The Berkeley Stags knelt quietly in the end zone as head coach Randy Robinson chatted with a couple of assistant coaches from West Ashley.
Robinson shook a few more hands, got a couple of pats on the back from Berkeley fans and then headed toward his team.
Just as Robinson reached the end zone, the Berkeley players erupted and engulfed their head coach in pure joy after the team’s 46-7 win over the Wildcats.
“You got to let them celebrate,” Robinson said. “It’s a big win for us, that's a good West Ashley team that I'm sure will get it together as the season goes on."
In a matchup of undefeated teams, it was the Stags (3-0) that looked the part of region contenders, while West Ashley (2-1) never was able to overcome a sluggish start.
Berkeley running back Keshawn Wicks rushed for 205 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Stags at West Ashley High School.
A week ago, Wicks rushed for 113 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to play in the Stags’ 28-21 victory over Ashley Ridge. The Old Dominion verbal commitment felt like the Stags left too many rushing yards and points on the field against Ashley Ridge and was determined to have a better game against the Wildcats.
Wicks had his way with the Wildcats defense scoring on runs of 23, 15 and 3 yards, while adding a 50-yard burst in the third quarter, on 21 rushing attempts. Wicks did not play in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t run the ball like we should have last week against Ashley Ridge, and we worked on that in practice all week,” Wicks said. “We were better prepared this week to get the job done. My offensive line blocked really well, they gave me excellent gaps to run through. They deserve the credit.”
While most defenses around the Lowcountry key on Berkeley wide receiver D.J. Chisolm, who committed to play at East Carolina next season, West Ashley coach Bobby Marion was concerned about stopping Wicks.
“D.J. Chisolm is a great player, don't get me wrong, he can score from anywhere on the field, but Keshawn Wicks was my concern,” Marion said. “He’s a great running back and he’s the guy that makes that offense go. I think Old Dominion is getting a steal.”
The Stags took the opening possession and marched 66 yards as quarterback Eric Tuttle capped off the drive by finding Chisolm for a 9-yard TD pass with 9:14 to play.
The Wildcats answered with a nice drive of their own, but it ended with a fumbled snap, the first of three fumbles in the first half.
“We just never gave ourselves a chance,” Marion said. “Our defense played OK. They just got worn out because of all the mistakes we made. The turnovers, the penalties, you can’t beat a team like Berkeley making that many mistakes.”
A safety and a fumble that Berkeley's Will Shannon pounced on in the end zone gave the Stags a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter. Wicks added another TD on Berkeley’s next possession, and the rout was on.
“We’ve got to be able to run the ball between the tackles and we were able to do that tonight,” Robinson said. “We’ve been making too many mental mistakes in the first couple of games, but we cleaned that up tonight.”