Bobcats hand Wave first loss in blowout

By Kerry Gilstrap
Courier Sports

EASLEY —- After Friday night’s contest with the Seneca Bobcats got started,

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier Easley quarterback Dalton Black scrambles away from pressure during the Green Wave’s home loss to Seneca on Friday night.

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier
Easley quarterback Dalton Black scrambles away from pressure during the Green Wave’s home loss to Seneca on Friday night.

the Easley Green Wave may have wished the game had been postponed or even canceled.

The Wave never saw what hit them, and a physically impressive Bobcat team led by former Pickens coach Brett Turner laid a shellacking on Easley, posting a 38-0 victory in front of the Green Wave faithful.

In a game that was set to kick off at 7:30 p.m., fans who persevered did not see the opening kick until around 10:30 p.m., all thanks to Mother Nature. A huge lightning storm blew into Easley just before kickoff, and officials delayed the contest as a result.

When play finally began, Easley came out and ran into a buzzsaw, as the Bobcats where hitting on all cylinders from the start. Seneca dominated the game, outgaining the Green Wave 383-171 and jumping out to a 21-0 first-half lead before cruising to the victory.

“They were the more physical team. They were big, strong and fast,” Easley head coach John Windham said after the game. “My hat goes off to them. They have a lot of good players. They beat us in every way tonight.”

After the three-hour weather delay, Seneca didn’t come out sleepwalking. Instead, the Bobcats came out running wild.

Braxton Gambrell totaled 153 yards on the ground, and Jacory Benson added 95 more, as the Bobcats scored five rushing touchdowns.

Not to be outdone, the Seneca defense picked off Easley quarterback Dalton Black four times in pitching the shutout.

After the opening kickoff, Seneca’s Brandon Gibson promptly sacked Black on second down to spoil the Green Wave’s opening drive. The quick start defensively was a sign of things to come for the Bobcats.

Seneca’s Chris Webb notched his second and third interceptions of the season, while Drew Boggs and Deandre Alexander chipped in one apiece.

“I just saw great intensity,” Turner said of his defense. “We as a staff saw that, and the turnovers are huge because it sets the offense up in good field position, and it was just a great team effort defensively and offensively.”

Seneca opened its first drive at Easley’s 45-yard line, and the Bobcats scored on their sixth play of the contest thanks to a two-yard Braxton Gambrell plunge that was set up by his 21-yard rush to the Green Wave’s 3-yard line two plays earlier.

After Easley had its second of four straight three-and-outs to start the night, the Bobcats methodically worked their way down to the 10-yard line, where Daquan Mackey motioned to the right from his wide receiver position, took the handoff, turned the corner and then headed up the field for a score. The touchdown pushed Seneca to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Easley managed to force Seneca to punt for the first time on its ensuing series thanks to some good defensive play by the Green Wave.

The Bobcats responded on their next possession by producing a touchdown drive of two plays. The series ended with the second of Gambrell’s two touchdowns on the night.

Seneca took a 21-0 lead into the locker room, and Benson scored twice after halftime to put the finishing touches on an especially long night for Easley.

Bobcat quarterback Elijah Turner was efficient, completing eight of his 12 throws for 105 yards, while Easley’s attack was led by Bralan Fuller and his 118 receiving yards.

This week the Green Wave will look to get back on the winning track as they travel to face the rival Wren Golden Hurricanes.

Wren enters the contest after taking a 61-28 beating from Anderson County rival T.L. Hanna last Friday night. Wren did win its first contest of the year, beating Woodmont 28-14 on the road two weeks ago. Friday’s game with the Green Wave will be the home opener for the Golden Hurricanes and will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

— Gavin Oliver of The Journal contributed to this report.