The Timberland Wolves have made a habit of practicing on Thanksgiving Day in recent years, and next week the Wolves will be missing the early morning parades once again.
Timberland advanced to the lower state championship game of Division I-AA with a resounding 49-20 win over the visiting Edisto Cougars on Friday night and will host Dillon next Friday for the right to play in the state championship game.
“With the people that we lost off last year’s team, for this team to be practicing on Thanksgiving Day is a real testament to this team because not a lot of people thought we were capable of this,” said Timberland head coach Art Craig. “We’re excited to still be playing. It’s becoming quite a tradition to be playing the day after Thanksgiving and to be playing Dillon. We’re a little banged up but we’re playing hard.”
Timberland is 1-5 all-time against Dillon but the lone win came in the lower state finals last season in Dillon.
Timberland’s running game was in full gear on Friday night with quarterback Roderick McCray, fullbacks DeAndre Pressley and Adam June, and wingback Austin McKinney combining for 262 yards on the ground and the passing game produced two scores.
McCray rushed for three scores and passed for another while McKinney caught a touchdown pass and threw one as well. McKinney also had two interceptions on defense.
The Wolves’ defense also was up to the task, creating six turnovers, scoring once, and coming up with six sacks and several more tackles for loss.
Edisto took advantage of a muffed punt to take an early 8-0 lead when Tyrell Maxwell connected with Quadry Simmons on a 27-yard pass with 7:21 to play in the first. That, however, proved to the lone highlight of the half for the Cougars.
Timberland scored 30 unanswered points, taking advantage of two Maxwell fumbles and a partially blocked punt and scoring three touchdowns in a seven minute span of the second quarter.
McCray scored on a one-yard run and tossed a seven-yard pass to Austin McKinney. McKinney later threw a halfback 58-yard touchdown pass to Bolt Williams and DeAndre Pressley scored on an 11-yard run for a 30-8 halftime advantage.
Edisto’s fourth turnover resulted in a score as Pressley scooped up a fumble and returned it 59 yards for a score with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Maxwell threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter but McCray answered each score with touchdown runs, the last coming with 7:13 to play in the game.
E — Tyrell Maxwell 27 pass to Quadry Simmons (Maxwell run)
T — Roderick McCray 1 run (McCray run)
T — McCray 7 pass to Austin McKinney (Shane Carver kick)
T — DeAndre Pressley 11 run (Carver kick)
T — McKinney 58 pass to Bolt Williams (Adam June pass to Wyatt Craig)
T — Pressley 59 fumble return (kick failed)
E — Maxwell 18 pass to Tyler Hickson (pass failed)
T — McCray 5 run (kick failed)
E — Maxwell 50 pass to Hickson (pass failed
T — McCray 25 run (Carver kick)