Week 7 4A/5A Preview
Here’s a look at what is coming up in 4A and 5A in Week 7.
I’ll start with our Spartanburg Nutrition Game of the Week which is Gaffney at Dorman. Gaffney defeated Boiling Springs last week 34-0, while Dorman knocked off Riverside 47-14.
Gaffney didn’t have much of a problem last week with the Bulldogs as they were never really threatened and cruised to a shutout win. This week should be much more difficult as the Indians will face a Dorman team coming in after two consecutive wins in which they ran for over 300 yards. The Cavaliers seemed to have figured out the issues on offense that plagued them early in the season, as the offensive line has been dominant over the past few games including averaging over 12 yards per rush attempt last week against Riverside.
While the Cavs had some struggles early in the year, the Indians have had no such issues in 2021. Using a balanced offense behind quarterback Grayson Loftis and a group of running backs led by Tyler Smith, the Indians have gotten off to a 6-0 start winning by an average score of 36 to 14.
While this game won’t count in the region standings, I expect both teams to be excited about playing against a big rival. This game should be a good measuring stick to see where these teams stand as they are both in the top ten of the 5A rankings. Both teams will want to run the football on Friday, and I believe both defenses will be prepared for it. Therefore, I think this game will come down to quarterback play in the second half, so it’ll be interesting to see which quarterback steps up in crunch time. Dorman was able to overcome 17 penalties last week, but they can’t make those same mistakes against an excellent Gaffney team that has made a living off taking advantage of other teams miscues this year. I think this comes down to a one possession game, and I believe Gaffney’s defense will make enough plays late to come away with a win.
One of our local teams that will be looking to move to 2-0 in region play is the Spartanburg Vikings, as they host Wade Hampton. Spartanburg pulled out a 33-30 win over Byrnes last week, while Wade Hampton was on a bye.
Last Friday, the Vikings won over Byrnes on a last second 29-yard field goal by kicker John Love. The win put the Vikings in great position moving forward as they hope to challenge for a region title this season. It wasn’t easy for Coach Mark Hodge and his team, as they had to overcome over 100 yards in penalties and trailed heading into the fourth quarter.
Spartanburg shouldn’t have as much trouble this week as they host a Wade Hampton team that is 0-5 on the year, being outscored by nearly 40 points per game. Raheim Jeter and the offense should have a big day, as the Generals are allowing a staggering 56 points per game. The Vikings should win handily on their homecoming, and Coach Hodge’s team will be 2-0 in region play entering the stretch run.
Also two teams in Region II-5A looking to bounce back from a loss will face off, as Byrnes heads to Riverside.
The Rebels were unable to hold of the Vikings in the fourth quarter, and Riverside couldn’t stop the Dorman rushing attack in their loss last Friday.
Coach Reggie Shaw will look have his team prepared for a tough road matchup with the 6-1 Warriors. Riverside’s starting quarterback was knocked out of the game last week, and the Warriors offense was never quite as effective after he left. If he can play this week, I think this game will see some electric plays from both offenses. If he can’t go, I think it will be tough for Riverside to move the ball consistently against a much-improved Rebels defense.
While this isn’t the same old Riverside from years past, I think Gabe Rogers and the Byrnes offense will score more than enough points to earn their first region win of the year.
Elsewhere in 5A, Boiling Springs is at Nation Ford. The Bulldogs fell to Gaffney 34-0, while Nation Ford beat Fort Mill 35-0.
The Bulldogs struggles on offense have been no secret, and I don’t see them being able to fix the issues before the end of the year. Fort Mill is coming off a dominant effort on both sides of the ball, and I don’t expect this week to be any different. Nation Ford should win by double digits, and Boiling Springs will fall to 0-2 in region play.
In 4A action in our area, Belton-Honea Path is taking on Greer at Dooley Field. Greer lost to Greenville 42-28 while BHP defeated Pendleton 53-27.
The Yellow Jackets hung tough with Greenville last week, before the Red Raiders pulled away in the second half. Offensively they seemed to have improved drastically from earlier in the season, as quarterback Hollis Crosby has improved every week. They will need to be good on that side of the ball again as BHP can score plenty of points in a hurry.
As is the case in most games between evenly matched teams, I think turnovers will be the difference in this matchup. If the Yellow Jackets can win the turnover battle, I think they will be able to hold BHP to less than 30 points, which should be good enough to pull out a close win.