The halftime score was anything but indicative of Green Sea Floyds’ early problems.
After committing four first-half turnovers in a road game against the No. 3 team in Class A, the Trojans surely should have been losing by more than a touchdown. For everything they had done to overcome those miscues to that point, though, those three fumbles and an interception — and, of course, the points that went on Baptist Hill’s side of the scoreboard instead — eventually caught up with them.
The Trojans fell 50-33, ending the season after a long trip to the south side of Charleston.
“You could see athletes on the other side of the field,” Green Sea Floyds second-year coach Joey Price said. “Tell me where we match up. We were just guts. That’s what we were — guts. Without the turnovers, it might be a different game. I don’t know.”
That question will have to linger into the offseason, one in which Price knows he’ll have to replace several of his best players with fewer bodies coming through the feeder system. It won’t help that he knows how close his team was to advancing for at least another week.
Two storylines that developed early Friday were the reason.
First, there were the turnovers. The Trojans muffed the opening kickoff, allowing the powerful Baptist Hill offense to score its first points just 12 seconds into the game. The Bobcats then turned a Dan Johnson fumble early in the second quarter into eight more quick points. If that wasn’t enough, a Banks Lovett interception was returned 53 yards by Da’John Heyward for yet another score. That was 22 direct points off those turnovers, or five more than the final difference in the game.
The Harold Gathers-Damon Smith connection didn’t help, either.
The Baptist Hill sophomore quarterback and senior receiver linked up 14 times for 157 yards and four touchdowns. Gathers, who twice left the game with a nagging ankle injury and missed most of the second quarter while he hobbled around the sideline, finished the night with 288 yards and five touchdowns.
The showing was so good that Green Sea Floyds senior running back Colby Thorndyke’s night was overshadowed.
The East Carolina baseball commitment finished his final game of his one and only season in a Trojans uniform with 186 rushing yards and all five of his team’s touchdowns. Given what he knew he could counter with, Baptist Hill coach Marion Brown was OK with that.
“We knew they were going to be tough,” Brown said. “We knew they were going to be physical, bring a great running attack, which they did.”
That high-powered passing game lifted Baptist Hill to next week’s third round, where it will play host to Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
The Trojans, meanwhile, will have to be satisfied with a 6-3 season that reached the second round of the state playoffs.
“I thought our kids played as hard as they could play,” Price said. “They’re a good group and they work hard. They came out and left it all out here. You can’t ask them to do anything more than that.”