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WHS football: Warriors upset Carvers Bay 21-8

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Kelton Grant provided the opening and closing shots, and the Waccamaw defense added the mettle that fueled the Warriors 21-8 upset of visiting Carvers Bay in Friday's home opener.

Grant had a pair of scores and Carvers Bay was held without a touchdown in their visit to Pawleys Island until the final frame as the Warriors improved their record to 2-1. More importantly, the victory marked the first time WHS had defeated Carvers Bay on the gridiron.

"I think we've been waiting for this since the school opened," said WHS coach Tyronne Davis. "I just can't say enough about the effort of our players and our coaches. It's a huge win for us and a statement about how our program is coming along."

Though Carvers Bay is a Georgetown County neighbor and a one-time region opponent of Waccamaw, there is only an intermittent history of games between the schools. The games that had been played prior to Friday had gone decidedly in the Bears favor, such as the 44-9 decision they recorded in 2011, the last time they were on Waccamaw's schedule.

But leading up to Friday, there was a feeling that this might be the year for the Warriors to change their fortune. Grant wasted little time further cementing that belief, igniting the energy of the crowd at Warrior Field by grabbing the opening kickoff and racing 82 yards into the endzone.

"We talked all week about being able to make something positive happen early on," Davis said. "It was exactly the kind of start we were looking for."

Justin Holmes' scoring run allowed the Warriors to carry a 14-0 lead into halftime and that score held until the waining minutes of the third quarter when a safety got Carvers Bay on the board.

Prior to the safety Waccamaw had twice turned the Bears away empty handed on drives into the red zone. The Warrior defense forced another turnover on downs at the start of the fourth quarter after the Bears had marched inside Waccamaw's 40 yard line.

"There was a time when our defense wasn't able to make those type of stops," Davis said. "We've worked to instill a tougher mindset and our players are responding."

The Bears (0-2) first trip to the endzone came with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest and their defense forced a 3-and-out on Waccamaw's ensuing possession. However, hopes of continuing their momentum were short-lived.

Carvers Bay held the ball for just one play following Waccamaw's punt, a turnover resulting from a bad snap allowing the Warriors to set up with a 1st-and-goal from inside the 10.

Grant took care of the rest, his short scoring run providing WHS with its final margin.

"We were so well prepared for this game," Davis said. "Our coaches did an outstanding job of breaking down film and we had a great week of practice. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now. We want to keep that going."

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