By Sean Finnerty
Washington Daily News
CHOCOWINITY — Southside snapped its four-game losing streak and picked up its first conference win of the season on Tuesday, thanks to a career-night from senior Chris Brinkley, whose four rushing touchdowns on Senior Night paced the Seahawks to a 45-18 win over Jones Senior.
“Happy with the win, glad, proud of the seniors, happy for them. (I) thought the offensive line was much better tonight, showed up to play,” Southside head coach Jeff Carrow said. “I still feel like we had a slow start on one side of the ball or the other. We’ve still got to get a consistent game together.”
On a night when the Southside (3-5, 1-3 1A Coastal Plains Conference) defense had its ups and downs, the Seahawks were carried by the play of Brinkley and the offensive line. The speedy running back, utilizing the holes cleared for him by his line, racked up 252 rushing yards on 15 carries. Brinkley’s four touchdown runs, which went for 35, 39, 11 and 13 yards, respectively, pushed Southside’s lead over Jones Senior (0-6, 0-2 1A CPC) from 14-12 midway through the second quarter to 42-12 with 11:29 left in the game.
“(Chris) Brinkley had a great night, obviously,” Carrow said. “They kind of shut down, it looked like their game plan was to shut down (Hayden) Mayo and it kind of opened up things for Jaheem (Carter), and especially Brinkley on the jet (sweep).”
The Seahawks came flying out of the gates to open the game, quickly marching down the field, thanks to long runs from Mayo, a senior who finished with 69 yards and a score, and Brinkley. Carter put the finishing touches on the drive, scoring from 19 yards out, dragging several Trojans into the end zone with him. Used as the third option in the running game, the sophomore Carter ended the game with 90 yards on 10 carries.
Jones Senior entered the game winless, but showed on its opening drive it has some offensive talent of its own, scoring in just over two minutes. Facing third and 27 after an offensive facemask, Trojan quarterback Detorian Brown found Jacob Kinsey in the flat and Kinsey ran all the way down to the Southside 23 for a 43-yard gain. Just two plays later, Brown found a wide-open Syheen Sauls for an 18-yard touchdown, making the score 7-6 after the Seahawks blocked the point-after attempt.
It looked like the game was set to be a shootout, as Southside responded with a 67-yard drive that culminated with a 5-yard touchdown run from Mayo up the middle, and Jones Senior answered right back with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Anthony Ellis to make the score 14-12 with 5:20 left in the opening half. But the Seahawks buckled down and kept the Trojans from scoring again until the final minute of the game, a 50-yard strike from Brown to Sauls.
“Defense made a few adjustments after the first strike there and got readjusted there and then gave up a late one with some backups in, but they’re getting experience too,” Carrow said.
After Jones Senior’s second touchdown of the game, it became “The Chris Brinkley Show” as he scored his first touchdown on the very next play, running 35 yards, untouched into the end zone. The senior added two more touchdowns in the final four minutes of the half and got his fourth just 30 seconds into the fourth. Senior Luke Matthews capped Southside’s scoring with a 34-yard field goal just a minute later.
Jones Senior’s Brown had went 11 of 21 for 205 yards in the game with three touchdowns. Syheen Sauls (three catches, 72 yards, two touchdowns) and Jacob Kinsey (four catches, 65 yards) were his primary targets.