Week 4 Recap
The word of the day for this week is blowout. We expected a lot of them this week. Unsurprisingly, that is exactly what we got. Nonetheless, the week still had a couple of surprises as well. Let’s take a loom at what happened.
Game of the Week
Boiling Springs 27 Greer 25
This game was one of the few surprises this week and was an intriguing matchup in the buildup to it. Boiling Springs, despite having given up a lot of points, has been surprisingly good on the defensive side of the ball this season. Their problem has been that their offensive struggles have led to their defense getting worn out quickly. Boiling Springs has also settled their QB battle with Lincoln Huskey being their guy and Zy Landtum now being used more as a wide receiver.
Over the last 3 weeks, Greer has been finding their bearings on offense, now having settled on Josh Runion at QB and having established an identity on offense that works so long as they are able to balance with a good rushing attack from Ladainninan Martin. Defensively, Greer played very well against Byrnes last week, particularly in the secondary, limiting the likes of Byrnes’ Kyai Cook to less than 100 receiving yards and 1 TD.
In short, this looked to be a winnable game for both teams at a time where they can use all the wins and confidence they can get. Which is why it was a good fit for game of the week.
It certainly did live up to that billing.
Greer took an early 6-0 lead on a 4 yard rushing TD from Bryce Foster. The PAT was blocked and would set the stage for how the game would end up going down – with Greer chasing points.
The Bulldogs caught their 2nd break of the game when after going 3 and out on their first drive, Greer fumbled the ensuing punt, which was recovered by Luke Compton for a 40 yard scoop and score to tie it at 6. The Bulldogs’ PAT was blocked. But it would not come back to bite them in the end.
Boiling Springs marched the ball 64 yards their 2nd drive of the game capped by a 4 yard TD run by Zy Landrum to go up 13-6 and added on with a 13 yard TD pass from Huskey to Spencer Eison to make it 20-6.
Greer came storming back with 13 unanswered over the final 10 minutes of the 1st half on a pair of rushing TDs – a 2 yarder from Bryce Foster and a 4 yarder from Chris Hall to cut it to a 1 point game, which would hold up until the 4th quarter.
Huskey connected with Eison for the 2nd time, this time on a 17 yard strike to make it 27-19 early in the final quarter. Greer would not answer until around 4:00 to play in the game when Josh Runion connected with Chase Byrd on 4th and goal from the 3 for a TD. They Yellow Jackets had no other option but to go for the 2 point conversion to try and tie it since the Bulldogs had blocked 2 PATs earlier in the game. The Bulldogs stuffed the run at the 3 yardline to hold onto the narrow 2 point advantage.
Greer got one more shot at it, but on 3rd and long, Josh Runion was picked off by Spencer Eison to seal the Bulldogs’ first-ever win over Greer in what was the first meeting between the 2 schools since 1979.
Huskey finished the night 13 for 21 with 11 yards and 3 TDs along with 61 yards on 10 carries to also lead the Dogs’ rushing attack. Zy Landrum tallied 51 yards on 6 catches with a TD while Spencer Eison hauled in 4 passes for 36 yards and 2 TDs.
For Greer, Josh Runion was 14 of 22 for 101 yards and a TD and ran for 58 yards on 9 carries. Chris Hall led the Jackets’ rushing attack with 78 yards and a TD on 16 rushing attempts. Chase Byrd snagged 7 passes for 33 yards and a TD to lead Greer’s receiving corps.
Boiling Springs sets their sights on a road trip to Clover next week while Greer will go to Anderson to take on Westside.
Byrnes 42 Wren 7
The Byrnes Rebels went on the road and took care of business once again over the Wren Hurricanes. If you were looking at the score and pairing that with Wren’s 0-3 record coming in, you’d think that this one was a runaway blowout and that Byrnes had their backups in during the 2nd half.
In the famous words of Dwight Schrute from The Office – “False!”
This game was actually close for a half. Neither team cracked the scoreboard until RJ Livingston punched it in from a yard out to give the Rebels the lead at the 6:28 mark of the 1st quarter. In short, Wren dominated the time of possession battle, holding the ball for nearly 8 more minutes than Byrnes in the entire game. They had a game plan and that was to keep the Rebel offense off the field and go on long drives. It worked. For a while.
Wren would not actually put together a scoring drive until early in the 2nd quarter when Mason Holtzclaw hit Kaden Hutto for an 8 yard TD pass to tie it at 7.
Byrnes reclaimed the lead late in the half on an 11 yard TD strike from Colby Shaw to Kyai Cook to go up 14-7, which would be the score at the half.
The Rebels finally went on a tear in the 2nd half, scoring 28 unanswered to wrap up the 42-7 win.
Colby Shaw finished the night 21-29 with 247 yards and 3 TDs. Kyai Cook caught 7 of those for 107 yards with 2 TDs. RJ Livingston added a pair of rushing TDs with 48 yards on 7 carries.
The Rebels will wrap up their non region slate next week at West Florence. I have to stand by my guns with this — my one criticism of Byrnes is their non region schedule. They escaped Greer in a sloppy game last week, yet did what they needed to in order to find a way to win. Good teams do that. They have done what they were supposed to against lesser competition. But the fact of the matter is that Byrnes, though a good team, has not been tested yet. Not a single team even on their own 5A level in non region.
That may not help them much when region play starts in 2 weeks.
Dorman 37 Clover 23
This is another game where clearly one team had a game plan. It was Clover, and the plan was to dominate the TOP and score. It helped make this game look like an even matchup. Clover dominated the time of possession 31:10-16:39. They also managed to not only do that, but score on those long possessions. The Blue Eagles managed to jump out to a 10-0 lead before the Cavs finally broke onto the scoreboard early in the 2nd quarter on a 91 yard kickoff return TD by Demarius Foster.
Despite the limited time with the ball, the Cavaliers managed 289 yards of total offense and 35 points.
The shocking story lines on this were that the established offensive trends we have seen from Dorman did not continue this week. Hudson Talley had been gaining confidence in his arm and helping to balance the offense these last few weeks. This week, he wasn’t the leading passer for the Cavs. Instead, it was DJ Porter, who was only 1-3 for 34 yards and a TD. Talley was 2-4 for just 30 yards.
Demarius Foster and Kendell Lewis combined for 159 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 20 touches. They also had 3 receivers tally 30+ yards on a catch each.
Dorman is undefeated at 4-0 as they look ahead to River Bluff next week to wrap up their non region schedule. Dorman has not been tested much either, but make no mistake, they are going to contend. They have been tested more than Byrnes, having played an actual 5A team this week. The Cavs have talent same as Byrnes. But just how much of a contender they are will be revealed in region play in a couple of weeks.
Spartanburg 59 Riverside 25
The Vikings finally got a break from the non region schedule from the depths of the underworld. Maybe that isn’t the best wording.. Let’s put that on Clary’s words. “Showcase season is over.”
The Vikes returned home for the first of 3 straight home games in taking on the Riverside Warriors. In the past, this may have been a game where I am just writing random stats to fill space. I am still doing that… But “this ain’t your grandpa’s Riverside.”
Riverside has been on the upswing since hiring Matthew Rochester as their coach last year. They entered last night 1-3 with a couple of close losses to a really good defensively strong JL Mann team, Christ Church, and Woodmont. They averaged 31 points per game coming in. Needless to say, this is not a team to take lightly, even when you are as complete a team as Spartanburg is.
Nonetheless, Spartanburg did exactly as they were supposed to. The Vikings jumped to an early lead on a long run by KeKe Kelly and never looked back.
Spartanburg, who is honestly the favorite in region 2-5A right now (for one reason that I keep going back to — is a complete team that has DEFINITELY been tested) gets one more tune up with Mauldin next week before region play starts.
Gaffney 28 Northwestern 7
Ok.. here we go again. For whatever reason, this Gaffney team is just one we cannot figure out. They have struggled every which way. Defense has struggled to contain the run. Offensive line has struggled to buy time for Grayson Loftis. Etc.
This week, they went back to where the soap opera that has been their season so far started back on week zero — District 3 Stadium in Rock Hill, to face a Northwestern team that just seemingly can’t -not- score. That’s awful English with the double negative, but that’s the best way I can describe the Trojans’ offense.
We all expected this game to be a revenge game for Northwestern. Gaffney beat them in the 5A upperstate semifinal last November at District 3 stadium in overtime in come from behind fashion. So, it had potential to be a blowout.
But that potential never came to fruition. Gaffney once again left us all scratching our heads. Grayson Loftis had an incredible game, having gone 17-24 for 226 yards & 2 TDs. In the 1st half.
Loftis finished the game 24-34 for 281 yards and 2 TDs with a pick. A lot of those came via screens and short pass plays. Gaffney had 6 wideouts tally double digit yards with most of them coming from Emazon Littlejohn and Drew Medley.
Jaiden McDowell and Quashon Tate complemented the passing game with a combined 165 yards on the ground with a TD.
The big story besides the aerial attack by the Indians was the defense. They held the Trojans to 212 yards of total offense and just 7 points. For a team that scored 250 points in 4 games, that is incredible. That kind of effort can fairly be compared to Gaffney’s defense last season.
The Indian defense also forced a couple of turnovers that they were able to capitalize on. Gaffney had 2 TDs off turnovers.
With the win, Gaffney evened their record to 2-2. They wrap up non region play with another tough matchup with Fort Dorchester next week at the Reservation.
Not gonna lie.. with this Gaffney team, and not knowing what to expect week in and week out, they are definitely capable of getting hot and meeting expectations. They get Edward “Suga” Jefferies next week, which will help their offense going forward. But if there is a measuring stick for just how good this team is right now, circle the first week of region play on the calendar. They play Spartanburg. That game will go a long way in telling us for sure and at long last if they’re contenders or not.
Clinton 49 Chapman 19
Clinton is basically a cheat code. We know what to expect from them. They run the ball and they run it a lot. That’s the Red Devils’ identity and it always has been.
As the old cliche goes — “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They have an offensive line that is on par in size with Dorman’s. A ”stable” doesn’t begin to describe the running backs, who are all capable of running for 100 or more yards. They disguise their schemes well with 2 backs on either side of the QB. They run a lot of misdirections, reverses, speed sweeps, and toss sweeps. They also have a QB that can run. They have a small army of Copelands. They’re good and they outmatched Chapman to say the least.
In fact, they’ll outmatch a lot of teams this year..
Chapman is a young team. After seeing Coleman Gray for the first time last night, I can say that he is a better arm talent than what we have seen recently. He has a big arm and can sling it deep with ease. But, as you might expect from a QB making his 4th start, Gray struggled with his finesse. He struggled early on with accuracy. Chapman also found themselves playing from behind the sticks a lot as Clinton consistently got on the backfield and kept pressure on Gray.
Both defenses were strong out the gate. It took a blocked punt giving Clinton a short field that led to a TD late in the 1st quarter. They never looked back.
The bright spots for Chapman were that when Coleman Gray found a rhythm passing, he showed flashes of what he truly can be. He and Devin Roe connected 6 times for 97 yards and 2 TDs.
Gray tallied 158 yards on 15 of 35 passing for 2 TDs. He also led the rushing attack with 67 yards and a TD.
Chapman, though young, has the talent to still be able to go on a run in region play. Their region is weak. Let’s be honest. Broome is the clear favorite there right now, but Chapman is still a team that can and should make the playoffs. They will wrap up non region with Union County next week.
Broome 39 Berea 7
The Centurions needed a win in a big way to get back on track after back to back losses to Spartanburg and Union County. They had a good chance to do that on the road at Berea last night.
Berea is struggling. They lost to Landrum in a game that was not even close in which Landrum’s defense, which has been their biggest concern, held them to just 3 points.
I wish I had more details on this game, but scoring stats will have to do. Jaylen McGill tabbed 3 rushing TDs. Kamajay Brackett-Brannon ran for one and connected with Carlos Cohen for a pair of passing TDs.
Broome will wrap up non region next week with a really tough test against Woodruff on the road.
Woodruff 49 Chesnee 24
Chesnee opened the game receiving the ball and went on a long drive that took half the 1st quarter that ended in a fieldgoal. After Woodruff went up 7-3 on a 79 yard TD pass from Carson Tucker to Kory Scott, the Eagles once again took the lead on a 4 yard TD run by Damarius McDowell.
That would be the last time they held the advantage. As has been the case all year so far, Chesnee let things get away from them. Woodruff scored 28 unanswered to build a 35-10 lead.
Chesnee mustered just 14 more points on a 1 yard TD run by KJ Proctor (2 point try failed) and a 3 yard TD run from McDowell (who also made the 2 point conversion).
Carson Tucker had a fantastic outing, going 21 for 28 for 300 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran for 17 yards on 3 carries.
Eastin Burch, Bryant Whiteside, and Cameron Nabors combined for 16 carries for 188 yards and 4 TDs.
Anthony Graybill, DJ Nash, and Kory Scott combined for 285 receiving yards on 18 catches.
Chesnee was led by Noah Lawter and Damarius McDowell. Lawter tallied 101 yards on 11 attempts while McDowell had 81 yards on 18 carries for 2 TDs.
Chesnee has a bye week next week while Woodruff hosts Broome.
Landrum 56 Spartanburg Christian 20
The Cardinals have had a rough go at it lately with back to back blowout losses to St Joe’s and Polk County.
Landrum has struggled to move the ball and their defense has been struggling, making them have to play from behind since their week 0 win over Berea. Granted, they played from behind there too, but it was 3-0 and they didn’t surrender a single point after that.
Braden Mashtare got the scoring started with a 60 yard punt return for a TD. Ronnie Belue added on with a 2 yard TD run.
SCA got on the board with a 2 yard TD run as the 1st quarter expired. But failed the 2 point try. Landrum went on to put it away with 42 unanswered points, beginning with Colton Link returning the ensuing kickoff 79 yards.
Link added 2 more rushing TDs to finish with 3 total TDs.
Landrum QB Titus Poore had a passing TD as well, connecting with Braden Mashtare for a 34 yard strike.
Andrew McPeters added a defensive score with a 35 yard pick 6, and Sam Smith finished the scoring for the Cards with a 63 yard TD run on a draw play.
Landrum’s final non region tune up is on the road at Blue Ridge, which will be a tough test given their defensive struggles. However, that may be a game where the offense can keep them in it. Chesnee managed to hang with the Tigers all night in their opener back on week zero. Not a knock on Chesnee, but they share the same struggles as the Cardinals. So that may give a little hope they can go and gain more confidence heading into the rivalry game with Chesnee at the end of the month to open region play.