SEABROOK -- Irvin Mulligan returned a blocked punt 23 yards for a touchdown with just over 4 minutes remaining Friday night in Seabrook, lifting Whale Branch Early College High School to a 19-14 win over Johnsonville in the first round of the Class 2-A Division II playoffs.
Nyles Pinckney broke through the line to get a piece of the kick by Johnsonville's Lex Tuten, and Mulligan picked up the skittering football and sprinted down the right sideline for the go-ahead score, bringing the Warriors to life in what had been a very quiet second half for the home team.
Jordan Wright then intercepted a pass for the Warriors on Johnsonville's next possession, and Whale Branch ran out the clock to advance to the second round.
Quarterback Jamar Scott had a pair of touchdown runs in the first half for Whale Branch (6-5).
Johnsonville finished the year at 7-4.
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