New traditions are sort of a paradox and don’t always take, but the Border Bowl between natural rivals Hampton County and Colleton County is blessed with perfect timing.
Hampton has a new school and fresh new uniforms, and Colleton has a new coach and a new attitude. It all added up to a perfect environment for high school football Friday night in Walterboro.
The Hurricanes used a gritty defensive performance to shut out Adam Kinloch’s rejuvenated Cougars, and Zion Dobson wore down the defense in the second half to put the finishing touches on a 10-0 win to write the first line in Hampton County High School’s football history.
Kinloch led a hyped Colleton team onto the field in front of an energized home crowd, and the Cougars set it off when they pounced on the ball after a muffed pooch kick bounced free on the opening kickoff. The student section got to celebrate a go-ahead touchdown pass for a few seconds before noticing the flags on the field, and the Hurricanes seized their second chance to keep points off the board, as Donyae Russell came through the line for a tackle in the backfield on fourth down to get the ball back.
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Colleton’s defense was up to the tall task of stopping a dynamic Hampton offense, and the Cougars were especially tough in the red zone, holding the Hurricanes scoreless until the midway point of the second quarter with the aid of several errant shotgun snaps on key downs.
Hampton finally broke through on Rafe Sullivan’s 20-yard field goal and drove into the red zone again in the final minute, but Colleton clamped down and denied consecutive heaves to the end zone to get to the locker room trailing by a field goal.
The Cougars threatened in the third quarter but couldn’t find paydirt, and Dobson had enough in the tank to put them away despite being limited in practice all week due to a nagging injury. The star senior appeared to break away for an 86-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter, but he was ruled to have stepped on the sideline while trying to evade a tackle near the Colleton 40-yard line. Dobson finished the job with a 5-yard TD run with 4:26 left in the game, and the defense took care of the rest to send the Border Bowl championship belt to Hampton.
Chris Terry started at quarterback with Xaviar Garvin sitting out for violating team rules, and the junior was efficient, going 9-of-14 for 122 yards, including four connections with Hezekiah Abram, while Dobson rolled up 140 yards on 11 carries and found the end zone in the fourth quarter despite being limited in practice all week due to injury.
Emerson Jarrell had eight tackles, Trenton Robinson added seven, and Mandrell Sanders collected six tackles (two for loss) to lead a terrific effort from the Hurricanes’ defense, which bowed up with its back against the wall after the disastrous opening kickoff and avoided giving up big plays all night.
Hampton (1-0) is on the road again Friday with another border battle at Allendale-Fairfax, while Colleton (0-1) looks to give Kinloch his first win at home against White Knoll.