From staff reports
BLUFFTON - As outstanding as the Sumter High School football team's offense has been through its first four games, the Gamecocks took it to another level on Friday.
SHS scored 35 points in the first half, led 56-14 at …
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SHS scored 35 points in the first half, led 56-14 at halftime before going on to a 70-21 rout of the Bobcats at the BHS field.
Sumter, which is ranked No.7 among 5A schools in the latest S.C. Prep Media Football Poll, improved to 5-0 on the season as it closed out its non-region schedule.
Bluffton, a 4A school, dropped to 1-4.
"We played a very good game tonight," said Sumter head coach Mark Barnes. "We thought we were better than they were, and I really don't like these kind of games. It was a long road trip, and we challenged our kids to come out and play well early, because we didn't do that in our last long road trip (a 28-21 win over Rock Hill to start the season)."
While the first half took over 1 hour, 30 minutes, to play, the second half was played with a running clock.
The Gamecocks rolled up 461 yards of total offense in the first half, 272 through the air and 149 on the ground.
SHS starting quarterback Ryan Vasquez played just one quarter, but what a quarter it was. Vasquez completed 13 of 14 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
"I thought Hayden threw the ball really well," Barnes said. "We let him decide where he should go. Our receivers caught the ball really well. We're just a really explosive offensive team."
Ryan McCants replaced Vasquez in the second quarter. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. McCants tossed a 67-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Ragin in the third quarter to put Sumter on top 63-14.
Sumter finished with 551 yards of total offense.
Running back Tony Dinkins-McCall had five rushes for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Nathan Harris-Waynick carried the ball 11 times for 79 yards.
Dinkins-McCall had an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for Sumter's final touchdown.
The Gamecock defense continued its dominating play in the first half as well. The Bobcats were held to minus 15 yards of total offense on 26 plays.
Both of the BHS touchdowns in the first half came on kickoff returns by Rakim White. The first went for 99 yards and the second one covered 80 yards.
Bluffton did manage an offensive touchdown in the second half. That was the first touchdown allowed by the Sumter defense since the opening game against Rock Hill. Bluffton finished with 55 yards of total offense.
Barnes' only issue with his team was the number of penalties called against it.
"I asked us to play clean, and we didn't do that.," he said. "But we did get out to a big lead, and they did start throwing more flags."
SHS will begin play in Region IV-5A next week when it plays host to Lugoff-Elgin.
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