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Week 1 Recap

Week 1 (or week 2 if you are like me and hate calling the 1st Friday of the season “Week 0”) was chock full of action. It was my first time getting out of the studio this season to experience the “normal” high school football atmosphere we all love. Full stands, loud student sections, the bands being in the stands and playing loudly, etc. It was incredible to be able to experience all of that in person again.


This week, there were a few unfortunate happenings as 2 of our originally scheduled games were cancelled. We were originally supposed to get Dutch Fork at Gaffney this week before a young man from Dutch Fork collapsed on the field at practice and died on Tuesday night. We were also supposed to get the annual Greer-Blue Ridge rivalry game this week, but it ended up being cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols after a Blue ridge player tested positive. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with the entire Dutch Fork community, the player’s family, and all those who may be affected by COVID at Blue Ridge.


Now, let’s get down to business..


Byrnes 37 Chapman 27


Our Spartanburg Nutrition Game of the Week certainly was worth the hype. Byrnes, fresh off a dominant offensive showing against Greer last week, came out swinging again this week on the road against a Chapman team with an offense that is just as potent and can hang with any 5A team in the state. Some had gone so far as to put Byrnes on upset alert, and justifiably so.


The Panthers and Rebels exchanged blows all game, showing themselves to be pretty evenly matched. Both teams relied heavily on the pass, and for Chapman, the combo of Drew Settle and Dj Black was killer. Dj Black hauled in 8 passes for 199 yards and 3 TDs. Settle was 21-43 for 321 yards through the air with 4 passing TDs.


On the Byrnes side of things, Gabe Rogers continued to show why he will be a player to watch week in and week out this season, as he went 15 for 23 with 329 yards and 2 TDs. The Rebel receiving corps was led by Thomas Gregory who caught 3 passes for 133 yards and a TD. But, the real hero of the game for Byrnes was Mack Long.


Long made plays all over the field and on both sides of the ball. Rushing, he racked up 158 yards on 16 carries with 2 TDs. He also had the pick that set the Rebs up for their last TD that put them up by 10 with a minute to play in the game, and 3 receptions for 48 yards.  It is without a doubt that Mack will be a front runner for our player of the week award.


It wasn’t the ideal outcome for Chapman, but I think Panthers fans can be happy with the way they played against the early favorite to win the top 5A region in our area. They haven’t missed a beat. They have gotten better and they will score a lot of points this year. Region 3-3A should take notice and fear the Panthers.


Broome 48 Chesnee 41


For the 2nd straight week, the Chesnee Eagles had a strong offensive showing only to fall short in the end. Last week, they saw Woodruff pull away for a 41-28 win. The Broome Centurions saw a familiar tale play out last week at Powdersville, as Broome led the entire game only to falter in the 4th quarter and fall 46-28.


This week featured a fun matchup between 2 very talented QBs in Broome’s Dylan Ramirez and Chesnee’s Jalen Rudisill. Jalen Rudisill carried the Eagles on his back, with a 50 yd TD rush, an 11 yd TD run, a 12 yard TD scamper, a 45 yard rush for a score, and to cap it all off, 1 passing TD for 15 yards to KJ Valentine.


Dylan Ramirez was just as dazzling, with a 5 yard TD pass, a 6 yd TD pass, and 2 rushing TDs (one 15 yards and the other from 14 yds out).


It was a 1 score game up to the early moments of the 4th quarter when Broome went up 14 on Ramirez’s 15 yd TD run. Chesnee fought back into it, and after trading blows, the Eagles found themselves back within a TD with :53 seconds to play. The comeback bid would fall just short as the Eagles fell 48-41.


The good news for Chesnee is that this was not a region game and the experience from tonight will only be a help going forward. Chesnee will rattle off some wins here soon and be in the hunt in region 2-2A. If you are a Broome fan, you have to be encouraged by what your offense was able to do. If they can do this consistently, and if Dylan Ramirez can continue to show he is the real deal, they will be a threat.


Mauldin 14 Spartanburg 9


Again, the big question coming into this one for Viking fans was whether or not we would see Raheim Jeter. Coach Hodge once again chose to start Garrett Fulmer in place of the still-recovering Jeter. However, Fulmer struggled this week. Raheim Jeter came into the game in the 2nd quarter and would play most of the game from there.


Jeter was not particularly sharp as one might expect since he did not practice with the team this week and he was playing through some discomfort.


The big positive for the Vikings is that their defense was strong again this week, limiting Mauldin to just 14 points that they scored on 2 drives in the 2nd half. The negative is that their special teams and turnover woes continued this week with another missed field goal and a pick.


The big question going forward is now that Raheim has played, will he develop the mental fortitude to fight through the pain and throw more like the Jeter we have become so accustomed to? Can the Vikings also cut down on the turnovers, costly penalties, and kicking woes? If they can do that, the Vikings can go on a real streak and make waves in region 2-5A.


Dorman 33 Boiling Springs 0


I was at this one, and let me just say as a Boiling Springs alum, I am not going to sugarcoat things. From the moment the Bulldogs took the field, one thing stood out about them. They were small. Not just in number, only having 30 some odd players make the trip to Dorman, but also in size, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines.


The Bulldogs returned only 2 starters on offense this year in wideouts Quanye Nails and Keondre Keenon. They also only have 5 key returners on defense in safety/rover Charles McFadden, safety Caden Sullivan, Linebacker Austin Henderson, D tackle Ethan Rennels, and Defensive End Malik Harper.


Rick Tate opted to name junior transfer Kairon Hines as his starting QB for this one. Hines was one of the few bright spots for the Dawgs. He has some speed, he is able to scramble well. He has plenty of potential to be a dual threat so long as he stays healthy, continues to develop, and sticks around. The one downside about Hines for this season is that he (obviously) has a lot of growth to do.


Kairon, like any “green” QB that can run has a run-first instinct that causes him to abandon the pocket when he senses any kind of pressure at all, and while he can move, with the undersized offensive line and inexperience they have, he often ends up running for his life. Hines was sacked 6 times for -48 yards. He had the tendency to roll out to his left a lot, only to run right into a tackle or into the teeth of the oncoming blitz. Hines also had the tendency that most young QBs do of holding on to the ball for too long and forcing throws off his back foot. He did this twice leading to 2 picks.


On the flip side, Dorman looked a lot better this week. Much more like the Dave Gutshall offenses we are accustomed to. The Cavaliers struggled to pass the ball in their 20-7 week 0 loss to Clover. They also did not have much success on the ground, accumulating barely over 100 yards of total offense. This week, the Cavs were able to move the ball with a balanced attack, and do so with ease.


The Cavaliers big offensive line overpowered the undersized Boiling Springs defensive line, and they were able to rush for 249 yards on 33 carries while airing it out for 127 yards on 9 pass attempts. Hudson Talley was 6-10 with 105 yards and 2 TDs. Demarius Foster and Chamarryus Bomar combined for 143 yards on 11 carries.


Dorman fans should feel more at ease with the confidence their offense gained last night. Boiling Springs may be down, but they did what they should have and then some against them and that shows that last week’s sloppy performance may have just been a fluke. Things do not get any easier for these 2 as Dorman goes to Fort Dorchester next week while the Bulldogs will host Chapman.


Gaffney 35 Summerville 7


To be honest, I don’t know much about what happened here. Gaffney was able to pick up Summerville at the last minute after cancelling their originally scheduled game vs Dutch Fork in the wake of the tragedy that happened this week. It appears that Gaffney was able to take care of business. I Know there was a scary injury to a Summerville player that had to be taken in an ambulance, leading to a lengthy delay. But, in the end, Gaffney was impressive and picked up another W to go to 2-0.


Hillcrest 41 Woodruff 24


The Wolverines, fresh off their impressive win in the highway 221 rivalry last week over Chesnee took to the road to battle a 5A opponent in the Hillcrest Rams.


This went about how you’d expect a game between a 3A and a 5A school to go (unless that 3A team is Chapman..). Hillcrest jumped out to an early 14-0 advantage and never really looked back. The Rams held the Wolverines to just 3 points in the first half. They managed to make adjustments and put some points on the board in the 2nd half. But, not enough as Hillcrest would score 20 points of their own in the 2nd half, en route to the win.


Christ Church 36 Landrum 14


The Cardinals entered 2021 having to replace Cooper Gentry at QB. Their new arm is junior Jesse Bowers. Over the last few years, the Cardinals have lacked depth, the right pieces around Gentry, and the ability to finish games. This year, they are young again, and it showed tonight as they were outmatched by Christ Church. The Cards managed to score 2 TDs that made it more respectable late on a 2 yard TD run by Bowers that followed a 51 yard rush by him with 6:17 to play as well as a 24 yard TD pass from Bowers to Franklin Davis with mere seconds left to play in the game.


The Cards will look to rebound against Crescent in week 2 (or is it 3?)


That does it for this week. Be sure to tune in this week and keep checking out our website as we prep you for another exciting Friday Football Frenzy. We will name our player of the week, preview week 2, and get you prepped for the kickoff to the 2021 college football season all in the coming days here on Fox Sports Spartanburg!

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