Berkeley High School’s football team has captured region crowns in three straight seasons.
The Stags are in everybody’s crosshairs as they try to make it four in a row.
Coach Randy Robinson’s team cleared the first obstacle in that pursuit on Friday, pulling away from Wando for a 43-13 victory in Mount Pleasant in the Region 7-AAAAA opener for both teams.
Next up is Berkeley County foe Goose Creek on the road.
“Berkeley is the big dog,” Gators coach Jason Winstead said. “We’re just looking forward to the challenge. We’ll be there and hopefully we can play well.”
Berkeley coasted past Goose Creek, 35-3, last year on the way to the Region 7-AAAAA crown. But the Gators have more bite this season.
They improved to 3-2 with a 49-7 victory at Cane Bay on Friday.
“Goose Creek is much better than they were last year,” Robinson said. “They are really good on the defensive line and at linebacker. Cane Bay could not stop their passing game. It should be a great game.”
Gators quarterback Emmanuel Mukuamu was 20 of 23 for 182 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for 59 yards and a touchdown against the Cobras. Receiver Damon Mouzon grabbed eight passes for 83 yards, including three touchdowns.
While Goose Creek was dealing with Cane Bay, Berkeley handled Wando.
Stags quarterback Willie Chisolm was 16 of 23 through the air for 174 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
Running back Luke Gadsden rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns while Ty Haynes chipped in 70 yards and scored once, a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
Receivers Hakeem Meggett and Solomon Butler had 97 yards and 47 yards respectively. Meggett scored once on a 57-yard touchdown hurl from Chisolm to open the scoring.
Defensively, Berkeley turned Wando turnovers into 20 points and recorded a safety when Jordan Miller sacked Wando’s quarterback in the end zone.
Gadsden scored on an 11-yard run after the ensuing punt and the Stags led 22-6.
Wando pulled within 22-13 in the third quarter before the Stags broke it open. Chisolm connected with Jakhi Willis on a 25-yard touchdown pass and Gadsden got loose for his second touchdown, a 64-yarder early in the fourth quarter.
Berkeley defensive back Marcel Jackson applied the finishing touch with a 70-yard interception return in the closing seconds.
Miller had eight solo stops, five assists and three sacks for the Stags. Jake Dunn chipped in seven solos and four assists. Jaylen Ravenell picked off a pass and Myles Walker recovered a fumble. Shane Walker had six quarterback pressures.