Week 6 Recap
Before jumping in, let’s take the time to extend well wishes and prayers for safety to all along the SC coastline as the hurricane hits and extend thoughts and prayers to those affected by the worst of the storm down in Florida.
Now to recap all the region game action from week 6 of the season. All of our local games (most games in the state, actually) were moved up to Thursday night. Only one of our teams did not play this week and that was Gaffney, as this was their scheduled bye. Let’s start with the Game of the Week, presented by Chris Foster Heating and Air.
Spartanburg 36 Byrnes 23
Last week, Byrnes finally got a tough test on the road against a very tough team from West Florence – a game that came down to a walkoff TD with no time left on the clock. This week would not get any easier for them as they had to start region play on the road against a team that at this point in time, you cannot argue is the most complete team in region 2-5A. Note, I did say THIS POINT IN TIME. Two things are clear about this region that my friend Sam Albuquerque fairly compared to the SEC West earlier this week – the best team may not end up winning it and their records in non-region play are not indicative of who they are. In fact, I am a firm believer that non-region really does not matter at all. A team that goes 0fer in non region can win a region game or 2 here where it matters most and still make the playoffs.
That said, despite the 3-3 non region record (which included 2 Georgia teams that would absolutely wallop most of the “big dogs” in SC), Spartanburg is still a complete team. It also means that they might not win this region. “Captain obviousing” here, but if you are overreacting to the first week of region play, that is like overreacting to week 0. This region is loaded with teams with potential to be the ones challenging for a date in Columbia come December. Gaffney is hitting their stride. Dorman has enough ability on offense with that line and rushing attack to use it to play ball control and stay in games. Byrnes is a good team that thrives on big plays. Any one of those 3 can be the one to claim the throne when November hits. So, despite the loss, if you are a Byrnes fan, there is little reason to panic.
Now that I got that out of the way, here is a very quick summary of what happened at Viking Stadium Thursday night.
The game got off to a promising start for the Rebels. The Rebels struck first on an RJ Livingston 3 yard TD run with 4:12 to play in the first quarter. BUt the Vikings answered with a nearly 4:00 drive to tie it at 7. The Vikes would go on to score 10 unanswered on a 28 yard Will Love Fieldgoal and a 1 yard TD run by Raheim Jeter to make it 17-7 late in the first half. BYrnes added a 29 yard fieldgoal late that made it 17-10 at the half.
The 2 traded blows in the 3rd quarter with the Vikings maintaining a narrow 27-23 advantage heading to the 4th. The Vikings capped a 57 yard drive to start the 4th quarter on a 3 yard TD rush by Jeter. On Byrnes’ ensuing possession, they went to punt and the snap went over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety to make it 36-23. Byrnes had a couple of chances at the end of the game, but a muffed punt by the Rebels and a pick (one of 2 thrown by Colby Shaw) sealed it for the Vikes.
Shaw was 8 of 21 with just 92 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 2 picks. RJ Livingston had just 41 rushing yards for the Rebels on 9 carries with a TD before exiting the game with an injury. Ethan Morris and Chamarryus Bomar combined for 78 yards on 6 receptions with 2 TDs.
On the Spartanburg side of things, Jeter was 13 of 20 for 182 yards with no TDs along with 14 carries for 52 yards and 2 TDs. Drek Carter tallied 102 rushing yards on 19 touches. KeKe Kelly managed 9 carries for 64 yards and a TD. The passing attack was led by Que Moore, with 4 catches for 85 yards.
Spartanburg will take on Gaffney at the Reservation next week while Byrnes will host the Boiling Springs Bulldogs next week.
Dorman 52 Boiling Springs 14
This game went about exactly as expected. Regardless of whether or not Dorman decided to run the ball or try to go balanced, the Dorman offensive line was going to be more than enough to outmatch the Boiling Springs defensive front and wear them down. They could have easily run for 400 yards and 5 or more TDs. They also could have easily passed for 250 or more yards. That is not a knock on Boiling Springs in the slightest. That is just the gap between where these programs are right now.
The game got off to a favorable start for Boiling Springs. They were going to need a few turnovers to have a shot at this one. After a 3 and out on their opening series, the Bulldogs got that break as Demarius Foster fumbled on the Cavaliers’ first offensive play from scrimmage. JoJo Barrett recovered it near midfield. Fortunately for the Cavs, the Bulldogs could not capitalize. Dorman went on to score on their next 7 possessions to cruise to the win.
The positive aside from starting region play 1-0 for Dorman is that Hudson Talley bounced back nicely, leading to being more balanced on offense this week. Talley was 9 for 11 with 205 yards and 3 TDs. Backup QB David Sorenson also had a TD pass, going 2 for 2 with 19 yards.
The Cavalier passing attack was balanced with 6 different receivers tallying double digit yardage. Raequan Robinson, DJ Porter, Emo Fowler, and Sammy Brannon each had a receiving TD on the night.
Dorman also had 5 running backs with double digit yardage. Demarius Foster led the way with 88 yards on 8 carries with 2 TDs. Kendell Lewis and one other had a TD a piece.
On the Boiling Springs side of things, LIncoln Husky had yet another game with less than 100 passing yards, and the Bulldog offense managed just 145 yards total offense (56 of them rushing). Again, not a knock on Husky or Boiling Springs at all. Just a reflection of where they are. They have shown improvement, but they still have a ways to go until their offensive line is sizable enough to be able to help Husky. The good news is that Lincoln Husky is only a sophomore. He will get better, and if the Bulldogs can build an offensive line, it will make them fun to watch.
Dorman takes a random dip out of region play next week as they will go to Mauldin. The Bulldogs will travel to Byrnes.
Laurens 20 Greer 17
After a brutal non-region schedule for Greer that was made worse by their star running back LaDainnian Martin getting hurt, Greer entered last night in a favorable situation. In a region that they stand a good shot at making the playoffs in, the opened region play with a Laurens team that is struggling on top of getting Martin back. Greer stood a chance at starting off 1-0 in 2-4A.
LaDannian Martin was the star of the show in this game for the Yellow Jackets. He got the scoring started for Greer with 5:57 to play in the first quarter on a 33 yard TD rush. He added a 28 yard TD carry with 10:37 to play in the game. Martin finished the night with 207 yards on 29 attempts with 11 receiving yards on 1 catch.
Kaden Rowland returned to the QB role after Josh Runion had been getting the nod for Greer the last few weeks. He went 10 of 18 passing for 132 yards with a pick. Chase Byrd led the Greer aerial attack with 7 snags for 96 yards.
Greer held the lead for most of the game, having built a 17-7 advantage early in the 4th quarter before the Raiders scored 13 unanswered, taking the lead on a 25 yard fieldgoal with just 18 seconds left to play in the game.
Greer will look to try and get things back on track on the road next week at Eastside.
Chester 41 Woodruff 34
In what ended up being the most exciting game of the night in 3A, Woodruff opened on the road at the Chester Cyclones. Woodruff jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Carson Tucker hit DJ Nash for a 65 yard TD. They then kicked an onside kick and recovered for a shot to go up 2 scores. They succeeded in that venture as Eastin Burch punched it in from 2 yards out with 5:39 to play in the 1st.
Chester broke onto the scoreboard with a little over 2:00 to play in the 1st quarter before Carson Tucker hit Nemo Cochran for a 6 yard passing TD to re-up it to a 2 score game at the end of the 1st.
Chester tacked on 21 unanswered in the 2nd quarter to take a 28-21 lead at the half. The Cyclones both mustered a pair of TDs a piece in the 2nd half, but with the lead Chester had built up after going up 2 scores early in the 3rd quarter, it was enough to hold.
Woodruff will look to get it on track next week as they host the Emerald Vikings with just 3 games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Broome 30 Travelers Rest 21
Hats off to Broome’s defense in this game as they did a fantastic job of limiting a much improved TR offense to 21 points. In fact, this now makes back to back weeks where the Centurion defense has limited a team to 21 or less points.
That’s not to discredit Broome’s offense. This is also back to back weeks where they tallied over 300 yards of total offense. Last week against Woodruff, they logged 379 total yards. Against TR, they had 405 yards. Kamajay Brackett-Brannon was 9 of 20 for 169 yards and a TD with a pick. He also had 13 carries for 100 yards.
The other end of the dynamic duo, Jaylen McGill had 131 yards and 2 TDs on 25 touches along with a 16 yard reception.
Carlos Cohen had his biggest game of the year so far, with 121 yards and a TD on 6 snags.
Noah Quinn was an absolute stud on defense for the Centurions with 13 total tackles, including 8 solo, 3 for a loss, 2 assists, and a pass breakup.
Broome returns home next week to take on Blue Ridge with just 3 regular season games to go.
Clinton 61 Union 7
This game was over quick.. In both senses of the word. Clinton was just a total mismatch for Union. Especially with Ben Black being out. The special teams did not help Union out much. Union County punter Trenton Horne had a tough go at things last night. His first punt was short, going just 20 yards. He was tackled before being able to get his 2nd try at one off. His next was blocked. Lastly, his 4th try at it was a success.. If you count another 20 yarder as a success.
You can’t give a 4 headed monster like that Clinton offense a short field and expect to beat them or even hang in there with them. Clinton hung 35 in the first quarter when a safety would have been enough for them to win it. Clinton hung 291 yards of total offense while limiting the Jackets to just 60 yards with 3 first downs.
Union’s lone score came on a 16 yard TD pass from MJ Porter to Khristian Means with 9:46 to play in the 3rd quarter.
It does not get any easier for the Yellow Jackets as they will host the Chester Cyclones in their final regular season home game next week.
Chapman 42 Carolina 0
Sadly, information on this game is scarcely available. But I don’t think anyone expected anything but a big time blowout here since, well, Carolina Academy just isn’t good.
Despite the tough go at it in non region play, Chapman is in the same shoes at Spartanburg and Greer. With that region, Chapman is still in good shape to win a couple of games and make the playoffs.
Landrum 28 Chesnee 0
The annual “Anthony Greer game” was not as crazy as it has been the last few years. In fact, Anthony can keep his claim on getting assigned to cover this one every year. Chesnee fans might appreciate it. Clearly I am a jinx to them haha.
This game was dominated by Landrum on both sides of the ball. Landrum took the lead and established the tone early. Ezequiel Lazarin booted the opening kickoff through the endzone for a touchback to set Landrum up at their 20 to start. 2 plays later, Colton Link broke off an 84 yard TD run. He took the handoff towards the middle of the field and then cut towards the far sideline after shedding a tackle. He broke back all the way across the field to the near sideline to fo untouched the rest of the way, so he actually ran about 160 yards on the play, but just 84 forwards. Big plays from Link and Braden Mashtare were the story of the night.
He had a 2nd long TD run of 56 yards midway through the 4th quarter. Mashtare had a 30 yard TD run that made it 28-0 with 1:46 to play in the game. Link tallied 219 yards on 18 carries with 2 TDs while Mashtare had 11 carries for 104 yards. Freshman AJ Lindsey also had a nice game running the ball, which could be giving us a glimpse into the future for running back at Landrum beyond Colton Link. He tallied just 56 yards on 11 touches, but each of his rushes were physical and intense. He is built very similar to Link and has potential to be just as good if not better.
Braden Mashtare also led the receiving attack with 1 play – a 28 yard reception midway through the 2nd quarter that got them into the red zone and set up a 4 yard TD run by AJ Lindsey late in the 2nd quarter to make it 14-0.
Chesnee had 3 drives in this game with a shot to score. But Landrum’s swarming to the ball on defense, stacking the box, and dialing up blitzes that applied heavy pressure every time KJ Proctor dropped back or rolled out of the pocket to pass helped to preserve the shutout.
Landrum’s Marco Gonzalez tabbed a couple of picks while Ryan Bunleut had a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
The Cardinals next region battle will come against the Ninety Six Wildcats next week while the Eagles will have an extremely tough one on their hands, hosting Abbeville.