3A/2A Preview Week 7
By Alex Smith
Region play is underway in 2A and 3A, so it’s time to take a look at some important games coming up this Friday night.
I’ll open with our Fox Sports 1400 Game of the Week, presented by Burrito Hub, which is the Union County Yellow Jackets at the Woodruff Wolverines. This game should go a long way in deciding the champion in Region III-3A. Woodruff looks like the favorite in this region, coming in at 5-1 with their only loss coming against the undefeated Chapman Panthers. The Jackets should pose a tough challenge for Woodruff, as they posses impressive size along an offensive line that opens enough holes for the team regularly top 300 yards rushing.
Union should be feeling confident entering this matchup after opening region play with a 62-7 beatdown of Clinton last week. Quarterback Kesean Glover was electric as usual, making several big plays on the ground early to put the game out of reach before halftime.
Woodruff also looked good in their region opener, coming away with a 35-21 victory over Newberry. Quarterback Keegan Halloran was extremely efficient in the win, finishing 14-18 passing, for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
I believe this game will be close in the second half, but I think Keegan Halloran and a dynamic run game led by Demi Dale will be too much for Union to stop for four quarters. If Union can find something in the passing game I think they could find a way to win, but I believe they will be forced to be one dimensional and will fall in a close one.
Over in Region II-3A the Broome Centurions will make the short trip out to Chesnee to take on Bill Owens’ Eagles squad. Broome fell in a close contest with Chapman last Friday, even leading in the second half before falling 34-28.
Chesnee also fell in their region opener, but it wasn’t nearly as close as they dropped their fourth straight game by a score of 59-7 against Southside.
Even in a loss a week ago, I think the Centurions found some success. The defense and special teams played extremely well, holding Chapman to just 10 first half points, and also had a big kickoff return for a touchdown late in the game. The offense moved the ball well, but turnovers proved to be difference in the second half of a close game.
Chesnee hasn’t been trending in the right direction as of late, and Bill Owens will need a huge game from quarterback Jacob Kimbrell if the Eagles want to earn their first region win of 2018. I like Broome to get the victory this Friday, and I believe Coach Lynn Fleming’s team will turn the tide and go on a winning streak before entering postseason play.
One team that has remained consistent in 2018 is the Chapman Panthers. Coach Hodge’s team had plenty of struggles a week ago, but again it was the defense coming up with the big plays in big moments, as Paxton Tolleson came away with two interceptions to help seal the win for Chapman.
This Friday the Panthers play host to winless Carolina Academy. Carolina is coming off of a bye week, but even with two weeks to prepare I don’t see this game staying close. Chapman has too many weapons on offense and will win this one handily to move to 8-0 on the year.
In 2A, the Landrum Cardinals are excited to open region play after a bye a week ago. The Cardinals will host St. Joseph’s, who is coming off of a 28-0 defeat at the hands of Southside Christian.
The Cardinals defense has been smothering all season, giving up just 6.5 points per game so far. That, coupled with the struggles that St. Joe’s had a week ago, lead me to believe Landrum will get the win this Friday. As long as quarterback Michael Clark doesn’t go crazy and turn the ball over 4+ times, Landrum should score enough to come away with a two score victory.
It’s week 7 and we’ve got another great Friday of games, and this week’s games will all have a huge impact in deciding region champions and playoff seeding.