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Barnwell High School

 

Warhorses win region, turn focus to bigger prize

By Neill Kirkpatrick

Special Contributor

Goose Creek – The Barnwell Warhorses went through the regular season unscathed at 9-0/ 4-0 and exercised a few ghosts along the way as they beat rival Bamberg-Ehrhardt 21-20 snapping a 12-game losing streak and capturing their first Region 5-AA championship since 2006.

The Warhorses have accomplished a lot this season, but their main goal still lies ahead of them and the journey starts this week as the Yellow Jackets of Andrews come to Barnwell.

Andrews (6-3/2-3) limps into Friday night’s contest after being upset by East Clarendon 34-32 in their regular season finale, dropping their third straight game after starting the season 6-0.

“Andrews is a good football team. They are big and physical up front,” said Barnwell head coach Dwayne Garrick. “We have to play assignment football as they run the triple option very well, but we have played well against running football teams all year.”

Scott Durham’s Yellow Jackets have been a consistent playoff participant since his arrival in 2013 and will bring a physical running game that averages 239 yards and 33 points a game. They are led sophomore Keyshaun Williams with 664 yards and senior Michael Pipkin 539 yards and quarterback Francis Brown who averages 149 yards a game in total offense.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets give a 17.5 points per game and are led by senior Gamal Alston and sophomore Franklin Grant.

The Warhorses bring a solid running game of their own led by junior Dallyon Creech who has rushed for a team high 442 yards and averages 7.8 yards a carry with 6 touchdowns. He also is the team’s leading receiver with a team 25 receptions for 563 yards and 8 more scores.

Senior Brandon Harvey Jr. and sophomore Jamari Chisolm have rushed for 418 and 408 yards respectively and 11 touchdowns between them.

And of course, this couldn’t be done without solid play up front. The good news is the Warhorses are healthy. Tackle Isaiah Williams and center Nathan Miller have battled nagging injuries all year.

“One of the best things about the extra week was were able to get healthy on both sided of the ball but particular on offense,” Garrick said.

Quarterback Craig Pender has been solid all year throwing for 1588 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has only thrown six interceptions all year but four came in the last game. He did bounce back in a big way as he was 5 for 5 on the gaming winning drive.

Ty Frazier and Kaleil Johnson along with Creech have been Pender’s top targets. Frazier is second on the team in yards with 337 yards and Johnson in touchdowns with 7.

The defense often gets overlooked but it is allowing only 10.8 points per game and against Bamberg they gave up only one score.

The Warhorses have four players with over 50 tackles Dylan Walker (66), Deshawn Watson (62), Julius Arnold (59) and Brashawn Spann (54). Watson leads the teams with 13 tackles for loss and is tied for the team lead in sacks and recovered fumbles with 3 each. Walker and Maurice Watson both have 9 TFL’s.

Reggie Roberts Jr leads the team with three interception and 6 passes defended. He is averaging 39.3 yards on his interception returns.

“We have had an outstanding week of practice particularly the past couple of days. Our main focus is to take care of the ball and limit mistakes,” said Garrick.

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