PETTICOAT JUNCTION, S.C. -- There was a time when Butch Jacobs would have loved the way the scoreboard read in Petticoat Junction on Friday night.
Silver Bluff manhandled Bamberg-Ehrhardt 35-3 in Region 6-AA action to take a commanding edge in the region title race.
Yet, Jacobs, the former Silver Bluff coach, wasn't a part of the celebration. Al Lown and his Silver Bluff squad spoiled Jacobs' homecoming to remain undefeated (6-0, 3-0 in Region 6-AA). The victory was the Bulldogs' 21st in their past 22 outings.
"I don't feel so good about coming back now," said Jacobs, who guided the Bulldogs to state championships in 1990-91. "I've never lost to a Class AA team in this stadium before, but I can't say that anymore. Silver Bluff has a great football team. I don't see anyone in the Lower State stopping them from getting to the state championship game."
Bamberg-Ehrhardt (6-2, 2-1) came in regarded as one of two teams with a chance of upsetting the defending region champs. The Red Raiders also were looking for their first victory over Silver Bluff since they beat a Jacobs-led Bulldog team, 14-13, in the Class AA Lower State championship game.
Lown's Bulldogs treated the Red Raiders to the same quick and easy lashing that seven previous victims experienced. Silver Bluff has been proficient in ending games early, and Friday was no exception.
By the fourth quarter, Silver Bluff's starters were resting for the eighth time this season. Senior fullback Marcus Lawrence carried 11 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, while senior quarterback Jamie Williamson completed four of five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
"We've played some pretty good teams, but this is the first game the kids truly got excited about," Lown said. "Offensively, we were a lot more alive than before. Bamberg-Ehrhardt came in with a good team, but you could tell our kids wanted to get after it. There was a lot of talk about Bamberg's running game, and I thought we bottled it up pretty well."
Red Raiders fullback Rodney Wallace came in with more then 1,200 yards rushing, but he managed just 96 yards on 23 carries against Silver Bluff. The senior was held to 25 yards in the first half and didn't gain momentum until the game was out of hand.
Entering the second quarter, Silver Bluff led 21-0 and quickly made it 28-0 on its first drive of the half when Jamie Williamson plunged in from 1 yard out. Lown, who had been displeased with his offense's execution in the past three games, saw five players put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
Sophomore safety Deangelo Bryant garnered the play of the game when he took a Red Raiders punt on his own 35 and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs' stifling defense, which is allowing just 3.2 points a game, forced Jacobs' squad to punt on all five of its first-half possessions.
The Bulldogs have given up just 25 points in eight games and didn't find their pride in jeopardy until the waning moments of the game when the Red Raiders threatened to score after picking up a fumble deep in Bulldogs territory. Silver Bluff, which had not given up a point in the fourth quarter this season, ended the threat when leading tackler Shawn Harris intercepted Corey Kinard with 1:06 left.
Reach Patrick Green at (803) 648-1395.
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