WALTERBORO — Stratford dominating Colleton County on the football field had been about as reliable as death and taxes over the last 30 years. This year’s meeting would be no exception.
Stratford moved to 5-0 for the season Friday when it demolished Colleton County, 43-0, in AAAA non-region play at Cougar Stadium. The win was Stratford’s sixth in a row against Colleton County, and its 17th win in the team’s last 18 meetings dating back to 1996.
Stratford’s defense was impenetrable, holding the Cougars to only 50 yards of total offense and forcing three turnovers en route to a fourth consecutive shutout against Colleton County.
“(Stratford’s) defensive line dominated our offensive line,” Colleton County head coach Chris Collins said after the game. “Also, we couldn’t block their good linebacker, Cecil Smith. They shut our running game down with primarily five men in the box, sometimes six.”
Stratford being able to stifle their running game came as no surprise, Collins said, but the fact that the Cougars weren’t able to pass effectively was not something the second-year head coach saw coming.
“We knew we were going to have issues running on them, so we were definitely geared more toward throwing the ball this week,” Collins said. “But they matched up with us well on the perimeter, and they also were able to get pressure on us early before we could get our passes off.”
CCHS, averaging 195 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air over its last three games, had only 15 passing yards Friday. Senior quarterback Ramon Hall was 8-for-18 passing with two interceptions.
The Knights dropped Colleton County runners for a loss nine times, sacked Hall three times, and held the Cougars to no gain on four other occasions. Colleton County reached Stratford territory only once on offense.
“Our defense did a great job tonight,” said Stratford head coach Ray Stackley. “They played well for us the whole game.”
With its defense playing so well, Stratford didn’t need a ton of support from its offense to secure the victory, but got plenty of it, nonetheless.
Knights’ quarterback Jacob Park completed 9 of 18 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for another TD, all in the first half.
The great thing Jacob Park can do is buy some time back there,” Stackley said of his 6-foot-4 senior QB, a four-star recruit and University of Georgia commit rated as the fifth-best QB prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.
“Colleton County got a good pass rush on him a couple times, but his eyes are always downfield and he was able to get loose and make some great throws, and we’ve got some guys who can go up and catch it.
Tyree Scroggins was the primary beneficiary of Park’s throws, catching two passes for 109 yards scoring on both. The first was a 70-yarder to give the Knights an early lead, 7-0, with 3:49 to play in the first quarter, and the second a 39-yarder with 2:04 to go until halftime. Scroggins also rushed four times for 41 yards and a TD.
Jourdon Johnson had a prolific night on offense for the Knights as well, catching three balls for 70 yards and a TD, and rushing for 74 yards on 10 carries.
Colleton County (1-4) hosts Cane Bay next week. Stratford will travel to face Summerville.
(Drew Tripp is the sports editor for the Walterboro Press and Standard. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
SHS: 7 24 12 0– 43
CCHS: 0 0 0 0— 0
S — Tyree Scroggins 70 pass from Jacob Park (Tyler Tekac kick)
S — Jourdon Johnson 35 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
S — Park 1 run (Tekac kick)
S — Scroggins 39 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
S — Tekac 27 field goal
S — Tekac 31 field goal
S — Safety
S — Scroggins 36 run (Tekac kick)