FLORENCE, S.C. – Wilson finished Thursday’s season opener against Lake City with a flourish.
Leading 21-6 entering the fourth quarter, coach Derek Howard’s Tigers scored three touchdowns and added a safety to finish off the Panthers with a 43-6 victory at Memorial Stadium.
“It just means that we played a good team and had a great showing,” Wilson coach Derek Howard said. “The kids had a chance to cut their teeth and get a win. And now we’re getting ready next for Manning, which is another good team that will be coached well by Reggie Kennedy, one of the top coaches in South Carolina. He’s done it on all levels. So we’re going to enjoy the victory and look at the many things we can do to get better.”
The first part of the fourth-quarter onslaught happened in less than a minute. Jakobe Quillen caught a 17-yard touchdown pass by Zayshaun Rice. Not long after that, the Tigers took advantage of a bad snap and sacked Panthers quarterback Hilshon Bailey in the end zone. On the ensuing free kick from Lake City, Yavin Smith took the ball and raced 65 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the night.
And then, eight minutes later,Zandae Butler threw a 53-yard TD pass to Harrison Muldrow to account for the final score.
Rice passed for 202 yards and a touchdown during the first half, and 130 of that went to Quillen during that time. Wilson, which forced three turnovers in the first half, converted on the first one to take an 8-0 lead. After the Tigers’ Shamaree Timmons recovered a Panther fumble, two long completions by Rice sparked the drive. After the second completion, from Rice to Quillen that moved Wilson to the Lake City 6, Rice himself stormed up the middle for a touchdown and 8-0 lead.
Lake City, which also turned the ball over on its second possession, fell victim to Rice’s playmaking again midway through the second quarter. He completed a 30-yarder to Quillen, a 13-yarder to DeMarcus Bailey and then got the Tigers to the 10 on a shovel pass to none other than Bailey. Smith took it in from there with two runs, the latter coming from the 1 to score his first touchdown and increase the Tigers’ lead to 15-0.
And after a penalty backed Wilson to its own 9 on the Tigers’ next possession, Rice made up for that with a 44-yard pass to none other than Quillen. He completed a 24-yarder to Quillen after that, and Rice finished the drive with a 16-yard TD strike to Ismail Moses, who made a spectacular diving catch for a 21-0 lead.
Right before halftime, the Panthers punched one into the end zone with a 6-yard scoring toss from Hilshon Bailey to Shamontae Burgess to narrow the deficit to 21-6.
LC 0 6 0 0 -- 6
W 8 13 0 22 – 43
W – Zayshaun Rice 6 run (Kalib Jones run), 8:10
W – Yavin Smith 1 run (Vraj Patel kick), 7:37
W – Ismail Moses 16 pass from Rice (run failed), 4:16
LC – Shamontae Burgess 6 pass from Hilshon Bailey (pass failed), :4.7
W – Jakobe Quillen 17 pass from Rice (Patel kick), 11:17
W – Safety (QB tackled in end zone), 10:40
W – Yavin Smith 65 kick return (Patel kick), 10:33
W – Harrison Muldrow 53 pass from Zandae Butler (kick failed), 2:29