Berkeley uses turnovers to trip Timberland, 31-12

Berkeley's Tirahan Bradford. (Douglas Rogers/Special to the Post and Courier)

Josh Simmons returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble to help Berkeley beat Timberland, 31-12, Friday night.

Diamonte Harley added a pair of interceptions for the Stags (2-3), who finished with four picks against the Wolves.

Timberland (3-2) turned the ball over six times in the game and now have 16 turnovers for the season.

“You can’t turn the ball over 16 times and expect to win football games,” said Timberland coach Art Craig.

The Wolves hit the ground running as Bernard Harmon capped a seven-play, 65-yard drive with a 9-yard run to put Timberland on top, 6-0.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Stags found life, marching 70 yards in eight plays, the drive capped by a Matthew Harkness pass to D.J. Witherspoon for a 10-yard touchdown.

The wheels came off the Timberland wagon less than a minute later as Simmons picked off a Ryan Hood pass and galloped untouched 56 yards for the score. The Stags took control in the second quarter when they called a fake punt on fourth-and-eight. Vance Bailey hit Tirahn Bradford with a pass for a 36-yard gain to the Timberland four-yard line.

One play later, Josh Sellers drove up the middle for a touchdown. Bailey’s PAT gave the Stags a 21-6 lead heading into the locker room.

Berkeley added a pair of scores to put the game away. Bailey kicked a 36-yard field goal to make the score 24-6 early in the fourth quarter.

Harmon added his second touchdown of the night on a three-yard run and Timberland recovered the ensuing onside kickoff, but a fumble recovery by James Ancrum deep in Wolves’ territory killed the drive.

Jamal Bowman iced the game on the next play, scoring on a 10-yard run.

“Both teams played hard out there tonight,” said Stags coach Jeff Cruce. “Our defense stepped it up and played a great game after what we did last week. It was important to come out here and get the win with the region schedule starting next week.”

The Stags travel to James Island on Oct. 3, while Timberland hosts Kingstree on Oct. 4.

T — Bernard Harmon 9 run (kicked failed)

B — Matthew Harkness 10 pass to D.J. Witherspoon (Vance Bailey kick)

B — Josh Simmons 56 interception return (Bailey kick)

B — Josh Sellars 3 run (Bailey kick)

B — Bailey 36 FG

T — Harmon 3 un (kick failed)

B — Jamal Bowman 10 run (Bailey kick)