For most of the first quarter Friday night, Battery Creek High School's defense was holding its own, making big plays to keep the Dolphins in it until their offense could get going.
With one play, everything changed. A botched handoff ended with Wade Hampton's Kendrick White recovering in the end zone, and the bad news -- turnovers, penalties, injuries -- piled up from there for the Dolphins, who lost 47-6 to drop their fourth consecutive game since a season-opening win over Estill.
"We have to quit making mistakes," Dolphins coach Jim Shuman said. "We make successful plays, big plays, and then we'll follow it up with a mistake. That's a battle we've been fighting all year. ... We've got to stop letting that snowball happen, because it comes fast and furious."
Battery Creek's defense stopped two early Wade Hampton drives with a blocked field goal and Darrell Douglas' interception in the end zone, but defensive stops were rare for the Dolphins the rest of the night.
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The Red Devils (3-2) broke it open with three second-quarter scores. Dondre Brown, starting in place of injured quarterback Brody Gibson, connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Gordon and ran in another score. James Youmans had 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and Corinthian Williams scored twice.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins couldn't get much going on offense. They didn't even cross midfield until their final possession of the first half, a 62-yard touchdown drive that cut the halftime deficit to 27-6.
Making matters worse, several Dolphins came away banged up. Quarterback Leroy Jennette, who scored Battery Creek's lone touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second quarter and led the team with 56 rushing yards, left with a rib injury. Two-way starter Javon Livingston, receiver Teyvon Jennette and center Tommy Hill also left with injuries.
The loss and the mounting injuries send the Dolphins (1-4) into their Region 7-AAA schedule on a sour note, and they spoiled Shuman's first game against his former team. He coached Wade Hampton for four seasons before moving to Battery Creek this year.
"Those are kids that for the past four years have been a part of my life, so I still have a place in my heart for them and the coaching staff," Shuman said. "It's a little tough to see fans in the stands and the kids that I taught. But at the same time, I came here to Creek and these kids are my life now."