Week 5 Recap
Game of the Week
Presented by USC Union
Chapman 31 Union 6
This matchup had been one of the more fun region games the last few years. We have lost the region significance of it, but the luster of this being a rivalry that has built up the last couple of years is still there.
Both teams had a tough go at it last week. Union turned the ball over on 3 of their first 5 possessions of the game last week at Laurens. Ben Black threw a pick 6 on the 3rd play of the game. He threw a 2nd pick on their ensuing drive that set up another Laurens TD. A blocked punt after their 3rd possession led to a Raider fieldgoal. A fumble Kate in the first half led to a 24-0 halftime deficit for the Jackets. They went on to lose 44-14.
Chapman struggled to stop the 4 headed monster that is Clinton’s offense last week en route to a 49-19 blowout.
Needless to say, they were both looking to get back on track this week and get some momentum to go into region play.
For a quarter and a half, this one was close until Ben Black was injured. From there, Chapman’s run game wore down the Jackets’ defense.
Coleman Gray led the way rushing for Chapman with 151 yards and a TD on 19 carries. Keanu Na tallied 97 yards and a TD in 12 rushing attempts. Mathai Scott also had a rushing touchdown in the game.
The Panthers ran for a total of 316 yards, accounting for all but 96 of their yards of total offense, and their lone passing TD was to Devin Roe, who tallied 38 receiving yards. Shawn Cunningham led the way receiving with 53 yards on 5 snags.
Gaffney 35 Fort Dorchester 31
First off — kudos to the Gaffney fanbase. We all know there is a ravenous passion among Indian fans. But I have to say that ever since they moved from the “Old Reservation” to the “New Reservation”, the atmosphere, while still raucous, has never felt near as intimidating. Last night, it was the first time I have ever been in the “new” stadium where it truly felt like the old days playing in WK Brumbach Stadium.
Now for the game itself. Gaffney has been a mystery this season. They’ve been the most interesting team simply because every week there has been one issue that arises that challenges them to find ways to win or end up losing. Whether it be struggling to defend the run, the offensive line struggling to block, stubborn penalties, or all of the above.
Last night was no different. Especially the penalties — Gaffney alone was flagged 15 times for 116 yards. On the drive in which it appeared Fort D was going to put the nail in the coffin, the Indian defense committed 3 personal fouls including back to back face masks that helped the Patriots go down the field and take a 31-21 lead with 6:09 to play in the game.
This matchup looked to be a low scoring affair on paper. Fort Dorchester, though having been shut out by Grayson (Ga) and Clearwater Academy International (Fla), had only given up 71 points in 4 games. With those 2 teams they were shut out by, especially with holding Grayson to just 28 points, you had to figure Fort D’s defense was going to be as strong as Gaffney’s.
Not how it went down. Instead, it was a game of “Anything you can do, I can do better.” It was a battle of long drives with a little field position mixed in. Fort Dorchester did pretty much nothing but run the ball between the tackles all night until it got late in the game and they were down, forcing them to have to throw it. Fort Dorchester passed the ball just 10 times, completing 5 for 74 yards. They ran 46 times for 170 yards and 3 rushing TDs.
Gaffney was also taking it simple on offense. The best way to describe the Indians’ approach on offense is “methodical”. A lot of runs between the tackles, lots of screens, sideline routes and curl flats, etc. And it worked. For the first time this season, Gaffney was fairly balanced on offense. They had 468 yards of total offense. 244 through the air (Loftis was 18 of 32 with 2 TDs) and 224 on the ground.
Probably the biggest takeaway from this game aside from the fact that Gaffney put together a complete effort on offense was that they found “it”. They found what this team has been missing. Last year, when Gaffney won state, they had a way of responding to adversity and a killer instinct. Last night, they looked like that team from last year.
When they went down 10, they needed to answer in the worst possible way. Grayson Loftis orchestrated a fantastic drive and scored on a 3 yard keeper for a TD to cut it to a 1 score game. On Fort Dorchester’s ensuing drive, Gaffney needed a quick stop or a turnover. They forced a 3 and out. Loftis then made a clutch play.
On 4th and 10 from the FD 33 yardline, Gaffney had to go for it. Loftis scrambled to his right under pressure and cut back towards the left after noticing Drew Medley was wide open in the endzone. He threw a dime to him to give the Indians a 35-31 lead.
Fort D was given 2 more shots to come back. But twice they drive it into Gaffney territory for nothing. Clay Cook came up with a nice tip drill interception for the Indians on FD’s drive after Gaffney took the lead. On the final play of the game, Gaffney’s Nathan Johnson sacked the Patriot QB to end it.
Gaffney responded when they needed to and made clutch plays on defense when they needed to. The same “killer instinct” they showed last year in the playoffs. Not only that, but they have found renewed confidence and energy. They are playing like the dangerous Gaffney team that we have all known from square one that they can be and that is scary knowing they’re going into region play getting hot.
West Florence 22 Byrnes 19
Ok Byrnes fans. I know you all have had a time trying to prove that your team is good. Here’s the thing — nobody ever doubted that or debated that. Yes. The Rebels are super talented. Even with the injuries they are dealing with, Colby Shaw is a good arm talent. Kyai Cook is a receiver that everybody and their brother would absolutely kill to have on their team. RJ Livingston and Tyleik Brooks and Kanai Cook are a comparable stable of running backs to Clinton’s. You’re good.
The thing we have been trying to point out is that you have not been tested fully. You have now. Last night, you may have lost to a 4A team. But it was a good 4A team.
This game was a back and forth affair. West Florence drew first blood late in the 1st quarter on a 1 yard TD run. Byrnes went on to score the next 13 points on an 11 yard TD pass from Colby Shaw to Armoni Weaver early in the 2nd quarter (it was tied 7-7 at the half) and a 5 yard TD rumble by RJ Livingston early in the 4th quarter. The first bugaboo against Byrnes was that the PAT was missed.
The 2 traded blows the rest of the 4th quarter. Byrnes held a narrow 19-16 advantage with forty ticks left in the game. With no time left on the clock, West Florence scored on a 31 yard walkoff TD to win it 22-19.
Colby Shaw was just 9 of 23 for 79 yards and a TD through the air. Livingston rushed for 111 yards and a TD on 26 touches. Armoni Weaver led the receiving corps with 38 yards and a touchdown on 5 catches.
Spartanburg 35 Mauldin 3
Gonna keep it short and sweet. Mauldin is struggling. They lost so many key players from a year ago. They also have a couple of injuries on defense that made for a bad matchup. Spartanburg is a complete team. We know this. It made for a tough night for the Mavericks.
Raheim Jeter connected with Rael Senghor to set the tone early. That would have been enough to win it honestly.
Que Moore had a 51 yard reception for a TD. KeKe Kelly had a late 6 yard touchdown. It was an example of a good team doing exactly what they were supposed to — and it could have been worse. The Vikings took a knee at the 1 yardline to end the game.
Spartanburg is going to give Byrnes back to back tough tests as they open region play next week at Viking stadium. Should be a good game.
Dorman 39 River Bluff 23
One word summary for this game offensively for the Cavaliers — regression. These last few weeks, we have seen Dorman make lots of progress in the passing game. Hudson Talley was gaining confidence. But this week, Dorman went right back to running the ball. In fact, Talley ended up being benched in favor of DJ Porter in the 2nd half.
Talley still passed for over 100 yards (101 yards in 5 of 11), but most of that came on a 66 yard TD pass to DJ Porter in the 2nd quarter.
DJ Porter and Demarius Foster combined for 326 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Kendell Lewis also tallied a TD with 64 yards rushing.
River Bluff passed the ball 37 times for 225 yards with 2 touchdowns. Dorman limited their normally rush heavy offense to just 163 yards on 41 carries with a TD.
Dorman will need to get back on track to be balanced as region play starts. This is a “duh” statement, but you cannot be a 1 dimensional offense in this region and be successful. Even if you have an O line as stacked as the Cavaliers do. Dorman will have a good chance to get back on track next week as they open region play at Boiling Springs.
Clover 26 Boiling Springs 0
This game was.. well I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. It was ugly. Both ways. Clover led 7-0 at the half. That came on a pick 6 in the 1st quarter — the only turnover in the game. It was 7-0 midway through the 3rd quarter before Clover finally broke it open and pulled away.
The Bulldog offense was limited to just 87 yards of total offense. It was all passing. Lincoln Huskey was 8 for 20 with a pick. They amassed just 7 first downs and went 2 for 13 on 3rd down.
Not an ideal result in a game that was not only winnable for Boiling Springs, but also one that was needed for the Bulldogs to try and get an at large playoff bid. With the loss of Kam Williams, who had surgery earlier this week after an injury suffered against Greer, it makes the battle that much more of an uphill climb for BSHS. Who knows? This team may still shock someone in region play. Their defense has been surprisingly good. But without their best offensive player, it will be tough. But either way, this season is not a loss for BSHS. They have far exceeded many’s expectations and you can clearly see the signs of improvement. That’s all you can hope for this year. The future is bright for Bulldog football.
Westside 38 Greer 13
Greer has played an absolute gauntlet in non region play. Daniel, Hillcrest, Byrnes, Boiling Springs.. This Westside team was just another notch in that belt.
Greer has managed to play well in many of those tough games, which is a big plus for them as they go into region play. Their region is weak, and they may very well run the table going forward to win it.
The big thing that has hurt Greer these last couple of weeks is that leading rusher LaDainnian Martin has been out with an injury. If they get him back soon and can get back to a balance on offense, they will be dangerously good.
Greer drew first blood on a 6 yard TD run by QB Josh Runion. From there, the Jackets gave up 31 unanswered points.
Runion finished 14 for 22 with 211 yards with 2 interceptions. He also ran for 41 yards on 10 attempts with a TD. Chris Hall led the rushing attack with 155 yards and a touchdown on 25 touches.
4 receivers combined for 105 yards on 13 catches.
Greer opens region play with a big matchup next week at home against Laurens. A win will go a long way in helping them with playoff seeding if they don’t end up winning the region.
Broome 27 Woodruff 20
If you said prior to the season that Broome was a year or 2 away, you’re probably not alone. As we now know, you’re also wrong. Don’t worry. So were we..
The combo of Jaylen McGill and Kamajay Brackett-Brannon have become as deadly as Raheim Jeter and KeKe Kelly.
Brackett-Brannon tallied 20 rushes for 115 yards and a TD. McGill only amassed 39 yards on 8 carries, but with 2 TDs. Darren Crook also added 77 yards on 16 carries.
KBB also passed for 148 yards on 11 of 17 with a TD and a pick. Grayson Bradley and Isaiah Brown combined for 97 receiving yards on 5 catches with the lone receiving TD coming from Carlos Cohen (4 rec, 14 yards, TD).
Broome actually trailed by a point with 9:31 to play in the game. Broome was driving when Woodruff came up with a pick in the endzone there. Broome got it back and managed to take the lead with 5:00 to play. The 2 point conversion made it a 7 point game and they were able to hold on for a big win.
Broome is early and they are easily the favorite to win the region as we start region play next week. They will open region play against TR on the road next week. Woodruff will open region on the road at Chester.
Blue Ridge 53 Landrum 21
In a reboot of a rivalry between 2 school separated by just 15 minutes and border each other in zoning despite being in 2 different counties, Blue Ridge jumped out to an early 19-0 lead. Despite that, they never relented. They scored double digits in each of the final 3 quarters and beat the Cards by 32. Landrum didn’t help their case with 4 turnovers in the game.
Titus Poore was 2-8 for just 13 passing yards. Meanwhile Colton Link did Colton Link things. 158 yards on 15 carries and a TD.
Landrum will open region play with Anthony Greer’s favorite matchup every year — hosting Chesnee.
That’s a wrap on non region. It all matters now. I can’t wait for next week!