3A/2A Preview Week 2
By Alex Smith
We are now two weeks into the 2018 football season and every team has played at least one game. Time to look ahead to this week’s games in the upstate.
I’ll start with the Landrum Cardinals. Coach Jason Farmer and his defense have been very impressive through the first couple weeks of the season. The Cardinals were led by Marcus Quinn who finished with 14.5 tackles last Friday, while also adding a touchdown run on offense. Landrum has allowed just 3 points through the first two games, and they will need another strong performance on that side of the ball if they want to slow down a Walhalla team that scored 70 points in their season opener against West Oak.
Landrum has already surpassed their win total from a season ago, and I think they will continue to impress with a second win over a 4A opponent. This game should be close, but I believe this Cardinal team has a chance to do something special this year, and they will continue their hot start to the year.
Another team in our area that is rolling in August is the Woodruff Wolverines. Coach Bradley Adams’ squad was dominant once again in Week 1 with a 48-12 thumping of the Broome Centurions. Woodruff’s rushing attack was unstoppable as Demi Dale finished with over 200 yards on the ground, while short yardage back Jonathan Alexander led the way with a school record 5 rushing touchdowns. The Wolverines haven’t had to throw the ball much yet (just 29 pass attempts in two games) with the success of the running game, but with Keegan Halloran under center they can be very balanced if need be.
What has been somewhat of a surprise early this year is how dominant Woodruff has been on defense. Holding an electric Centurion offense to just 12 points is quite the feat, and they will need another strong showing this Friday as they face Southside Christian, who rolled over Hickory 48-0 a week ago. I look for the Wolverines to continue running all over their non-region opponents and I won’t be surprised if they top 40 points yet again this Friday in what I expect to be another big victory.
And then there is the Chapman Panthers. Chapman had another explosive night offensively (no surprise) as quarterback Mikele Colasurdo was named our Player of the Week for a second consecutive week. Colasurdo totaled 5 touchdowns for the second straight game as Chapman held off a second half rally by Seneca to come away with a 52-34 win. This Friday the Panthers will have a tough match up against a 5A opponent when they host Boiling Springs.
The Bulldogs won their season opener last week with a stout defensive performance against Westside, coming away with a 22-7 victory. Chapman will have their hands full with the depth and athleticism of Boiling Springs, and I think it may be too much for the Panthers to overcome. Chapman will move the ball on offense, but I think this will be one of the few games in which they don’t reach the 40 point mark. This is our Fox Sports 1400 Game of the Week presented by Burrito Hub so I expect a great game, but I think the Bulldogs get the win.
Last week Coach Bill Owens and the Chesnee Eagles got their first victory of the season behind an outstanding performance from quarterback Jacob Kimbrell, who finished with 375 yards and 4 touchdowns passing in the Eagles’ 41-27 win over Christ Church. Chesnee made the necessary adjustments on offense after being shutout in their opener against Woodruff, and I don’t think they have any problem putting up points again this week against Blue Ridge. I believe the Eagles roll to their second straight win, this one by an even bigger margin than last week.
Another team that rebounded from a season opening loss is the Union County Yellow Jackets. The Jackets got a 35-14 win over AC Flora, the first for new head coach Brian Thompson. Union used their speed and athleticism to push around Flora, finishing with nearly 500 yards rushing on the night. This week won’t be so easy, as they will host the 5A Gaffney Indians. Gaffney’s defense was dominant in their opener, holding Greenwood to a ridiculous -82 yards of total offense in the victory. I think Union will need to mix in the pass this Friday if they hope to have a chance, but I think it still won’t be enough and the Indians will leave Union with a 2-0 record.
Coach Lynn Fleming and the Broome Centurions were stunned by Woodruff a week ago, falling 48-12. While Broome wasn’t at full strength, most people (myself included) expected that game to be much closer. It’ll be interesting to see how the Centurions respond this week against former region foe Clinton. I believe they get back on track and earn their second win of the season this Friday. Clinton enters this game coming off of a 34-14 loss to Laurens in their opener, and I don’t think they will be able to stop the Centurions offense. I expect quarterback Brenden Taylor to have a bounce back game and Broome should come away with a two score victory.
Week 2 is here and there is a ton of interesting games this week. I missed on a couple of predictions in Week 1, but there is no way that could happen again, right?