By Cole Bryson
Week 2 of region play is here for our 5A teams and we are starting to learn more and more about our local teams.
One of the games I am looking forward to the most this week is Gaffney at Byrnes. This is a very intriguing matchup between two good teams that are trying to compete for the region crown. I really like the athleticism of the Gaffney Indians. I think Gaffney’s offense will be tested by a very good Byrnes defense, but down the stretch the Indians will make big plays that will allow them to get momentum. While I do like the Rebel defense, I am really high on the Gaffney defense. It’s one of the more under-rated defenses in the entire state. Dan Jones will have his guys motivated and ready to play this game. On the other hand, I think the Byrnes Rebels will be very competitive. The Rebels are coming off of a nice win over Spartanburg. Both teams have solid defenses, great coaches, and plenty of speed on the outside which should make for a very good matchup Friday night. I like the Gaffney Indians to edge it out on the road over a very talented Byrnes football team.
On the opposite end of I-85, the Boiling Springs Bulldogs host the Dorman Cavaliers. Both of these teams are 1-0 in region play. Dorman is coming off of a win over Hillcrest in a game where the Rams gave the Cavaliers all they wanted and some. Matthew Powell, Kamal Desor, Hillstock, Morgan, & Pickney will be a tall task for the home standing Bulldogs. Coach Gutshall will have his team prepared for battle this Friday. Boiling Springs is coming off of a blowout win over the Riverside Warriors. Boiling Springs looked good in all facets of the game especially on the defensive end. The Bulldogs have had a up and down season with wins over Westside & Riverside and losses to Chapman & Dutch Fork. Boiling Springs CAN win this game, but they will have to play nearly perfect. They have 0 chance to win, in my opinion, if they cannot establish a run game with Charles McFadden & Trey Miller. If the Bulldogs can establish a run game and make the game easier for Aaron Thomas, I think this game could be close. I am very interested in seeing Storm Duck match up with Jacoby Pinckney. This could be a very entertaining game if the Bulldogs are on their A-game. I like the Cavaliers to win comfortably on the road this Friday night.
The Spartanburg Vikings are on the road and are going up against the Hillcrest Rams. Both of these teams are 0-1 in region play. Hillcrest is coming off of a loss to Dorman, & Spartanburg is coming off of a loss to Byrnes. The Vikings are 1-3 on the season and look to have many problems of their own. Matched up against a very good Rams football team, Spartanburg will have to have a much improved game at the offensive line position. This has been something that has hurt the Vikings this season not allowing the QB’s to get the time & protection that they need. I did like what I saw from the Viking defense against Byrnes. The Vikings were able to get off the field several times and shot themselves in the foot on offense which allowed Byrnes to get a lead. Hillcrest is hungry for their first region win and hungry for a win to get to 1-1 in region play. It is hard to imagine Chris Miller starting the season 1-4, but that is what I see for the Vikings. I like the Rams to win by a late touchdown in a very close ballgame. However, if Spartanburg can win the turnover battle AND give their QB’s time to work, I do believe that the Vikings could surprise some people and get a win on Friday but my gut is telling me to go with Hillcrest and that is who I am rolling with this Friday.
For more on these games and a complete breakdown, tune into the Saturday Sports Report Saturday morning from 7-10am on 98.3 FM or on the Fox Sports 1400 App.