3A/2A Preview Week 5
By Alex Smith
It’s the last week before our area 3A and 2A teams open region play. Here’s a rundown of this week’s games.
I’ll begin with the undefeated Chapman Panthers, as this Friday they will play on the road to take on the also undefeated Eastside Eagles. Last week Chapman was challenged by a good Woodruff team, but the Panthers’ offense was eventually too much as they pulled away for a 49-35 victory. Quarterback Mikele Colasurdo was outstanding, finishing with 5 total touchdowns on the night and was named one of our Co-Players of the Week. If you like offense, this should be the game you attend this Friday as this game has the makings of a shootout with both teams averaging well over 40 points per game. Last week Eastside had a big second half and ended up with 56 points in a win over Broome. Eastside is a very good football team and will challenge for the top spot in Region II-4A, but I feel like Chapman is on a warpath and won’t be stopped this year. Much like last week’s game against Woodruff, I think this one stays close for a while, but behind another big game from Colasurdo and running back Dante Smith, the Panthers will pull away in the second half.
The Broome Centurions will wrap up non-region play with a home game against the Wren Hurricanes this Friday. Broome fell to Eastside last week, while Wren dominated Clinton 63-13. In last week’s game, Broome was only down one point at halftime before allowing the Eagles to pull away. They will look for a much better finish to this game against a Wren team that doesn’t have as much depth as their last opponent. If Broome wants to get back to .500 before entering region play, I think it’s quarterback K.J. Morgan who will need to have a big night. If he can play mistake free football, I think the Centurions have a good chance to leave this game with a win. I expect this one to be close to the end, and Coach Lynn Fleming’s defense will force a few turnovers that will end up being the difference.
Another area team that has had some struggles late in games is the Chesnee Eagles. Again last week, Chesnee held a lead before falling on the road 20-13 at Landrum. It’s another tough 2A opponent this week as they are on the road at Blacksburg this Friday. The Wildcats are 3-1 on the year, coming off a 22-7 win over Catawba in Week 4. This game should be interesting, and I expect it will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes. Penalties and turnovers can be a difference maker when the two teams are as evenly matched as these two. Chesnee is going to beat a few teams this year, I just don’t know if this will be the game where they turn it around. Quarterback Jacob Kimbrell has been reliable so far this season, but he may have to do something spectacular to get a win on the road in a tough environment this Friday.
In 2A, the Landrum Cardinals are feeling good heading into this week’s match-up with the West Oak Warriors. Defensive back and Co-Player of the Week Payton Atkins was a difference maker last week against Chesnee, finishing the game with 4 tackles, a forced fumble, and a 4th quarter interception returned for a touchdown in the 20-13 victory. I expect Coach Jason Farmer’s defense to look spectacular once again this Friday in what I believe will be a comfortable victory. Quarterback Cooper Gentry and the offense should be able to score early and often, and I look for the Cardinals to be up by a few scores by halftime, and cruise to a 4-2 record as they head into their region opener in Week 6.
Woodruff and Union County are on a bye this week and will open region play next week along with everyone else. Plenty more great football to come.