White Knoll / Red Bank, SC (Paul Kirby) – The White Knoll Timberwolves came out strong in their home opener beating the Colleton County Cougars by a final score of 28 - 21. The home bleachers were almost at capacity to watch head coach Dean Howell’s team make their first stand at White Knoll. Although there were some mistakes made Friday, the Timberwolves showed great potential against a large, athletic team that put up a strong fight right up to the last seconds of the game.
The Colleton Cougars received the first kickoff and Howell’s defense shut that down without the Cougars crossing the goal-line. The Cougars eventually punted the ball away, but it backed the Wolves up to about the 5 to begin their first offensive drive. White Knoll’s quarterback was trying to fight his way out of that hole where he was sacked, and the refs marked the ball at the one-yard-line. The spot of the refs prevented a safety against White Knoll by just that small margin. White Knoll was forced to punt out of the end zone and this exposed an obvious weakness of White Knoll. Their kicking game is in its infancy after losing their last year’s kicker to graduation. The new punter is at best struggling. Several of his punts were in the less than 30-yard range, giving the Cougars great field position after the kick. The first punt went from goalpost to about the 25, took a bounce for Colleton, giving the Cougars excellent field position for their second possession.
Colleton went nowhere as the T-Wolves defense was slamming the Cougars for losses as often as they were able to move the ball, if at all. Eventually, the Cougars missed a field goal and turned the ball over to the Wolves. The Timberwolves offense still sputtered and quickly put the ball back in the Cougars’ hands. This time, Colleton was able to capitalize by scoring and making the PAT adding the first 7 points to the board with about 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
On White Knoll’s next possession, they were able to get the offense in gear and that drive ended with Aiden Myers bringing in a 24-yard pass from Aveon Smith to get the Wolves on the scoreboard. The PAT was good, and this tied the score at 7-7. This was the beginning of White Knoll’s offense coming together and getting the ball advancing for the T-Wolves.
After the first points for the Wolves, the game seemed to turn toward White Knoll’s favor. The defense was strong, and the offense seemed to finally gel, getting the ball moving when they had it. The biggest problem for the boys from the Knoll was unnecessary penalties. By game’s end, White Knoll had three touchdowns called back due to holding penalties and some were just mistakes brought about by inattentiveness and what seemed to be jitters. One delay of game call against the Wolves forced the ball down to the half-yard line, a mistake I’m sure Howell will make sure doesn’t happen again next week.
White Knoll’s defense looked strong throughout the game led by #20 Tyrus Anderson, #30 Jaylan Johnson, and #21 Devin Jones. Even though the Cougars were able to score, the defense seemed to be able to manhandle the large offense of the Cougars. In the second period, the Cougars put it in the endzone when Trakell Murray crossed the line with a 24-yard run and Lance Calcutt kicked the PAT to make the board showm14 -7 in favor of Colleton. That was answered by the T-Wolves’ Aveon Smith who made a 30-yard run followed by the PAT by Luis Orellano to tie the score at 14 – 14. That was eventually followed by another Aveon Smith 8 yard run followed a successful PAT to make the 21-14 with the advantage for WKHS at the half.
The second half was pretty much a dose of the same. The Cougars were able to score once more, but the Timberwolves’ Aiden Myers caught a 32-yard pass from Aveon Smith that was followed by the extra point to add 7 more for the Wolves.
Eventually, the Cougars couldn’t bring the strength on offense they needed to overcome the Timberwolves’ defense and the Wolves’ offense really came together and played as a unified team in the second half. Colleton never rolled over, their quarterback Shykeim Chisholm making a number of attempts, even though the White Knoll’s defense seemed to shut him down with a number of broken plays. He did connect with Edwardian Stansel in the 4th quarter to put points on the board for the Cougars, but it just wasn’t enough.
Next week, White Knoll will face Keenan on Friday, August 31 with the kickoff at 7:30 pm. Colleton County will play Carolina Forest from Myrtle Beach August 31 with the kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.You can listen to all of White Knoll’s home games LIVE on The Lexington Ledger’s Facebook page.