Porter-Gaud coach Rick Reetz wouldn't call Thursday night's 14-0 victory over Hananan in the 40th annual Sertoma Classic a statement victory for SCISA football teams.
But it was a stunner.
The Cyclones, trying to return to their glory days, knocked off the Hawks in convincing fashion in front of approximately 6,500 fans at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
"We are now ready," Reetz told his team after the game. "This was a good wakeup call to the rest of the teams we face this year. We worked hard and we are ready. Enjoy (Friday) off, come back ready to work on Saturday."
Senior Stanton Seckinger, a 6-5 wide receiver, showed on Porter-Gaud's first play that he is one of the best players in SCISA.
He caught a pass from Hudson Worthy and turned the catch-and-run into a 44-yard gain. He caught a 9-yard pass that set up Greg Rouse's 1-yard touchdown run with 8:37 left in the quarter.
Seckinger also caught a 48-yard pass from Worthy to finish with three receptions for 101 yards.
Gordon Huey scored the Cyclones' other touchdown, returning an interception 25 yards with 4:36 remaining.
Seckinger is one of the top wide receivers in the state. He had more than 1,000 yards in receiving last year.
He showed he has sure hands, long strides and good speed. He's been offered by North Carolina State, Memphis and Clemson, and the list should grow.
"I just wanted to come out and have fun" Seckinger said. "We
were practicing what works for us all week, but we didn't know what to expect. We just wanted to have fun."
"Seckinger is good," Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson said. "We've got some good players, too. We just couldn't catch the ball. We're a throwing team. We have to be able to catch the ball."
Said Reetz: "This wasn't a statement. This wasn't about a SCISA team. We're a good team, and we have an advantage because our defense gets to go up against a good offense every day."
In other action Thursday night, Military Magnet topped First Baptist 24-0, Garrett Tech topped Academic Magnet 14-6, Bishop England beat Stratford 7-6, Scott's Branch topped Northwood Academy 24-0, Goose Creek trimmed North Charleston 7-0, and West Ashley beat Stall 14-0.
Bishop England won the first night of the Alwyn Berlin Spirit Award competition. The overall winner will be announced tonight.
The award is named after Berlin, who was a charter member of the Sertoma Club, which voted to name the award in his memory following his death in 1978. The award is based on five categories: dress, banners, performance, pre-sale of tickets and publicity.
James Island was the winner last year, ending Stratford's six-year reign as spirit champ.
Bishop England 7, Stratford 6
The Bishops used an impressive drive and two big plays on defense to knock off the Knights.
The Knights took a 6-0 lead when freshman quarterback Jacob Park completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Preston Gavins. But the PAT attempt was wide.
The Bishops countered with a 9-play, 70-yard drive that was jump started when quarterback Mikell Fosberry broke loose for a 25-yard run. He capped the drive by completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Bunch.
Alexander Moore made the PAT, and the Bishops recovered two fumbles. Cameron Swails recovered the first and Danny Croghan got the other one.
"That's what we wanted to do," Bishop England coach John Cantey said. "We wanted to step up against a bigger team. We have some huge teams in our region, so this was important.
"Sertoma is exciting. Our school loves Sertoma, loves the excitement."
Military Magnet 24, First Baptist 0
Military Magnet breezed past First Baptist with a strong running game and effective passing.
Daiquann Horree broke off a 35-yard touchdown run with 10:02 left to get his team going.
Quarterback Lorenzo Mehciz added an 8-yard run, and he was on the receiving end of a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jermaine Tucker with four seconds left.
"We showed some progress," Military Magnet coach Gene Ross said. "We worked hard, but still have a long way to go."
First Baptist went 1-9 last year and has 10 starters back, but numbers continue to be a problem as the Hurricanes had less than 20 players dressed for Sertoma.
Two of the players who saw action at Johnson Hagood were Marlin Morris and Lawton Hendricks, who were key cogs for the Hurricanes baseball team, which won a SCISA state title.
Military Magnet travels to North Charleston next week in its season opener, while First Baptist hosts Palmetto Christian Academy.
Garrett Tech 14, Academic Magnet 6
Garrett Tech met Academic Magnet on Thursday night in the Sertoma Classic, which, of course, is a scrimmage. The two schools play for real tonight when the Raptors travel to Garrett Tech. The two schools will close out the regular season on Oct. 29 with a game at Academic Magnet.
"We came out to have fun," Garrett Tech coach Dirk Thomas said. "It was nothing fancy. Sertoma is about having fun and raising money for charities, so it was a good night."
Garrett Tech's Jonathan Roberts ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run with 6:03 to go, and the Raptors countered with a 60-yard TD run by sophomore Stuart Walters.
But the Falcons weren't done. Marcus Campbell scored on a 36-yard touchdown run less than a minute later.
"We have some guys who can run the football," Thomas said. "The question is: Can we block? You can't do anything with the football if you can't block."
Academic Magnet begins life in Class AA, and it could be a struggle since the Raptors were 4-46 the past five seasons in Class A.
Scott's Branch 24, Northwood 0
Northwood proved to be no match for Scott's Branch. The winners scored a pair of touchdowns in a two-minute span to settle the issue. Leon Mathis scored on a 40-yard touchdown run, one of three rushing touchdowns.
Goose Creek 7, North Charleston 0
Goose Creek played its first team for one series against North Charleston and marched 70 yards in nine plays, with 245-pound running back Mike Myers plowing in from 1 yard out for the game's only score.
Ball control will be critical for the Gators, who lost eight starters on defense. If the Gators control the clock, that will keep the defense off the field.
"What people don't realize is that we're a very young team," Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said. "We've got some talented people, but they don't have the experience.
North Charleston is going through a major transition after winning a school-record 12 games and the Region 7-AAA championship last fall.
The Cougars will compete at the Class AA level this fall and lost major talents Denzel Myers and Corey Washington, a pair of all-state selections, as well as Denzel White.
Gerald Hemingway took over as coach from Jimmy Brown and must come up with some key replacements for a team that lost 14 starters to graduation.
Goose Creek hosts Irmo next Friday, while North Charleston will battle Military Magnet.
West Ashley 14, Stall 0
The Wildcats flexed their muscle and had an impressive running attack against Stall.
Jamie Rivers scored the first TD on a 5-yard run, and Jarad Mole finished off the Warriors with a 37-yard score.
Stall is beginning its second season under coach Mitch White, who is starting his second year as the Warriors' head coach.
The Warriors went 2-8 last year at the Class AAA level and return only nine starters from that team.
West Ashley opens at Bishop England on Thursday in a game that will be broadcast live on WMMP. Stall hosts Lincoln this Saturday.