PSHS Iron Horses continue winning streak with victory over Stratford
The only thing that has slowed down the Philip Simmons High School junior varsity football team this season has been the weather - to be precise, Hurricane Irma.
The Iron Horses were scheduled to play Waccamaw in Week 3, but the game was canceled because of the impending threat of the monster storm.
It was back to business in Week 4 as the Iron Horses traveled to Stratford and came away with a 29-14 victory over the Knights to push their record to 3-0.
“We are creatures of habit,” Philip Simmons coach Eric Bendig said. “Routine is important when you have a first-year team. You obviously want to keep the momentum going, but safety comes first. You hate to have those days off, but you just try to keep in touch with the kids, make sure they are staying in shape and are OK.”
The victory comes against a Stratford program that just a few short years ago was arguably tops in the Lowcountry and one of the elite programs in the state.
“To go over and play at Ray Stackley Field is kind of like getting a taste of history with the success that program has had,” Bendig said. “Our head principal and head AD graduated from Stratford, so there was a lot of interest in this game.”
Stratford led 14-7 at halftime, but it was all Iron Horses in the second half. They led 19-14 after three quarters and added 10 points in the final quarter.
The defense was supreme. One of Stratford’s TDs came on a 67-yard fumble recovery and the other score came on special teams.
“It was a complete team effort,” Bendig said.
Nathan Newman picked off a pass for the Iron Horses, while Kyree Morgan, who moved into the area from Alabama over the summer, tallied four tackles, including one for a loss. He also had a sack and forced two fumbles from his nose guard position.
Solomon Bess carried nine times for 95 yards to lead Philip Simmons’ offense. He scored two TDs, including one on a 58-yard run. He now has 25 carried for 268 yards and five TDs in three games.
Quarterback Omaro Asby completed 4 of 7 passing for 21 yards. He rushed eight times for 54 yards and scored on a 23-yard run.
“This definitely was a big win for us,” Bendig said. “I know the kids get tired of hearing it, but we practice hard so the games are easy. It’s a testament of how hard we work. We had optional lifting the next day, and we had 40-50 kids show up to work and get better.”
The Iron Horses will host Bishop England Thursday. They already own a victory over the Battling Bishops in Week 2, but Bendig knows it will not be easy to sweep the Bishops.
“Bishop England knows what we did, what was successful and they will have an answer for it,” Bendig said. “They will bring all that they’ve got. They have good players and are well coached.”