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Mullins uses big plays to whip East Clarendon

Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 9/29/19

Special to The Sumter ItemTURBEVILLE - Fresh off a region-opening 34-21 football victory over Andrews High School last Friday, East Clarendon looked to run its Region VII-2A record to 2-0 on Friday with a matchup against Mullins at Shad Hall …

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Mullins uses big plays to whip East Clarendon


TURBEVILLE - Fresh off a region-opening 34-21 football victory over Andrews High School last Friday, East Clarendon looked to run its Region VII-2A record to 2-0 on Friday with a matchup against Mullins at Shad Hall Field.It wasn't meant to be.

The Auctioneers set the tone early with a 75-yard Taytron Gause run and added three touchdown passes of 29 yards or more to pull away for a dominating 33-19 win.

The breaks went Mullins' way early and often as the Auctioneers took a 15-7 advantage into the half. The Auctioneer points came on a 75-yard run by Gause on the game's second play and a 50-yard pass from quarterback Marcus Chandler to Alim Legette on a tipped ball.

Other fortunate plays for Mullins included a forward fumble that was advanced for a 30-yard gain from the spot and a second-down-and-goal conversion from the 29.

"That's just football. That's life," said EC head football coach Scott Cook of the unfortunate bounces for his team, now 3-2 overall and 1-1 in region play. "It knocks you down, and you've got to respond to it. It's life lessons for the football team. You get knocked down and you've got to get back up. We're all right."

EC's only score of the half came about midway through the first quarter following a fumble recovery by Austin McKenzie. The turnover set up the Wolverine offense at the Mullins 15, and a 9-yard Marques Webb run set up quarterback Cub Cook for a 6-yard touchdown run. Kylar Odom's successful point-after kick tied the score at 7-7 with 7:18 left in the quarter.

Legette's touchdown reception capped an 8-play, 77-yard Mullins drive that began on the final play of the opening quarter. Isaac Hemingway ran it in for the 2-point conversion to make the score 15-7 with 7:15 to go until halftime.

The Wolverines let an excellent scoring opportunity get away late in the second after another fumble recovery, this one by T.J. Owens. The turnover set the EC offense up at the Mullins 47, and the ground game moved the ball to the 25. Four Webb runs for 17 yards and a 5-yard Cook run led to a fourth-and-2 at the Mullins 25, but the first pass attempt of the drive ended in a Legette interception in the end zone.

The forward fumble occurred on Mullins' opening possession of the second half, with Hemingway losing the ball but Nizail Robinson scooping it up for a long run that added up to a 47-yard gain to the EC 25. The Auctioneers had a first-and-goal from the 10 before an illegal block and a holding infraction on consecutive plays pushed them back to the 29. On the next play, Chandler found legette streaking down the far sidelines for the 29-yard scoring pass and a 21-7 lead with 6:23 to go in the third.

The Chandler to Legette connection worked to perfection once again on the next Mullins possession. One play after Chandler was sacked for a 4-yard loss, the Auctioneer quarterback hooked up with his favorite receiver of the night for an 81-yard scoring play and a 27-7 advantage with 38 seconds on the third-quarter clock.

Mullins' final score of the night came on a 3-yard Hemingway run after a fumbled snap by Cub Cook gave the Auctioneers the ball at the EC 20.

The Wolverines showed some fight in the final quarter, putting two scores on the board. The first scoring drive proved to be a Webb highlight reel as the junior running back accounted for all 79 yards in four plays. Rushes of five and four yards were followed by a 26-yard burst around left end. An unnecessary roughness penalty against a Mullins defender added 15 yards to the play, with Webb running it in from 29 yards out on the next play.

The final score of the night came on a penalty-marred drive, with Cub Cook taking it in from five yards out with 48 seconds left. One final onside kick attempt went Mullins' way and Chandler took a knee to run out the final seconds.

Coach Cook said the two late scores were encouraging for his team, and could prove beneficial down the line.

"You've got to keep going. You never know what (the region race) might come down to," Coach Cook said. "Last year we lost out on the tiebreaker with point differential and all that type of stuff. You've just got to fight and keep going."

EC will attempt to get back on the winning track with a Friday game at Hannah-Pamplico.