GOOSE CREEK — The turnovers, penalties and other sundry mistakes might have caused Ray Stackley to have a case of indigestion. But the veteran coach of the Stratford Knights was happy with his team’s overall performance in a 35-7 victory over Wando on Friday night.
The offense rolled up 454 yards. The defense shut down Wando running back Kenny Waring, who was coming off a 206-yard, five-touchdown performance last week. Special teams play was also impressive with a blocked punt.
The Knights played well in all phases of the game in front of about 4,000 fans at Stackley Field to remain perfect.
“We had seven starters back on defense and we’re beginning to play as well on defense as I anticipated at the beginning of the year,” Stackley said. “I’d give the defense a 10, the offense a 7 1/2. Overall, we played well as a team.”
The fourth-ranked Knights, who appear to be on a collision course with undefeated and third-ranked Goose Creek in the regular-season finale, upped their record to 8-0, including 2-0 in Region 7-AAAA play. Wando fell to 3-5, 1-1.
The Knights set the tone on their first possession of the game with a 51-yard drive that ended with six points. The offense tallied 199 yards in the first half, including 86 in the air on the arm of Jacob Park. The 6-4 senior finished with 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns, completing 18 of 26 passes.
“Everybody expects him to get huge numbers every game,” Wando coach Jimmy Noonan said of Park. “We tried to take away some of the things he can do. But their short passing game was very effective.”
The Knights’ defense was just as impressive, holding Wando to 37 yards in the first half. The Warriors finished with 203 total yards.
“They are very quick on defense,” Noonan said. “They had us pegged. They took away the things that we were able to do successfully last week.”
Stratford marched 51 yards on its first possession to take a 6-0 lead. Junior Jameak Jones rambled 22 yards for the score.
The Knights pushed the lead to 21-0 at halftime as Park hooked up with Tyree Scroggins for a 12-yard TD pass and Jordan Johnson scored on a 3-yard run.
Jones scored his second touchdown of the game with 8:29 left in the third quarter to make it 28-0.
Wando finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter on Waring’s 3-yard TD run. He finished with 12 yards on 12 carries. The junior speedster caught two passes for 86 yards.
Park threaded the needle on his final TD pass of the game, completing a 21-yard strike to Thad Thompson.
“I though our offense played well in spurts,” Stackley said. “We were able to run the football. The defense played well. You have to be able to play good defense in this region if you want to be successful.”
Wando 0 0 0 7—7
Stratford 6 15 7 7—35
Stratford — Jameak Jones 22 run (kick failed)
Stratford — Tyree Scroggins 12 pass from Jacob Park (Jordan Johnson pass from Park)
Stratford — Jordan Johnson 3 run (Tyler Tekac kick)
Stratford — Jones 19 run (Tekac kick)
Wando — Kenny Waring 3 run (Clayton Rosenbaum kick)
Stratford — Thad Thompson 21 pass from Park (Tekac kick)
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