FLORENCE – South Florence coach David Prince wasn’t looking to eke out a nail-biter against Socastee on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
“Socastee’s one of those teams you don’t want to let hang around because of the way they run the ball and eat up the clock,” Prince said. “Getting the early lead was big deal.”
Big plays proved to be the Bruins’ best friend as they jumped to a four-score lead at halftime and cruised to a 38-13 victory over the Braves in a pivotal region matchup.
SFHS is now 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the region with one game remaining against rival West Florence, who is also 2-2 in region play. The Braves fell to 1-7 and 0-4 and will host St. James next week.
“I feel pretty certain that we’re in the playoffs,” Prince said. “So we’ve got city pride on the line next week.”
South led 24-0 at the break behind a strong offensive outburst in the first 13 minutes.
Hahsaun Wilson appeared as if he was going to have a night to remember – rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown in the opening quarter. His 34-yard run on the Bruins’ second drive set up La’Norris Sellers’ 2-yard dive into the end zone as South took a 14-0 lead.
But a foot injury sidelined Wilson for most of the last three quarters as SFHS was forced to adjust on the fly.
“He’s had a little sprain in his foot,” Prince said of Wilson. “He’s going to be OK for next week, we just held him out as a precaution. We didn’t want to re-injure it any worse.”
Sellers stepped up in his absence. The freshman QB completed 10 of 17 passes for 173 and two touchdowns – both of which went for more than 30 yards.
His 64-yard strike to Ed Wilson at the start of the second quarter gave the Bruins a three-score advantage, and his 37-yard hookup with Malik Eaddy in the fourth provided the final tally for South.
“He’s getting better every week,” Prince said of Sellers. “They were doing some different things defensively, like a five-man line and presenting certain things where we couldn’t run the ball like we wanted to. So it was kind of feast or famine in that we were able to bust a couple big plays or we got stopped.
“So credit them for what they were able to do against us.”
South’s defense also rose to the challenge by pitching a shutout in the first half. The Braves didn’t score until the final play of the third quarter on a fourth-down touchdown pass from Raymond Christian to Dakoda Willard.
The other Socastee score came on Logan Wicks’ seven-yard run with 2:21 left in the game.
Christian threw for 81 yards and Preston Baker ran for 88, but the Bruins’ defense was able to bend but not break on most occasions as the Braves made six trips into SFHS territory.
“We had a breakdown in coverage twice, which led to their scores, but we were proud of how we were able to stop the run for sure,” Prince said.