Saturday was a bad day for the semipro football team from Darlington, S.C.
The Pirates arrived late, the game started 30 minutes late and then lightning forced a delay after the Hinesville Hurricanes kicked off — and those might have been the bright spots.
The Hurricanes took Darlington to the woodshed in the first half, building a commanding 42-point lead on their way to a 74-0 win.
“Our offensive line really dominated their line, and we were able to move the ball on them,” Hurricanes quarterback Frank Troup said.
Coming into the game, the Hurricanes outscored opponents, 153-19, but Troup said the Hurricanes have yet to play their best ball.
“We played fair tonight, but I still do not think we have played our best game this season,” he said. “We didn’t have fullback Joe Matavo tonight. We are starting to get where we need to be though, especially with playoffs getting close.”
Devon Gray scored Hinesville’s first touchdown with a 35-yard run. He also had a 60-yard touchdown.
Hinesville’s 74 points weren’t solely the result of an explosive offense. The Hurricanes’ defense added four touchdowns of their own in the second half, including one on an interception return from Hurricanes linebacker Jamie Sharp III.
Sharp plucked a Darlington pass out of the air and ran it back 10 yards for a touchdown.
“I think that the Darlington quarterback was trying to throw a slant, maybe an out, but when he sat up to make the throw, he telegraphed the ball, so I was able to get between the receiver and the ball,” he said.
Darlington came out running a form of the Wing T offense, but Hinesville’s strong defense forced it into a spread shotgun formation.
“We knew defensively we were faster and stronger than Darlington, but when they went to the shotgun, we knew that we had them,” said Sharpe, who also had a hand in another touchdown when he hit a receiver on a behind-the-line screen pass and Tracey Lewis scooped up the ball and scored on a 62-yard run.
Josh Groover also forced a fumble and scored for the Hurricanes.
Hinesville’s defense tallied five fumble recoveries, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.
The Hurricanes limited Darlington to less than 100 total yards of offense.
Hinesville’s defense recorded its third shutout of the year, and the Hurricanes have not given up any points at home this season.
Hinesville moves to 4-0 on the season and goes to Anderson, S.C., on Aug. 13.
“The game coming up against Anderson is big for us,” Troup said. “It will be a rematch of last year’s championship game, which we won, 34-19. Anderson has one loss this year, but they are a tough team so it should be a good game.”