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Barnwell High School

Barnwell ends season in Lower State finals

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Barnwell—The Barnwell football team continued its winning ways in 2017, going 11-2 overall. Unfortunately, both losses came to rival Bamberg-Ehrhardt, who denied the Warhorses a region title and also eliminated them from the playoffs with a 23-3 decision.

“We played pretty well on defense, except for two big plays we gave up in the first half,” head coach Dwayne Garrick said after the game. “Offensively, we never could really get anything established. I’m proud of our players. I thought they played hard. A break here or there and things might have gone a little bit different.”

Barnwell will now lose several key seniors that helped get the program back to its winning ways. North-South all-star Mykal Lee ended the season with 1,238 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns, and quarterback Pete Elmore threw for 790 yards and seven scores.

Jackson Carter and Jackson Ridgeway depart from the offensive line, and Carter will also leave a void at linebacker after recording a team-high 70 tackles. Free safety Cole Kearse (51 tackles) and tackle Envi Brown are other losses on defense.

“Those guys really did a good job of buying into what we were doing on both sides of the ball. We were fortunate to have some really good kids with good character, and they wanted to win and be successful,” Garrick said.

The Warhorses should be in the mix for another deep playoff run in 2018, with so many returning starters back. Running back Brandon Harvey gained 1,203 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this fall, and offensive linemen Briggs Kearse, Isaiah Williams and Nathan Miller will be back up front.

Copeland Burbage and Julius Arnold return at tight end, with Arnold (53 tackles, 5 sacks) continuing to play defensive end as well. Ernest Smith, who had 55 tackles and four sacks, is the other defensive end.

Linebacker Deshawn Watson (68 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 sacks) was one of the top players in the conference this year, and Dylan Walker (48 tackles, 8 TFL, 5 sacks) and Dallyon Creech once again anchor the secondary.

“We have some really good players coming back. We played six or seven sophomores that will be really good players by the time they’re seniors, but the rising senior class knows what they have to do to get over the hump. We’ve played for Lower State championships, but now we have to win it and play for state championships,” Garrick said.

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