High School Sports

Marsh, undefeated Goose Creek humble Beaufort High defense

GOOSE CREEK -- Jaquan Marsh was amped-up, dialed-in or stoked. Any one of the three adjectives a young person might use, plus many others, described his mood standing across from the team that was No. 1 in scoring defense in Class 4-A.

Goose Creek's junior quarterback then did everything he could do and then some as the third-ranked Gators capped a perfect regular season with a 49-14 rout of Beaufort High on Thursday night at Gibson Stadium.

"We just worked hard all week," Marsh said. "That helped a lot, knowing they had the No. 1 defense and we had the No. 1 offense (in Class 4-A). It was a chance for us to see who was better."

Marsh ran for 139 yards in the game, including a 60-yarder for a score, and passed for two touchdowns in a 22-point second quarter that gave Goose Creek a 28-7 halftime lead.

"He's the key to the whole thing," Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said of Marsh. "He doesn't get as much attention as some of the other guys, but he executes the offense, runs the offense and throws the ball. He's gone 11 games with no interceptions."

Beaufort High, which dropped to 9-2, came in only allowing 10 points a game, but the Eagles' quickness was no match for the cumulative effect of Goose Creek's physicality over 48 minutes.

The Gators rolled up 446 yards of total offense and bumped up their points per game total from 43.8 to 44.3. They're heading into the postseason with a full head of steam.

"We knew they haven't seen anybody that was as physical as we were and as big as we are," Reedy said. "We felt like we could wear them down. I think that started to show in the second quarter. By the third or fourth quarter, they were beaten down."

The Gators also got 104 yards rushing from running back Virgil Smalls before he left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Fullbacks Jerome Jordan and Mike Myers added 69 and 64 yards on the ground, respectively.

Jordan's 11-yard touchdown run capped Goose Creek's opening drive and Smalls rambled in from the 7 on the Gators' third possession.

Marsh's touchdown tosses went to Tramel Terry from 29 yards and Jamel Bowman from 17 yards as the Gators scored on four of their first five possessions.

"The objective is to be playing your best football at the end of the season as you go into November," Reedy said. "Certainly, we're doing that right now."

Both of Beaufort High's scores were touchdown passes from Beau Brown to Dymonte Gathney. Brown was 4 of 13 for 84 yards through the air, while Gwathney had 75 yards receiving on three grabs.

Their 28-yard hookup in the third quarter sliced Goose Creek's deficit to 28-14, but the Gators got a 16-yard touchdown run from Myers and Marsh's long scoring scamper to put the game out of reach by the end of the period.

Myers' 1-yard plunge with 5:08 left solidified Goose Creek's record-setting 11th win. The previous best for the Gators was 10 last season, when they advanced to the state semifinals.

"We're all just really proud of our kids over the last eight or nine years for what they've done to get this program where it is," Reedy said. "When you come here now, the place is packed and the fans are excited."

Linebacker Sean Jones led the Gators with five total tackles, followed by James King with 41/2. Defensive back Jalen Stevens picked off a pass.

Defensive lineman Detrell Gantt led Beaufort with 61/2 stops, while teammate Darrae Alston made six stops.

Beaufort 7 0 7 0--14

Goose Creek 6 22 14 7--49

GC--Jerome Jordan 11 run (kick failed)

B--Dymonte Gwathney 18 pass from Beau Brown (Mitchell Stewart kick)

GC--Virgil Smalls 7 run (Marsh run)

GC--Tramel Terry 29 pass from Marsh (Masamitsu Ishibashi kick)

GC--James Bowman 17 pass from Marsh (Ishibashi kick)

B--Gwathney 29 pass from Brown (Stewart kick)

GC--Mike Myers 17 run (Ishibashi kick)

GC--Marsh 60 run (Ishibashi kick)

GC--Myers 1 run (Ishibashi kick)