once again, as more than 19,000 votes were cast in just over 24 hours despite only about 2,000 unique visitors to the website over the same span. Hmmm.
But, wait, there’s more.
Although this is meant to be a fun way to get some additional recognition for the top performers of the week, it shouldn’t *just* be a popularity contest (or a competition to see who can clear their cookies the fastest), so we’re switching things up this year.
The fan vote will count as one vote each week, and a panel of four local sports journalists — myself, WJCL’s Frank Sulkowski, WSAV’s Greg Talbott, and former Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette sports editor Mike McCombs — each will cast a vote. We’ll tally them up and determine the official RBC Heritage Player of the Week.
Green won the first fan vote, of course, but he didn’t garner any votes from the panel despite an impressive performance in the Sharks’ 34-6 win over Memorial Day. McDonald picked up one vote from the panel, as did Thomas Heyward’s Trey Pusha, who scored three touchdowns — on a run, an interception return, and a punt return — in the Rebels’ 33-21 win over Hilton Head Christian.
But our winner with two votes from the panel (including mine) is Mulligan, who racked up 232 yards on only 12 carries (that 19.3 yards per carry for the mathematically-challenged) and scored two touchdowns in the Warriors’ 31-9 win over Battery Creek.
So congrats to the Sharks for their mastery of online voting, and congrats to Irvin Mulligan, the Week 1 RBC Heritage Player of the Week.
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