Swamp Foxes fall to Gators in Week 1
The Swamp Foxes had their best showing to date against the Gators, but Goose Creek once again proved to be too strong.
Ashley Ridge suffered a 56-28 loss to Goose Creek in the season opener for both teams. Despite some miscues by its offense in the first quarter, the Swamp Foxes held their own early in the game. Goose Creek only out gained Ashley Ridge by 32 yards in the first half when the Gators took a 14-7 lead.
“It took our offense a while to get going and we gave them a short field too much in the first half,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “But our defense hung in there.”
However, the Gators held the Swamp Foxes to only 2 yards of offense in the third quarter. Goose Creek scored three touchdowns in the quarter while Ashley Ridge only managed a kick return for a TD.
“In the second half we kind of ran out of gas,” Walker said. “With Goose Creek, it’s all about them wearing you down so you have to play a full four quarters. We played maybe two-and-a-half quarters and turnovers killed us.”
Led by senior tailback Caleb Kinlaw, the Gators’ rushing attack was lethal. Kinlaw rushed for more than 100 yards and four touchdowns. Fullback Evan McField also had a 100-yard rushing night and scored on an 18 yard run.
Senior Sean White had a productive evening for Ashley Ridge. He was used as a quarterback, running back and receiver and finished with 80 yards of offense.
Junior Chandler Avenel took the majority of snaps for the Foxes. He completed 5 of 8 pass attempts for 86 yards.
Junior receiver Dashaun Santiago provided two of the Swamp Fox scores. In the second quarter, Santiago made a leaping catch in the end zone to cut the Goose Creek lead to 7 with Matt Gable’s extra-point kick. But much of Ashley Ridge’s momentum was taken away when Goose Creek caused and recovered a fumble on the second-half kickoff and capitalized with a 24-yard scoring drive.
The fumble recovery was just one of many key plays made by special-teams athletes in the second half.
Later in the third quarter, Santiago returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Goose Creek’s Omar McRae returned a kickoff 60 yards for a TD. Then Ashley Ridge’s Donavan Thompson returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the Gator 8. Two plays later, White scored on a 3-yard run for a 49-28 score.
Despite the win, Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy says his team has some work to do.
“We’ve got a long, long way to go,” Reedy said. “I was disappointed in the way we executed offensively and we gave up two big kick returns. You can’t do that. There were some good things about tonight but right now we aren’t a good football team. We will be; we just need to work on some things.”
Ashley Ridge 0 7 6 15–28
Goose Creek 6 8 21 21–56
GC – Caleb Kinlaw 7 run (kick failed)
GC – Caleb Kinlaw 2 run (Jordan Barnes pass from Dantez Bennamon)
AR – Dashaun Santiago 19 pass from Chandler Avenel (Matt Gable kick)
GC – Caleb Kinlaw 5 run (Jacobus kick)
GC – Caleb Kinlaw 16 run (Alex Jacobus kick)
AR – Santiago 85 kickoff return (kick blocked)
GC – Evan McField 18 run (Jacobus kick)
GC – Darin McNeal 7 run (Jacobus kick)
AR – Donavan Thompson 8 run (Gable kick)
GC – Omar McRae 60 kickoff return (Jacobus kick)
AR – Sean White 3 run (Avenel run)
GC – Tyrik Johnson 82 run (Jacobus kick)