Wando seeks to remain perfect vs. Green Wave

Goose Creek Gators take the field before their matchup with Summerville Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 in Goose Creek. (Tyrone Walker/Staff)

If the Wando football team beats Summerville Thursday night, the Warriors might party like it's 1990.

That's the last time the Warriors started the season with a 5-0 record. They also began the 1989 season with a 5-0 record.

“I don't know,” said coach Jimmy Noonan, when asked the last time Wando started 5-0. “I haven't been around long enough to know.”

According to the website scfootballhistory.com, which lists the all-time results for every school in the Palmetto State, the Warriors were 5-0 in those two years. They began the 1991 season with a 4-0 record.

Wando hopes to get its fifth straight victory on Thursday night at Summerville.

The Warriors' fast start almost never happened. In their season opener, they let a big lead slip away against James Island and held on for a 20-19 victory. Since then, the Warriors beat Beaufort, 37-0, topped Ashley Ridge, 31-13, and cruised past Colleton County, 37-6.

“We basically survived against James Island,” Noonan said. “There were plenty of first-game mistakes by both teams. That close game tested our resolve. We came out and won, but it gave us plenty to work on. It was a laundry list.”

The Warriors have had stingy defenses under Noonan, but the offense is a full-fledged threat to score. Quarterback Christian Hart is the leader, but he has plenty of support at running back and receiver.

“We can pass the ball, but we can run it, too,” Noonan said. “We have balance and that's important. This is a hard-working team.”

Summerville enters the game with a 1-2 record. Coach John McKissick is five victories away from career No. 600.

“No doubt Summerville is a quality football team,” Noonan said. “For the longest time, they were the measuring stick for Lowcountry teams. Goose Creek is up there now, but you have to respect Summerville's tradition, players and coaches.”

The Goose Creek Gators have been a state power the past few years.

Now, they are proving to be among the best high school football teams in the nation.

Chuck Reedy's squad makes its debut in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings. The Gators are No. 24 in the country.

Bradenton (Fla.) is the No. 1 team in the country.

The only other Palmetto State team to be ranked is Byrnes. The Rebels fell one spot to No. 7 after rallying for a 32-28 victory over Northwestern.

To view the complete top 25, go to www.maxpreps.com.

Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil