HSFB 2023: Bibee, Seahawks shine vs. Battery Creek

The Hilton Head Island High School Seahawks football team celebrates a touchdown vs. Battery Creek.

Jackson Bibee was waiting for an opportunity to take up the full spotlight at center stage for the Hilton Head Seahawks. On Friday night, he proved he was ready. 

In his first game as the Seahawks’ unquestionable QB1, Bibee dazzled under the lights, throwing three touchdown passes and adding another score on the ground to complement a stellar effort from BJ Payne’s defense in a 39-6 season-opening win at Battery Creek.

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Bibee and the Seahawks wasted no time getting on the board in the opener, orchestrating a methodical drive downfield finished off with a 1-yard Bibee scamper across the goal line. After a strong defensive stand and a clinical start offensively, it was time for the Seahawks’ special teams unit to make a play. With Creek’s Damien Freeman churning downfield, the ‘Hawks knocked the ball loose before junior Nathan Apy took it back the other way for a scoop-and-score and a 13-0 lead. 

It looked like a massive early blow to the Dolphins, but Freeman came right back off the mat and landed one himself. On the very next kickoff, Freeman found an opening and bolted down the left sideline to the house, thrilling the home crowd and getting the Dolphins back within a score. 

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Battery Creek’s run game did an excellent job holding down dangerous Seahawk running back Troy Timko in the first half, but the Dolphins couldn’t stop Bibee through the air. Taking advantage of a missed assignment, Bibee hit Javarian Hamilton down the sideline in stride for an 89-yard passing score with just over a minute to play in the opening half. Chase Olsen and the Dolphins quickly tried for a response, but the stout Seahawk defense had the answer again thanks to a timely interception. Despite a rough first half, the Dolphins found themselves down by just 14 heading into the break.

But Payne’s Seahawks knew how to close out a ballgame, and they let their grown man in the backfield go to work. With a recharged Timko in the second half behind a hard-working offensive line, Hilton Head grinded its way to the red zone looking for a three-score edge. Battery Creek drove the Seahawks’ scoring bid to a halt on a Christian Fess forced fumble, but the Dolphins returned the favor just one play later as Hilton Head’s Tristen Simmons stripped the ball from Freeman’s grasp and pounced on it himself. 

Hilton Head Island High School running back Troy Timko tries to get to the hole during a 39-6 win at Battery Creek.
Hilton Head Island High School running back Troy Timko tries to get to the hole during a 39-6 win at Battery Creek. Photo by MB Lyons/HHIHS Athletics

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This time, the Seahawks found paydirt – and they did it on a sensational play from Bibee. Showcasing his excellent footwork and nonstop vision downfield, Bibee weaved through a collapsing pocket and hit a crossing Jake Huggins in the end zone. It was all Seahawks from that point on, as Bibee added his third passing score – and his second straight touchdown to Huggins – to extend the lead to 33-6 in the fourth quarter. 

The superb Seahawk defense fittingly ended the game with a bang, adding its second scoop-and-score of the night as LJ Morgan took it the distance to cap off a complete team performance on the road.

Bibee impressed through the air in his first start of his senior campaign, completing an efficient 9-of-13 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns while adding a rushing score. Huggins was the main man out wide with four grabs for 91 yards and two touchdowns, while Hamilton added three catches for 91 yards and a score. Timko was rock-solid on the ground, posting 21 carries for 65 yards alongside two catches for 11 yards. 

Hilton Head feasted on defense, allowing no offensive points to Creek and forcing an impressive five turnovers. Morgan came up with both an interception and a fumble recovery, while Carson Haines added a pick to go with the Apy scoop-and-score. Simmons excelled with nine tackles plus two forced fumbles and a recovery, and Connor Wiendl added nine stops of his own. 

Hilton Head (1-0) heads back to the Nest for its home opener on Friday against Claxton (Ga.), while Battery Creek (0-1) hosts a second straight Lowco rival with Ridgeland making the trip to Burton.

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