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Week 5 Recap

Week 5 recap


It is crazy to think that after tonight, we are officially done with non-region games. Tonight, many of our local teams got their final tune up before things start to get real and games start to matter next week. Sadly, there were a lot of blowouts, but we did learn a lot about our teams this week. Let’s start the recap at the 5A level.


Dutch Fork 42 Spartanburg 13


While some prefer to play down a level for their final non-region tune up, Spartanburg was one of the exceptions to that. Mark Hodge is never one to shy away from a challenge. He and the Vikings made the trek down I-26 to Irmo to face the beast that is the undefeated 5 time defending 5A state champion Dutch Fork Silver Foxes.


This one went almost exactly to script for how you think it would have. Barring a miracle or an epic meltdown on Dutch Fork’s end, Spartanburg was likely never going to win this one or really be in it. The expectation for this one should have been to keep it respectable, get some good reps, and avoid any injuries that could affect the team going forward into region play against Byrnes next week. Very similar to the situation South Carolina was in at UGA last Saturday.


The Vikings did exactly that. Dutch Fork controlled the game, with Spartanburg scoring a couple of TDs in “garbage time.” The Vikes had no significant injuries, although as a precaution, Drek Carter did not play in the 2nd half and Raheim Jeter also did not play much in the 2nd half.


Spartanburg will now look ahead to a crucial region showdown on the road at Byrnes next week. Right now, this region is shaping up to be a wide open battle to the finish, and it is vital to playoff seeding to start 1-0 and get a head-to-head advantage.


Dorman 42 Ridge View 20


The Cavaliers, much like their cross-town rivals, also made the trek down 26 towards the capital city to take on the Ridge View Blazers. Dorman had been off these last 2 weeks due to COVID-19 protocols, with their last game being a 38-28 loss at Fort Dorchester. There was lots of uncertainty coming into this matchup for Dorman. Uncertainty about who all would be available to play and who was still potentially under protocols. Uncertainty about whether or not they’d be rusty after 2 weeks off. Uncertainty about whether or not they will be a run heavy, pass heavy, or balanced offense. Uncertainty as to if Hudson Talley would still be the man under center for Dave Gutshall’s squad. Etc.


Early lean with this one for me personally was that Dorman would struggle a little, especially since Ridge View is not a slouch, and given that it was on the road. But, as they have been known to do under the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of local high school football (Dave Gutshall is an absolute football genius), they proved that you should never question or count out the Cavs.


Coming into this game, Dorman had not had a balance established on offense. If I were to give one critique of them tonight, that would be it. They still have not been able to balance. Week 0 against Clover, they struggled to do anything on O. Against Boiling Springs, they found some rhythm in the passing game. They really opened up the passing game at Fort Dorchester. But, this week, the Cavaliers had most of their offensive production on the ground.


Dorman’s Damarius Foster had 269 rushing yards on 29 carries with 5 touchdowns, averaging 9.3 yards per carry. Overall, the Cavaliers ran for 322 yards, accounting for all but 95 yards of their total offense. Hudson Talley only passed the ball  10 times, going 7-10 with no TDs. Some of that rushing success can be attributed to 1 simple personnel change Coach Gutshall made this week, moving one of his bigger guys to be a blocking fullback.


Looking ahead, Dorman will open region play with a very intriguing matchup against an undefeated — yes you read that right — UNDEFEATED Riverside. This ain’t your old Riverside team. They have undergone a drastic culture change. Coach Matthew Rochester has done a fantastic job of changing their fortunes and establishing a sense of confidence in this team akin to what Bruce Clark did for Boiling Springs back in 2008, and I fully believe he has that team believing that can beat anybody on any given Friday. I don’t think they will beat Dorman, but this matchup will still teach us a lot about whether or not Riverside is a contender to make the playoffs and it will be a good test for Dorman as well.


Mauldin 58 Boiling Springs 7


“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…..” That song accurately describes what has been going on at Boiling Springs over the last 2 weeks. This very young Bulldog team had started the season with Junior transfer Kairon Hines at quarterback. With the Dogs struggling in every facet of the game on offense with him, last week in their shutout loss to Hillcrest, Rick Tate opted to move Hines to wide receiver and test the waters with freshman Lincoln Huskey at QB.


Huskey didn’t light up the stat sheet or make a huge impact last week, since the Bulldogs did get shut out and spent most of the game with their backs against the shadow of their own goal line. But, at this point, making the change doesn’t really hurt the bulldogs. In all honesty, this team is loaded with sophomores, and as I stated last week, those sophomores have a lot of room for growth. The Bulldogs at this point, 0-5 entering region play, probably will not make the playoffs this season. But, if they can stay healthy and keep growing, they have a very bright near future lined up.


This season is basically all about building for that future at this point, and getting the freshman that could now end up being a 4 year starter some reps can only help with that growth and development for the future.


As a brief summary of how the night went for the Bulldogs, they continued to fail to get the offense rolling against a Mauldin team that just outmatched them. The Bulldogs were able to muster a late 14 yard rushing TD from Carmelo Martin to avoid back to back shutouts.


Things don’t get any easier for Boiling Springs as they open region play at home next week against Gaffney. I look for that Indian defense to dominate the Dogs up front and wreak havoc in the backfield. Gaffney should have no trouble getting to 1-0 in the region.


Gaffney 38 Gray Collegiate 35


In the lone nail biter of the week, the 2A Gray Collegiate Academy War Eagles came to the Reservation looking to pull off the upset of the season, and they established from the opening whistle that they were there to play, scoring a TD on their first 2 drives and limiting Gaffney to just a field goal in the 1st quarter. Gaffney’s defense stood tough down 14-3, allowing Grayson Loftis and the Indians’ offense to chip their way back into it.


Loftis connected with Sug Jeffries for a 20 yard TD early in the 3rd quarter to give Gaffney their first lead of the game. GCA answered with a 19 yard TD run by KZ Adams before Gaffney would strike back with 3 consecutive scoring drives to go up 38-21.


Gray Collegiate did not just lie down though. The War Eagles clawed all the way back consecutive scoring drives of their own to make it a 38-356 game with :25 to play in the game. Gray recovered the ensuing onside kick and then attempted a 47 yard field goal to try and tie it to force overtime, but it fell a yard short and the Indians held on for the win.


Hats off to Gray Collegiate Academy. They were not expected to be in this game. Most expected Gaffney’s nasty defense, their talent, and their depth would take over and they would pull away late. But GCA simply kept fighting and showed why they are a very good football team. Hats off to Gaffney’s defense as well. They fought like mad to keep their team in the game after falling behind early, and then came up clutch several times late in the game. This was a huge test of how the Indians can respond to adversity and they passed it with black and gold colors flying.


Gaffney will open region play at Boiling Springs next week.


Greer 35 Woodruff 19


Greer is riding a hot hand right now after a hard fought 34-33 win over Union last week on the road in the 28th installment of the Jacket Bowl. Woodruff suffered a 29-21 loss on the road last week against Belton-Honea Path in a game where they trailed 22-0 at the half, but with the help of sophomore QB Khori Scott, mounted a furious comeback in the 2nd half.


Scott, who is filling in for the injured Carson Tucker (who has now received clearance to play and may be back on the field here soon), got the nod again against the Yellow Jackets, and turned in a back and forth performance for most of the 1st half.


Woodruff struck first on a 31 yard field goal by Noah Gaspar. Greer answered as Hollis Crosby kept it himself for a 4 yard TD rush to go up 7-3. Khori Scott hit Mathis Dial for a 30 yard TD reception to put the wolverines back up 9-7, which would end up the score at the end of the 1st quarter.


The 2nd quarter was where this one began to flip towards Greer. Just a few ticks into the quarter, Mott Thackston punched it in from 3 yards out to give the Jackets a 14-9 lead. Woodruff would only be able to muster another Gaspar field goal in the first half, this one from 26 yards out to make it 14-12.


From there, Greer outscored Woodruff 21-7 to go on to the win. Greer’s Malakhi Saunders was a key contributor in Greer’s pulling away with 2 TD receptions, one being a 45 yard catch and run on a slant and the other being a 28 yard TD catch.


Greer has a massive region/rivalry game coming up this week as they will play host to the Greenville Red Raiders. Greenville has been lighting up the scoreboards this season so far, and they are touted as a favorite to win region 2-4A. Greer, having found some consistency has a real chance to make a run at the region or at least get the #2 spot out of the region. It all hinges on what happens at Historic Dooley Field a week from now.


Broome 35 Landrum 7


The Cardinals hit the road for a tough final test in non region play, taking on Dylan Ramirez and the Broome Centurions. Landrum entered this game with confidence, having won 3 in a row, scoring 111 points while only giving up 11 in that span. Broome has had an interesting season as well, with one of the more potent offenses in Region 3-3A, while their defense has struggled to finish games.


Broome really needed a big game from their defense last night to bolster their confidence as they get ready for that loaded region schedule, and that is exactly what they got. They also got something else they needed last night.. A big night rushing the football. Broome has a lot of awesome pieces on the offensive side of the ball. Obviously, they have an incredible QB in Ramirez. They have a good wideout in Braxtin Turner. Jamir Dewberry is no exception at tailback. Dewberry almost single handedly controlled the game last night for Broome, rushing the ball for well over 200 yards with 4 touchdowns.


A game like this can do wonders for a team’s confidence as they go into region play. Even better for Broome, they will get a week off next week (provided they do not add a game) to get some rest and some additional practice and preparation under their belt that they will need. The Centurions first region game is against Clinton, who is undefeated after a 41-20 win over Newberry last night. Clinton has a powerful offense as well, averaging 42 points per game. Broome’s defense will need all the confidence they can muster to help their team stay in that one, and it looks like this has the potential to see a lot of fireworks on the offensive side of the ball.


Landrum plays in a 4 team region, which means that they will not begin region play for another 2 weeks, and that they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. All the Cards need to do is put this one behind them and focus on getting back on the beam and continuing to get better each week. Landrum will get a bye week before they open their region slate with the Blacksburg Wildcats at home.


Timberland 32 Chesnee 19


Chesnee’s defensive;be struggles continued last night, as they faltered in the 2nd half to fall on the road at Timberland. Contrary to their 0-5 record, it is not all bad for the Eagles. Chesnee has by far played one of the toughest non region schedules in our area. They have faced almost all of region 3-3A with Broome, Chapman, Woodruff, and they have also played Fairfield Central and now Timberland. That kind of schedule doesn’t help the win percentage, but it can’t hurt them when it comes to getting them battle tested and ready for the games that matter in region. Chesnee, like Landrum, is guaranteed a playoff spot. It is just a matter of where they finish in the pecking order to determine if they will get a home game or not.


Last night, the Eagles’ option offense struggled to get going just like they did against Chapman last week, and unfortunately they are not designed to keep up or play from behind. They took a 7-6 lead late in the 1st quarter on a big 76 yard pitch play for a TD by Bryson Thompson. The Eagle defense managed to keep this one close at the half as they went in only trailing 14-7. In the early going of the 2nd half, Chesnee put together a long 90 yard drive that resulted in a 21 yard TD run by Jayden Gossett, but they missed the PAT, helping Timberland keep a 1 point edge 14-13.


The Eagles would take the lead one last time in this one on a 3 yard TD rush by Jayden Gossett, putting them up 19-14. But that is all they could muster for the remainder of the game. Timberland scored 18 unanswered en route to the win.


As I said earlier, all’s not lost for Chesnee. The Eagles are in the playoffs and they have one more non region game to build some confidence as the battle to determine the pecking order in Region 2-2A begins in 2 weeks. I keep comparing this young Chesnee team to the 2019 team that was in similar shoes. That team started off with a goose egg in the win column before getting hot at the right time in region play. They went on to win a playoff game. This team has the same potential. I look forward to seeing them hopefully break through here in the coming weeks.


Chesnee will wrap up non region vs a former region foe next week at home vs Legion Collegiate Academy.


That is a wrap on non-region for everybody but Region 2-2A. Next week…. The fun begins!

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