The smile on West Ashley High School football coach Bobby Marion's face said it all Friday night after his Wildcats beat Summerville for the first time in school history, a 10-7 victory in front of a crowd of more than 4,000 at West Ashley Stadium.
"It's great for the program," Marion said. "It's definitely the biggest win we've ever had."
The Wildcats, whose football program started in 2000, improved to 4-2 behind a stifling defense and a potent rushing game that netted 282 yards.
Senior quarterback Thomas Woodhead led the way for West Ashley with 157 yards on 27 carries. Karon Eady scored the Wildcats' only touchdown on a 32-yard run. The winning margin came on Caroline Cashion's 20-yard field goal.
"We believed all week that we could do this," said Marion. "We have had two very tough losses the last two weeks, so we've been working hard. I'm just ecstatic for these kids."
Summerville coach John McKissick was gracious in defeat.
"They outplayed us," said McKissick, whose team dropped to 4-2. "They have a good defense and they kept getting a lot of first downs on offense."
Summerville took a 7-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, when Eady mishandled a pitch and Green Wave linebacker Adam Blocker scooped up the ball and raced 57 yards for a touchdown.
"We are still turning the ball over too much," said Marion, whose team lost three fumbles in the game.
The Wildcats missed a scoring opportunity on their next possession when kicker Matt Stonaker was just short on a 46-yard field goal attempt.
West Ashley tied the game with 5:44 left in the half on Eady's touchdown run. The Wildcats took the lead for good in the final minute of the first half on Cashion's 20-yard field goal. It was Cashion's first kick with the varsity team.
"She stepped up and did the job," said Marion of his sophomore kicker, who celebrated her birthday Friday.
West Ashley had a 207-7 advantage in total yards at the half. Summerville finished with 80 yards of total offense.
"We have not played good offense all year," said McKissick.
The two teams exchanged punts for most of the second half until Summerville had two opportunities in the last six minutes of the game. The Wildcats defense stopped junior Chris McKinnon on fourth-and-4 with three minutes left, and then stopped the Green Wave again at the end of the game after the Wave drove to their own 41.
SUM--Adam Blocker 57 yard fumble return (Parker Cleveland kick)
WA--Karon Eady 32 run (Caroline Cashion kick)
WA--Cashion 20 FG