TURBEVILLE - Riot gear seemed to be the proper Homecoming attire on Friday at East Clarendon's Shad Hall Field after officials seemingly lost control in a hotly-contested first half between the homestanding Wolverines and visiting …
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TURBEVILLE - Riot gear seemed to be the proper Homecoming attire on Friday at East Clarendon's Shad Hall Field after officials seemingly lost control in a hotly-contested first half between the homestanding Wolverines and visiting Johnsonville.
EC regained its composure in the second half, took command and ran away with a 38-22 Region VII-2A victory on a night where emotions ran high on both sides.
The Flashes owned an 8-6 halftime edge on the scoreboard, but the story was two instances in which a near brawl broke out between the two teams. Officials issued offsetting penalties in the first instance, with the second occurrence taking place on the final play of a half that was drawn out to about 1 hour, 30 minutes, in length.
Law enforcement officers went down on the field to meet with game officials at the half, likely in an effort to head off what had the potential to be an ugly second half if order was not quickly restored.
EC failed to move the ball on its first drive, with two penalties negating what would have been first-down gaining plays. On one, quarterback Cub Cook recovered a bad snap, eluded at least two defenders and managed to complete a pass to Tyjahi Calvin that would have gained the first down but was called back for an illegal receiver downfield.
Johnsonville scored on its first play from scrimmage, with quarterback Savion Graves finding Isaiah Brown on a 42-yard scoring play. Graves then ran it in for the conversion and an 8-0 lead at the 9:05 mark.
The Wolverines' next drive ended with Graves intercepting a Cook pass. Things began to unravel shortly after, with both teams taking timeouts and EC head coach Scott Cook being penalized after protesting a call. Shortly after, a defensive pass interference penalty on EC was offset by an illegal substitution penalty on the Flashes.
Four plays later, a 66-yard scoring run by Marques Webb was brought back by a block in the back penalty call. The Wolverines would get a fumble inside their 10 to thwart a Johnsonville scoring drive about midway through the second quarter, and that seemed to escalate hostilities between the two sides.
Coach Cook had a few heated discussions with officials, followed by long delays as the crew tried to sort things out after the first flare-up. Multiple penalties were issued on two plays, with the first instance setting up the Wolverines' first-half score.
Calvin broke off a 42-yard punt return and drew a facemask and personal foul penalty as Johnsonville defenders attempted to take him down and out of bounds at the end of the play. The two penalties, totaling 20 yards, put the ball at the visitors' 12. Webb would take it in from there on the next play, but Cub Cook's conversion run attempt was stopped short.
As the teams took the field for the second half, the Wolverines took charge with a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff, setting up a short field at the J'ville 16. Four plays later, Calvin would score from seven yards out and then add the conversion run for a 14-8 EC lead.
Special teams paid dividends again shortly after as Brown struggled to handle the kickoff and was tackled near the goal line. Webb and Austin McKenzie combined to sack Graves for the safety and a 16-8 cushion.
The Wolverines would later score on a 3-yard Calvin run and conversion run, a 26-yard Webb run and a 3-yard Webb run with a Davontay McFadden conversion run.
J'ville's second-half scores came on a 37-yard pass from Graves to Daquan Burroughs, which completed a 2-play, 91-yard drive, and a Burroughs conversion run and a pass play on the final play, with no conversion attempt.
With the win, the Wolverines finish the regular season at 7-3 overall and 5-2 in region play, good enough for the region's No. 3 spot. The loss dropped J'ville to 3-6 and 3-4.
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