Week 0 is in the books. All of our local 4A and 5A teams now have a game under their belt. Here is a look at what is coming up this Friday in Week 1.
Dutch Fork at Spartanburg
The Spartanburg Vikings brutal early season schedule continues as their first home game is against 5A power Dutch Fork. Last week Spartanburg went down to Georgia to face one of the best teams in the bordering state, if not the country, in Langston Hughes. The Vikings hung close for a while before Langston Hughes pulled away in the second half. This week Coach Hodge and his team return home to host the Silver Foxes, who have won 5 of the last 6 state championships in 5A. Dutch Fork won last week but the offense struggled early in the game. If the Vikings want to come away with a win I think they will need to jump out to an early lead and force the Silver Foxes to play from behind. Much easier said than done. I think Raheim Jeter will look great and keep this game tight for four quarters, but in the end Dutch Fork will prove to be too much and pull off a close win.
Chapman at Byrnes
Last week Byrnes got off to a great start with a 62-7 thumping of Brookland-Cayce, while Chapman fell at home to Woodruff 13-7 in overtime. The Rebels new quarterback Colby Shaw was outstanding in his first start, throwing for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win. The Panthers struggled to move the football against a very good Woodruff defense, though with their starting quarterback back this week, I imagine they will be better offensively this Friday. Chapman may not be the powerhouse they’ve been in recent years but they will fight to keep this one close for a while. In the end I think Byrnes has the better athletes this year and they will pull away in the second half for a big win to improve to 2-0.
Gaffney at Union
See 2A/3A preview for a breakdown of this game.
Dorman at North Augusta
The Dustin Curtis era at Dorman got off to a great start last week with a 53-28 win over Greenville. Dorman’s offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage as the Cavaliers averaged over 12 yards per rush in the win. Running back Demarius Foster was outstanding, finishing with 306 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground, as he was named our Player of the Week. Quarterback Hudson Talley was efficient throwing the ball, though he didn’t have to attempt a pass in the second half as the Cavs pulled away. I expect to see more of the same from Dorman this Friday, and if they cut down on the penalties (14 last week) I think they will manhandle North Augusta and roll to a second straight win to start the season.
Mauldin at Boiling Springs
Boiling Springs had a tough start to the season as they fell to a very good T.L. Hanna team 43-0 last Friday. The Bulldogs should break into the scoring column this week, but I’m not sure they can keep up with an athletic Mavericks team. This will be the first game for Mauldin, but I think they will be able to overcome some early mistakes to pull away from the Bulldogs. Coach Matt Reel will have to wait at least another week for his first win in charge of the Bulldogs.
Hillcrest at Greer
Last week the Yellow Jackets dropped their opener to Daniel 51-21. They will look to bounce back this week at home against a Hillcrest team that knocked off Laurens 41-7 last Friday. Greer ran into one of the best teams in the state last week, and it doesn’t get much easier this week against 5A Hillcrest. The Jackets will have to make some adjustments on defense as Daniel loves to pound the ball on the ground, while the Rams run a spread offense attack. Greer will need to score a lot of points to keep up with Hillcrest and I think they have the firepower to do it. If they can limit mistakes such as penalties and turnovers this should be a tight game down to the wire. If Greer isn’t disciplined in those areas, Hillcrest will pull away for an easy win.