GSF headed to lower state title game

Green Sea Floyds players celebrate during their 46-6 win over C.E. Murray Friday night. The Trojans will host Lake View in the lower state title game next week.

The Green Sea Floyds Trojans continued their march through the Class 1A playoffs with a dominant 46-6 win over C.E. Murray Friday night.

The victory sets up a rematch next week with Lake View, which lost to the Trojans 42-6 in October. The winner of that game will play in Columbia Dec. 6 for the state championship. 

“I don’t think that score is indicative of how good a football team they are,” GSF coach Donnie Kiefer said of Lake View. “I've got a lot of respect for them and they have respect for us. Our region is going to be represented in the state title game and we hope that that team is us.”

On Friday, the Trojans certainly looked like the team that won the 1A state championship last year.

The War Eagles tried to get fancy right out of the gate with an onside kick, but Green Sea Floyds didn’t fall for it. The Trojans then went down the field and Anwain Graham capped off a 53-yard drive with a touchdown to give his team an early 7-0 lead.

The War Eagles fumbled on their next drive but Green Sea Floyds couldn’t get anything going. However, a long punt by Ethan Damron put the War Eagles inside their own 5 yard line. 

Special teams was a big factor for the Trojans as Green Sea Floyds forced a safety on fourth down early in the first quarter, making it 9-0.

“For a lot of our guys, special teams is their role,” Kiefer said. “That is their opportunity to get out on the field and play and they’re doing a remarkable job of that.”

After scoring three touchdowns last week in a win over St. John’s, junior running back Jaquan Dixon got into the end zone at the 10:46 mark in the second quarter. 

Dixon’s fourth touchdown in two games gave the Trojans a 16-0 lead.

Once again, the Trojans special teams showed out and another bad snap on a punt allowed Green Sea Floyds to force a safety to make it 18-0 with nine minutes to go in the first half.

Quarterback Bubba Elliot put in work on the ensuing drive as he had two carries for 46 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 25-0 Trojans with 8:31 left in the second quarter.

Aaron Graham would get in on the scoring mix as he would take it to the house from 44 yards out to make it 32-0 at the midway point of the second quarter.

The War Eagles fumbled for a second time in the first half and for a second time the Trojans recovered. However, the Trojans came up empty as kicker Freddy Seratto saw his attempt go wide right.

Still, the Trojans' defense stood tall and the offense would reward the defense with a 52-yard run by Dixon increase the Trojan lead to 39-0.

“If it wasn’t for my offensive line, I wouldn’t be able to do any of the work I put in tonight,” Dixon said. “I have to give them all the credit. They work incredibly hard, game in and game out.”

The War Eagles started off the second half with a big return and spent well over five minutes grinding before finding the end zone from nine yards out, cutting the deficit to 33.

Murray went for the onside kick and this time was successful. 

The War Eagles drove down the field, but play was halted after a strong collision between Murray quarterback Antonio McKnight and a Trojan defender. 

After nearly a half-hour delay, McKnight was stretchered off the field. He was transported to a local hospital.

Murray couldn’t get anything going and the Trojans' defense forced another turnover on downs. 

It didn’t take long for Green Sea Floyds to tack on more points as Dixon exploded for a 76-yard touchdown scamper, making it 46-6 GSF just under 15 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Apart from advancing in the playoffs, Friday's victory was significant for Kiefer in another way. The win was number 250 for him as a head coach.

“It’s a benchmark for sure,” Kiefer said. “My career has been primarily going into programs and turning them around instead of going to a powerhouse and continuing the tradition there. So to me, coming in and turning programs around, winning state titles, that makes the wins more special.”

Next week's kickoff between the Trojans and Wild Gators is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Green Sea Floyds High School. 

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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