Grant’s return at QB feeds Cougars | Sports | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | October 6, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: October 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm
Colleton County 28, Cane Bay 54
By CINDY CROSBY
Photos by JIM KILLIAN
Colleton County fought hard in the first half of Friday night’s region matchup against the undefeated Cane Bay Cobras. After trailing 33-21 at the half, Colleton County struggled to stop the Cobras’ running game in the second half and took a 54-28 loss in the first region game of the season.
Cane Bay (56 total plays) finished with 574 yards of total offense, including 507 yards of rushing. Colleton County (59 total plays) had 367 total yards, including 274 yards passing.
Junior quarterback Craig Grant made his return for the Cougars and ensured his presence was felt with 274 passing yards. Grant sparked the Cougar offense, completing 21-37 passes and producing three touchdowns for Colleton County. Coming back from an injury earlier in the season, Grant’s field presence was immediately felt, both in the strength of his arm and his leadership on the field.
Cane Bay scored first in the game on a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Kris Copeland with 6:37 left in the first quarter. Jay Lawton blocked the Cobras’ field goal attempt to give them a 6-0 lead. Cane Bay scored again with just 20 seconds left in the first quarter on a 50-yard rushing touchdown by Ronald Roderick (two-point conversion failed) to allow Cane Bay a 12-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
Craig Grant connected with Jermari Stephens on back-to-back receptions to help set up a 19-yard Grant to Jeremiah Mosley touchdown pass (Riley Downey, kick) to get on the board 12-7 with 10:27 remaining in the first half. Cane Bay’s Copeland answered with back-to-back touchdowns on an 8-yard run and a 9-yard run, but not before Cougar defensive back Jaron Clayton hauled down the Cobras’ leading rusher twice in extra-effort plays.
The Cougars scored again in the third quarter when Grant competed a long pass to Jaden Koger down the home sidelines. Grant then handed off to De’Angelo Williams for a gain to the 4-yard line and attempted to sneak in the end zone on the next play, but stalled just short. Eric Farmer scored on a 1-yard run (Downey, kick) to put the Cougars back in the game 26-14.
Roderick scored for Cane Bay on a 25-yard run (Greenwall, kick) to put the Cobras up 33-14 with 1:37 remaining in the half. Jaden Koger then gained good yardage on a punt return before scoring on a 38-yard pass from Craig Grant (Downey, kick) to keep Colleton County alive 33-21 at the half.
Cane Bay scored once in the third quarter and twice in the fourth to put the Cobras well-ahead 54-21. Colleton County’s offense scored for the final time of the night when Grant connected with De’Angelo Williams on a 24-yard pass (Downey, kick) for a final score of 54-28.
Eric Farmer had eight carries in the game for 48 yards and Tyrese Pressey had five for 40 yards. Jaden Koger had two receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. Jermari Stephens had three receptions for 55 yards and De’Angelo Williams had five receptions for 48 yards, including one touchdown. Dexter Lynah had four receptions for 42 yards. On special teams, Lance Calcutt had four kickoffs for 150 yards. Riley Downey was 4-4 on point-after kicks.
Interim coach Neal Smith called Friday’s game the best offensive effort of the year. “It was great to have Craig Grant back at quarterback in what turned out to be the best offensive effort of the year,” said Smith. “We just have to work on capitalizing on opportunities when we have them. Defensively, we felt like we had them mapped out pretty well, but we have to be able to finish the play and that is where we struggled.”
Smith cited Grant, Jaden Koger and Dexter Lynah for their offensive efforts in the game and Jaron Clayton for outstanding defensive effort.
Colleton County, sitting at 2-4 overall and 0-1 in region play, will travel to Beaufort (5-1) this week for a region game. “We are now focusing on Beaufort and bouncing back after the loss,” said Smith. “It is our goal to continue to grow off of our offensive production last week. So far, we’ve yet to have both the offense and defense working on the same night. Hopefully, we can make that happen against Beaufort.”