The season is young, but the Battery Creek High School football team has experienced a little of everything in just a couple weeks and emerged bruised but with hope for the rest of the season.
Before the Dolphins' home game Friday against Estill, they learned they were 1-0 after Bluffton High School was forced to forfeit its Week Zero victory, a dominating 75-0 win that left Battery Creek battered for Week 1.
On Friday, the Dolphins watched a teammate leave in an ambulance. And they endured a back-and-forth game, finally succumbing to Estill's powerful running game during the Gators' 24-18 victory.
The Class 1-A Gators proved a more welcome matchup than Week Zero, but one with its own challenges.
Estill boasts a pair of running backs -- Jarvis Singleton and DeAngelo Bryant -- who combined for 2,600 yards and 30 touchdowns the previous season.
They posted 243 yards and four scores Friday, including Bryant's 90-yard dash during the fourth quarter that was the game-winner.
Singleton's touchdown came on a 62-yard burst up the middle in which he was untouched.
"We knew Estill had tremendous speed," Shuman said. "Those guys were blazing down the middle of the field, blazing down the edge of the field. So we felt like we had to contain them, and I felt our defense did a really good job of that.
Shuman thought his defense forced the Gators out of their favored toss sweep and forced them inside. Bryant had been held to -22 yards rushing at halftime.
But the adjustments came, and Battery Creek suffered a different kind of tough loss after the loss at Bluffton.
Shuman was concerned after the Bluffton game with the list of injuries he received but said this week the final verdicts were more positive than he feared. Lineman Paul Sanchez, backup quarterback and linebacker Justin Cochran and linebacker Ray Lara were on the sideline in jerseys and no pads Friday. Lara was on crutches.
And then receiver Deion Douglas stayed down after picking up 20 yards on a reverse during the third quarter. He was placed on a stretcher and taken away on an ambulance while the game continued, offering a thumbs up before being lifted in and driven away.
Senior lineman Michael Reyes also left the game with injury Friday. His status is uncertain.
Battery Creek gets a week of rest before hosting Hilton Head Island High School and rival Beaufort High School in two more buzzsaw-type games.
"We have some depth, but our depth is very quickly getting smaller and smaller and smaller," Shuman said.
Battery Creek began immediately trying to erase the memory of the previous week.
On the first play from scrimmage, Dolphins quarterback Rocky Smalls hit Eric Freeman on a slant he took 75 yards for a score. Running back Tyrone Dilbert later broke free for a 60-yard score in the first half. Dilbert tied it at 18 with a 52-yard score during the third quarter.
Turnovers on the final two drives ended the Dolphins' chances.
"We're still trying to find our rhythm," Shuman said.
Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
Estill 24, Battery Creek 18
Estill 0 12 6 6 -- 24
Battery Creek 6 6 6 0 -- 18
BC-- Eric Freeman 75 pass from Raekwon Smalls (kick failed) 11:38
E-- DeAngelo Bryant 6 run (pass failed) 11:54
E-- Jarvis Singleton 62 run (pass failed) 8:37
BC-- Tyrone Dilbert 60 run (run failed) 5:20
E-- Bryant 53 run (run failed) 11:26
BC-- Dilbert 52 run (run failed) 5:07
E-- Bryant 90 run (run failed) 9:06
First Downs 10 11
Rushes-Yards 30-244 29-292
Comp-Att-Int 2-5-0 2-8-1
Passing Yards 23 83
Punts-Avg 3-41 5-29.2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-1
Penalties-Yards 7-50 8-80
Third-Down Conv 0-7 1-9
Fourth-Down Conv 1-3 0-1
PASSING: Estill -- De'Angelo Bryant 1-3-16, De'Ovion Singleton 1-2-7. Battery Creek -- Raekwon Smalls 2-6-83, Alterell Chatman 0-1-1, Porter Mahan 0-1;
RUSHING: Estill -- Jarvis Singleton 15-126, D. Bryant 14-117, Tyqueiz Bryant 1-1. Battery Creek -- Tyrone Dilbert 16-145, Smalls 7-40, Chatman 5-37, Deion Douglas 1-20.
RECEIVING: Estill -- T. Bryant 1-16, D. Bryant 1-7. Battery Creek -- Eric Freeman 1-75, Chatman 1-8.