Trojans out-slug Blue Devils
MONETTA — It was the slugfest everyone thought it would be Friday night when Williston-Elko visited Ridge Spring-Monetta.
That made Trojans head coach Kenny Lipsey’s description of his team all the more fitting after they knocked off the defending Region 3-A champions.
“They’re fighters,” he said after his team’s first win over Williston-Elko since 2006. “They want to be something special. Williston-Elko’s been on top of this region for so long. That’s the measuring stick. Everybody wants to beat Williston-Elko. They’re just fighters. They don’t have no quit in them, and they’re hungry.”
Collier Sullivan’s 60-yard touchdown run with 2:18 remaining turned out to be the game-winner, but only once the Trojans (2-2, 1-0 Region 3-A) forced a turnover on downs with under a minute to go after Williston-Elko had driven down inside their 30-yard line.
Sullivan’s touchdown capped a drive that started when the Blue Devils fumbled inside the Trojans’ 5. It actually happened on consecutive snaps – the first was whistled dead before the ball came out. The second counted, though, and Trey Dean pounced on it to give the Trojans a shot at the win.
Sullivan, RS-M’s junior running back, cashed in quickly. He ended the game with 250 yards and two touchdowns – the first a 63-yarder that put the Trojans ahead 22-6 at the start of the third quarter – on 16 carries. Lipsey said during the week that he wanted to see Sullivan get going in the run game. Needless to say, he answered the call.
“Collier’s been getting better every week. He’s built like a tree. I mean, his legs are big as tree trunks,” Lipsey said. “I thought we did a decent job up front of paving the way for him. It opened some passing lanes for the quarterback. Collier Sullivan’s got a chance to be very special if he keeps his head on straight and keeps getting better every day, because he’s a hungry kid.”
Short-handed Williston-Elko (1-3, 0-1 Region 3-A) fought back from that 22-6 deficit after getting things going in the passing game. Adrian Chandler was unstoppable throughout the game, catching nine passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. That score, a 27-yarder on a slant from Tres Rimes, tied things up with 11:33 remaining.
“Adrian Chandler’s as good as I thought he was. He just gets overshadowed because KeShawn (Toney) is on the other side,” Williston-Elko head coach Derek Youngblood said. “I’m telling you right now, two years from now Adrian Chandler will be one of the best football players in South Carolina. He’s got all the tools. He’s got the speed, he runs routes real well, he’s got great hands. He’s a kid that’s just learning how to play the football game. I knew about him. Now everybody else knows.”
Rimes had another strong game, passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns with the Trojans shutting down the Blue Devils’ run game. With all of the attention being paid to Toney, Rimes fired several shots deep downfield for Chandler. Those big plays gave the Blue Devils momentum, and they mixed in some tough running from Javier Rudolph to move the ball downfield.
The late fumble was costly for the Blue Devils, who looked like they had all the momentum and were about to walk into the end zone after Rimes hit Chandler again down to the 3-yard line. But the Trojans took it away and had new life after their own ball security issues had given the Blue Devils the opportunity to tie it.
“We made a lot of mistakes. Hats off to Coach Lipsey,” Youngblood said. “There’s really no words for me to describe the relationship that we have. Just very proud of him and his team and the way they came out and played. The blocked punt for a touchdown was big. The fumble down here on the goal line – we had a chance to take the game right here with about 3 minutes left, laid the ball down. Just big, explosive plays on defense.”
The blocked punt came thanks to a high snap late in the second quarter, when freshman Ben Kirk blocked the punt and senior Jarquez Davis recovered it in the end zone. That put RS-M ahead 16-6 heading into halftime.
Toney made it a one-score game with 5:25 left in the third quarter when he snagged a jump ball near the sideline for a 26-yard touchdown. The South Carolina-bound senior had nine catches for 107 yards and the score, and he had a big strip sack of RS-M quarterback Remedee Leaphart in Blue Devils territory on fourth down.
That drive, though, ended with the fumble.
Neither team wasted much time getting onto the scoreboard. The Blue Devils struck first, just over 2 minutes in, as Rudolph crashed in from a yard out and Jeb Lott recovered the loose ball in the end zone.
The lead didn’t last long. Jerry Tyler scored from 35 yards out just 25 seconds later, and RS-M surged ahead after getting the two-point conversion.
Neither team looked particularly rusty. That was a big concern for RS-M, which was playing for the first time in three weeks. But Lipsey had a good feeling about his team’s chances after a great week of practice.
RS-M visits Denmark-Olar next week, while Williston-Elko will have to bounce back quickly for a home game against Wagener-Salley.
Williston-Elko 6 0 8 8 — 22
Ridge Spring-Monetta 8 8 6 8 — 30
WE — Jeb Lott fumble recovery in end zone (conversion failed) 9:38
RSM — Jerry Tyler 35 run (Remedee Leaphart pass to Johnnie Freeman) 9:13
RSM — Jarquez Davis blocked punt recovery in end zone (Tyler run) 2:43
RSM — Collier Sullivan 63 run (conversion failed) 11:28
WE — Tres Rimes 26 pass to KeShawn Toney (Rimes pass to Toney) 5:25
WE — Rimes 27 pass to Adrian Chandler (Rimes pass to Toney) 11:33
RSM — Sullivan 60 run (Tyler run) 2:18
WE — Javier Rudolph 17-50, Kendel Brown 7-12, Jairus Tobin 7-7, Tres Rimes 3-(-21). Totals 34-48.
RSM — Collier Sullivan 16-250-2, Jerry Tyler 4-38-1, Dantrell Weaver 2-21, Brendon Frazier 1-1, Remedee Leaphart 4-(-1), Nyzabriian Jones 1-(-3), Team 1-(-10). Totals 29-296-3.
WE — Tres Rimes 18-32-292-2-0, Javier Rudolph 2-8-44-0-0.
RSM — Remedee Leaphart 3-8-15-0-0.
WE — Adrian Chandler 9-216-1, KeShawn Toney 9-107-1, Kendel Brown 1-8, Brandon Richardson 1-5. Totals 20-336-2.
RSM — Collier Sullivan 1-8, Jerry Tyler 1-5, Jonny Middlebrooks 1-2. Totals 3-15.