Despite perfect weather conditions Friday night, the football game between Bradwell Institute and Charlton County was sloppy. The teams combined for 38 penalties for 336 yards in a non-region contest that lasted 3 hours, 10 minutes at Olvey Field.
Charlton County defeated Bradwell, 22-14, and both teams’ coaches said they were happy with their players’ effort. They also said they were unhappy about the penalties.
“It was wild with penalties,” said Bradwell coach Jim Walsh Jr., whose Tigers (0-2) were flagged 18 times for 141 yards. “It’s something you expect early in the season, but not to the extent we saw tonight. And that’s what happened to us in the first game: mental mistakes and
“It’s been just mental for us for two weeks. Just stupid penalties, busted assignments. It’s one thing or another, and we’ve just got to grow up and get better at it. You know, we’re playing harder. We’re getting after people. I like what I see there. We’ve just got to settle down and play smart.”
Charlton County (2-0) committed 20 penalties for 195 yards. Both teams saw the officials’ yellow flags frequently because of penalties for horse-collar tackles, holding, pass interference, illegal procedure, too many players on the field and running into the punter.
“I tell you what now, I think it was a three-horse race to see who was worse: us, them or the officials,” Charlton County coach Rich McWhorter said. “I tell you, it was really amazing.” Charlton County took an 8-0 lead during its third possession of the game. Running back Tre Hamilton ran for a 2-yard touchdown and Tim Wescott caught a pass from kicker Trae Harrington for a two-point conversion.
The Indians took a 15-0 lead in the second quarter. Wide receiver Donovan Bolden caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Richard Dasher, and Harrington kicked the first of his two extra points.
Bradwell cut the score to 15-7 during its first drive of the third quarter. Fullback Quonte Haggray ran for a 38-yard gain on the first play. He then carried for gains of 4 and 3 yards, respectively, and capped the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. Robert Miller kicked the first of his two extra points.
“We went back to some of the stuff we’ve done in the past,” Walsh said of the Tigers’ halftime adjustment. “I’ve always been a triple-option team. We kind of went back to running a play that we kept in our package. They were giving us the ‘B’ gaps in the scheme that they were showing. They came out and did something totally different than we saw on tape, so we started making adjustments and then it became a chess match, and we found something that just kind of worked for us.”
Charlton County took a 22-7 lead with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter when running back Caleb Smith ran for a 3-yard touchdown.
Bradwell’s Jahlil Whitt recovered a fumbled punt return by Charlton County’s Wescott in the fourth quarter and the Tigers capitalized. Haggray ran for a 4-yard touchdown to cut the score to 22-14. Haggray finished with a game-high 18 carries for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
In the final minutes, Charlton County got a break when Bradwell’s Whitt was penalized for running into the Indians’ punter on fourth-and-3 from Charlton County’s 28-yard line. Whitt narrowly missed blocking a punt that would have given Bradwell the ball in good field position. Instead, the Indians were awarded a first down.
If Whitt had blocked the punt, “It’s a different game,” Walsh said. “You can’t fault the kid. He got through and we felt like he had a chance. We thought he was blocked into the punter. But it was a mistake. The kid was hustling and I’m not going to get onto a kid who is hustling and doing what we ask him to do. That kind of thing happens. If he blocks that, we’ve got a chance to tie. Football is a game of inches, and that’s a great example of that.”
Bradwell’s final drive ended when Charlton County defensive back Desmond Epps intercepted quarterback Myrese Cobb’s pass with 5 seconds to play. Cobb was 6-of-25 passing for 66 yards and two interceptions.
Bradwell, which lost, 27-2, to Brunswick in the season opener, will prepare this week for its Region 3-AAAAA opener against Beach on Friday night at Memorial Stadium in Savannah.
Charlton County 22, BI 14
CC 8 7 7 0 — 22
BI 0 0 7 7 — 14
CC — Tre Hamilton 2 run (Tim Wescott pass from Trae Harrington)
CC — Donovan Bolden 25 pass from Richard Dasher (Harrington kick)
BI — Quonte Haggray 8 run (Robert Miller kick)
CC — Caleb Smith 3 run (Harrington kick)
BI — Haggray 4 run