West wins battle in Brunswick
Fri. October 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. | By Eric Detweiler | StarNews Staff Writer | Eric.Detweiler@starnewsonline.com
South Brunswick's Nicklaus Beecroft hits West Brunswick's Shikeem Hill during their high school game in Shallotte on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (Photo by Mike Spencer)
SHALLOTTE | West Brunswick senior Dylan Darguzas spent the opening quarter Friday night pacing the sidelines. The quarterback could only watch early on against South Brunswick because of a violation of team policy.
After an uncomfortable wait, Darguzas made the most of his three quarters of action, leading West Brunswick to a 29-18 come-from-behind win over the Cougars at M.H. Rourk Stadium.
The captain led the previously winless Trojans on three touchdown drives before finishing the night in victory formation. His 10-yard rushing touchdown with 10 minutes, 10 seconds remaining put the home team ahead for good in the first Mideastern Conference matchup between the rivals.
"I'm not gonna lie, it's been rough," said Darguzas, who passed for 101 yards and rushed for 65 more. "It has been, but we're getting better every day. We've got new plays. We're still learning our coaches, but we're working at it."
West Brunswick (1-5, 1-1 Mideastern) trailed 18-15 heading to the fourth quarter, and senior Lee Johnson's interception on the first play of the final period set up the go-ahead score.
After the pick, Darguzas found senior Ijaime Daniels with a 30-yard pass to get into scoring range, and then the quarterback faked a handoff and took it to the end zone himself on a 10-yard run that put West Brunswick back in front.
South Brunswick players thought they had the go-ahead touchdown with 6:21 left, but quarterback Cole Blackburn had scrambled across the line of scrimmage before his fourth-down scoring pass. The Trojans took over at their own 12-yard line after the penalty instead.
South Brunswick's final chance ended with another turnover. Junior Malik Douglas caught a pass in space and headed for the end zone, but Johnson chased him down from behind and forced a fumble. Sophomore Daquan Burgess recovered the loose ball to end the threat.
Six run plays later, junior Tavon Stanley found the end zone with his second rushing touchdown of the game to seal the victory. The running back only played the second half because of his own rules violation.
"It's a conference win," first-year West Brunswick coach Scott Frazier said. "That's a different deal than just win one. We've got another conference game next week. … It's just one step toward getting a playoff berth, which is the next thing we want to do."
South Brunswick (0-8, 0-3 Mideastern) hadn't led at any point through the season's first seven weeks, but Blackburn guided the Cougars on two first-half scoring drives for a halftime advantage.
The quarterback sparked the offense with a season-best performance. He completed 12 of 28 passes for 258 yards with two passing touchdowns and a rushing score. It wasn't enough for the Cougars to snap their 13-game losing streak, dating back to last season.
"We've just got to make those plays," South Brunswick coach Josh Rusk said. "I think the plays are there. We've just got to make them."