SUMMERVILLE - It took a lot longer than he had hoped, but Pinewood Prep's second-year head coach Michael Wright earned his first victory at the school on Tuesday night.
Wright, coming off an 0-10 season in 2013, watched his Panthers impressively dismantle First Baptist in the state's first high school game of the season, 46-0.
Pinewood Prep broke a competitive game open with three touchdowns in the second quarter and cruised to the easy win.
"I'm happy for the kids," said Wright. "I'm happy for the kids that hung in there last year and came back out this year for another season. I'm happy for some guys that didn't play last year but wanted to be part of something this year. It's a good start for us. I thought we played pretty well. I'm happy with the way things went tonight."
Senior quarterback Lewis Vaughan passed for 153 yards and a touchdown while senior running back Leslie Redden pounded his way for 135 yards on 12 carries, scoring twice. Pinewood racked up more 350 yards in total offense and five different players scored touchdowns.
The big play in the game came in the second quarter. Leading, 14-0, Pinewood Prep's defense stopped First Baptist on fourth down at the Pinewood four-yard line. On the first offensive play, Vaughan hit Tatum Rowland in stride at the 20-yard line and Rowland scampered 80 more yards for a 96-yard scoring connection.
"That was a big turning point," said First Baptist coach Johnny Waters, who was coaching his first game at First Baptist. "It's 14-0 and we have a chance to change the game with a score. We don't get it in and then they hit the long pass."
"I think it took some wind out of them," the coach said.
First Baptist played the last two years as an eight-man team and many of the team's players were competing in 11-man football for the first time. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Berl passed for 152 yards but was intercepted four times. Senior receiver Martinez Finney had seven catches for 115 yards.
Pinewood defensive back Ryan Huiet picked off three passes to lead a strong defensive effort. First Baptist finished with about 200 total yards.
"Our defense is going to be our strength this year," said Wright. "We hung in there. We made some adjustments early and settled into the game pretty well."
First Baptist 0 0 0 0-0
Pinewood Prep 7 20 12 7-46
PP - Andrew Latham 3 run (Ryan Huiet kick)
PP - Leslie Redden 19 run (Huiet kick)
PP - Tatum Rowland 96 pass from Lucas Vaughan (kick blocked)
PP - Redden 5 run (Huiet kick)
PP - Vaughan 3 run (kick failed)
PP - Austin Murphy 1 run (kick failed)
PP - Matthew Latham 55 run (Huiet kick)