Week Zero 4A/5A Preview
We made it. Football season is here. It’s finally time to preview what’s coming up in Week 0 in 4A and 5A in our area.
Greenville at Dorman
The Dorman Cavaliers open the Dustin Curtis era at home against the Greenville Red Raiders. The Cavaliers will once again be expected to be very good along the offensive and defensive lines. The O-line boasts a couple of division 1 commits in seniors DJ Geth (UNC) and Markee Anderson (SC). They also return quarterback Hudson Talley who has looked sharp throwing the ball in scrimmages. Greenville is a team that has some talented speedsters at the skill positions, but I expect the Cavs to have a distinct advantage along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball this week. If Talley can throw the ball well enough to keep the Red Raiders defense off balance, it will open things up for running back Demarius Foster to have a big night. As long as the Cavs don’t get sloppy with penalties and turnovers, I believe they come away with a comfortable win.
Boiling Springs at T.L. Hanna
The Bulldogs are also breaking in a new head coach as Matt Reel takes over for the retired Rick Tate. Last season the Bulldogs struggled offensively but still managed to squeak into the playoffs. This year they return to Region II with the other Spartanburg county schools and Gaffney. The Bulldogs will begin the year with two quarterbacks getting playing time with Zy Landrum and Lincoln Huskey. No matter who is under center, look for them to get the ball to Kam Williams as often as possible. While I think the Bulldogs will be better on offense this year I’m not sure it will be enough in Week 0. The Bulldogs will have to wait at least another week before notching their first win under Coach Reel.
Brookland-Cayce at Byrnes
The Byrnes Rebels will open the season this Friday night at home against Brookland-Cayce. Last year the Bearcats went 8-4 and made it to the second round of the 3A playoffs. Byrnes is looking to start the season off on the right foot after a bad playoff loss to end last year. The Rebels return star running back Mack Long and he will be featured prominently in the offense this year, especially early in the season as new quarterback Colby Shaw will be making his first start this week. Shaw is Coach Reggie Shaw’s son and he should be very comfortable with the playbook which should help ease the transition from last year’s quarterback Gabe Rogers. Byrnes is very athletic on the defensive side of the ball and I think that will be the difference in this game. I think the Bearcats will struggle to move the ball consistently and if Byrnes can force a turnover or two, I could see this one getting out of hand. I like the Rebels to come away with a victory and Mack Long to have a big night.
Gaffney at South Pointe
The defending 5A state champions will open the season on the road, against the defending 4A state champions on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Gaffney lost several key contributors from last season’s undefeated team, but they seemed to just reload once again. Offensively the Indians return quarterback Grayson Loftis, who is committed to play at Duke next year. Loftis has looked sharp in the preseason and I expect him to be one of the best quarterbacks in the state this season. This will be a tough test to open the year, and I think this will be a one possession score throughout the game. South Pointe is very talented but in the end, I think the Indians’ senior quarterback will make enough plays late to secure a close win.
Spartanburg at Langston Hughes (GA)
The Spartanburg Vikings also open their season on Saturday night with a long road trip to Georgia to face Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes is one of the better teams in Georgia, and has a very talented defense. The Vikings will counter with one of the best offenses in South Carolina, led by senior quarterback Raheim Jeter. He’s surrounded by a boat load of talent at the skill positions, including running back Drek Carter and wide receiver Andrew Dantin. On defense Spartanburg expects to be strong up front, led by three year starter Cam Jackson at defensive tackle. The Vikings have some depth this year and that may be needed as the season goes along. If the Vikings are able to put up points against this stingy Langston Hughes defense, they could very well be state title contenders.
Greer at Daniel
The Greer Yellow Jackets open the season with a road game at the defending 3A state champion Daniel Lions on Friday. Greer has one of the toughest opening games of all the teams in our area. While the Yellow Jackets are normally a run-heavy team, this year’s offense may be more balanced than in years past. Quarterback Josh Runion was fantastic in the offseason and has a very strong arm that can stretch the field. The question this week will be whether or not they can stop Daniel. The Lions are one of the most physical teams in the state, and I think the Jackets will have trouble slowing down the Daniel run game. If Greer can go up early and force Daniel to play from behind I think they have a chance to pull off the win. The problem is Daniel’s offense was running like a well oiled machine at the end of last year, and I’m afraid they will pick up right where they left off. I think Greer falls in a close one.
Week 0 is here and I can’t wait until kickoff on Friday night!