5 Things to Watch
By Alex Smith
Here are the 5 things to watch for Week 2…
Can Dorman and Spartanburg right the ship?
Both the Dorman Cavaliers and the Spartanburg Vikings have started the season 0-2. Dorman has lost to a pair of opponents with explosive offenses that wore down the Cavs young defense in the second half. Spartanburg lost a tough game at Summerville to open, then followed that with a 35-0 loss to T.L. Hanna in which the Vikings were completely dominated. Albeit they did have several players inactive due to injuries and suspensions against the Yellow Jackets. This week the Cavs look to get in the win column as they face the Hillcrest Rams. Hillcrest enters 1-0 after a 28-25 win over Mauldin in week one. The key this week, and maybe going forward all season, is the Cavaliers rushing attack. If Dorman can run the football with success, and control the clock, they will have a chance. Their defense is young, and depth is clearly an issue as they haven’t been able to get any key stops in the second half. Winning the time of possesion battle and keeping the defense fresh should be top priorities for Coach Gutshall this week. As for the Vikings, they face Etowah High School out of Woodstock, Georgia. Last season the Vikings lost a tough fought game down in Georgia 14-7. I expect another close one this week, but if Spartanburg wants to come out with a win, the key will be the play of their offensive line. Last week the Vikings couldn’t get anything going offensively as they were playing several backups and underclassmen along the front, while many players served a suspension for an altercation during the Summerville game. Depth shouldn’t be as much of a problem this week in the home opener. The weather is expected to be wet, and the Vikings O-Line will need to open some holes for Damyjai Foster and give whichever quarterback playing enough time to let plays develop and find the open receiver. Both Dorman and Spartanburg have experienced coaches and I think this week will be a turning point in both of their seasons.
Tough test for the Bulldogs
Boiling Springs opened up last week with a hard fought road victory over Ashley Ridge in overtime. Breaking in 16 new starters (including a new QB), the Bulldogs looked like their high preseason ranking was deserved. It doesn’t get any easier this week as Boiling Springs hosts T.L. Hanna. The Yellow Jackets have already beaten two Region III-5A teams in Gaffney and Spartanburg. This will be no easy task for the Bulldogs, as stopping Hanna’s run game has proven difficult for their region foes. I believe if the Bulldogs can score early, and force Hanna into having to play from behind, it will give them a great chance to win their home opener. The Yellow Jackets haven’t been very efficient throwing the ball and likely playing on a wet, muddy field won’t help. I expect this one to be close and wouldn’t be surprised to see a rematch in the playoffs.
Woodruff breaking in a new QB
Last Friday the Wolverines took a big hit, as starting quarterback Keegan Halloran left the game with what turned out to be a torn ACL. Replacing Halloran will be a tough task, but Tyler West looked serviceable last week going 9-10 passing for 88 yards and a TD while finishing the game. This week Woodruff hosts Chesnee, and I’m sure defensive minded Coach Bill Owens will have some new wrinkles in his defense to try and confuse the new signal caller. This was always going to be a tough game for Woodruff, and now they’ll be starting a new quarterback, on a short week, with probable rainy weather. All the pieces are in place for an upset so it will be interesting to see how Coach Elder adjusts his play calling for his inexperienced young quarterback.
Byrnes takes on big time out of state opponent
About a decade ago the Byrnes Rebels helped bring South Carolina high school football to a national audience. While in the midst of their historic run through the early part of the millennium, Byrnes began scheduling early season games against powerhouses from other states. Florida, Ohio, Georgia it didn’t matter. Many of these games were even televised nationally. After a couple down years in Duncan, the Rebels are hoping to prove that they are ready for the big time again. This week they take on Don Bosco Prep, from NJ. The Rebels have looked dominant in their first two games, outscoring opponents by a score of 93-7. Don Bosco has a big, strong defensive front and several players with Division I scholarship offers. A win for Byrnes would go a long way in proving that they are once again ready to be an elite program.
Can Broome keep on rolling?
Two weeks into the Lynn Fleming era and what a start. The Centurions offense has looked unstoppable through two games, racking up 47 and 55 points, while averaging over 400 yards rushing. Entering the season, I was questioning whether of not Broome could make the spread offense work after years of running variations of the triple option. Those questions were answered quickly and I don’t expect them slow down anytime soon. This week they head up the road to take on the Landrum Cardinals, who enter at 0-1. This game will be played on Thursday, and I don’t expect the Cardinals to be able to slow down the rushing attack of Brendan Taylor and Jarius Jeter. Broome will play physical and control the tempo of this game, leading the Centurions to another big win.