It wasn’t necessarily Woodland’s size advantage or athleticism that made the difference. Bishop England might’ve been undermanned. Its training table was certainly busy most of the night.
What decided the game, though, was every coach’s worst nightmare. You could see the pain in the eyes of Bishops coach John Cantey’s as he winced. It was a methodical, agonizing death by turnovers.
Woodland scored 21 unanswered points in the second half of a 35-7 win over Bishop England Friday at Jack Cantey Stadium on Daniel Island.
The Wolverines (3-2) scored following a fumble, an interception, and a turnover on downs to collect their third win of the past four games.
Woodland will host Whale Branch next week in its Region 5-AA opener. Bishop England (2-2) will aim to stop a two-game slide as it hosts Hanahan in the start to its Region 8-AAA slate.
“We’ve been playing pretty consistently on defense,” Woodland coach Eddie Ford said. “We needed that. We needed to work on a short field on offense to give us a chance.”
Lavel Davis got things started for Woodland on the game’s opening possession. The 6-foot-6 three-star Virginia commit high-pointed a 7-yard pass from Keyaun Johnson in the corner of the end zone to open a 7-0 Wolverines lead that would last through the first quarter.
Bishop England fumbled a punt at its own 9-yard line in the opening minute of the second quarter. Johnson found Jevon Walker with a 20-yard strike two plays later to stretch open a two-score 14-0 cushion.
Bishop England answered with its best drive of the night. Working on a short field, the Bishops fed running back Michael Long for 36 of 56 yards down to the Wolverines’ 1-yard line. Quarterback Cam Costa finished the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone that cut the deficit in half, 14-7, with a minute to play in the second quarter.
“That was a big drive for us, one of the few times we really sustained a drive tonight,” Cantey said. “It gave us a chance. But the turnovers killed us tonight. The turnovers were terrible.”
Bishop England gave the ball away on the first play of the second half as Savion Warren collected a tipped screen pass at the Bishops 28-yard line. Johnson connected with Davis with a soft 13-yard touch over the middle two plays later to extend a 21-7 Wolverines advantage.
Bishop England then turned the ball over on downs on its following two possessions, first at the Woodland 31-yard line and then at the Wolverines’ 25. Woodland turned the first into a 1-yard touchdown run by Markaden Bryant.
Bryant added an 11-yard score five minutes into the fourth quarter. The junior back finished with 94 yards, averaging 4.3 per carry. He was a perfect compliment to the Wolverines passing game that had three receivers finish with 70 yards or more.
Johnson completed 61 percent of his 36 attempts for 291 yards and three touchdowns. Davis finished with three catches for 28 yards and two scores. Walker caught four passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Jaelyn Perry added nine catches for 78 yards, and Jalen West caught six passes for 74 yards.
“Our quarterback is a young kid and we’ve got have balance,” Ford said. “We can’t have him back there throwing it every play. We’ve got to help him in the run game.”