CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Opening night of the 2012 Sertoma Football Classic proved to be every bit as good as advertised. The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium played host to seven games on Thursday with seven more on the schedule for Friday night .
The start of the high school football season kicked off with Baptist Hill shutting out Military Magnet 7-0. A big run early on set up QB Troy Harrison for the only score of the game.
In game two, St. Johns also scoring a shutout win over Garrett 14-0.
Hanahan and James Island went back and forth in the third matchup of the night. Hanahan led 7-3 on a 19-yard TD pass to Terrell Green. James Island however would rally and thanks to a Ty Stubbs touchdown pass to Tyler Wilder recaptured the lead and marched away with a 10-7 victory.
"We put the ball on the ground way too many times," said James Island Head Coach Randy Hilyer. 'I'm just proud of our kids and the way they came back.
North Charleston's new Head Coach Rashon Frost had a successful debut against Palmetto Christian. A Deandre Stevens interception led to a DeAndre Gilmore touchdown run in the Cougars 8-2 win over the Eagles.
"I like when we can score more points than the other team," said first year Head Coach Rashon Frost. "We still have a lot of work to do, but the kids have responded. they've done a good job so far, we're going to go back to work tomorrow. We're going to look at the film because we play again Saturday -- this is a dress rehearsal, but the one Saturday counts."
Wando pretty much had their way against a much smaller Scotts Branch team. Cameron Rouse had one touchdown run, Kenny Waring had the other as the Warriors returned to Mt. Pleasant with a 14-0 victory.
In the marquee two quarter matchups West Ashley chewed up nine minutes off the clock on their opening possession before backup QB Pedro Manigault hit Ernest Heyward with a scoring pass over the middle to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead. Kicker Caroline Cashion would boot a 30 yard field goal to extend the Wildcats lead to 10-0, before Mark Stembridge would recover a fumble in the Cane Bay end zone for the final West Ashley touchdown of the night -- Wildcats win 16-7 over Cane Bay.
"I told my kids adversity can do one or two things, it causes some men to crumble and it causes some men to step up, and our guys are going to take that challenge and step up," said Head Coach Bobby Marion.
In the final game of the night, Stratford played impressive football against defending state champion Bishop England. Jamar Stevens' 70 yard scamper set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Noah Shuler to give the Knights an early 7-0 lead. Veteran QB Jacob Park would later toss a touchdown pass to Jared Terhune as Stratford handled Bishop England 20-6.
"I've got a good group of receivers, and good running backs returning, now I don't have my leading rusher coming back, but those guys carrying the ball tonight all had significant yardage last season," says Head Coach Ray Stackley. "The key is getting the offensive line to jell, and if we can do that we can become a little bit better football team."
There are seven more games on the schedule for Friday night including Goose Creek versus Fort Dorchester, and Ashley Ridge up against Summerville.