GOOSE CREEK — Summerville quarterback Johnathan Bennett limped his way through the post-game handshake line and walked slowly to the team huddle as they gathered at midfield Friday night.
When a Green Wave assistant coach asked the 6-1, 205-pound senior if he was OK, Bennett responded, “My feet hurt, I ran a lot tonight.”
Bennett amassed 356 yards of total offense and had a hand in six touchdowns as Summerville trounced Stratford 56-17 on Friday night at Ray Stackley Field.
It was the third straight win for the Green Wave (3-1), while Stratford fell to 2-2.
Bennett, who verbally committed to play at Liberty University next season, showed off the dual-threat skill set that has made him one of the top quarterbacks in the Lowcountry this season.
Bennett completed 14 of 27 passes for 198 and TD passes of 21, 28 and 47 yards to three different receivers. On the ground, Bennett carried the ball just 10 times but finished with 158 yards, including TD runs of 53, 31 and 29 yards.
All that came in just three quarters of action as Bennett watched from the sidelines in the fourth quarter with the Green Wave leading by 39 points.
“If there was ever a player of the week, Johnathan should be it,” said Summerville coach Joe Call. “He had a great night throwing it and running the football. He showed why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the state. He’s starting to get to a point where if the defense gives him something, he takes advantage of it. The reads he made on some of those runs was really impressive. I don’t know how he does it. One step in the wrong direction and he’s gone.”
Bennett gave most of the credit to his offensive line and his teammates.
“It’s not just me, I don’t do it by myself,” Bennett said. “It was a team game, a team win tonight. If my teammates are not catching the ball, then I don’t have any touchdown passes, so they did a great job tonight. The offensive line and all the receivers did a great job blocking downfield. It wasn’t just me having success out there, it was the Summerville offense having success.”
Bennett is being too modest, said Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel.
“He’s a handful,” McDaniel said. “If he gets a crease, he can take it the distance. He does a good job with the read option, and he threw the ball better than we’d seen him on film. He’s a great athlete, and he’s got some skilled guys to throw the ball to.”
It wasn’t a perfect night for Bennett, who did throw a pick-six interception to Stratford’s Brandon Polite early in the game.
“There are always things you can work on,” Bennett said.
The Knights didn’t help their cause with four turnovers and nearly 100 yards in penalties.
“We’re just not at the point where we can beat a team like Summerville with that many mistakes,” McDaniel said. "We've just got to do a better job of being focused. The penalties really bothered me."
The Summerville defense allowed just 10 points, sacked Stratford quarterback Travis Lott four times and caused five turnovers.
“Our defense has played great all season,” Call said. “I really believe we’ve got a championship level defense and our coaches do a great job of getting them in the right positions to make plays.”
After trailing 8-0, the Green Wave reeled off three straight scoring drive. Bennett hit Brody Hopkins and Andre Banks on TD passes of 28 and 21 yards, respectively, then added a 53-yard TD to give Summerville a 21-8 lead early in the second quarter.
The Green Wave turned two Stratford fumbles into touchdowns, and the rout was on.
Summerville will face Cane Bay next week, while Stratford will take on Wando.