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East Clarendon looking for revenge against Scott's Branch

By J. SCOTT SEWELL jscott@theitem.com
Posted 8/29/19

Don't be surprised if you see the East Clarendon High School football team walk into Spann Stadium on the campus of Scott's Branch High in Sumter with a little bit of swagger today.

The Wolverines enter the contest after a dominating defensive …

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East Clarendon looking for revenge against Scott's Branch

East Clarendon head coach Scott Cook
East Clarendon head coach Scott Cook
Posted

Don't be surprised if you see the East Clarendon High School football team walk into Spann Stadium on the campus of Scott's Branch High in Sumter with a little bit of swagger today.

The Wolverines enter the contest after a dominating defensive performance in their 28-6 road victory over Timmonsville last week to open the season.

Some swagger, but maybe not too much. Meanwhile, East Clarendon's returnees might be looking for a little revenge after falling to Scott's Branch 27-13, and East Clarendon head coach Scott Cook doesn't want his team to forget that experience.

"We didn't even show them Friday's game against Manning," said Cook about the film his team watched in preparation for the Eagles. "We showed them last year's game when they beat us here (in Turbeville when Scott's Branch returned three interceptions for touchdowns). We turned the ball over, couldn't take care of the football, and they did what they needed to do to win the game."

Timmonsville didn't score an offensive touchdown against EC, which opened the season with a win after starting last season with seven straight losses before winning its final two games. The Whirlwinds managed to enter the scoring column only after a fumble was recovered and returned for a touchdown.

Meanwhile, 1A Scott's Branch endured a 62-8 drubbing at the hands of Clarendon County rival and 3A Manning in a game where nothing seemed to go right for the Eagles. Scott's Branch struggled in all three phases of the game -- offense, defensive and special teams -- but it was special teams issues in particular that really allowed the game to get out of hand.

The Eagles allowed three special teams touchdowns --two blocked punts returned for touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown.

"We all stunk. Everyone stunk," said Scott's Branch head coach Leonard Johnson, who was coaching his first game in his second stint with the Summerton school. "If you had on blue and gold you stunk, including me. It wasn't a good night. I was embarrassed the way our special teams played."

For Johnson and his coaching staff, this week has been about teaching his young team how to leave the past behind it and focus on what needs to be done in order to win this week.

"They came out Monday like they were going to a funeral," Johnson said of his team. "I told them on Monday that they have to let it go. There's nothing we can do about what happened to us last Friday. That comes with maturity and experience."

Cook expects another game of smashmouth football between two teams that love to run the ball.

"It's been hard to prepare for them this week," said Cook. "We're looking for a very physical game on Friday night. We're going to have to execute. We know we won't get many opportunities on offense, so the times we do get the ball we're going to have to execute and score."

The 2A Wolverines are looking to Austin McKenzie and Steve Dickey to lead the defense up front as it attempts to stop the 'Hammer' style of offense ran by Scott's Branch.

"The majority of our guys on defense have been playing with us the last two or three years," said Cook. "We spent a lot of time on spring practice and in the summer on defense, on swarming to the football, using our speed, tackling, and trying to cause turnovers.

"It's going to be a battle down there in the trenches. That's good old football there."

Davontay McFadden rushed for 147 and a touchdown on 19 carries for the Wolverines against Timmonsville.

Scott's Branch managed to run for 204 yards despite the lopsided loss to Manning. Marquel Coard had 77 yards on 15 carries, and Ernie Calloway had 69 yards and the Eagles' lone touchdown on 15 carries.