SUMMERVILLE — John McKissick further cemented his place in football history Friday night as Summerville defeated Ashley Ridge, 37-21, in front of about 9,000 fans at Ashley Ridge.
McKissick, already the winningest coach in the sport’s history, gained his 600th career victory in his 61st year as coach of the Green Wave. The 86-year-old McKissick now has a 600-148-13 record.
“It feels good,” McKissick said. “It’s another win, and if it totals up to 600, that’s great. I feel good for the kids. I feel good for the boys. They can tell everyone they were part of the 600th. I think they will be proud of that.”
McKissick’s success is unmatched at any level. The all-time winningest college football coach is 86-year-old John Gagliardi of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., who enters this weekend with 487 wins in 64 years.
Don Shula is the winningest coach in NFL history with 347.
John T. Curtis Jr., who coaches at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, La., is No. 2 on the high school list, 86 wins behind McKissick.
McKissick was carried off the field by his players and shook hands with Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker, who was a coach at Summerville and had a key role in developing Green Wave players. Walker told McKissick, “Congratulations, I’m proud.”
It was the third time McKissick has been carried off the field by his team. Summerville players carried him on their shoulders after the record-breaking 406th victory in 1993, and again in 2003 when he won No. 500.
McKissick wasn’t expecting a big celebration after the game.
“I’m just going to take a shower,” he said. “And hug my great-grandchildren.”
Summerville won its fourth straight game and improved to 6-4 overall, 4-0 in Region 8-AAAA. The Green Wave hosts undefeated Bluffton next week for the region title. Ashley Ridge fell to 3-7, 2-2.
Freshman quarterback Sawyer Bridges and junior running back Davon Anderson played big roles in the victory. Bridges broke off a 24-yard run after an Ashley Ridge fumble to set up the Green Wave’s first score, a 2-yard run by Anderson.
Anderson, who was playing for the first time in a month after being sidelined with a knee injury, finished with four touchdowns.
Bridges completed two passes on the Green Wave’s next possession for 35 yards to set up Parker Cleveland’s 28-yard field goal.
Anderson’s 4-yard TD run made it 17-0 with 9:40 left in the first half. Ashley Ridge cut into Summerville’s lead on Romelo Doctor’s 5-yard TD run before halftime.
Doctor scored on a 7-yard run on Ashley Ridge’s first possession of the second half, making the score 17-14. Romelo finished with three touchdowns.
“He might be as good as I’ve seen,” McKissick said of Doctor. “They had four skill players who are as good as we will face.”
Summerville pulled away in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to give McKissick his latest milestone.
Summerville 10 7 7 13—37
Ashley Ridge 0 7 7 7—21
S—Davon Anderson 2 run (Parker Cleveland kick)
S—Cleveland 28 FG
S—Anderson 4 run (Cleveland kick)
AR—Romelo Doctor 5 run (Cameron Smith kick)
AR—Doctor 7 run (Smith kick)
S—Anderson 3 run (Cleveland kick)
S—Jerod Tucker 1 run (Cleveland kick)
AR—Doctor 10 run (Smith kick)
S—Anderson 3 run (kick failed)