The West Brunswick varsity football team showed it’s potential by scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter of its meeting with Pinecrest at the Bash at the Beach Jamboree on Saturday, Aug. 13.

The Trojans then showed the areas they will need to work on in the second quarter, but still outlasted Pinecrest 21-13.

West Brunswick versus Pinecrest was the opening game of Day Two of the Jamboree.

The Trojans started on offense and went right to work establishing their running game. On a 1st and 10 starting at their own 35-yard line, West’s senior quarterback Javan McCray pitched the ball to senior running back Kevon Daniels who took it up the right side for a 20-yard gain.

From the Pinecrest 45-yard line, McCray went left on an option, pitching the ball to senior wide receiver J.J. Cobb, who sped away from defenders for a 33-yard run to the 12-yard line.

After McCray picked up three yards on a quarterback keeper, West scored it’s first touchdown by going back to Cobb on a sweep to the left that he took into the end zone untouched.

Sophomore JoJo Hamric kicked the extra point for the Trojans.

Pinecrest had a 10 play drive, including a 17 yard run by Nahjiir Seagraves, that moved the ball to the West Brunswick 20-yard line, but the Trojan defense made a stop on 3rd and 5 and the Patriots turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Starting at the their own 18-yard line, the Trojans picked up five yards on a Daniels run up the middle and then went to the air for the first time as McCray connected with junior wide receiver Tyreik Woodard on a pass for 21 yards.

McCray then rushed to the West Brunswick 48-yard line on a quarterback keeper but after two incomplete passes, the Trojans faced their first fourth down.

McCray picked up the first down on a six-yard run to keep the drive going.

A Daniels two-yard run set up the Trojans’ second pass play. McCray threw to Cobb who was speeding down the left sideline for a 44-yard touchdown catch.

Hamric hit another extra point kick to give West Brunswick a 14-point lead.

Pinecrest kept the ball on the ground with Seagraves and quarterback Mason Konen moving the ball on an eight play drive from their own 35 to West Brunswick’s 29-yard line. But facing 4th and 1, the Trojan defense stacked up Seagraves for no gain and forced another turnover on downs.

On the first play of their third offensive series, the Trojans went back to the passing attack as McCray rolled out left and threw a pass to senior wide receiver Jason Smith along the left sideline that went for 34 yards.

McCray then threw a swing pass to Daniels who took it around the left side for 21 yards. Daniels followed that by taking a handoff for a six-yard run to the right sideline, holding off two separate Pinecrest tacklers with a stiff-arm to their golden helmets to move the ball to the 14-yard line.

On the next play, McCray ran an option to the left and pitched the ball to Cobb, who turned up the left sideline and scored his third touchdown of the game.

Hamric kicked another extra point and West Brunswick ended the first quarter scoring 21 unanswered points.

Pinecrest would not be held scoreless much longer as they opened the second quarter with a pass that was good for 20 yards, but on a busted play by the Trojans’ secondary, the receiver got free and ran for a touchdown.

Pinecrest missed the extra point attempt.

West Brunswick’s next possession started with a short gain by Daniels and then McCray went for 14 yards on an option keeper, but had to come out of the game after his helmet came off.

Junior Tristan Williams came in at quarterback for two plays, handing off to Daniels for another short gain, then throwing an incomplete pass.

McCray was back under center for the next play but fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Pinecrest linebacker Jaylin Morgan, who ran for 15 yards before Daniels tackled him at West Brunswick’s 31-yard line.

The Patriots took advantage of the momentum shift with a10- yard pass completion and on the next play Konen took the snap and rolled right, then threw a quick screen back to the left which was taken 20 yards for Pinecrest’s second touchdown. After hitting the extra point kick, the game quickly turned into a 21-13 contest.

The West Brunswick offense then had its first three-and-out with two short runs by Daniels and a sweep by Cobb that only picked up six yards total. Hamric came out to punt from the Trojan 40-yard line and kicked the ball over the head of the Pinecrest returner, who let the ball bounce and roll to the 10-yard line.

The Patriots relied on Seagraves on three straight running plays to move the ball out to the 25-yard line. Then Konen threw a pass to wide receiver Hunter Neifert that he took up the left sideline for 51 yards.

Pinecrest couldn’t take advantage of the big play as they were flagged for a 15-yard penalty on the next play.

West Brunswick gave back five yards on a penalty of their own but after an incomplete pass on 2nd and 18, Konen rolled out to the right on third down looking toward the end zone. West Brunswick senior linebacker Mikal Simpson chased him down and made a diving, open-field tackle for no gain on the play.

On fourth down Pinecrest took another shot toward the end zone, but Konen’s pass was incomplete at the one-yard line to force another turnover on downs.

Taking over at their own 30-yard line, West Brunswick kept the ball on the ground on the next series, going to Daniels for a short run, Cobb on an option pitch to the right for a short gain and a quarterback keeper by McCray, but the Trojans were forced to punt again.

Hamric’s second punt put Pinecrest on their own 30-yard line. A screen pass on first down picked up five yards for the Patriots. But when they went to the air again on second down, senior cornerback Jordan McCall was there to break up the reception.

After a run by Seagraves, Pinecrest connected on another pass along the left sideline to pick up the first down at their own 41-yard line.

The reliance on the passing game cost them though as on the next play Konen rolled right and threw to the right sideline where McCall jumped the pass for an interception at West Brunswick’s 15-yard line.

The Trojans looked to run out the clock with a pair of Daniels run plays but they were stopped for no gain. A third-down pass to Daniels in the flat fell incomplete and West had to punt again, giving Pinecrest the ball and one last chance to tie the score from the West Brunswick 45-yard line.

But the game ended with The Trojans’ defense pressuring Konen into scrambling into a sack.

“I think the coaching staff, we knew what we had on offense. We knew if we could get J.J. the ball and get people to loosen up on Kevon, we’d feel real good about our chances, pretty much against anybody,” West Brunswick head football coach Caleb Pardue said.

“We’re really happy with how we came out of the gate. When we scrimmaged South Columbus (on Aug. 10) I felt like we came out a little flat. We weren’t really intentional about how we approached playing. Tonight, I felt like our kids got in our pregame routine, we did some other stuff that’s normal on a game day. And I think that helped lock them in a little earlier. So when we came out, we were all cylinders firing. We were very pleased with that in the first quarter. And then defense stepped up a few times.

“I was incredibly pleased with the job (defensive coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Powell did tonight, because I think that’s going to be overlooked. Especially when you’re not prepping for anybody (for a jamboree game) and you don’t know exactly what you’re going to see, because you don’t have film. Our kids did a lot of the fundamental things they’re supposed to do the right way — you know, running to the ball, tackling well — I was really happy with that,” Pardue said.

“Overall, I was pleased with how we came out. I felt like we got a little flat, a little complacent and we probably dialed back the play calling a little bit in the second quarter. The biggest thing in a scrimmage like this is you just want to stay healthy more than anything. We had seen what we needed to see from J.J. We had seen what we needed to see from Kevon. So we were making sure that we were doing things the right way and making sure we’re healthy going into week one.”

The Trojans start the regular season with a trip to Horry County, South Carolina for a non-conference opening game against Carolina Forest High School at 700 Gardner Lacy Rd., Myrtle Beach, S.C. at 7 p.m.

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