Week 2 Recap
How are we already 3 weeks into the season? Seems only yesterday the olympics were going on and we were still anxiously counting down the days to the start of football season.. Well, we had a few intriguing matchups this week. So, let’s get right down to business and break down what happened in week 2 (technically 3) of high school football.
Dutch Fork 56 Byrnes 25
Our game of the week presented by Spartanburg Nutrition had a lot of hype and at the same time a lot of question marks coming in. Byrnes was off to a 2-0 start and looking like the offensive juggernaut we often associate Byrnes with being, especially back when they were in their mid 2000s run of dominance under Bobby Bentley. The Rebels had scored 92 points in their first 2 games of the season, balancing their offense well compared to a year ago when the struggled mightily to get their passing attack going.
Dutch Fork was off last week as a result of the tragic loss of Jack Alkhatib, a senior offensive lineman who collapsed in practice. Many questioned just how they would play this week, whether they’d still be reeling from grief or whether or not they’d come out on fire, ready to dominate in honor of their fallen comrade.
That question was answered quite quickly. The Foxes did a great job, for the most part, of controlling their emotions and just playing their game. They executed their game plan to perfection early on. Dutch Fork leaned on the duo of their incredibly quick and versatile running back Jarvis Green as well as dual threat QB Davin Patterson. They took their opening drive 68 yards in 6 plays, capping it off with a 16 yard TD pass from Patterson to Nicholas Sowell.
The Rebels answered quickly with a 3 play 74 yard drive that culminated in a 56 yard catch and run down the near sideline from Gabe Rogers to Gregory Thomas. Both trams trade blows for most of the 1st half until things started to get a bit chippy late in the 1st half.
Byrnes’ game plan tonight was fairly simple. Use Mack Long to your advantage. Let him get chunk plays and control the clock. They executed that well and were able to hang with the Foxes. However, Dutch Fork began to really come after Long. There were some late hits and personal fouls. Mack Long was injured on one of those fouls and had to leave the game, with what appears to be a serious knee injury. More will be revealed on that later, and we certainly hope for the best for the talented young running back that is such a key part of both the Rebels’ offense as well as to the team as a whole.
After Long left the game, the Rebels offense struggled to get into a rhythm and get their run game going, with Elijah Barnes averaging just under 5 yards per carry. This is not to say that Byrnes did not pass the ball with success. Rogers was 17-35 with 296 yards and 2 TDs. Colin Imhoff led the way receiving with 167 yards and a TD.
Ultimately, the difference in the game was a mix of losing Mack Long paired with Byrnes just giving up too many big plays. Dutch Fork had passing TDs of 55, 71, and 36 yards in the game as well as a lot of big plays between the 30s to move the ball. The question from here is how Byrnes responds to potentially losing Mack Long for the year. The Rebels still have plenty of talent to make a splash and be in the region mix. They really might still be the favorite to win 2-5A. The Rebels really won’t face another team as big and physical as Dutch Fork the rest of the season. But, still, without Long, they could hit a bit of a wall.
Spartanburg 45 Hillcrest 37
The Vikings have had an interesting and tough start to the season. They had been missing their leader in QB Raheim Jeter, who injured his shoulder in the preseason. Coach Hodge had been taking it easy on bringing him back so that he would not reinjure himself. Garrett Fulmer had been filling in for him, and the Vikes, in spite of the tough 0-2 start, still made good progress and showed that things are trending up for them. This week, Raheim finally got to practice with the team and start, which clearly made a big difference.
Jeter, although still not necessarily at 100%, threw 4 TD passes to 4 different receivers. The Vikings had a lot of success through the air, as Hillcrest limited RB Drek Carter. The Vikings led this game 31-7 at the midway point of the 1st half and then kinda pulled a Will Muschamp and let off the gas.
Take nothing away from them.. The Hillcrest Rams can score. They hung 41 on Woodruff last week. So, naturally, if you let off on defense, even in the slightest, they are going to take advantage of it. They outscored Spartanburg 30-14 in the second half, and moved the ball methodically with urgency.
Ultimately, the Vikings were due to finally break through to the win column, and with Jeter being back, it did not make it difficult to favor the Vikings in this one. Now Jeter and the Vikes must set their sights on a road test against a Boiling Springs team that surprised tonight. Will Raheim Jeter continue to get back to his full health? We saw flashes of the Jeter we are accustomed to last night, and if the Vikings are to continue to improve and make a run at Byrnes and Dorman for the region, he will need to keep building more tolerance and strength in that shoulder.
Chapman 41 Boiling Springs 17
Both Boiling Springs and Chapman came into what I call “The friendliest rivalry in sports” (these 2 schools are thought of as rivals, but they’re more like neighbors. Folks in Inman like their neighbors in Boiling Springs and vice versa) having suffered tough losses to open their seasons. The Chapman Panthers saw a bid to upset Byrnes fall just short at home last week as it slipped away from them late in the 4th quarter. Boiling Springs was shut out by Dorman last week 33-0 for the 3rd straight shutout loss and 8th consecutive loss in the series with the Cavaliers.
The young and undersized Bulldogs really struggled last week to get anything going offensively, with the lone bright spot for them being the future potential being shown by jr QB Kairon Hines. But, as the old cliche goes, you always see the most improvement between weeks 1 and 2. That adage was true for Boiling Springs tonight, as the Bulldogs did not find themselves in a big hole early like many expected. Not only that, but they managed to hold their own for the majority of the 1st half. The Bulldogs caught a few breaks with a couple of big plays, an early turnover when Chapman was driving, and a generally slow start by the Panthers. The game was tied at 10 until late in the 2nd quarter when the Chapman offense finally turned it on and scored 14 unanswered to lead to a 24-10 halftime lead.
The Panthers would go on to outscore Boiling Springs 17-7 in the 2nd half to win it 41-17. Chapman QB Drew Settle was phenomenal through the air with 5 passing TDs and 351 passing yards. On the Bulldogs’ side of things, their success was on the ground. Kam Williams rushed for 175 yards (with 30 receiving yards as well).
Boiling Springs will host Spartanburg next week while Chapman will play host to the Brookland-Cayce Bearcats. Can the Bulldogs continue to make strides to show they might have a bright future ahead of them?
Fort Dorchester 38 Dorman 28
The cliche rang true for Dorman between week 0 and week 1, as the Cavaliers went from getting beat 20-7 by Clover and having one of the poorest offensive showings I have ever seen from a Dorman football team to shutting Boiling Springs out 33-0. The thought that was at the back of my mind after last week was just how much of that was due to an actual improvement and how much of it was due to just how young, inexperienced, and undersized Boiling Springs was. Regardless of which, Dorman met expectations and did what they were supposed to against a Bulldog team they outmatched. This week, Dave Gutshall’s crew faced a true test, traveling down to the lowcountry to take on a really good Fort Dorchester.
One of the big offensive question marks for Dorman has been who would be QB this year. Coach Gutshall continued to say this week that he’d stick to a 2 QB system between Hudson Talley and either Chamarryus Bomar or Xion Kilbourn. However, through the course of 3 games, Hudson Talley has taken the bulk of the snaps for the Cavaliers.
Despite the loss tonight, Talley certainly had a breakout type of performance. We often relate Dorman football to having a strong running game, big offensive line, and a bowling ball/bruiser type running back. Dorman does have that this year, but tonight, the Cavaliers looked to keep pace with Fort Dorchester by airing it out a lot. Hudson Talley threw the ball 32 times, completing 20 passes for 314 yards and 3 TDs. Talley also threw 2 interceptions that ultimately made a difference in this one. But, that isn’t necessarily a negative. When you throw that much, you will inevitably throw a pick or 2.
Some other key performers for Dorman were Norman Kendall, who hauled in 8 passes for 124 yards and a TD with an average of 15 yards per catch, and Tyson Rodgers, who had 86 yards and a TD on 6 receptions. Emo Dawkins and Demarius Foster combined for 89 rushing yards and a TD.
The Cavaliers will go to Simpsonville next week to take on Hillcrest. It will be interesting to see what all else we learn about Dorman, as we seem to get something different out of them every week. This Hillcrest team is also interesting. All in all, it looks to be an intriguing matchup.
Fairfield Central 32 Chesnee 16
It is easy to look at Chesnee’s 0-3 record to this point and question them or write them off. However, when you look at who the Eagles have played, as well as how well they have done offensively, you can’t help but think eventually this team is going to turn the corner and break through. This is not a new concept for Chesnee. The Eagles had a similar problem in 2019 where they were in games late, yet just couldn’t finish. That young 2019 team (this year’s team is also) started 1-4 before going on to win 5 of their last 8 games. That could be the case again this year.
Chesnee trailed the Griffins 13-10 in the waning seconds of the 1st quarter in the debut game for their new turf field and improved stadium. It looked to be a real barn burner before Farfield Central, like Chapman against Boiling Springs, found their stride and went on to outscore the Eagles 19-6 over the final 3 quarters.
Nick Hofer led the Eagles offensively, rushing for 63 yards. Otherwise, Fairfield Central was able to tame the Chesnee offense. The Eagles will look to bounce back and finally break through to the win column next week as they host R-S Central out of North Carolina.
Greer 28 Westside 25
The Yellow Jackets got back at it this week after a week off last week due to a covid cancellation of their scheduled game with rival Blue Ridge. This one was a back and forth affair from the opening bell.
Westside drew first blood with a 25 yard TD run by Amir Dendy. Greer answered with a 6 yard TD rush by Israel “Izzy” Rhodes. With 4:50 to play in the 1st half, Hollis Crosby gave the Jackets the lead on an 8 yd TD scamper. Westside cut that lead to 14-10 with a 20 yd fieldgoal with mere seconds to go in the half.
Westside took a 17-14 lead late in the 3rd on an 11 yard TD run by Amir Dendy. But, that did not hold for long as Hollis Crosby hit Peyton Diggins on a screen for a 30 yard TD to put Greer up 21-17. The Jackets jumped out to their biggest lead of the night on a 1 yard TD run by Ladannian Martin that put them up 28-17 with a little over 7 minutes to play in the game.
Westside would cut it to a 3 point game again with 2:32 to play on an 18 yard TD pass to Jimmar Boston and a 2 point conversion. But, the comeback bid would die there. Greer got their first win of the year 28-25, and like Spartanburg, they should be fine going forward. They currently don’t have a game scheduled next week, and we will be awaiting word on if they will add one this week. Otherwise, it will be a bye week before the annual Jacket Bowl at Union.
Landrum 21 Crescent 5
Yes, you read that right. Crescent scored 5 points in this game. I don’t really have a lot on this matchup, but what I do know is that Landrum needed a win, and this was a very favorable matchup for them to get their first of the season. Landrum QB Jesse Bowers tallied his 2nd and 3rd rushing TDs of the year tonight with one from a yard out and another from 11. Linebacker Eli Quinn logged the Cardinals’ 3rd score of the game on a 25 yard pick 6 on the first play from scrimmage of the 2nd half. Landrum has a road tilt with Ninety-Six next week, and it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals can get their offense going a little more with a Ninety-Six team that is off to a rocky start in spite of being 1-1, with a win over a bad Ware Shoals and a loss to Emerald.
Laurens 44 Union County 28
The Yelllow Jackets finally got their 2021 campaign underway tonight after a 2 week delay due to covid-19 cases on the team. They went to Laurens to take on the Raiders, who are fresh off a tough loss to rival Clinton last week. Union entered this season with some enthusiasm with the return of Ja’Bryson Hunter at QB. Hunter lived up to his billing last night with 3 passing TDs.
Unfortunately for Union, the fact they’ve been off for 2 weeks, lack of depth with a few players out still, plus the fact that this was their first game came back to bite them as they started to see a lot of cramps and got worn down in the 2nd half. Laurens went on to outscore the Yellow Jackets 17-7 across the final 2 quarters en route to the 44-28 win. Union will look to put this one behind them quickly as they travel to York to take on the Cougars next week. With a fully healthy team, they hopefully will be able to get in the win column.
That is a wrap for week 2! As always, check with our website or the app for preview articles and picks for week 3 as well as to see how you can play along with our weekly Hewitt Pest Control pick slate! Enjoy the long weekend full of college football and have a very safe and happy Labor Day!