The Summerville-Stratford cross-county rivalry had become stale as of late but the Green Wave and Knights revived it Friday night.
Summerville claimed a 33-25 victory at McKissick Field during a game Stratford had a chance to win in the final minute with a two-point conversion play. Down by a touchdown, the Knights drove 85 yards to score on a 5-yard pass from Josh Davis to Jaylin Hayward to cut Summerville’s lead to 26-25 with 42 seconds remaining in the final quarter. It was the fourth TD pass of the night for Davis, who threw for nearly 400 yards.
However, Summerville blocked two field goals earlier in the game so the Knights went for 2. Davis threw a strike to a receiver in the end zone, but Green Wave defensive back Jaden James batted the ball away before the receiver could catch it, leaving Summerville ahead by a single point. James also made the block on one of the Knights’ two extra-point kick attempts that were blocked.
“I knew I had to make a stop for the team,” James said. “I gave up a touchdown so I had to make that play.”
Stratford followed with an onside kick attempt, but Summerville’s Brody Hopkins fielded the ball in stride and dashed across midfield and into the end zone to clinch the victory.
Summerville improved to 2-1 on the season with the win while Stratford dropped to 1-2.
The Summerville-Stratford game once represented one of the most heated and competitive rivalries in the state. Summerville coach Joe Call experienced it as a Green Wave athlete and Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel experienced it as a Knights’ athlete.
But as new high schools opened in Berkeley and Dorchester counties the Green Wave and Knights developed stronger rivalries with teams inside their county lines. To find a recent game in the Summerville-Stratford series that wasn’t one-sided, one way or the other, you have to go all the way back to 2013.
The 2019 version of the series is one fans on both sides of the field should be proud of.
“This was a Summerville-Stratford football game,” Call said. “Me growing up in this rivalry and Coach McDaniel growing up in this rivalry, that’s how every game was. Earlier in the week I said just throw the records out because this game is going to be a battle no matter what. Both these teams have a lot of pride going all the way back to the Coach (Ray) Stackley days and the Coach (John) McKissick days. Our defense gave up a lot of big plays, but they made a play to stop their two-point attempt right there at the end to seal it for us.”
Summerville running back K.J. Rollins rushed for 111 yards and scored on runs of 10, 13 and 1 yards. Running back Derrion Larry and receiver Perry Wilder also had some key rushes for the Green Wave.
The Summerville defense was tough against the Knights’ rushing attack, surrendering less than 15 yards on the ground the entire game. The Stratford D wasn’t giving up many passing yards until Summerville quarterback Colby Shirey completed a bomb in the fourth quarter to receiver Kamari Nix, who dashed some 40 yards after the catch to find the end zone on a TD reception that gained 85 yards.
“At first I thought our quarterback got sacked,” Nix said. “Then I saw him roll out and I was like ohh snap because I was wide open. I made sure to catch it with my hands and then secure it and I was off after that.”
Summerville finished with 265 rushing yards and 98 passing yards. The Green Wave lost three fumbles while Stratford only turned the ball over once.
Stratford receiver Damarius Anderson made a dozen catches for approximately 130 yards and a touchdown. Haywards had two TD grabs and Davis also connected with David Washington for a TD pass.
“It was a sloppy game at times, but both teams competed well and competed hard,” McDaniel said. “They just made a couple of plays more than we did. We are still a young football team so playing in an atmosphere like this is going to help us down the road.”
This Friday, Summerville travels to Cane Bay.
“We have a lot to work on so we just have to stay with it,” Call said. “As we move forward we have to get the most out of practice. Cane Bay is that team that runs the offense nobody likes to try to defend, but we will be ready. We have seen that a couple of years now so it comes down to guys being ready to play that responsibility football. We have to get their eyes right and be disciplined.”
For a photo gallery from the Summerville-Stratford game, visit www.journalscene.com.