Edisto shocks Orangeburg Wilkinson

Despite an enrollment of half the 4A Bruins, The Cougars showed up BIG and defeated OW in a game played Monday at SC State.




Edisto head coach Andy Palmer could hardly contain his excitement with a

wide, ear-to-ear grin, as his sixth-ranked Cougars danced and celebrated at

midfield following Monday night's 19-14 upset victory over Class 4-A

Orangeburg Wilkinson High School at South Carolina State University's Oliver

C. Dawson Stadium.


A crowd of over 7,000 fans had just witnessed one of the greatest victories

in Cougar football history, but Palmer stopped short of naming it as "The

Greatest" game ever for the rambunctious bunch from Cordova.

"No, this isn't the biggest game ever, but it's the biggest game today,"

Palmer said. "But don't you love it when a plan comes together? We're

already an established program, but we're ecstatic right now at this win.

That 19-14 up there sure looks good."


Palmer, and the Edisto coaching staff conducted their game plan brilliantly,

while the Cougar defense and special teams turned four turnovers from the

Bruins into 13 points. The backbreaker came in the fourth quarter with

Edisto clinging to a 13-7 lead after O-W quarterback Russell Hemby came off

the bench in relief of starter Brandon Benjamin, leading the Bruins on a

scoring drive of 98 yards to cut the Cougar lead to six points on the first

play of the fourth quarter.


Edisto ran four plays for 12 yards, and faced a crucial third down and nine

on their own 41-yard line.


"We actually had them right where we wanted them, but against the Wing-T you

can't miss your assignments," O-W head coach Tommy Brown would say later

after the game.


Cougar quarterback Josh Jennings handed the ball to wingback Michael Morgan

on a delayed inside hand-off and the senior was off to the races for a

touchdown run of 59 yards. The two point conversion was no good, but Edisto

had struck the fatal blow.


"Before the game we asked the guys to make three plays for us and Mike is

one of the guys that needed to step up for us and he did that," Palmer said.

The Bruins came right back with another lengthy scoring drive, this time of

89 yards on 17 plays led again by Hemby, but by then O-W faced two opponents

in the Cougars and the dwindling game clock. Hemby scored on a three-yard

keeper with 41 seconds left in the game and Aaron Haire's PAT attempt was

good, but the onside kick attempt went out of bounds and Edisto ran out the

clock on a huge victory.


The Cougars compiled 262 yards of total offense, while the Bruins tallied a

total of 244 yards. The biggest stat in the game however, turnovers, clearly

favored Edisto. The Cougars were forced to punt to O-W after their first

drive stalled, but the Bruins gave the ball right back as Willery Rivers

couldn't handle the ball and Brandon Young recovered at the O-W 22-yard

line. Three plays later Jennings found a wide open Calvin Guinyard in the

end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. Dominic Moorer's extra point was good for

a 7-0 lead.


On O-W's first offensive play from scrimmage, starting quarterback Brandon

Benjamin tossed a lateral pass that the Bruin receiver couldn't haul in,

resulting in a fumble recovered again by Young. The Cougars drove right back

down the field and Jennings found Guinyard wide open again in blown Bruin

coverage in the secondary for a scoring strike of 41 yards and a 13-0 lead.

Jennings picked off a Benjamin pass later on in the half that resulted in no



"Brandon had played really well and Russell had been injured so he started,"

Brown said. "Hats off to Edisto those guys were the better team here

tonight. You can't turn the ball over like we did tonight and expect to win

the game. We still feel that we have a good football team and we'll be back

from this, but this will test the character of our team."



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