GOOSE CREEK – Goose Creek allowed its first region game against Cane Bay to slip through its fingers in overtime two weeks ago – losing to the Cobras 27-24.
The Gators are back to even now in Region 7-AAAAA thanks to a bit of redemption.
The Gators finished strong in the fourth quarter on Friday night to get past Wando, 13-6, in a Region 7-AAAAA matchup at John Fulmer Field.
Goose Creek quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu accounted for 317 of Goose Creek’s 424 yards of total offense and tossed a pair of touchdown passes, the final one a 24-yarder to receiver Corey Lucas on a middle screen for what proved to be the decisive score with 7:45 remaining in the game.
“This is big,” Goose Creek coach Jason Winstead said. “It was homecoming and we had a good crowd. Both of our other wins were on the road. We’ve been preaching to the kids to keep doing the right thing. It’s good when you can do the right thing and win.”
Lucas finished the night with 10 receptions for 148 yards receiving.
The pass from Mukuamu capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive to answer Wando’s tying score, a 25-yard field goal from Andrew Weil on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors failed to take full advantage of a Ramsey Turnage interception that he returned at the Gators’ 14-yard line just moments earlier.
After the Lucas touchdown, Goose Creek’s defense put the finishing touches on one of its best performances of the season by forcing a three-and-out. The Warriors had just 104 yards of total offense and never got the ball back.
The Gators ran out the final five-plus minutes, surviving on a night they had 119 yards on 14 penalties. Gators running back Maurice Mazyck had a 34-yard run to Wando’s 45 and Goose Creek converted a pair of third down plays inside Warriors’ territory.
“I can’t be any more proud,” Winstead said. “It’s the same situation we had with Cane Bay a few weeks ago. We had it with five minutes to go up seven and panicked. Hopefully we’re growing up a little bit.”
Cane Bay scored twice in the fourth quarter to overcome a 21-7 deficit that night and won in overtime.
Mukuamu, who passed for 212 yards and ran for 105 more, led a 60-yard drive in the second quarter to break a scoreless tie.
A 9-yard TD pass to Dijion Singleton made it 6-0 with 9:41 left in the first half.
Wando moved 36 yards in seven plays to cut its deficit in half on Weil’s first field goal, a 27-yarder with 2:20 remaining.
The Gators (3-4, 1-1 region) host James Island in their final home game of the regular season on Friday.
Wando (2-5, 0-2 region) travels to Cane Bay on Friday.