Janaz Sumpter threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the opening quarter, helping Carvers Bay quickly take control in a 22-7 Class 2A playoff victory over Whale Branch that sent the Warriors to their third consecutive second-round playoff exit.
The Warriors (7-5) have reached the postseason’s second round in four of coach Jerry Hatcher’s five seasons at the school, but will have to wait another year to try to break that barrier. Carvers Bay advanced to take on Barnwell in next week’s Lower State semifinals.
Sumpter hit Tyrik Reed with a 53-yard touchdown pass to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead, then added a 22-yard score on a quarterback draw just before the end of the quarter.
Carvers Bay (9-3) nearly added another touchdown early in the second quarter, but wound up scoring a safety when a fumble at the goal line dribbled into the end zone and Whale Branch fell on it.
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Jamel Moultrie brought the Warriors within 16-7 when he took back a Bears punt 87 yards for a TD just before halftime, but that turned out to be the Warriors’ only scoring of the night.
Whale Branch drove inside the Carvers Bay 10 at the end of the third quarter, but a bad snap led to a missed field goal after the teams changed ends. The Bears’ Malachi Thompson put the game away with less than five minutes left when he intercepted C.J. Brown and returned it 25 yards for a TD.