GOOSE CREEK -- The Goose Creek Gators won the unofficial city championship Friday night with a 49-0 victory over crosstown rival Stratford in a Region 7-AAAA showdown. Now the Gators can concentrate on a region title and, perhaps, the ultimate prize: a state championship.
The third-ranked Gators jumped to a 21-0 halftime lead against the Knights and cruised to the victory in front of about 6,000 fans at Stackley Field.
Goose Creek upped its record to 5-1, including 1-0 in the league. Stratford fell to 4-2, 0-1.
The Gators have outscored their last two foes 105-7.
"We're a good football team," Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said. "We have a chance to be a really, really good team by the end of the season."
Jaquan Marsh was the Gators' weapon of the week. The senior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns. He had runs of 3 and 5 yards. He threw a 72-yard TD pass to Tramel Terry that broke the Knights' back and connected with Zach Lavery for scores of 16 and 10 yards as the Gators topped Stratford for the fifth straight year. Stratford won 16 games in a row over Goose Creek until the Gators snapped the streak in 2007.
"The thing we've been trying to tell people is that Jaquan can beat you with his arm as well as his feet," Reedy said. "They did a good job of stopping the run. Stratford has a very good defense."
It was a typical game for the Gators, who entered the contest averaging 47 points and 384 yards rushing per game. But there was a new wrinkle as Marsh threw a season-high three TD passes to give future opponents something to think about. He completed 10 of 11 for 164 yards.
Goose Creek took a 21-0 lead at halftime, outgaining the Knights 200-96 in total yardage. Marsh and Terry hooked up four times for 89 yards in the first half, including Terry's 72-yard touchdown reception with 9:45 left in the half to make it 14-0.
"You can't get behind a good team 21-0," Stratford coach Ray Stackley said. "The long pass put us in a hole and then we had to start gambling."
Marsh scored the game's first TD, a 3-yard run with eight seconds left in the first quarter. Virgil Smalls scored his 14th TD of the season a, 5-yard run to account for the Gators' other first-half score.
Stratford finished with 206 yards in total offense. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Park completed 10 of 19 for 143 yards.
Goose Creek--Jaquan Marsh 3 run (Masamitsu Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Tramel Terry 72 pass from Marsh (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Virgil Smalls 5 run (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Marsh 12 run (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Zach Lavery 16 pass from Marsh (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Lavery 10 pass from Marsh (Ishibashi kick)
Goose Creek--Dantez Bennamon 4 run (Ishibashi kick)