SUMMERVILLE — Coach Jason Winstead isn’t always certain which version of the Goose Creek High School football team will emerge from the locker room from day to day, but the one that showed up Friday was dominant.
Gators quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu threw four touchdown passes and the Goose Creek defense almost pitched a shutout in an impressive 49-7 road victory at Cane Bay High School to kick off the Region 7-AAAAA slate.
It was the most complete game of the season for Winstead’s team. The 3-2 Gators ended a three-game losing skid in the series with Cane Bay (3-3).
“We’ve been close to putting it all together but this team is not used to winning,” the second-year Gators coach said. “It’s hard to really tell the mood of this team at times. It’s a great job by them tonight and I’m proud of them.”
“It was good but there is still a lot to work on,” he added.
The Gators forced three turnovers and turned two into touchdowns to pull away in the second half. They scored four times to break open a 21-7 game and move into a showdown with Berkeley with momentum.
The Gators host the Stags, coming off a 43-13 win over Wando.
“Berkeley is the big dog,” Winstead said. “We’re just looking forward to the challenge. We’ll be there and hopefully we can play well.”
Mukuamu tossed two touchdowns in each half against the Cobras, and also ran for a 2-yard touchdown. Receiver Damon Mouzon hauled in three of the scoring passes from 3, 6 and 13 yards and Malachi Taylor added a 13-yard touchdown grab.
The Cobras’ option attack never got on track again after striking in the first two minutes following a blocked punt. Leon Staley’s 15-yard run gave Cane Bay a 7-0 lead less than two minutes in.
“(Cane Bay) is a tough offense to defend,” Winstead said. “Anytime you relax, they can hit something big. Our coaches and players did a great job preparing this week.”
Goose Creek’s answer was swift and the Gators never relented. Malachi Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards up the middle of the field for a touchdown 13 seconds after the Cobras’ lone tally.
The Gators finished off the Cobras with another highlight reel play in the fourth quarter. Receiver Jarred Jenkins took a screen pass from DJ Matthews and raced 73 yards for a touchdown, carrying it the final 50-plus after escaping a pile of Cobras defenders.
Fort Dorchester 28, West Ashley 0
Kalil Jenkins ran 12 times for 134 yards and De'Andrae Sabb scored two touchdowns as Fort Dorchester (6-0) eased past West Ashley (1-5) in a region opener.
Zolten Osborne also scored a TD for the Patriots, as did Dwayne Wright.
Stratford 34, James Island 16
Javion Taylor scored on runs of 67 and 89 yards to lead Stratford (3-2) to a 34-16 win over James Island (2-3) in the region opener for both teams. Josh Davis added a 39-yard TD for Stratford.
Stall 43, Burke 26
Quarterback Corey Speights led Stall (1-5) to a 43-26 win over Burke (1-5) with three rushing touchdowns and a passing TD.
James Johnson ran in a 52-yard touchdown for Burke to start the game, but Stefone Smalls had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to set the tone for Stall. Johnson rushed for a 56-yard touchdown to keep Burke in the game. Speights connected with James Levine on a 37-yard pass before finishing out with a 13-yard touchdown run.
Victor Goodwin contributed with a 14-yard touchdown run for Burke. Zach Stalling also scored with a 2-yard rush. Stall’s defense came up big throughout the game with four forced turnovers.
Oceanside 61, North Charleston 6
Running back Keegan Williams had four rushing touchdowns to lead Oceanside Collegiate (6-01, 1-0) to a 61-6 victory over North Charleston (2-3, 0-1) Friday night.
Williams led the Landsharks with 124 rushing yards on 11 attempts. Quarterback Sean Cooney went 6-13 for 60 yards and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Walker Rhue.
Joey Bolyston and Jordan Jackson each had a 31-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Bolyston also had a safety for the Landsharks. North Charleston responded with a 99- yard kickoff return in the third quarter.
Bishop England 35, Hanahan 3
Eddie Marinaro’s five receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown led Bishop England (3-2) to a 35-3 victory over Hanahan (0-5) in a region opener.
Quarterback Cam Costa went 16-22 for 247 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Costa connected with Marinaro for a 30-yard touchdown pass, while hitting Jarren McCoy with a 41-yard pass for a touchdown. Michael Long led the team with two rushing touchdowns.
Hanahan quarterback Mac Blakeney went 12-20 for 148 yards and an interception. Josh Shaw had 7 carries for 46 yards, while Randy Scott had 7 catches for 117 yards. Scott also made the interception against Costa for the Hawks.
Calvary Day 48, St. John's 12
Quarterback Jordan Brown threw for 149 yards and ran in a touchdown, but St. John’s (1-5) fell short at Calvary Day (4-1) by 48-12.
Brown went 12-17 passing the ball, as well as rushing for 74 yards. Robert Fields also ran for 66 yards. RJ Backman had 78 yards receiving and a TD.
Sean Lowry led the defense for the Islanders with 13 tackles, and Lou Wright had a sack.
Timberland 48, Philip Simmons 14
Jamari Nelson rushed for 179 yards and a touchdown to help give Timberland (4-1) a 48-14 win over Philip Simmons (1-5) Friday night.
Matt Williamson rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Wolves, and . Jaleen Richardson scored twice.
Peyton Woolridge led Philip Simmons with a rushing and a passing touchdown on 125 yards of total offense.
Timberland's Omari Jenkins blocked a punt and Jamaal Williams returned it for a touchdown. Sam Moultrie returned an interception for a touchdown.
CE Murray 33, Cross 7
Xavier Gattis took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, but Cross (3-3) fell by 33-7 to C.E. Murray (4-2).
Cross hung in tough, only being down 8-7 at halftime, but C.E. Murray’s offense got rolling and scored 19 consecutive points in the second half to put the game away.
Charleston Collegiate 20, Christian Academy 16
A fumbled punt was returned 50 yards for a touchdown by defensive tackle Nathaniel Rock to give Charleston Collegiate (2-3) the lead and a win over Christian Academy (1-4) by 20-16.
Quarterback Alex Frampton opened the scoring for the Sun Devils with a 15-yard pass to Darius Singletary in the second quarter. Frampton hit Lucius Miles for the 2-point conversion on the next play. Jamie Reyes and Rock led the Sun Devils in tackles. Singletary finished off the scoring with a 38-yard touchdown run to close out the game.