Week 8 Recap
This week was not particularly loaded with games. BUt that doesn’t mean that week 8 of the 2022 high school football regular season didn’t have some interesting games and games with big region implications.
Game of the Week
Presented by Ben Mason Nationwide Insurance
Gaffney 19 Boiling Springs 7
For the second straight week, the Boiling Springs Bulldogs were featured in the game of the week. Also for the second straight week, their defense showed more of those signs of improvement that we have been constantly harping on this season. Many will look at the score and the stats and think that Gaffney was looking ahead or that they just flat laid an egg, but I am inclined to give Boiling Springs a lot of credit.
The Bulldogs have had a season long trend of the defense holding their opposition to slow starts and letting them slowly pull away late in the 2nd half as their lack of offensive production wears them down. Last night, that ultimately was still the case, but Gaffney did not pull away in the same fashion that Dorman, Byrnes, and Hillcrest were able to do to the Bulldogs earlier this season.
The Dogs were able to match Gaffney’s receivers stride for stride to limit them from getting big plays off the deep ball. If you are looking at the stats alone, it looks like Grayson Loftis was chunking it all around the field, but in reality, of Gaffney’s 185 passing yards, most of those were on short yardage plays underneath and behind the line of scrimmage like screens and check downs where the Indians were able to get lots of yards after the catch. Loftis went 16 of 29 with no passing TDs.
Offensively, Boiling Springs accumulated 183 yards of total offense. Lincoln Huskey was 14 for 29 passing for 134 yards with a pick with no TDs. His lone interception was a pick 6 that served as Gaffney’s only score in the 1st half. Boiling Springs’ biggest blemish that ultimately made the difference in the game were a couple of missed opportunities they had.
The Bulldogs had a chance to take a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter, but doinked a 24 yarder off the upright. Gaffney fumbled on their ensuing possession to set Boiling Springs up at their own 41 but then came the Kaliber Hoey pick 6 to put Gaffney in front. After Boiling Springs forced a punt, a bad snap on it led to the punter being tackled back at the Gaffney 4 to set the Dogs up there. They would go on to turn it over on downs at the Indians’ 2. With about 8:00 to play in the game, they had a shot to go up 10-7, but again missed a fieldgoal, this time from 37 yards out.
Gaffney was led offensively by Jaiden McDowell with 11 carries for 65 yards and 2 rushing TDs. The passing attack was led by Suga Jefferies with 6 receptions for 102 yards. Javen Chhim and Zy Landrum led the way for the Bulldogs, as Chhim had 53 yards on 15 attempts and Landrum tallied 95 yards on 5 catches.
Gaffney has a shot to take possession of 1srt place in the region next week with a win over Dorman at home. Boiling Springs wraps up their season next week with a road trip to Spartanburg.
Dorman 25 Byrnes 22
We have talked about how wide open region 2-5A is all year. After last night, it still is. We all know after last week’s win over Spartanburg that Gaffney holds the upper hand. That doesn’t mean they are comfortably in the catbird seat. Spartanburg still has Dorman to get past (barring Boiling Springs doing the unlikely next week). Gaffney also still has Dorman and Byrnes to get past. The only thing set in stone with this region right now is that nothing is set in stone except the Bulldogs bringing up the rear in the standings.
Last night, Dorman and Byrnes did battle in a game that could end up being the difference between fishing 2nd and finishing 4th for either team, depending on how these last 2 weeks shape up.
If you are a Dorman fan, long about halftime, you were likely ready to get down I-26 to go hit up Denny’s or at least hit the concourse to get some popcorn or a chick-fil-a sandwich. The Cavaliers led 22-8 at the half.
They scored on 3 straight possessions in the 2nd quarter. They capped an 11 play, 55 yard drive on a 4 yard Demarius Foster TD run. Their next drive was a short one – 6 plays for 19 yards that ended in a 1 yard Foster TD rush. Kendall Lewis added on with a 2 yard run for 6 that ended a 6 play, 24 yard drive.
In the first half, Dorman was fairly balanced offensively. With a big lead in the 2nd half, they decided to go with the run to try and bleed the clock more. That 1-dimensional approach coupled with a scoring drive in the 3rd quarter followed by a costly fumble by DJ Porter that led to a Will Fowler scoop and score to tie it at 22.
After an exchange of punts, Dorman finally put together a 9 play drive that took 4 minutes and 13 seconds that was capped in a 43 yard go-ahead fieldgoal by Mitch Powell.
The Cavaliers were led offensively by Demarius Foster with 35 carries for 175 yards with 3 TDs. Hudson Talley was limited to just 7 for 13 with 62 yards and no TDs. Demarius Foster was also their leading receiver with 2 catches for 25 yards.
On the Byrnes side of things, Colby Shaw had his quietest game all season to date with 11 completions on 19 attempts for just 30 yards with a pick. The transfer backup QB/receiver from Dorman, Chamarryus Bomar, was 1-1 with a 46 yard completion. Kemren Prysock led the rushing attack with 9 touches for 52 yards with a TD. Jaden Williams also tallied a rushing TD on 4 carries for 10 yards. Armoni Weaver led the aerial attack for the Rebels with 2 snags for 46 yards.
Dorman turns their focus to an even bigger matchup next week as they will go on the road to The Reservation. Byrnes has a bye week before they wrap up the regular season against Gaffney. Make no mistake about it – this region’s standings and playoff seeding will not be set in stone until the last week of the season.
Clinton 59 Woodruff 20
This game had implications for the Wolverines. Clinton was already buckled into the drivers’ seat to win the region. But Woodruff still had hopes for a shot at 2nd place in the region despite having lost to Chester 2 weeks ago with a favorable matchup with Union County to wrap up the regular season in 2 weeks.
The question was whether or not Carson Tucker would play. He did not. Cory Scott got the nod for the Wolverines. Clinton QB Austin Copeland went down to a knee injury early in the game, but that affected them very little.
The Red Devils jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Woodruff finally broke the goose egg with 7 minutes to play in the 1st half when Scott connected with DJ Nash for a 60 yard TD. From there, the 2 exchanged scores. At the half, Clinton enjoyed a 39-20 advantage.
In the 2nd half, Clinton pitched a shutout on defense, while scoring 21 unanswered.
Woodruff’s offense was led by Cory Scott, who was 5 for 12 with 157 yards and 2 TDs. DJ Nash hauled in 3 balls for 120 yards with 2 TDs. Bryant Whiteside logged the only other TD for Woodruff, rushing 18 times for 60 yards.
This game finished about the way most expected, whether or not Tucker played. Clinton is just that good. Even without Austin Copeland, they are a 3 headed monster with that stable of running backs and their speedy and handsy receivers. It is not all bad for Woodruff as the Wolverines do have a favorable matchup remaining to end the regular season with Union and should still make the playoffs. They may not make a big run, but for Woodruff to make it back to the playoffs for the first time in 2 years is a success.
Chapman 53 Travelers Rest 13
Over the last 3 weeks, the Panthers have seemingly found their stride on offense. Chapman had won their last 2 games by a combined score of 73-6. Last night, with Broome on a bye, they had a shot at tying the region standings. The Panthers just had to go on the road to TR and take care of business.
The Panthers managed to establish things early on. They jumped out to a 19-0 lead.
Chapman went right down the field in 2 minutes on their opening drive, capping it with a 15 yard Mathai Scott TD run. On their 2nd drive, they marched 62 yards in 2 minutes, and scored on a 1 yard run by Keanu Na. Midway through the 2nd quarter, Coleman Gray connected with Peyton Hodges for a 13 yard TD to cap a 70 yard drive.
TR finally broke onto the scoreboard with a 42 yard TD pass. The Devildogs added another unanswered TD with a minute to play in the half. Chapman went on to score 21 unanswered to put it away.
Coleman Gray finished the night 11 for 14 with 200 yards and 2 TDs with a pick along with 7 carries for 18 yards. Chapman had 6 receivers log double digits yardage with Shawn Cunningham (leader with 68 yards on 5 catches as well as a 66 yard punt return TD), Keanu Na, and Peyton Hodge logging a TD each.
The Panthers also had 10 different ball carriers log double digit yardage, led by Taylor Dunning with 41 yards on 9 touches. Mathai Scott, Keanu Na, and Shawn Cunningham had a rushing TD each to their credit.
This region looks like it may be decided by the final game of the season, just like our 5A region. Chapman has a date with Blue Ridge next week before wrapping up with a big one at Broome.
Abbeville 48 Landrum 0
This may have been the game with the biggest implications in our area this week. Landrum and Abbeville were both undefeated in region play coming into the game, and the winner would find themselves sitting pretty in position to win region 1-2A.
These 2 offenses are very similar. Landrum and Abbeville both run a double wing. Both have a stable of guys that are very capable in their backfield. Landrum is strong along the offensive line to complement the 3 headed monster of Colton Link, Braden Mashtare, and AJ Lindsey. Abbeville, while not very big on either side, has speed all over the field and just uses it to get in the backfield to dominate their opposition’s rushing attack and blow by you in the run game.
It didn’t take long to realize that this would not be Landrum’s night. The Panthers won the toss and elected to defer. The Panther defense forced a 3 and out, and then rushed the punt, blocking it to get set up deep in plus territory. They kept doing that all night.
Landrum never crossed the 50. They never could flip the field position battle. And the Cardinals also never could stop the Panthers from breaking big plays. The Panthers thrive on jet sweeps, and with their speed, arm tackles are sure to lead to long TDs. That was the case as Abbeville just dominated their way to the shutout win.
The Panthers defense held Landrum to just 48 yards of total offense, and the Cardinals held the ball for just 7 minutes and 43 seconds. Landrum ran the ball just 18 times for 33 yards and 15 passing yards. They ran just 19 plays and we just 2 of 5 on 3rd down. Colton Link was limited to just 23 yards on 7 carries. Brade Mashtare didn’t even have a yard.
Abbeville, in their typical way, ran for over 300 yards (312 to be exact) with 35 passing yards. They dominated the time of possession with 34:49.
I don’t think this game surprised or disappointed anyone at Landrum too much. They expected this. They knew what they were walking into. The best part of it is that Landrum is still sitting in good position to finish 2nd in 1-2A. They have 2 winnable games remaining with Liberty and Blacksburg. Win those and second place is a lock. This Landrum team can still make a small run in the playoffs – they won’t start facing teams as stacked as Abbeville and St Joe’s until the 3rd round or so. That is a good season for Landrum if they can go that deep.
Chesnee 28 Blacksburg 25
Chesnee and Blacksburg both came into this game both just desperately looking for a win. Chesnee, while they haven’t struggled to score, has had a hard time staying in games late, and were 0-7.
Blacksburg, who is in an interim period with Jet Turner having to take time off for his health, was also 0-7.
The Eagles had built up as big of a lead as 21-3. Then Blacksburg scored 22 unanswered to take a 25-21 lead. Chensee answered the Wildcats’ last drive with a 21 yard TD pass from KJ Proctor to reclaim the lead for good.
Proctor was 8 for 13 with 130 yards, a TD, and a pick. The Eagles had 4 receivers in double figures, led by Kalen Swaney, who had 4 snags for 78 yards. They also 6 running backs log double digit rushing yards, with Nick Hofer logging 66 yards on 11 carries. KJ Proctor ran for 30 yards and a TD on 17 attempts, while Hayden Webb also had a rushing TD in the win.
With the win, Chesnee ensures they at least finish 5th in the region standings and may still have a shot at moving up and sneaking into the playoffs with 2 more games to go. They will host Ninety-Six next week and wrap up the regular season at Liberty.