Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 10 preview/wk 9 recap

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were talking about late July practices in 90 degree heat as teams started getting ready for the high school football season. Now, the Coastal Carolina Fair is starting. It is hard to believe, but the end is almost upon us. 4A teams have just two regular season games left; while all other schools are down to their last game of the regular season. Cross is already finished with its regular season.

Last week seemed to be a boring week with not a lot of interesting games, but anything can happen any week in HS football. Bishop England was an underdog to Woodland at home, but blew them out 35-7 on Daniel Island to take control of their region and probably earn another region title. Wando gave Goose Creek one of its biggest scares in the season. QB Dantez Bennamon was knocked out in the first half, and Goose Creek went to its backup.

The Gators though had a quick stretch late in the second quarter with two TDs in less than a minute, then coasted through the second half to win 49-21. Summerville is peaking at the right time. They blew out Colleton County 56-21, a game that was expected to be a little closer. Stratford looked to be sleepwalking thru the first half of their game at West Ashley, only leading 7-0 at half, but the defense strengthened in the second half as they shut out the Wildcats 21-0. Fort Dorchester blew out Bluffton, while Ashley Ridge stole a game from Beaufort with a late TD.

Cane Bay continued its losing ways, going down 27-3 to West Florence. They have two chances (@ Wando and West Ashley) to avoid a win-less season. In 3A, Hanahan clinched their region title, blowing out Hilton Head 55-21. Orangeburg-Wilkinson went into Moncks Corner and beat Berkeley; while James Island got their second win of the year beating Stall. James Island hosts Orangeburg-Wilkinson this week, while Berkeley travels to Hilton Head.

In 2A, North Charleston beat Academic Magnet; Garrett lost again, this time to Ridgeland/Hardeeville, and Burke lost again, to Battery Creek. Two weeks ago, Burke scored 26 against Academic Magnet. In their other 8 games, they have scored only 20 points. They have to beat North Charleston this week to avoid a win-less year. In 1A, St. John's suffered a heartbreaking loss to Whale Branch; Cross beat Baptist Hill, and Military Magnet blew out Lincoln.

In SCISA play, James Island Christian lost their first of the year to Beaufort Academy, Palmetto Christian and Northwood Academy lost; while Pinewood Prep lost again. They have to beat Porter-Gaud to avoid a win-less season. Charleston Collegiate travels to JI this week.

Weather could be a factor Friday night. The NWS forecast shows a chance of rain for most of the area. Already a couple of games in the Pee Dee have been moved to Thursday. Except for a couple garden-variety showers over Mt. Pleasant which cancelled a Palmetto Christian game and a few other showers, weather has not been a factor in the Charleston area this year. It could be one Friday.

Here is the complete schedule:

Quick hits: Lincoln (1-8, 0-3) at St. John's (5-4, 3-0): St. John's controls its own destiny headed into this game with Lincoln. They can clinch at least a couple home playoff games with a win here.

Battery Creek (4-5, 3-3) at Academic Magnet (3-6, 1-5): This game is mainly for playoff positioning, but Battery Creek can clinch at least its second straight five-win season after just four wins the previous three seasons.

Bishop England (7-2, 6-0) at Ridgeland-Hardeeville (6-3, 5-1): Bishop England can officially clinch a outright region title with a win, but this comes with the long trip to Jasper County. Ridgeland-Hardeeville is playing for a possible tie for the region title with a win.

Bluffton (5-4, 1-2) at Colleton County (2-7, 0-3): Bluffton was bludgeoned last week by Fort Dorchester; now they face a hungry Colleton County team on their senior night. There's a chance for an upset here.

Cane Bay (0-9, 0-2) at Wando (3-6, 1-2): Wando hosts their final region game against winless Cane Bay before going to Sumter next week. Winning here probably means a playoff berth.

Baptist Hill (5-4, 1-2) at Military Magnet (4-5, 1-2): Another big game for playoff placement. Baptist Hill can clinch a winning season with a win, while Military Magnet can get its best record since 2009.

Top games: 5. West Ashley (5-4, 0-2) at Goose Creek (9-0, 2-0) (Thursday): West Ashley has been an improving team throughout the season, but last week lost to a suffocating Stratford team 21-0. Goose Creek went through a lot of adversity against Wando, but eventually won by four touchdowns, overwhelming the Warriors like what they have done to most opponents.

This could be an interesting game. Halloween night, on a short week, with a hungry West Ashley team looking for an upset. The Gators better not be looking forward to next week's battle at Stratford. West Ashley has some talent. Will the ghosts and goblins be out?

4. Berkeley (4-5, 2-2) at Hilton Head (7-2, 2-2): Hilton Head has run into a tough stretch of games recently. They started 7-0, but had to go in consecutive weeks to Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Hanahan. That's a combined 224 miles on the bus in two weeks. They were blown out in both games. Now, the Seahawks are back with their home fans for the final game of the regular season.

Berkeley needs this game to avoid another losing season. Jeff Cruce is on the hot seat no matter what happens; they will have to travel on the road for the playoffs if they make it. Hilton Head, even with seven wins, most likely will travel for the playoffs as well. This is still a very important game in-region to close the regular season.

3. Fort Dorchester (6-3, 2-1) at Beaufort (6-3, 1-2): Beaufort was in a very good position two weeks ago; 6-1 with a chance to take control of the region with a win over Summerville. Instead, they have laid two Dorchester County eggs. They were shut out by the Green Wave, and inexplicably lost to Ashley Ridge last Thursday night as their K missed a FG and an XP.

Now, Fort Dorchester is surging; they could get the second-place spot in Region 8-4A, which would probably mean hosting their first playoff game. Beaufort is on the downturn; they could face having to go on the road for the playoffs, or if they somehow lose their final two, maybe miss the playoffs altogether. The Eagles want to right the ship Friday night.

2. Ashley Ridge (4-5, 2-1) at Summerville (7-2, 3-0): On the other hand, both Ashley Ridge and Summerville are surging teams. The Swamp Foxes started the year 0-4, but they've won four of their last five to set up a very important game Friday night. Summerville has only lost to Goose Creek and Stratford, and showed their might last week against a pesky Colleton County team.

Summerville has suffered several injuries to some of their key players, but like many old John McKissick teams, they have depth. Summerville is playing some 9th and 10th graders at RB after Davon Anderson left prior to the season (his Glenville team didn't allow a single point in October). Summerville's young team is gelling this year, and could be a force in the next couple seasons. They still have business to take care of in their final two regular season games.

1. Stratford (9-0) at South Florence (9-0): It is rare that two teams this late in the season play a non-conference game, let alone one with two teams still undefeated. Several people on message boards I read were underestimating this game because both schools have important region battles next week; Stratford against Goose Creek, and South Florence against West Florence. Still, this is a battle between the #5 and #6 teams in the state in 4A. Stratford coach Ray Stackley has done this for years, playing opponents from other parts of the state, but other coaches should try and play opponents from other areas.

But Stratford and South Florence are doing that Friday night. This might be the biggest game in the Pee Dee so far this year. South Florence averages nearly fifty points a game. Other than a 28-21 win against Sumter, the Bruins have won every game this year by at least 27 points. Stratford is led by QB Jacob Park, the Georgia commit who has thrown 19 TDs this year; while South Florence is led by QB Nick Jones, a junior who has thrown for 28 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions, and has also run for 10 touchdowns.

This game will be a battle of the QBs. Whoever has the better game will win for their team, and will advance to their cross-town battle next week with an undefeated record.

Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 9 preview/wk 8 recap

The weather is getting cooler. The games are getting bigger. This year is heading toward a climax with region play heading toward its end. A couple of regions will be decided this week, and games in other regions will play important parts toward the end of the season.

Last week was a week where the favorites mostly won. Summerville shut out Beaufort 17-0, which was a huge step in them locking up Region 8-4A. Fort Dorchester was thought to be on upset alert... they beat Colleton County on their homecoming 56-14. Bluffton beat Ashley Ridge, 41-28.

Goose Creek traveled to win-less Cane Bay and won 55-7; Stratford beat Wando 35-7 in a game that wasn't expected to be that lopsided; and West Ashley blew out Conway 49-14 to get their 5th win.

In 3A, Hanahan continued to prove themselves as one of the top teams in the area, blowing out James Island 41-8 on their homecoming. Berkeley beat Stall as expected, while Orangeburg-Wilkinson beat Hilton Head. O-W, Hanahan and Hilton Head are competing for the region title, but Hanahan has a huge upper hand. They host Hilton Head, and with a win clinch the region title. James Island and Stall also play this week, at Stall.

In 2A, Woodland and Bishop England each got big wins which led up to their major showdown this week on Daniel Island; while in 1A, St. John's continues to surprise, moving to 3-0 in region with a win over Military Magnet. They have just one region game left against one-win Lincoln.

In SCISA, James Island Christian has stayed undefeated, with a win over Faith Christian.

This week's schedule, with a rare sight, two Thursday games. It is a stacked week of games, with almost every game playing an important part in a region race.

Quick hits: Cane Bay (0-8) at West Florence (4-4) (Thursday): Winless Cane Bay heads to Florence to face West Florence on Thursday because another Florence team is home Friday.

Cross (4-5, 2-1) at Baptist Hill (5-3, 1-1): Cross, amazingly, is playing their last regular season game Friday night. It still has meaning, because it could determine playoff positioning in 1A. A Baptist Hill win would clinch a winning season.

Thomas Heyward (6-3) at Northwood Academy (6-2): Northwood Academy has an important home game in SCISA against Thomas Heyward, who are both battling for hosting a playoff game.

Summerville (6-2, 2-0) at Colleton County (2-6, 0-2): The Green Wave can get ever closer to a region title with a win at Colleton County Friday night. They are a steadily improving ball club who is playing well at the right time.

Stratford (8-0, 2-0) at West Ashley (5-3, 0-1): In a stacked week for games, this is still a very good one. West Ashley came back with a big homecoming win over Conway, while the Stratford train has kept on rolling with a win over Wando. West Ashley will be hoping to ruin the Knights' perfect season.

Goose Creek also hosts Wando this week in 4A play at John Fulmer Field.

Top games: 5. Beaufort (6-2, 1-1) at Ashley Ridge (3-5, 1-1) (Thursday): A very important Thursday game in Region 8-4A. Ashley Ridge has played their share of Thursday games since the TV package started back in 2010. They have played at least one each year, and this year have this game, along with a televised game on November 8. Ashley Ridge lost last week to Bluffton, but have improved throughout the season.

They can still make an impact in their region. Beaufort is coming off a shutout loss against Summerville where they have several good chances, but missed two FGs and had a TD called back. Beaufort is on a short week, playing in Summerville on a Thursday night. This could be a closer game than thought.

4. Orangeburg-Wilkinson (7-1, 2-1) at Berkeley (4-4, 2-1): One of two big games in Region 8-3A. Orangeburg-Wilkinson beat Hilton Head last week, and already have as many wins as they had all of last year. Berkeley under Jeff Cruce has been a team searching for an identity. Last week, they beat Stall as expected, and they have won two home games this year, as many as they won last year.

Coach Cruce is on the hot seat by many in Moncks Corner, and a win here would go a long way toward loosening the buckle on him. This game is also big for playoff positioning, possibly determining if a team will go on the road or stay home. But will the Bruins spoil senior night in Moncks Corner?

3. Hilton Head (7-1, 2-1) at Hanahan (8-0, 3-0): This is basically the Region 8-3A title game. A Hanahan win will clinch the region title for the Hawks; a loss would allow Hilton Head and Orangeburg-Wilkinson back into the race. Hanahan though is one of the best teams in the state. The Hawks have allowed just 66 points after 8 games; with 51 of those 68 points allowed in 3 games. In other 5 games combined, they've allowed just 17 points.

Hilton Head lost last week at O-W, denying them a chance to take the region title with a win, but it is still a very impressive season along US 278. They have come a long way from 2011, when they won just four games. The home crowd in Hanahan will look to be a major factor against the Seahawks.

2. Bluffton (5-3, 1-1) at Fort Dorchester (5-3, 1-1): People on the Palmetto Football Talk message board frequently reference Doodle's Doodles, a feature on the High School Sports Report website. Every game has a favorite or underdog in this system. This game is a complete toss-up on that system. You rarely see that this late in the year. This is a big game for points purposes.

Both teams, especially Bluffton (after playing several smaller schools) need points in order to ensure a playoff berth. Fort Dorchester is a young and steadily improving team, while Bluffton was used to dominating their division in the past few years. Reality has set in this year, as they've already lost 3 games, including to one of their main rivals, Beaufort. A win for Fort Dorchester would likely give them a big boost for a playoff berth. Look for this to be a very close game.

1. Woodland (8-0, 5-0) at Bishop England (6-2, 5-0): This game is one of the games of the week, and for good reason. The Region 6-2A title will be determined in this game most likely. Woodland has looked impressive, beating Colleton County early in the season, while BE's two losses have been to an improved West Ashley and Hanahan at the beginning of the year.

Bishop England started the year with a retooled offense, but have become a very good team later on with players like Nick Shiver (who's scored 12 rushing TDs on the year along with 1 on defense). The Bishops very rarely throw. They've only thrown 68 times all season, while Woodland loves to light up the scoreboard. Except for the Colleton County game, they haven't scored less than 34 points in a game all season. This will make this game a very interesting one.

Can the Bishop England defense stop the Woodland offense? Or what is often the case, the opposite? This will determine who wins this very important game.

Enjoy the games!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Titans owner Bud Adams dies

The owner of the Tennessee Titans and the former owner of the Houston Oilers, Bud Adams, has died in Houston today, according to .
Bud Adams has passed away in Houston, a source has told Brett. According to Zwerneman: All early indications are that Bud Adams' death is of natural causes, source said. Also stressed 'early indications.' Fox 17 in Nashville has confirmed that Bud Adams has passed away.
Fox 17 has confirmed Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has died. We will have more on the story as it develops.

Read More at:
Fox 17 has confirmed Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has died. We will have more on the story as it develops.

Read More at:

Bud Adams was 90 years old.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 8 preview/wk 7 recap

High school football is moving into the homestretch. Every season seems like it flies by, even though most schools begin in late July or early August with practice. Non-4A schools have just three regular season games left, mostly in-region. 4A schools have four games to go.

Last week was one with some very intriguing games. Summerville beat Fort Dorchester again, with a quick third-quarter surge. Ashley Ridge beat Colleton County. Don't look now, but the Swamp Foxes, once left for dead, are now 3-4 with a game at now-vulnerable Bluffton next. Wando saved their season with a win over West Ashley. They are also 3-4, but face the gauntlet of @ Stratford and @ Goose Creek next. Stratford beat Cane Bay as expected, while Bluffton fell again to Beaufort, now 6-1 and one of the bigger surprises of the season.

In 3A, Hanahan whitewashed Berkeley in one of the games of the week, 36-0. Hilton Head stayed undefeated by defeating James Island. Orangeburg-Wilkinson got the win at Stall. Hanahan goes to James Island for their homecoming this week while Berkeley hosts Stall.

In 2A, Timberland continued a winning streak by beating Lake City. Bishop England and Woodland stayed undefeated in their regions; so did Ridgeland/Hardeeville. Garrett also won to go 5-2. In 1A, St. John's improved to 4-3 and 2-0 in region play with a big win over Cross. James Island Christian also remained undefeated with a 72-0 win over Coastal Christian; they head to Faith Christian this week.

Here is this week's schedule. There is no Thursday night game this week:

Quick hits: St. John's (4-3, 2-0) vs. Military Magnet (at North Charleston HS) (3-4, 0-1): Military Magnet, the team where everyone is named Eagles, hosts St. John's in an important 1A game. If St. John's wins and Cross finds a way to lose at Lincoln, the region could be controlled by the Islanders.

Conway (1-6) at West Ashley (4-3, 0-1): If West Ashley wants to get a winning season, they have to win games like this one. Conway has lost six straight, while West Ashley has lost three in a row after starting 4-0.

Garrett (5-2, 2-2) at Bishop England (5-2, 4-0): Few thought heading into the season that this would be a battle of five-win teams. Coach Dirk Thomas though has greatly improved Garrett this season. They face a tough challenge with Bishop England Friday night.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville (5-2, 4-0) at Woodland (7-0, 4-0): A battle of unbeatens in St. George. Woodland has rolled through most of its competition so far, with only two of their seven wins by less than nine points. Will the Jaguars be a tougher challenge?

Goose Creek (7-0) at Cane Bay (0-7, 0-1): Goose Creek begins region play with Cane Bay. Stratford overwhelmed the Cobras last week; will another one of Cane Bay's crosstown rivals do it again?

Top 5: 5. Fort Dorchester (4-3, 0-1) at Colleton County (2-5, 0-1): This game will be an interesting one in Walterboro. Fort Dorchester may be mentally drained after last week's game against Summerville, where Coach LaPrad brought out all the stops, including special black uniforms. This didn't work, as Summerville continued its winning streak over the Patriots.

It is Colleton County's homecoming. The fans will be extra excited in Walterboro as the Cougars try to get their first region win since 2009. With Colleton's dynamic offense, the Cougars have a chance in this game. Players like Ramon Hall and Latrell Nieves can match up with most schools in the area.

4. Ashley Ridge (3-4, 1-0) at Bluffton (4-3, 0-1): Ashley Ridge has helped their season with three straight wins. What looked hopeless after an 0-4 start has gotten better. They head to Bluffton with a chip on their shoulder, hoping to stay undefeated in region play. After being one of the hunters the past few seasons, a team few knew about, they have become the hunted.

They've had several injuries, and went to OT with A.C. Flora, escaped 1-6 James Island by one point, and lost at Beaufort last week. Bluffton will be hoping to turn around their recent woes this week with the Swamp Foxes.

3. Wando (3-4, 1-0) at Stratford (7-0, 1-0): In this week's region 7-4A slate, this is the best game. Wando has had more injuries than almost any other team in the state. They've lost about 20 guys to some sort of injury this year. Their starting QB at the beginning of the year, Dalton Stubbs, is now starting at safety. In 4A football. Bailey Hart has become the new starting QB. Even with these injuries, they still beat West Ashley last week in their rivalry game.

Stratford with Jacob Park has gotten better every game. They won 42-7 last week, and this week Park got his commit to the U.S. Army All-American Game on Tuesday in a ceremony at Stratford. He was also named a Mr. Football finalist, the only one from the Lowcountry. Even though there are bigger games ahead, you can't overlook any games in region play.

2. Hilton Head (7-0, 2-0) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (6-1, 1-1): Going into the season, few could have thought that a battle between these two would be with teams with a combined one loss. Hilton Head though has proved many wrong throughout the season. They upset Bluffton in the Bridge Bowl 33-32, and won their first two region games. Poona Ford, one of the best players in the state, has scored TDs on offense and defense this year.

However, O-W is their toughest game to date. They lost by just seven to Hanahan, and already have almost matched last year's win total with three games left. If Hilton Head wins this game, it will set up a battle of unbeatens next week at Hanahan. If O-W wins, Hanahan will have the inside track for the region title most likely.

1. Beaufort (6-1, 1-0) at Summerville (5-2, 1-0): This game is a battle for region supremacy as Summerville has their homecoming game. Beaufort has surprised to start the year. At 6-1, they have won all four of their road games so far this season. However, Summerville on homecoming is one of the toughest challenges in the state.

Summerville played well last week against Fort D, winning 24-7 as QB Sawyer Bridges improved, and Coach John McKissick has his team back in their usual position of competing for not just region titles, but high playoff seeds and home field advantage. Beaufort, on the other hand, won just four games last year and five in 2011. They've already won more this year. This will be a close game in my opinion. Beaufort has played well on the road this year, and will hang in for a little bit, but Summerville's home crowd may be the difference in this one.

Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week 7 preview/wk 6 recap

High school football gets into its most important part of the season starting this week for the 4A schools. Region play begins. Last week was a very interesting week in high school football. Stratford escaped over Summerville, 30-28, in what was probably the best game of the year so far. Fort Dorchester came back from being down 21-0 at West Ashley to win.

Berkeley got a big win over James Island. Colleton County earned their second win of the year, beating Cane Bay during their homecoming. Hilton Head stayed unbeaten, and Hanahan went into Orangeburg-Wilkinson and beat the Wolverines in what was regarded as one of the biggest games in years there. Ashley Ridge upset West Florence 20-0 in Florence. Have they turned the corner?

Here is this week's schedule:

Some interesting games this week.

Quick clips: Augusta Christian (2-4) at Porter-Gaud (2-5) (Thursday): Augusta Christian makes the long trip from Martinez, GA to Charleston to face Porter-Gaud on Thursday Night Lights. After starting 2-1, PG is on a four-game losing streak.

Woodland (6-0, 3-0) at Battery Creek (2-4, 1-2): Undefeated Woodland heads to Burton to play Battery Creek. The Dolphins played well against BE last week, but were shut out, 17-0. What will we see this week from them?

Goose Creek (6-0) at Carolina Forest (1-5): Goose Creek tries to continue their undefeated streak as they head to Carolina Forest. They gave then undefeated Beaufort a run for their money before falling 49-35 at home. This is the Gators last game before region play.

James Island (1-5, 0-1) at Hilton Head (6-0, 1-0): Hilton Head tries to continue its undefeated streak against the Trojans. Region 8-3A is one of the best in the state; three teams are currently ranked in the top 10 in 3A (Hanahan, Hilton Head and OW).

Bishop England (4-2, 3-0) at Burke (0-6, 0-3): Bishop England heads to Burke to try and continue their winning ways. Burke has only scored 20 points in 6 games. The most they've scored in ANY game was 8 last week at Woodland.

Cross (3-4, 1-0) at St. John's (3-3, 1-0): A big game in 1A on Johns Island Friday night. Cross beat Military Magnet last week, while St. John's traveled to Baptist Hill and won. The winner will take control of Region 6-1A.\

Bluffton and Beaufort also have a very important game in Beaufort starting their region play.

My top 5:

5. Stratford (6-0) at Cane Bay (0-6): Region 7-4A play starts this week, and Stratford is coming in after a extremely emotional two-point win last week over Summerville, one of the best games of the year, and now they head up US 176 to Cane Bay. They have never hosted the Knights before, and there will be a raucous crowd for this one.

Will Stratford be in for a possible trap game? Jacob Park was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he threw for two TDs last week in the win over the Green Wave. Every region game is important, but especially in Region 7-4A, where one slip-up probably means you're out of the race with just four region games.

4. Colleton County (2-4) at Ashley Ridge (2-4): This game has suddenly become very important at the beginning of Region 8-4A play. The winner of this one will have a lot of momentum headed into the rest of the season. Both teams had big wins last week, and the Cougars have steadily improved throughout the season since their upset over Wando.

Kenny Walker's team has won two straight since being left for dead after an 0-4 start. The winner of this game will be 3-4, and 1-0 in region play heading into a tough stretch. That's why this game is big.

3. West Ashley (4-2) at Wando (2-4): West Ashley has stumbled, losing their last two after starting 4-0. Wando had a bye week last week, much needed after a 41-13 loss against Fort Dorchester two Fridays ago. This rivalry is one of the bigger ones in the Lowcountry, in both football and basketball.

As we start region play, this is a huge game. If Wando wants to start a turnaround and head back to the playoffs, they have to do it here. West Ashley and Bobby Marion on the other hand, need a win. They do not want to start on one of their late-season swoons which have perplexed them in the past few seasons. Add in the atmosphere of West Ashley students traveling over the bridge, and it should be fun.

2. Berkeley (3-3, 1-0) at Hanahan (6-0, 1-0): A huge game in Region 8-3A, one of the stacked regions of the state. Slicker and the Stags fans were very happy last week as Berkeley went into The Backyard and beat James Island 40-14. Hanahan has remained one of the best teams in the area all season.

Channel 5 named this game as their game of the week, and I don't blame them. Berkeley has won two straight, and their offense has started to click with all of their options running the ball. Hanahan has stayed steady all season with QB Mason Schwerzler. Only a junior, he should get some looks from several Division I colleges in the next year or so. He threw 3 TDs at Orangeburg-Wilkinson. This will be a very interesting ball game. The team who takes care of the ball will come out on top.

1. Summerville (4-2) at Fort Dorchester (4-2): This may be the biggest rivalry in the Lowcountry. Both schools hate the other. Fort Dorchester hasn't beaten Summerville since 2001. This year may be as good a chance as any. Summerville just finished an emotional game against Stratford, while Fort Dorchester is surging.

The Patriots have won two straight, including a comeback from 21-0 down to West Ashley. They will be improved as they face their biggest rival. QB Kobe Garrett is not Kobe Bryant just yet, but he's steadily improved throughout the season and will be one of the best QBs in the Lowcountry next season. A win here would be huge for Fort Dorchester's students, players, and their morale, and probably would put them as the Region 8-4A frontrunner.

It will be a great game in North Charleston.

Hope you enjoy all the games!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Week 6 preview/week 5 recap

Hard to believe, but it is already October. For teams in 3A and smaller divisions, there is only one month left in the regular season for high school football. Most schools there are done with half their season.

Six games remain for teams in 4A. Region play will start for all but 4A schools this week. Last week was a fun one for fans of high school football. In what was probably the game of the week in the state, Goose Creek beat Dutch Fork, the best team on their schedule so far, 35-21. Nearly 8,000 showed up at Goose Creek for their homecoming, as the Gators trailed at halftime for the first time in a long time.

Fort Dorchester beat up Wando on their homecoming, while Summerville handed West Ashley their first loss, coming back from a kickoff returned for a TD by the Wildcats on the first play. Stratford did away with Colleton County, while Ashley Ridge got its first win over Cane Bay.

The story so far of local football is Beaufort County. Hilton Head went in unbeaten hosting their biggest rival, Bluffton in the battle of 278. Hilton Head was down 18-0 in the 2nd quarter, but came back to earn a 33-32 upset. There's more about this game here in a Beaufort Gazette article:

Beaufort bussed to Carolina Forest in Myrtle Beach, always tough when you have to go 4 hours on a Friday, and won 49-35 to stay unbeaten. Their game this week may be the best of the week. This week is one of the best in the season coming up. Your schedule:

My quick hits:

Ashley Ridge (1-4) at West Florence (3-2): Ashley Ridge finally got their first win of the year last week. Now they head to Florence to face a West Florence team on a three-game win streak.

St. John's (2-3) at Baptist Hill (4-2): St. John's and Baptist Hill battle in their first region game of the year. Baptist Hill has lost its last two, both on long road trips (to Midland Valley and Charlotte Latin).

Hilton Head (5-0) at Stall (1-4): Hilton Head takes their perfect 5-0 record to North Charleston and Stall as Region 8-3A play begins. Stall stumbled at Andrews last week.

Bible Baptist (3-2, 0-1) at Palmetto Christian (4-1, 1-0): Bible Baptist makes the long trip from Savannah to face one of the top QBs in the Lowcountry, J.T. Waters and Palmetto Christian.

Garrett (4-1, 1-1) at North Charleston (0-5, 0-2): Garrett football has had a resurgence so far, with a 4-1 record heading into their third region game. A win here would be important for Garrett.

Colleton County (1-4) at Cane Bay (0-5): This is a big game for Cane Bay. Colleton County is hoping for their first road win in four seasons, while Cane Bay's homecoming is this week. This game is almost a must-win for the Cobras; a loss and they could be facing a win less year unless they pull an upset in Region 7-4A. 

Top games:

5. Berkeley (2-3) at James Island (1-4) (Thursday): Berkeley and James Island start Region 8-3A play on Thursday night with each playing their only televised game of the season. Berkeley had a nice win over a rebuilding Timberland squad last week, while two weeks ago, James Island took Bluffton on homecoming to the last minute before falling 35-34.

This series has been one of the most interesting in the Lowcountry in the past few years, as the Trojans last year won by two TDs, spoiling Berkeley's homecoming. Before that, they hadn't played since 2009, when in one of the best games of the past few years, Bruce Ellington's amazing last-second TD was the difference in a 34-33 win. Both teams will be looking for a big win Thursday.

4. Hanahan (5-0) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (5-0): The Hawks will be facing by far their toughest challenge of the year in Orangeburg Friday night. OW didn't play as well as they hoped last week in their homecoming, getting by Richland Northeast 28-21. Hanahan QB Mason Schwerzler threw for six touchdowns last week against Wade Hampton, and was named the Post and Courier Offensive Player of the Week.

This week, both the Hawks and the Bruins will be primed to continue their unbeaten streak in a huge game for Region 8-3A implications.

3. Fort Dorchester (3-2) at West Ashley (4-1): Has Fort Dorchester finally turned the corner? A big win last week over Wando may have been the answer. The team has steadily improved in their past few games; giving Stratford a tough fight before succumbing 26-13, and playing very tough against Goose Creek before last week. West Ashley started 4-0, and to begin last week's game against Summerville, ran a kickoff back for a touchdown.

The Wildcats though, like many teams trudging into John McKissick Field, eventually got overwhelmed by the Wave, as a blocked punt was a huge turning point in the game for Summerville. West Ashley has their biggest home game of the year so far, hosting the Patriots. They start a stretch of three of four games at home before going on the road for two games to end the year. Thus, this is a big game before their region starts.

2. Goose Creek (5-0) at Beaufort (5-0): This is a huge game for both sides. Dutch Fork proved last week that Goose Creek can be beaten if you have the right personnel and play mistake-free football. DF led at halftime before succumbing to the Gators in the second half. Goose Creek won by 14, their closest win since last year's 8 point win against Stratford. Beaufort is 5-0, with four of those wins on the road.

Beaufort is playing just their second home game of the year Friday night. That has to be among the lowest in the state. They haven't been home since August 30. With the Eagles undefeated start, there will be a huge crowd at this one. The Eagles are hoping to feed off the home crowd in order to hoist the upset of the top team in the Lowcountry. This will be very interesting.

1. Summerville (4-1) at Stratford (5-0): I was conflicted between the Goose Creek-Beaufort game and this game as my game of the week. They both are really good games. But I decided on Summerville-Stratford because both teams come in with lots of momentum. Stratford had a nice shutout of Colleton County, while Summerville won big. This is one of the biggest rivalries in the Lowcountry, with the two most legendary coaches, John McKissick and Ray Stackley.

This is a video of their 1991 game. Look at how young Ray Stackley is.

This game will be a battle between Jacob Park and Sawyer Bridges. The offense that makes more big plays in this one will have the advantage. Stratford's home crowd has been told to wear all red for this one. This game will be one of the best of the year so far, with a raucous crowd, two of the biggest rivals in the Lowcountry, and a potential for a lot of big plays.

Enjoy the games!