St. John’s Christian’s football team improved to 3-1 with a hard-fought, 42-22 victory over Palmetto Christian on Friday.
The Cavaliers rolled up 453 yards of offense in bouncing back from a close loss to perennial SCISA 8-man power Andrew Jackson a week earlier.
St. John’s Christian hosts defending 8-man champion Beaufort Academy on Friday.
Beaufort Academy, just 1-3 on the season, is coming off a 54-6 win over Northside Christian.
Palmetto Christian kept it close in the opening half but the Cavaliers found their rhythm and gained separation in the second half.
The production began early as St. John’s Christian’s Corey Moraux took the opening kickoff 65 yards to the house.
The Eagles fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cavaliers freshman Ryan Pierce pounced on it at the Eagles 8.Two plays later, St. John’s Christian made it 14-0 on Fletcher Law’s 4-yard run.
Palmetto scored two consecutive touchdowns to tie the game at 14-14 before Cavaliers quarterback Nai’Ryan Bookert scooted into the end zone on a 4-yard run as the Cavaliers took a 22-14 lead.
Bookert continued to spark the Cavs in the second half with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Moraux and 72-yard touchdown scamper that upped St. John’s Christian’s advantage to 34-14.
After the Eagles closed the gap with a 28-yard touchdown run, the Cavs answered with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Bookert to Nick Jimenez.
Bryce Taylor rushed for 122 yards on 10 attempts while Bookert ran for 96 yards and passed for 72 more. Law finished with 83 yards and Jaden Bradley chipped in 43 ground yards along with 37 more from Bryce Ellison.
On defense, Moraux and Taylor led with seven tackles each. Law and Rochard Tingue kicked in six stops apiece. Jimenez and Ellison contributed five tackles each.
SJCA is scheduled to play at Calvary Baptist on Oct. 11.
(Independent sports writer Rob Gantt contributed to this report)