By Alex Smith
Another week of Upstate football has come and gone, so now it’s time to look ahead to our Week 3 matchups.
I’ll start by taking a look at this week’s Fox Sports 1400 Game of the Week presented by Burrito Hub, which this week is the Union County Yellow Jackets taking on the Broome Centurions. Broome rebounded nicely from their first loss of the season by routing Clinton by a score of 42-7. The Centurion offense was extremely efficient last Friday, and were led by Keyvon Graham who finished with 3 catches for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also adding 86 yards and a TD rushing. Coach Lynn Fleming’s players were much better on the defensive side as well, and the defensive line will need another strong showing against a Yellow Jacket squad that loves to run the football.
Union is coming off of a loss to 5A power Gaffney last week, and the Jackets’ brutal early season schedule doesn’t get any easier this Friday, as they are tasked with slowing down Broome’s high powered offense, led by dual threat quarterback Brenden Taylor. Union County has been effective running the football on offense early this year, and I’ll be interested to see if they can continue that success against a Centurion defense that I expect to stack the box.
The Yellow Jackets will most likely try to control the time of possession in this game, using their ground game to put together long drives and keep Broome’s offense on the sideline as much as possible. If Union is going to leave Royal Stadium with a win, quarterback Kesean Glover will need to be better throwing the ball in Week 3. I think Broome is too talented and well coached to be beaten by a one dimensional offense, and I think the Jackets struggle with the passing game and Broome squeaks out a close win at home to improve to 3-1.
The Chapman Panthers were impressive once again last Friday night, earning a win over a 5A opponent with a 55-28 victory over the Boiling Springs Bulldogs. Quarterback Mikele Colasurdo was great once again, and receiver Ben Rollins was electric finishing with 7 receptions for 171 yards and two scores. But the real highlight for the Panthers last week was the play of the defense.
They surrendered 28 first half points, but then shutout the Bulldogs in the second half as Paxton Tolleson, Brandon Jones and Gabe Watson all had interceptions after halftime, two of which were returned for scores, the third setting up another touchdown. This week Chapman will be on the road at Blue Ridge, who is coming off of a big loss to Chesnee in Week 2. The Panthers will roll in this game and will once again top 50 points as they will remain undefeated for another week.
Coach Bill Owens and the Chesnee Eagles have made the necessary adjustments on offense after their season opener and topped 40 points for the second consecutive game with a 42-7 thumping of Blue Ridge. Points won’t come quite as easy this week, as the Eagles will travel down the road to take on a Walhalla Razorbacks team that has allowed just 7 points through their first two games.
Chesnee quarterback Jacob Kimbrell was very impressive throwing the ball last week, finishing 14-21 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding another score on the ground and was named our Fox Sports 1400 Player of the Week, presented by Rockie Bull All-State Insurance. I believe this game will come down to the wire, and I like Kimbrell to make a big play to lead the Eagles to a close win on the road.
The Woodruff Wolverines continued their great start to the season by earning a 28-27 come from behind win over Southside Christian to improve to 3-0. Southside Christian led most of the game, but with the running game struggling in the second half, Coach Bradley Adams put the ball in the hands of his experienced quarterback Keegan Halloran, and he did not disappoint. Halloran was fantastic down the stretch in leading the Wolverines to a victory overcoming a two score second half deficit.
Woodruff should have their hands full again this Friday, as they travel to take on the Seneca Bobcats. Seneca is 0-2 on the season, but they have played very tough competition in facing Chapman and Daniel in their first two games. I like Woodruff to win another close game behind a strong second half from Keegan Halloran once again.
The Landrum Cardinals suffered their first defeat of the season this past Friday, falling to Walhalla by a score of 10-7. Coach Jason Farmer’s defense was strong once again last week, but after a touchdown on the opening drive, the offense was shutout. This Friday Landrum travels to take on Spartanburg Christian Academy, who is coming off of a 26-6 win over Oakbrook Prep. I think the Cardinal offense gets back on track this week, and I look for big games out of both quarterback Micheal Clark and running back Turner Ussery. I think Landrum gets back to their winning ways this week with a three score victory over SCA.
Another great week of 2A and 3A games around Spartanburg and I’m excited to see what Week 3 will show us about all our area teams.