FLORENCE, S.C. – It was a goal-to-go opportunity just before halftime that still gnawed at South Florence coach David Prince after Friday’s game at Memorial Stadium against Carolina Forest.
“We had an opportunity to make it a one-score game at the half and couldn’t come away with anything,” he said. “That was big at the time. It hurt.”
Not as much as the second half did, though.
After the Bruins found some offensive rhythm in the second quarter, CFHS responded with a dominant second-half shutout. Combined with big nights from David Legette and Mason Garcia, it all added up to a 49-7 loss that snapped South’s three-game winning streak.
The Bruins fell to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in Region 6-5A. They will travel to the coast next Friday to face Conway at 7:30 p.m.
The missed red zone opportunity proved to be a harbinger of things to come for South Florence – who was outscored 28-0 in the second half. The Bruins fumbled the opening kickoff and the Panthers took the momentum and ran with it the rest of the third quarter.
Garcia, the CFHS quarterback, ran for a score and threw for another while Legette added his third rushing TD of the game as well as the 21-7 lead quickly grew to 42-7.
“We had some blown assignments and maybe some changes that we needed to make and maybe weren’t quite ready to make,” Prince said. “But we’ll be fine – we’ve got to go back and push and little harder. Our guys will rebound from this and I think they’ve got good attitudes right now.”
It was a disappointing finish after the Bruins had seemingly righted the ship in the second quarter. Legette ran for two scores in the first quarter, but South cut the deficit to 14-7 when quarterback La’Norris Sellers found a sliding Malik Eaddy in the end zone for a 9-yard strike.
The Panthers responded with Garcia’s first TD pass of the game next drive, but Sellers and his receivers were still in sync – driving all the way to the CFHS 5-yard line.
But a fourth-down pass fell incomplete, and the South Florence offense was shut down of the night. The Bruins were held to less than 100 yards of offense in the second half.
“We made some adjustments and they made some counter-adjustments, and they won,” Prince said. “There’s a difference between losing in getting beat, and we got beat.”
Sellers wound up 15 for 20 for 138 yards and the one score. Tyae McWhite caught seven of those passes for 58 yards.
Meanwhile, the Legette-Garcia duo proved too much to overcome. Legette wound up with 100 yards on 18 carries while Garcia rushed 14 times for 104 yards. He also threw for 128 yards.
Connor Meehan scored the final points for the Panthers on South’s second turnover of the game – one that resulted in a 65-yard fumble return.
CF 14 7 21 7 – 49
SF 0 7 0 0 – 7
CF – David Legette 9 run (Cole Poirier kick), 5:41.
CF – Legette 16 run (Poirier kick), 1:38.
SF – Malik Eaddy 9 pass from La’Norris Sellers (Alex Koye kick); 8:34.
CF – Trevor Lavallee 30 pass from Mason Garcia (Poirier kick), 5:58.
CF – Garcia 11 run (Poirier kick), 10:01.
CF – Kyle Watkins 50 pass from Garcis (Poirier kick), 8:00.
CF – Legette 9 run (Poirier kick), 2:05.
CF – Connor Meehan 65 fumble return (Poirier kick), 6:25.
RUSHING – CF: David Legette 18-100, 3 TDs; Mason Garcia 14-104, TD; Mo Belfield 6-16. SF: Hahsaun Wilson 19-11; La’Norris Sellers 5-16; Tebreyon Holloman 1-2; Tyae McWhite 3-5.
PASSING – CF: Mason Garcia 5-12-128, 2 TDs; Luke Janak 0-1-0. SF: La’Norris Sellers 15-20-138, TD; Shalique Parks 2-6-14.
RECEIVING – CF: Kyle Watkins 3-52, TD; Josh Murphy 1-46; Trevor Lavallee 1-30, TD. SF: Malik Eaddy 1-18, TD; Tyae McWhite 7-58; Isaiah Jackson 2-16; Ed Wilson 4-37; Harley Cusak 1-8.