HANAHAN — They came. They saw, and they caused seven turnovers in Friday’s Class AAA state playoff football game.
Marlboro Country’s defense came up big in a 7-6 victory over previously undefeated Hanahan in front of about 3,000 fans at Wiley Knight Stadium.
The Bulldogs held the Hawks’ high-powered offense to 178 total yards and two field goals. Both were season lows for a Hawks’ team that averaged 43.3 points per game.
“Our defense was great,” Marlboro County coach Dean Boyd said. “Not only did the defense hold them to six points, they scored our seven points.”
Hanahan’s Kyle Spigner kicked a pair of 27-yard field goals in the first quarter, but the game’s momentum and the lead changed on one play. Marlboro County senior middle linebacker Malik Miles recovered a fumble and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Hanahan and Marlboro County both turned the ball over three times in the first half. Hanahan finished with seven turnovers, including an interception by Trey Woods on a desperation pass on the final play of the game. The Hawks turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the second half.
But Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson said his team still had a chance, and left points on the field in the first half.
“I don’t think turnovers were the total story,” Patterson said. “We left points out there on the field. We had a drop (in the end zone) and missed a field goal. I felt we could have scored 21 points in the first half.”
Marlboro County improves to 10-2. Hanahan finishes with an 11-1 record.
The Hawks carried 33 times for 86 yards, while quarterback Mason Schwerzler completed 8 of 26 passes for 92 yards.
“We changed from a three-man front to a four-man front,” Boyd said. “I felt if we could get some pressure on their quarterback, we could make him make mistakes.”
Marlboro County tallied 267 yards in total offense, including 191 in the air as quarterback London Johnson completed 13 of 25 passes. The Bulldogs turned the ball over five times.
Marlboro County 7 0 0 0—7
Hanahan 6 0 0 0—6
Hanahan—Kyle Spigner 27 FG
Hanahan—Spigner 27 FG
Marlboro County—Malik Miles 27 fumble recovery (Hunter Stubbs kick)