The days of Bluffton’s reign over May River now seem like a distant memory. And in a home opener unlike any other, it was business as usual for Ahmad Green and the Sharks, thumping their crosstown rivals 56-6 Friday night.
“This is our fifth year, and we remember losing to these guys four games in a row,” said May River head coach Rodney Summers. “It’s always going to mean a little more to our kids and to us, and I thought we performed tonight in all areas of the game. We finally were able to make some big plays offensively. Ahmad played well and Eli Hall was all over the field on defense. Both these guys are seniors who bring a lot to this team and will be really missed next year. We kept it clean for the most part tonight, and that was the biggest thing that I was happy about.”
The Sharks set the tone on the very first drive. After establishing the run game on the opening plays, Green threw a screen pass to speedy receiver Steffin Gadson, who turned on the motors and broke away from a host of Bobcats for a 44-yard opening touchdown. The Sharks forced a quick three and out, and then put together a methodical nine-play drive, capped off by a 2-yard Green plunge into the end zone.
After a penalty doomed the Bobcats chances of cutting into the lead, the Sharks went right back to the run game. Cameron Scott led the charge with a 31-yard scamper before finishing the drive off, nearly going untouched from 8 yards out to give the Sharks full control. The knockout blow came later in the second quarter, as the senior superstar quarterback Green sped past a weary defense on the right sideline, taking it 58 yards for the highlight reel score.
May River was able to put the ball in the end zone on each of its first four drives, and shut down talented Bobcat running back Kylan Simmons to hold its rivals off the scoreboard in the opening half.
The Sharks kept the offense churning after halftime with a 2-yard scoring burst by Hall before Scott did it again, shifting past defenders for 32 yards before a Jaiden Jones touchdown carry finished off the drive. Garvin Douglas and Mike Mosteller also scored in the second half to extend the Sharks’ commanding lead. A 60-yard Nate Hoyt bomb to Jaylin Linder put the Bobcats on the board.
With the threat of Green along with a solid offensive line leading the way, the Sharks went to the run game early and stuck with it, and the Bobcats had no answer to a three-headed rushing threat of Green, Jaiden Jones, and Cameron Scott.
“On the offensive line we have senior Moxon Zehr, and getting Garrett Bonneville back this week really helped us up front, who brings a lot to the run game,” Summers said. “Will Wilson is phenomenal, we moved him back to center this week from tight end. It’s up to those guys up front to create those holes. Both Jaiden and Cameron did a great job and carried the load. Neither one of them are selfish, they just go out there and do their job.”
Bluffton’s Simmons could not find his rhythm, and the May River front wrought havoc on the Bobcats’ blockers. Hall was outstanding, leading a hungry Shark defense that shut down Bluffton’s dangerous run game. With a new quarterback under center and a loaded May River secondary, there was essentially nothing the Bobcats could counter with.
Now, the Sharks (2-0) set their eyes on the Beaufort Eagles, which is looking like the game of the year in the Lowco and will most likely decide the winner of Region 7-4A. May River will be eying revenge after they were stunned by Bryce Lybrand’s bunch a season ago.
“Last year they knocked us off and went on a run themselves,” Summers said. “We knew coming into this year that Beaufort would be the team to beat. Coach Lybrand is doing a great job over there and we certainly have our work cut out for us.”
Bluffton (0-2) will host 2020’s Bridge Bowl next Friday night in Hilton Head High’s season opener.
Written by Wes Kerr / Photo by Justin Jarrett