ECI and Savannah Christian met for the first time and not in the same region Friday in Pooler.
The Raiders used their passing game to defeat the Bulldogs 38-14.
If you look at just the stats, you will not be able to tell who the winner was. Total yardage was virtually even with 299 for ECI and 304 for Savannah Christian.
One of the glaring stats in the game was total plays. ECI ran 60 plays to the Raiders’ just 30 plays. The Bulldogs also dominated time of possession.
Savannah Christian had just 2 possessions in the first half, one in the first quarter for just 1:32 and one in the second quarter, but led 21-7 at halftime.
The Bulldogs have a lot of young inexperienced players up front. Those two cancelled scrimmage games against Clinch and Fitzgerald could have gone a long way in getting game playing time under their belt and work on the cohesiveness before the season started.
“I hope we’ll use this to help make us better. We’ve got to clean up the penalties, but I thought we had a good game plan for them," commented coach Chris Kearson. “Our first drive was textbook, and the play we scored on was called back on an official's mistake, it happens. We had other opportunities and held the ball on time-consuming drives. They are a good football team, and the only way to get better is to play teams like them."
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and kept the ball for almost 10 minutes, running 19 plays. After marching down to the Raider 13, the Bulldogs scored, only to have the TD called back due a block in the back penalty.
Another penalty later and the Bulldogs were punting from the 44-yard line. The Christian punt returner muffed the punt, recovered by ECI at the Raider 10, but was negated by another penalty.
Savannah Christian only ran 4 plays in the first quarter, but it was enough as the Raider senior QB Spencer Robicheaux hit his receiver on a 15-yard touchdown pass to lead ECI 7-0.
After forcing a Bulldog punt on ECI’s next possession, Savannah Christian hit the air again for another touchdown from 13 yards out to make the score in the second quarter 14-0.
The Raiders extended their lead on the first play of the ensuing Bulldog drive on a scoop-and-score fumble recovery to make the score 21-0 with 5:53 left in the half.
The Bulldogs put on another 19 play drive to end the half. On fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Chase Whitehead hit Kris Jackson in the corner of the endzone as time expired for a 21-7 Raider lead at the break.
The Raiders took away any momentum the Bulldogs had coming out of the locker room after the last second score.
They had two quick scores in the third quarter, the first on a three play drive on a 12-yard run and the second on the first play on a 28-yard pass to lead the Bulldogs 35-7.
The Bulldogs drove down to the Raider 5-yard line but were turned away on downs on their next possession as the score remained 35-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Savannah Christian took it down to the ECI 17 from there and added to their lead on a 32=yard field goal for a 38-7 score.
ECI drove 80 yards on their next time with the ball and scored their second touchdown of the night on a Kobe Allen 37-yard run to make the final score 38-14.
The Bulldogs rushed for 212 yards. Takyle Foreman led ECI with 60 yards. Kobe Allen ended the night with 45 with DJ Jones and Chase Whitehead right behind with 42 and 37 yards.
Whitehead was 9-16 passing for 87 yards and one touchdown.
Trey Hughes was the reception leader grabbing 4 balls for 37 yards. Kobe Allen had one reception for 20, Bryce Kearson had 2 for 19, Jackson had one for 6 and a TD with Jack Walden catching one pass for 5 yards.
ECI will make a return trip to Chatham Co. Friday when they take on Savannah Country Day.