Goose Creek, Summerville collide in battle of unbeaten football teams
The Goose Creek offense has been impressive, scoring 133 points in its first two games this season.
Summerville knows it must slow down the Gators when the teams meet Friday night, but Green Wave coach John McKissick isn’t sure that’s possible. He figures the best his team can do is try to keep Goose Creek’s offense off the field.
“We have to make first downs and keep the chains moving,” said McKissick, whose team hosts the Gators at 7:30 p.m. “You have to keep the ball moving and keep their offense off the field. Their offense is the best offense I’ve seen in a long time.”
Goose Creek is deep at running back and has a steady and smart quarterback in Dantez Bennamon, who has not lost a game as a starter. He has passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns, and run for 68 yards this season.
Caleb Kinlaw, who has committed to Georgia Tech, is the marquee attraction in the backfield. He has 301 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. But he’s not the only running threat: Evan McField has 201 yards and two scores; Tyrik Johnson has 193 yards and four TDs. Johnson is averaging 17.5 yards per carry.
Goose Creek (2-0) is No. 3 in the latest Class AAAA state rankings. Summerville (2-0) isn’t in the top 10.
The Green Wave needed big plays to defeat a feisty Berkeley team, 43-20, last week. Darin Smalls, who has committed to South Carolina, had a 77-yard TD catch and a 76-yard punt return for a score. David Coccoli ripped off a 55-yard TD late in the game.
“We’re capable of big plays, too,” said McKissick, football’s winingest coach with 604 victories. “We gave up too many first downs and too many yards rushing. Berkeley averaged six yards a carry. That’s not good, especially when you have Goose Creek next on the schedule.”
Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said his defense will have to focus on stopping Summerville’s Smalls.
“He is a great athlete,” Reedy said. “When Summerville is on offense, you have to be aware of where he is. He’s out there for a reason. They have a plan for him.”
Penalties and special teams can play big roles in big games, and both coaches are worried about mistakes.
“We’ve had too many penalties,” McKissick said. “We had 10 penalties in the first game and six in the second. Penalties are big when you get 15- and 10-yarders.”
Reedy is concerned about the return game. The Gators gave up two long returns to Ashley Ridge in Week 1, including an 85-yard kickoff return for a score. Last week, the Gators were penalized two times on punts that allowed Colleton County to keep possession of the football.
“You can’t do that all the time and expect to get away with it,” Reedy said.