3A/2A Preview Week 1
By Alex Smith
Season openers are behind us and now it’s time to look at what lies ahead in 2A and 3A in Week 1.
I’ll start with our Game of the Week presented by Burrito Hub, which features a pair of 1-0 teams that rolled in their openers. The Broome Centurions travel to take on the Woodruff Wolverines. Last Friday in Coach Bradley Adams’ first game as head coach at Woodruff, his team dominated from the start against Chesnee and ran away with a 44-0 victory. Woodruff was able to run the ball at will against the Eagles, led by running back Demi Dale who finished with 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 12 carries. Quarterback Keegan Halloran was efficient in his first game back from injury, but only attempted 12 passes due to the success of the rushing attack.
On the other side the Centurions stumbled out of the gate a bit, but were able to quickly right the ship and once the offense got rolling, there was no slowing them down. With quarterback Brenden Taylor (another player seeing his first action since a season ending injury a year ago) leading the way, Broome took control early in the second quarter and never looked back in cruising to a 46-14 win over Central.
While this week’s game may look like a shootout to some, especially since it will feature a pair of great quarterbacks, I think this game will be decided by the defenses. Whichever team can force a turnover or two, or maybe get a big stop late, will be the team that leaves with a victory. I don’t think Woodruff will be able to push Broome’s defensive line around like they did to Chesnee, and they will be forced to put the ball in the air more this Friday. I believe this game will be close until the end, but I think Broome’s overall team speed will be too much for the Wolverines to handle.
Another team that got off to a great start this season is the Chapman Panthers. There were doubts about what the Panthers’ offense would look like this year after losing several starters due to graduation. Coach Hodge’s squad didn’t miss a beat as they earned a 59-40 win over Union County. Quarterback Mikele Colasurdo has the Panther faithful feeling very confident after totaling 356 total yards and 5 total touchdowns to win our Player of the Week award for Week 0. This week Chapman has its home opener against Seneca, who will be playing their first game of the season. Chapman still needs to clean up a few things on the defensive side of the ball if they want to make a third straight championship appearance, but the offense will be more than enough to carry them to a victory this week.
The Chesnee Eagles will look to get in the win column this Friday after a tough opener against Woodruff. They will be on the road at Christ Church this week, with both teams looking for their first points of the season. Chesnee quarterback Jacob Kimbrell showed some flashes last week, but will need to be more consistent in a tough road environment this week if the Eagles are to have a chance. Chesnee will also need to get more out of the running game after totaling just 20 yards on the ground in Week 0. This is another game that should be interesting late, but I don’t think Chesnee’s rush defense, which gave up over 300 yards on the ground last week, will be able to slow down Christ Church for four quarters.
The Union County Yellow Jackets fell in Coach Brian Thompson’s debut, but there was plenty of positives to take away from the opener. For one, an offense that averaged just 17 points a game a season ago, scored 40 on a very athletic Chapman defense. I look for the Jackets to have an even better offensive output this week against an AC Flora team that gave up 35 points to Beaufort in a season opening loss. Look for Union to get a win this Friday and be much better on defense, as I think most defenses will look worse against Chapman than they do against the rest of 3A competition.
And finally in 2A, the Landrum Cardinals. Coach Jason Farmer and his team looked much improved from a season ago, as they cruised to a 42-0 win over a 4A team in Blue Ridge. Quarterback Michael Clark led the charge, accounting for 184 total yards and 3 TDs. Things don’t get easier for the Cardinals yet, as this week they will hit the road to take on a Dixie team that shutout Christ Church 19-0. I expect this game to be tight, and I think the experience of the Cardinals will pay off and they will get a tough road win to exceed last year’s win total in Week 1.
Another great week of football is ahead and I’m excited to see which teams will bounce back from losses, and which teams can keep on rolling.