Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week 2 preview/wk 1 recap

High school football is a sport where anything can happen on any night. Huge momentum swings, injuries, bad halves, attrition and kids that are excited to play are all factors. This week in Lowcountry high school football was one which fit all of these.

Several surprising results occurred around the area. Summerville suffered several key injuries and survived Cane Bay 15-13. Wando forced SEVEN second-half turnovers in a rout of White Knoll; they trailed 13-0 at halftime and won 45-13. James Island was without QB Gage Moloney, but stayed in the game against Ashley Ridge until a crazy play at halftime which I will show on video. They lost 56-21. Goose Creek only scored seven points in a game and lost to Pickerington Central 14-7.

Last week's game of the week however was Stratford at Berkeley. The Knights won in Joe Marion's first game, 38-21. Stratford forced three turnovers, and all were turned into TDs. Stratford had over 400 yards of total offense, and controlled most of the game. If you want more info on this game, go to the Berkeley Independent link here.

Here was the play in the Ashley Ridge-James Island game which completely turned the game in Ashley Ridge's favor. It is too hard to describe in a sentence. The voiceover is from Channel 2's Brendan Clark. You have to watch it to believe it! Ashley Ridge, BTW, was last week's team of the week.

Now, onto this week's previews. All games Friday at 7:30 unless otherwise noted:

4A: Cane Bay (1-1) @ Fort Dorchester (2-0): Cane Bay has surprised in both of their games this year. They beat a favored Colleton County at home to open the year, and held Summerville to just fifteen points. Russell Zehr will have his folks ready to play. Fort Dorchester, however, is a very tough opponent. The monster DT/FB Eurndraus Bryant was P&C defensive player of the week last week in their game against Carolina Forest, collecting four sacks and two fumbles in a half of football.

This week, Fort Dorchester plays their first local opponent, but they get them in the friendly confines of Bagwell Stadium, where they rarely get beat except when Summerville or Goose Creek come to town. This will be a great battle.

Goose Creek (0-1) @ Ridge View (0-1): I am not used to writing a preview of a Goose Creek game with them having a 0 on the left column. This week, however, I am. They haven't lost two games in a row in several years. They lost on Saturday afternoon to Pickerington Central 14-7, after having lost a couple of their key players, who weren't playing on this day. Goose Creek though is still a very good team.

They travel to a game Ridge View side on Friday night: they lost by the odd score of 20-5 to Blythewood last Friday. Will Goose Creek and QB Dominique Jefferson bounce back this week before the battle versus Summerville next Friday?

Colleton County (1-1) @ James Island (1-1): Both schools have had fascinating seasons so far. Colleton County hosted Beaufort, now a 3A school, and won on their home field, while James Island won at Hanahan. Last week though, the Trojans were missing Moloney, which cost them in that loss to Ashley Ridge. On the other hand, Colleton County has some game players of their own, like WR Latrell Nieves, who has received offers from Marshall and Virginia, among others.

Colleton County and James Island have a history of playing great games. In their last meeting, back in 2009 (a game I worked stats for), James Island won in double overtime by a single point, beating the Cougars on a two-point conversion. In 2008, Colleton County beat James Island for one of its two home wins; they didn't win another home game until last year! This will be a great battle. The game is on WALI 93.7 FM if you can't make it to the stadium. They are back on air and carrying all Colleton County games, sounding good.

Sumter (1-1) @ Stratford (1-0): Sumter and Stratford always played during the Ray Stackley era, and they will continue in the Joe Marion era. Stratford won at Berkeley last week, and now open up at Ray Stackley Field. Sumter has already played two games, losing to York while beating Crestwood. Sumter is led by QB James Barnes, who was the Sumter Item offensive player of the week last week.

Sumter last year upset Summerville in the lower state finals, and Barnes is back with the Gamecocks this year. They also have one of the best punters in the nation in Trey Harvin. Sumter is a very good team coming in for a home opener, and this will be one of the best games in the state this week.

Wando (1-0) @ Ashley Ridge (2-0): Another very interesting game. This time, Ashley Ridge hosts Wando. With Steven Duncan, one of the best pocket passing QBs in the state, the Swampfoxes can outpass any team on their slate. Wando, on the other hand, is built on defense. They also bring back several good offensive players, like RB Kenny Waring and WR Terrell Venning.

Ashley Ridge has steadily improved under Coach Kenny Walker: this game will be a huge determinant in their season. After this game, they spend four of their next five weeks on the road, including three straight weeks. Wando has two road games following this one, at Lexington and Summerville. Will Wando be road Warriors or will the Swampfoxes hold court?

Hilton Head (2-0) @ West Ashley (1-0): Hilton Head beat two lower level opponents (Ridgeland/Hardeeville and Whale Branch), but will have a much tougher task traveling to West Ashley, led by QB Justin Berry, another fast riser. He moved this summer from the Chicago suburbs to Charleston, and as a 6'0, 175 junior dual threat, gives the Wildcats a legitimate passing QB, something they have never really had. RB Cameron Byas is another legitimate threat, running for 136 yards last week.

West Ashley was expected to handle Bishop England last Friday night, but blowing out the Bishops 55-14 was surprising. This week, they get QB Aidan Hegarty and Hilton Head, another recent newspaper player of the week (Island Packet). This will be a battle coming down to late in the game.

Beaufort (0-1) @ Bluffton (0-2): Last week was a bad week for Bluffton and Coach Ken Cribb. Not only did they lose to Effingham County last week 21-8, but they were forced to forfeit their 75-0 win over Battery Creek the Friday before because of an ineligible player. Bluffton will now face one of their regional rivals, Beaufort, who even though they dropped to 3A will still give almost any team a tough game.

If Bluffton loses this one, they could have a tough time earning a winning season, which would be a step back for them, used to dominating the lower levels before they moved to 4A a few years ago.

Berkeley (1-1) @ Summerville (2-0): Summerville had a tough time last week at Cane Bay. Not only did they barely squeak a win out over a game Cobra side, they had several key injuries. RB Chris Felder had an ankle injury, and may or may not play this week, while sophomore WR Cam Burnette is definitely out for this one. He has a high ankle sprain, and is out 2-4 weeks. QB Sawyer Bridges was also banged up.

Berkeley always gives Summerville a great game. This will be the case this time. If Berkeley can stop the banged-up Green Wave offense, the Stags have a chance at making this interesting. Players like QB Joseph Dress can keep Berkeley in the game.

3A: Andrews (1-1) @ Georgetown (1-0): Georgetown had the rare Week 1 off last week. They needed it, as QB Jarvis Brown was injured in the win over Conway. He may be out three weeks, or the entire season with an injured left knee. Andrews beat Waccamaw but lost to St. James last week.

Bishop England (0-1) @ Hanahan (0-2): Hanahan has lost two straight games for the first time in a while. They had trouble last Friday against rival Timberland, who they lost to 25-14 last week. Hanahan had to shore up their special teams, which was a big problem in the James Island game. They had kicking tryouts after that game. Bishop England on the other hand is replacing a lot of last year's players. They got blown out at home last week, 55-14, but as with any team, it's a process.

Hanahan really needs a win, otherwise the season could go spiraling, hosting Cane Bay before having to travel to Stratford the next two games.

Lower Richland (0-2) @ Orangeburg-Wilkinson (2-0): Good start for the Bruins, who have started undefeated with good wins over Edisto and Lake Marion. Lower Richland has lost back to back home games. O-W has only given up six points in the first two games.

North Charleston (0-1) @ Stall (0-1): Stall and North Charleston both hope to get their first victories of the season in this battle of North Charleston. Stall lost 34-8 to St. John's, while North Charleston lost 32-18 to Military Magnet last week.

2A: Woodland (0-2) @ Lake Marion (0-1): A surprising 0-2 start for Woodland, who has gotten outscored 63-28 in their first two ball games, and now have to travel to Santee to face Lake Marion.

Allendale-Fairfax (2-0) @ Garrett (2-0): An underrated good game in 2A. The two 2-0 teams will battle on Ayoub Field in North Charleston. Allendale-Fairfax is usually one of the best 2A squads in the state.

St. John's (1-1) @ Whale Branch (0-1): A good game in Beaufort County. Whale Branch has some good prospects, including DT Nyles Pinckney who just got offered by Miami on Wednesday.

Carvers Bay (0-1) @ Waccamaw (1-1): A battle between two good 2A teams, as Waccamaw last week defeated Hannah-Pamplico while Carvers Bay lost.

1A: Whitmire (1-0) @ Branchville (1-0): Whitmire makes the long trip from the Sumter National Forest to play Branchville, who beat North by 14 last week.

Scott's Branch (0-2) @ Burke (0-1): Scott's Branch is having a down year so far, only scoring six points in two games. Burke took last week off after a 50-34 loss to Garrett.

Timberland (1-0) @ Cross (0-1): One of the best games in Berkeley County this week. Cross lost to Hunter-Kinard-Tyler last week 34-22, while Art Craig and Timberland beat Hanahan. Cross is always a tough place to play, and with this rivalry game between St. Stephen and Cross, there will be a large crowd at this game.

Palmetto Christian (0-1) @ Lincoln (1-1): A rare private/public match-up, as Lincoln has gotten progressively better. Last week though they lost 57-20. Palmetto Christian lost 49-0 last week to Porter-Gaud in the first game with Coach Shimakonis.

Academic Magnet (0-1) @ Military Magnet (1-0): The "Battle of the Magnets", Academic and Military, will occur Friday night in North Charleston. Military Magnet, for what little money they have (Eagles on their uniforms), has a lot of heart. AM hasn't played since a loss to Lincoln on 8/24.

SCISA: Colleton Prep (1-0) @ Williamsburg Academy (1-0): Battle of two of the better Class AA Region II squads.
Dorchester Academy (0-2) @ Holly Hill Academy (1-0): HHA hosts a reeling Dorchester team; HHA beat First Baptist 59-18 last week.
Northwood Academy (1-0) @ Hilton Head Prep (1-0, 5pm): A battle of two of the better teams in SCISA statewide, Hilton Head gets to play in the heat of the day.
First Baptist (0-2) @ Christian Academy (MB) (0-1): One team will get off the snide here: Christian Academy was shut out 40-0 last week.
Bible Baptist (1-1) @ Hilton Head Christian (0-1): Bible lost 20-7 to Thomas Heyward last week, Hilton Head had the week off.
Laurence Manning (2-0) @ Pinewood Prep (1-1): Pinewood Prep has been rapidly improving. Last week though, they had a serious injury to one of their players against Northwood that stopped their game for 45 minutes. Laurence Manning has given up only twelve points in two games.
Cardinal Newman (0-2) @ Porter-Gaud (1-1): After the Cyclones fell at home in their opener to Estill, they bounced back in a big way last week. 49-0. This week they start region play with Columbia's Cardinal Newman.
8-Man: Faith Christian (1-1) @ Beaufort Academy (0-1): Faith Christian may be the highest scoring team in the area. They beat Jefferson Davis 52-46 last week, and followed that with a 70-68 loss to Laurens Academy. Alex North ran for nearly 200 yards and four TDs in the loss. Gotta love 8-Man.
Coastal Christian (0-2) @ Cathedral Academy (0-1): Another game where the winner will get it s first win. Coastal lost last week 40-12 to Charleston Collegiate;
and Wardlaw (1-0) @ Charleston Collegiate (1-0): This game will be one where QB Manny Smalls will lead the Sun Devils against a team from the Midlands.
Patrick Henry (1-1) @ James Island Christian (0-1): James Island Christian opens up the home season; this time, they will play at Fort Johnson Middle School's field.
W.W. King (1-1) @ Ridge Christian (1-1, 6pm): Ridge Christian opens up their home field on their campus with a game against W.W. King at 6pm. They beat Beaufort Academy last week.
Greenwood Christian (1-0) @ St. John's Christian (1-0): A rare game between SCISA schools in the Upstate and Lowcountry with Greenwood Christian battling Moncks Corner's private school.

And there you have it.
Enjoy the games!

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