It finally happened.
The Socastee Braves got their first touchdown and first win of the season in a 14-13 victory over the Georgetown Bulldogs.
“It feels great, finally,” said Socastee head coach Marty Jacobs. “We got that monkey off our back.”
Coming into the game, the Braves had a dismal 0-3 record and hadn't been able to muster a single touchdown. Last week, they suffered a 26-0 loss against North Myrtle Beach. Their top three offensive players against the Chiefs, quarterback Jake Marlow, running back Luke Bozard and wide receiver Khaleb Scoggins, had just 100 yards between them. Quarterback Darius Lewis, who had been out since the opener, wasn’t playing.
But that changed Friday night when Lewis took the field.
“I thought he played well under the circumstances,” Jacobs said. “He didn’t know if he was going to be the starting quarterback tonight or not. We were letting our guys compete for that spot. If you noticed, Darius got the first series and Jake (Marlow) got the second series. Darius seemed to have the hot hand, [so] we stayed with him. We feel like we’re blessed right now with two guys who are playing at a high level.”
The Bulldogs (1-2) entered Friday’s game with some injuries after taking a loss against St. James last week.
During their first possession, the Braves nearly scored their first touchdown of the season with a strong run-heavy drive. But Bozard fumbled the ball in the end zone and Georgetown recovered. The Bulldogs then capitalized on their luck with a touchdown from running back Tyja Bradford.
The Braves didn’t get a second drive until the end of the first quarter. That drive started with a fumble that they managed to recover, but they couldn’t get back the lost yards and had to punt to Georgetown, who got off on the wrong foot after some extracurricular activities resulted in a 30-yard penalty. The Bulldogs had to punt as well.
The Braves successfully managed to move the ball downfield on their third drive, using a mix of runs and screen passes. But a potential touchdown got called back after a penalty and Georgetown got the ball back, only to punt again.
In a last-ditch effort to score before the half, quarterback Darius Lewis threw a bomb into the endzone, only to get picked off. The first half ended with 7 points on the board for the Bulldogs while the Braves remained scoreless.
“We’ve got to cut out the penalties, the mistakes, the turnovers,” Jacobs said. “We’re still shooting ourselves in the foot. We had three touchdowns called back form penalties. We had a couple penalties that stopped drives that didn’t score. So we’ve just got to clean it up. We’re playing with a half old group and a half young group, and the young group’s still making some mistakes.”
In the second half, the momentum appeared to swing toward the Braves when running back and wide receiver Walker Martin caught a toss and then threw downfield to Byce Ward, who was wide open in the end zone. Socastee converted for an extra two points. A few plays later, Socastee appeared to have intercepted the ball from the Bulldogs, but it was called back after a pass interference penalty.
The momentum was briefly interrupted when Georgetown’s Bradford took the ball down the field for a touchdown on the next drive, but the Bulldogs missed the extra point. The third quarter ended with a score of 13-8, Georgetown.
In the fourth quarter, the Braves again answered the call to arms as the hometown crowd got louder and more involved in the game. The Braves’ band picked up the tempo. Bozard got his shot at redemption with a touchdown, and with less than nine minutes left in the game, the Braves had taken the lead, 14-13.
After that, the Braves managed to keep the ball on the ground on their last drive and ran out the clock for a win.
Going forward, Jacobs said the team needs to cut out the penalties.
“We’re going into region play now, everything gets bigger and tougher,” Jacobs said. “We play Carolina Forest next week. I think they’re one of the best teams in our area and probably the favorite to win our region. So we just take it one week at a time from here.
“I hope this will be the start of something good for the second half of the season.”