GOOSE CREEK — Working around their own early miscues, the Goose Creek Gators forced three turnovers and blocked a punt in the first half to gain the traction they needed to eventually win by 28-10 over visiting West Ashley on Friday at John Fulmer Field.
Gators quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu threw a 6-yard touchdown pass and scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards to power Goose Creek to a 21-10 halftime lead. He added a 6-yard touchdown run with under three minutes left in the third quarter after West Ashley’s fourth turnover.
“We played well on defense and our coaches had a great plan,” Goose Creek coach Jason Winstead said. “The kids executed and I’m so happy for them. They’ve worked hard for this and they needed this.”
The Gators (1-1), who hadn’t played since losing to Ashley Ridge 21-20 on Aug. 23, host Stall on Friday while West Ashley (1-2) hosts Wando.
Goose Creek was opportunistic on defense all night, getting interceptions from defensive backs Jekiah Wigfall, Jalen Daniel and Alex Dial to stymie West Ashley drives. Dial also hustled down to make a fumble recovery on a kickoff and Quinn Tolbert blocked a punt in the first half. The Gators blocked a second punt in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got a lot of things to clean up but it’s never a bad thing when you win,” Winstead said.
In the first stanza, Goose Creek snapped one over the punter’s head on its first possession and the Wildcats turned that into a 7-0 lead on Justin Mazyck’s 10-yard run.
Initially, Goose Creek held but a roughing the kicker gave the Wildcats a first down.
After the Gators lost a fumble on their next drive, Wigfall snagged an interception and returned it 52 yards to set up Mukuamu’s tying touchdown pass.
Daniel’s interception led to Mukuamu’s 1-yard plunge late in the first quarter as the Gators took a 14-7 lead.
Tolbert’s blocked punt set up the next score, going out of bounds at West Ashley’s 3. Mukuamu scored on the next play to build the Gators’ advantage to 21-7 with 7:59 remaining in the first half.
Nelson Huggins booted a 42-yard field goal for West Ashley to make it 21-10.
James Island 22, Stall 19
Gunnar Nistad threw a 10-yard TD pass to Jaden Scott and added a 1-yard TD run as James Island (2-1) edged Stall (0-3).
Quavon Frazier scored on a 5-yard run and added a 2-point conversion for the winning score with six minutes to go for the Trojans.
Cross 16, Kingstree 13
DeAndre Brown led the way for Cross (2-1) with 127 passing yards and a touchdown in the Trojans’ 16-13 win over Kingstree.
Zyrell Eadie, caught four balls for 81 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown catch to win the game. On the other side of the ball, defense end Damion Haines posted nine tackles on the night.
Bluffton 47, Hanahan 14
Hanahan (0-2) is still searching for its first win of the season after losing 47-17 in a road game to Bluffton. The Hawks did have some bright spots, including Jay Shaw rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Mac Blakeney also contributed, passing for 310 yards and a score.
The Hawks hope to find victory next week when they host Philip Simmons.
North Charleston 14, St. John’s 10
Jaiden Morrison’s touchdown kept the game close, but the North Charleston Cougars (2-0) were able to hold on for the 14-10 win over St. John’s (1-2).
Morrison threw for 28 yards on 5 completions while rushing for 62 yards for the Islanders. Robert Fields also had a good night running the ball, gaining 68 yards on the ground. The Islanders’ defense was crucial in keeping the contest close, with Sean Lowry making 7 tackles and 5 assists while Marcus Gibbs had 5 tackles and 3 assists. Daikwon Brown also contributed with a sack.
Porter-Gaud 55, Wilson Hall 6
McGregor Kellett ran for three touchdowns and Walker Carswell returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score at Porter-Gaud (2-1) cruised past Wilson Hall.
Carswell also had a scoop-and-score TD on defense, and Matt Kelly threw two TD passes to Tobias Lafayette.
Cane Bay 14, Ashley Ridge 9
Ashley Ridge quarterback Matt Duncan hit 20 of 40 passes for 206 yards, but it wasn’t enough as Cane Bay (2-1) took a 14-9 victory. Ashley Ridge fell to 1-2.