High School Sports

Loss to Berkeley brings Battery Creek's skid to 6

Battery Creek coaches updated their offense in recent weeks, an attempt to jump-start the Dolphins' production.

They wanted sustained drives to keep the Dolphins' defense on the sideline and to convert points when they did move the ball. But, as evidenced Friday, there is work left.

Berkeley pushed Battery Creek further into its slide, winning 60-0 at Dolphin Stadium. The Dolphins slipped to 0-2 in Region 7-AAA and have lost their past six games.

"Our gameplan -- we've got a lot moving; we've got a lot going," Battery Creek coach Jim Shuman said. "We just kind of stall out."

Shuman said the Dolphins have added new formations, changed pass protections and run more speed option out of the shotgun. Some of the changes were meant to simplify things for the Dolphins' offense and quarterback Leroy Jennette.

The previously run-heavy Dolphins opened with three consecutive passes to open the game Friday -- a short completion and three misfires. The Stags were prepared, and kept Battery Creek from the end zone for a third game this season.

The Dolphins (1-6, 0-2 Region 7-AAA) have scored 25 points in the six games since its opening victory over Estill.

Shuman thought the Dolphins had a chance to be more competitive Friday. The young Stags had suffered some key injuries.

But Berkeley scored on its first three drives and had poured it on by halftime. By the time Berkeley punched it in with under two minutes to go in the game, there was grumbling from Battery Creek's side that the Stags didn't need to keep pushing.

Berkeley coach Jeff Cruce said he was trying to develop his team. The Stags started eight sophomores on offense.

"We're a young football team," said Cruce, whose team improved to 2-0 in Region 7-AAA after defeating Hilton Head High last week. "We're trying to get better."

Battery Creek was held to 40 yards on the ground. Jennette completed 9 of 17 passes and was not intercepted, but the receptions totaled 34 yards.

The Dolphins' best chance to avoid the shutout started late in the third quarter, when they recovered a muffed punt. The drive stalled on downs at the Stags' 34-yard line.

Berkeley quarterback Matthew Harkness said the Stags defense had prepared to stop Battery Creek's rushing attack. Shuman wanted more balance, but said the Dolphins were outsized.

"They had some 300-pound guys," Shuman said. "And we had some 200-pound guys."