SUMMERVILLE — Only one win remains between Summerville coach John McKissick and career victory No. 600 after the Green Wave defeated visiting Colleton County, 22-7, in Region 8-AAAA action Friday night.
Jerod Tucker’s two rushing touchdowns helped Summerville up its record to 5-4 overall and 3-0 in region play, while the Cougars — losers of 32 straight — fell to 0-9 and 0-3, respectively.
The Green Wave cruised to a 15-0 halftime advantage on Tucker’s two scores and a safety. The senior broke three tackles en route to an 18-yard TD in the first quarter before reaching the end zone from 3 yards out in the second quarter.
Tucker carried 28 times and amassed 210 yards as Summerville outgained Colleton County, 360-210.
“He’s one of the most complete, all-around football players I’ve coached,” McKissick said of Tucker. “He blocks. He runs the ball. He catches the ball. He’s got a burst of speed. He’s an outstanding football player.”
Green Wave quarterback Sawyer Bridges completed 9 of 17 passes for 103 yards and rushed for a 2-yard touchdown and 22-0 lead with 9:54 left in the game.
A pair of big defensive stops from the Cougars, including a goal-line stand, kept the margin within reach.
Colleton County took advantage of Tucker’s only miscue of the evening — a fumble — when Tyler Williams found Sean Koger for a 20-yard touchdown reception late in the game.
When asked about his 599th win and pending milestone as fans gathered for autographs, the nation’s all-time winningest coach was quick to turn the focus to his own players and challenging competition.
“I’m glad to get one for the boys,” McKissick said. “I knew it was going to be hard. I’ve been playing (the Cougars) for 61 years. It’s always been hard.
“(But it) was still a good win,” he added. “We’ve had a hard time, but we’re getting there.”
The approaching feat was not lost on Colleton County coach Chris Collins, one of many whom McKissick has impacted during his six-plus decades at the helm of the Summerville football program.
“It’s hard to believe how much that Coach McKissick has done in this community,” said Collins, who played for the Green Wave in 1990 and 1991.
“The number 599 is mind-boggling. I’m proud to have been a part of (Summerville’s) program, and I’m proud to be part of Colleton County right now.”
Chances of McKissick obtaining a 600th career victory this season were in serious jeopardy as the Green Wave held an uncharacteristic 2-4 record after six games.
That outlook has since brightened with three consecutive wins, but a pair of challenging contests await.
Summerville will travel to Dorchester County rival Ashley Ridge next week before hosting undefeated Bluffton in the season finale on Nov. 2.
The Green Wave and Bobcats are knotted atop the Region 8-AAAA standings with identical 3-0 marks.
Colleton Co. 0 0 0 7 — 7
Summerville 6 9 0 7—22
S — Jerod Tucker 18 run (Parker Cleveland kick failed)
S — Tucker 3 run (Cleveland kick)
S — Safety
S — Sawyer Bridges 2 run (Cleveland kick)
CC — Sean Koger 20 pass from Tyler Williams (Stewart Bailey kick)
Summerville's Jacerie Ponder is hit by a Colleton County defender Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Summerville High School in Summerville. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier×
Summerville's Jerod Tucker dives for the touchdown while hit by Colleton County's Neilan O'Connor Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Summerville High School in Summerville. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier×
Summerville's Jerod Tucker runs for a big gain against Colleton County Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Summerville High School in Summerville. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier×
Summerville coach John McKissick talks with quarterback Sawyer Bridges on the side lines Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Summerville High School in Summerville. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier×
Colleton County's Ramon Hall is hit by Kwan Cox Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Summerville High School in Summerville. Paul Zoeller/Special to the Post and Courier×