Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 6 high school football preview

Week 6 of the high school football season is one which may be one of the best of the year. Region play is beginning for most schools.

Last week was a good week for Goose Creek. They had their toughest game of the season, going to Dutch Fork and winning by 11. Berkeley had a big bounce-back win, but they only won by 1 over Timberland even though they had NINE turnovers!

Last night, Colleton County and Cane Bay played a great game. The Cougars went out to a 21-0 lead, but Cane Bay got a quick TD before halftime. Colleton County tired out, allowing two more TDs, leading up to a last-minute drive for the Cobras. This video shows the final drive for Cane Bay, which was a crusher for Colleton County, now on a 29 game losing streak:

I went to part of the Fort Dorchester-Wando game and it was a crazy scene. 7,000 fans for homecoming, with Wando students probably only consisting of maybe 1/5 of the crowd. A great game. Wando had sloppy defense in the second half which allowed Fort Dorchester to pull it close. They should have won, but had a penalty at the end for an ineligible man downfield.

Wando had never been 6-0, but their win Friday gave them that distinction. Summerville bounced back with a big win over West Ashley; Stratford blew out Colleton County who plays Thursday night against Cane Bay.

This week will be an interesting one. Here are my top 5 games:

5) West Ashley at Fort Dorchester. Fort Dorchester looks to bounce back from their very tough loss in Mt. Pleasant, a game that they were down 32-14 heading into the 4th quarter and nearly pulled out. They get West Ashley, a team who lost its QB in the preseason and has barely been competitive, sadly, with the only win a 8-6 triumph against Colleton County. Fort Dorchester should bounce back here.

4) West Florence at Ashley Ridge: A big battle for Ashley Ridge, playing the rare team from the Pee Dee that is traveling to the Lowcountry. Ashley Ridge is 1-4. They need a win to have a good chance at a winning record, a big comedown from last year as they lost their big seniors.

They close at Colleton County, host Bluffton, go to Beaufort, then host Summerville and go to Ashley Ridge. West Florence is 4-1, winning at Darlington and Wilson, with their only loss to a potent Myrtle Beach team. The theme at Ashley Ridge for this week is "swamp people." Will the SWAMP Foxes follow up?

3) James Island at Berkeley: Slickersville in Moncks Corner will be rocking after last week's win. Berkeley and James Island get back to their long lasting rivalry after a 2-year break. In 2009, the two played maybe one of the best games in the last decade of HS football at James Island. Berkeley was #1 in the state, with Bruce Ellington as the QB. James Island was very close most of the game, taking a lead with :90 left, and their fans were ready to storm the field.

Ellington, however, picked up a fumbled snap on the last play of the game and ran it in for about a 20 yard TD. Berkeley barely made the XP by inches, and won 34-33. The two teams look to top the action in this year's matchup. This will be a good football game to watch with these two schools who have something to prove.

2) Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Hanahan. Another 3A battle as this region starts up. OW has something to prove. They haven't played in a Lowcountry region since 2007 in 4A, so they are trying to be a surprise. They are 3-2 on the year, with a win over 4A Lower Richland. Hanahan is 4-1, with the only loss at Timberland.

This game will mean a lot in the Region 8-3A race, just like Berkeley and JI. Winners this week will have a leg up on the rest of the region.

1) Stratford at Summerville. Is this a surprise? Stratford has been down the last few years, but Ray Stackley has them back up. This rivalry has usually been the biggest in the area. In 1999 on a Monday night after Hurricane Floyd, Stratford drew 7,000 for an upset OT win that eventually led to their last state title.

This year, Stratford is 5-0, having gone through their opponents mostly in dominating fashion. Young Summerville is 2-3 after defeating West Ashley last week. McKissick needs four wins for 600. As I said in last week's post, it will be tough. Summerville's young QB, Sawyer Bridges is developing. Stratford, other than Goose Creek, is probably the Green Wave's toughest opponent though.

It will be an interesting game.

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