DALZELL — The Thomas Sumter Academy football team’s defense has proven to be extremely susceptible to run-minded offenses. Friday was no different for the Generals.
Florence Christian School’s rushing attack, led by the powerhouse combo of running backs Marshall Brown and Eli Brayboy, went for four touchdowns and 383 yards to lead the Eagles to a 35-20 victory at General Field.
“We took the bad end of the stick tonight.”, said TSA head coach Troy Kessinger, whose team fell to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in SCISA Region II-2A.
Thomas Sumter received the ball to start the game. A 40-yard pass from quarterback Eli Kessinger to wide receiver Richard Huntley moved the Generals to the Eagles’ 19-yard line. Four plays later though, they turned the ball over on downs at the 14.
The Eagles implemented their running game early by putting together a 15- play, 86-yard scoring drive that lasted nearly eight minutes and only featured running plays. Brayboy scored on a 4-yard run to cap off the drive. A successful 2-point conversion made it 8-0.
The second quarter resembled the first with Florence Christian steadily moving the ball on the ground. An 81-yard drive covering 13 plays was capped off by a 2-yard quarterback sneak from Nick Wood to make it 15-0 with 2:23 left in the first half.
FCS intercepted Eli Kessinger on the ensuing drive at the Florence Christian 41. On the next play, Brayboy broke loose for 59-yard touchdown run to make it 22-0 at halftime.
In the first half, Florence Christian had 220-yards of total offense without throwing the ball once.
The Generals showed some life offensively in the third quarter as Eli Kessinger connected with wide receiver Dante Linder for a 40-yard touchdown and Huntley rushed for a 22-yard touchdown of his own.
The Eagles’ offense would, however, prove to be too big of a problem for the Generals. Nick Wood found Marshall Brown for a 12-yard TD pass and then Brown would later take it into the end zone himself with a 5-yard rushing touchdown to give Florence Christian a 35-13 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Huntley found the end zone for the Generals one more time in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard run.
. Thomas Sumter’s defense has been vulnerable to teams with a decent offensive line and talented running backs. In a 50-34 loss to Spartanburg Christian earlier this season, the Generals gave up 531-yards rushing.
“We weren’t able to stop it.” Coach Kessinger said of the Eagles’ rushing attack.
“We’re not really physical. We have to get better physically.”