The Cross Trojans are looking more and more like themselves on the gridiron this season.
They improved to 2-1 with a clutch victory, 16-13, at Kingstree on Friday. A winless 2018 is well behind them as they prepare to host Baptist High School on Friday in another non-region game.
“We are trying to rebuild this program player by player,” Cross coach Shaun Wright said. “We want to develop good character, discipline, and leadership. Once the kids take ownership of this team they will become tough to beat. We are still making young mistakes that are keeping us from extending leads but I thought defensively we improved from our last game.”
Led by nine stops from defensive end Damion Haines, the Trojans limited Kingstree to one offensive touchdown.
The other Jaguars score came on a kickoff return to start the second half.
Trojans quarterback Deondre Brown passed for 127 yards and hit Zyrell Eadie on a 65-yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes left in the game for the game-winner.
The Cross defense held Kingstree to secure the victory.
Eadie hauled in four passes for 81 yards as the Trojans took to the air more than they normally do.
Tylik Green scored Cross’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first half.
“Offensively we are still trying to find an identity,” Wright said. “For the first time in a long time, we threw the ball 20 times in a game. We understand that in order to be proficient we have to be balanced offensively. I thought we won the battle up front and that allowed us to control most of the game. Moving forward we have to take care of the football if we want to win.”
Baptist Hill is 1-2 after blanking Academic Magnet 67-0 on Friday. The Bobcats also have losses to Oceanside Collegiate (58-12) and Bishop England (31-12).
“This may be the best set of athletes I have seen them have,” Wright said.
“They are big up front and are really tall in the secondary and at wide receiver. Their quarterback can sling it so we will have our work cut out for us. They have two really good running backs and they make you cover the entire field. We will need an outstanding week of preparation to have a chance but we look forward to the opportunity.”
Cross had won four straight in the series before falling 18-14 in 2017. The squads didn’t play last year.
In another game on Friday, Timberland (1-1) hosts Bishop England.
The Wolves are coming off a 27-6 loss at Providence Day, N.C.
Bishop England is 2-0 with wins over Baptist Hill and Philip Simmons (27-7).
The two teams didn’t play in 2018.
The Wolves have beaten Bishop England 14 times in 15 encounters, with the exception coming in 2011 when the squads split Class AA titles. In 2017, Timberland knocked off Bishop England 28-6.
St. John’s Christian improved to 2-0 on Sept. 13 with a 58-30 win over Laurens Academy. The Cavaliers travel to Andrew Jackson on Friday.
Andrew Jackson is coming off a 50-0 win over Jefferson Davis Academy and has outscored opponents 172-0 this season.
AJA had won three straight 8-man titles before losing to Beaufort Academy in the championship last season.