Jacob Park powers Stratford past Summerville to 41-17 victory
SUMMERVILLE — Stratford’s Ray Stackley is a no-frills type of coach, but he can still diagram a fancy play.
Stackley reached into his bag of tricks Friday night against Summerville and the razzle-dazzle produced a touchdown on the Knights’ first possession of the game on their way to a 41-17 victory in front of about 7,000 fans at McKissick Field.
On fourth-and 6 with the ball at the Green Wave 32, Stratford quarterback Jacob Park handed off to Jamar Stevens on a reverse. Stevens handed off to Noah Shuler, who pitched the ball back to Park. Park found Chris White wide open down field for a touchdown with 7:31 left in the first quarter.
The big play gave Stratford momentum and eventually its sixth win of the season against no losses.
Park was the difference. The junior, who is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the South, completed 8 of 10 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. And, that was just in the first half as the Knights grabbed a 27-3 before halftime. He finished 12 of 20 for 273 yards and four touchdowns. Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler was in town to witness his performance.
“Jacob made a lot of plays,” Stackley said. “He had one or two minor mental lapses, but he will learn.”
Said Summerville coach John McKissick: “They have a good team and a great quarterback. You can’t stop him completely. We gave up some big plays early.”
Stratford outgained Summerville, 542-363. Jordan Johnson rushed four times in the fourth quarter for 129 yards. Noah Shuler had two catches for 102 yards and a score. White had five catches for 83 yards.
In the second quarter, Park found Shuler open for an 82-yard pass-and-run touchdown, and then hooked up with Tyree Scroggins for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:18 left in the first half.
Summerville fell to 2-4 and is in danger of its third losing season in McKissick’s 61 year-tenure at Summerville. The Wave has two tough games on deck, against rivals Fort Dorchester and Ashley Ridge, and closes out the season against undefeated Bluffton.
Stratford ended a 10-game losing streak against the Green Wave and cut Summerville’s series lead to 20-11.
“It was good to get the early lead,” Stackley said. “Our kids love playing over here. It’s a great venue with a great atmosphere. We didn’t play well in the third quarter. Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen is to get a big lead too early, too easily.”
Summerville scored late in the third quarter when Sawyer Bridges hooked up with Jerrod Tucker for a 31-yard TD pass.
Tucker, who carried 13 times for 147 yards, ripped off a 45-yard TD run on the Wave’s next possession to cut Stratford’s lead to 34-17.
Tucker broke off a 45-yard run midway in the fourth quarter to give the Green Wave first-and-goal at the Knight 5. But the drive stalled and Parker Cleveland’s 27-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
Two players later, Johnson gave Stratford a 41-17 lead on a 65-yard touchdown run.
Davon Anderson, Summerville’s top running back, was injured in the first half and did not return.
Stratford 14 13 7 7 —41
Summerville 3 0 7 7 —17
Stratford--Chris White 32 pass from Jacob Park (Tyler Tekac kick)
Summerville--Parker Cleveland 31 FG
Stratford--Jamar Stevens 14 run (Tekac kick)
Stratford--Noah Shuler 82 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
Stratford--Tyree Scroggins 14 pass from Park (kick failed)
Stratford--White 33 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
Summerville--Jerrod Tucker 31 pass from Sawyer Bridges (Cleveland kick)
Summerville--Tucker 45 run (Cleveland kick)
Stratford--Jordan Johnson 65 run (Tekac kick)
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil