HOPKINS – The Orangeburg-Wilkinson Bruins were defeated by the Lower Richland Diamond Hornets 25-14 Friday night in the last game of the regular season.
The Bruins finish the regular season with a 6-4 overall record, and a 2-3 record in region play. The loss puts the Bruins in fourth place in the region standings, meaning they are a playoff team.
O-W Head Coach Butch Crosby was not pleased with his team’s performance but stated that his team must now turn its focus to the postseason.
“We’ve just got to find a way right now. We’re in a rut right now, and we’ve got figure out what’s going on,” Crosby said.
“We’ve got to get a little better offensively and figure out what’s going on. We’ve got put some more points on the board. Defensively, I thought we played a sound football game. A couple of missed tackles, a couple of big plays on the pass. We’ve got to clean that up going into the playoffs,” he said.
The Diamond Hornets dominated on offense and defense in the first half of play.
At the half, the Diamond Hornets passed for 165 yards and two scores and added 31 rushing yards and one score. The Diamond Hornets were successful on one PAT attempt and were unsuccessful on another PAT attempt and a 2-pt. conversion attempt, making the score 19-0.
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The Bruin offense struggled to gain momentum in the first half and failed to reach the scoreboard halfway through the game.
O-W started the third quarter on offense and put together a scoring drive. Starting on their own 38-yard line, the Bruins put together a four-play drive that was capped off long touchdown pass.
Bruin quarterback Anthony Mack found wide receiver Nah’Shawn Hezekiah for a 12-yard pass, and Hezekiah took the pass and raced 36 yards for a touchdown. Dontariq Nash-Perkins successfully made the PAT, making the score 19-7.
Lower Richland answered with a third-quarter score of their own, reaching the end zone at the 1:53 mark by way of a 23-yard pass. The Bruins intercepted the 2-pt. conversion attempt, making the score 25-7.
O-W scored the final points of the game in the fourth quarter with 9:19 remaining in the game. Mack found the end zone on a seven-yard run, and the PAT by Nash-Perkins was good.
The Bruins were led offensively by Mack, who went 3-11 passing for 75 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Mack also rushed for 13 yards on nine carries. Jo'Quan Guinyard was the leading rusher for the Bruins, totaling 30 yards on ten carries and one score.
Crosby’s message to his team will focus on taking the postseason one game at a time. The Bruins will likely be on the road for the first round of the playoffs, and will likely face a lower state team.
“The regular season is over with, now we’ve got to get ourselves prepared for the postseason. It’s win or go home, and that’s just how it is. We’ve got to take that approach to it. We’ve just got to keep getting better,” Crosby said.
Crosby stated that he is pleased with how his team performed in road games this season, which he hopes is something that will continue in the playoffs.
“We’ve played pretty well on the road. This is one of the first stumbling blocks we’ve had all year on the road, but we’ve just got to be road warriors,” Crosby said.