- By David Shelton Special to The Post and Courier
- Sep 29, 2017 Updated Sep 29, 2017
First Baptist Blows Past Rival Porter-Gaud, 38-14
First Baptist Tylan Major (23) celebrates his second touchdown with McKay Wilson in the game against Porter-Gaud Friday night. Leroy Burnell/Staff
First Baptist School's football team made a statement of sorts on Friday Night, recording its first-ever win over area rival Porter-Gaud, beating the Cyclones, 38-14.
Junior running back Michel Dukes rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns while junior quarterback Tremez Brown added 180 yards passing a two scores to pave the way for the Hurricanes.
First Baptist improved to 5-1 with its fifth consecutive victory after losing their opener.
“This was a goal of ours,” First Baptist head coach Johnny Waters said. “Porter-Gaud is the standard for SCISA in our area. We beat a good football team tonight and I am very proud of our guys.”
The Cyclones (4-2) took early command of the contest, taking a 14-0 lead with less than a minute gone in the second quarter. Graham Kaplan blocked a punt to set up Porter-Gaud’s first score, a one-yard run by quarterback Andrew Thomas. Thomas finished the game with 180 yards passing.
The Hurricanes punted on their first three possessions and the Cyclones added a 13-yard shovel pass from Thomas to Jack Lucas to take a 14-0 lead with 11:23 left in the half.
“We’ve been in this situation before and we didn’t panic,” said Waters referring to the state playoffs last year. “Believe me, these guys have been through this. They keep plugging. We didn’t throw the playbook out and start bombing it up. We wore them down I think.”
Dukes kick-started the First Baptist offense three plays later, racing 70 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7. Porter-Gaud lost their leading tackler, linebacker Parks Cochrane, on the run. Cochrane did not return.
“That was a huge loss for us,” Porter-Gaud coach Rick Reetz said. “He’s our leader, our guy. We totally lost whatever mental edge we had. I’ve never seen anything like it. He went down and we just lost it as a team, offense and defense.”
After forcing a punt, the Hurricanes covered 76 yards on six plays, aided by a facemask penalty. Brown connected with Tylan Major on a 30-yard pass to tie the game at 14 with 6;08 left in the half.
Late in the second period, Eddie Simmons intercepted a pass at the Porter-Gaud 30. Two plays later, Brown hit McKay Wilson with a 19-yard scoring pass to give the Hurricanes their first lead. A two-point conversion pass pushed the halftime lead to 22-14.
First Baptist needed a minute of the third quarter to score again, getting a 60-yard pass connection from Brown to Major on the fourth snap of the period, upping the lead to 29-14.
“Tremez is getting better and better,” Waters said. “This was his sixth game ever starting. He’s improving every day. We were able to make some plays.”
The Cyclones muffed the ensuing kickoff and First Baptist recovered the loose ball at the Porter-Gaud 20, settling for Justin Johnson’s 40-yard field goal and a 32-14 lead with 9:59 left in the third quarter.
The Cyclones missed two scoring opportunities in the third quarter, missing a field goal and turning the ball over on downs at the First Baptist 30.
Dukes did the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter for the Hurricanes, capping the scoring with an eight-yard run with 4:23 to play in the game.
“Our defense is the key to our success,” Waters said. “We get a lot of publicity for the offense and the points but our defense is the strength of our football team. They play hard and they play together as a unit.”
PG – Andrew Thomas 1 run (Jonathan Weitz kick)
PG – Jack Lucas 13 pass from Thomas (Weitz kick)
FB – Michel Dukes 70 run (Justin Johnson kick)
FB – Tylan Major 30 pass from Tremez Brown (Johnson kick)
FB – McKay Wilson 19 pass from Brown (2-pt pass good)
FB – Major 60 pass from Brown (Johnson kick)
FB – Johnson 40 field goal
FB – Dukes 8 run (pass failed)