Week 10 Recap
What’s that? Playoffs?! Don’t talk to me about playoffs! Playoffs?! You kidding me?! Playoffs?!..
Sorry. Couldn’t resist. But it is appropriate. Last night marked the end of the 2022 high school football regular season, and now it is time to turn our attention to what Jason Farmer, Landrum head coach, refers to as “4th season.” It is indeed (and almost unbelievably so) time for the playoffs.
Brackets will be finalized tomorrow. But until then, let’s recap what happened to cap off another wild regular season in our area.
Game of the Week
The City Rivalry
Spartanburg 42 Dorman 41
I don’t think I need to go over the entire history of what most consider to be the biggest rivalry in our area for you to know that you can expect it to be crazy.
I am not sure crazy actually adequately describes how this game went down.
KeKe Kelly — have you heard that name before? Surely you haven’t.. If you haven’t, get used to it. You’re gonna head his name a lot these next 3 years. The freshman running back started things off on a hot foot for the Vikings with a 50 yard return on the opening kickoff. The Vikes capitalized with a 3 yard TD rush by SC Mr. Football finalist Raheim Jeter.
DJ Porter got the start at QB for the Cavaliers, and he responded in the best way possible. In just a couple of plays, he hit Emo Fowler for a 34 yard TD. Markee Anderson easily converted the 2 to give Dorman the lead 8-7.
Dorman would extend the lead to 15-7after a fumble led to a 40 yard scoop and score by DyQuan Nesbitt.
Spartanburg swung the momentum back in their favor, responding with a wide open 56 yard TD pass from Jeter to Andrew Dantin to cut the deficit to a point late in the 1st quarter.
On Dorman’s ensuing possession, Jayden Coleman picked off a pass to set up a 1 yard TD rush by Jeter that put the Vikings back in front for good.
The Vikings scored 14 unanswered out of the gate in the 2nd half to go up 19. But that margin was far from comfortable.
Dorman rallied back with a Demarius Foster rushing TD, and a personal foul on that TD against the Vikings assessed on the kickoff which resulted in Dorman kicking an onside kick from the Vikings’ 45. The Cavs recovered it, leading to an 11 yard TD pass from kicker Mitch Powell (yes.. kicker) to Cason Gilliam. The PAT was blocked, but it was a 1 score game.
Spartanburg stretched it back to 2 scores on a wild heave and a prayer kind of connection from Jeter to antin for a TD.
Dorman responded with 2 unanswered TDs to cut it to a 1 point game that would come down to yet another onside kick. The kick, while recovered by Dorman, failed to go 10 yards, giving it to the Vikings to run the clock out.
The win locks the Vikings in as the 2 seed from region 2-5A. They will host Nation Ford in the first round next week while 3 seed Dorman will go on the road to Clover.
Byrnes 30 Gaffney 21
This game had no significance as far as changing playoff seeding or determining a region title. Gaffney won region 2-5A outright last week, and Byrnes has been locked at the 4 seed since they lost to Dorman. So this rivalry game is easily one that one can argue, especially given how it went down, that Gaffney didn’t care about, instead looking ahead to the playoffs. Go ahead and kill that narrative if that is what you are thinking.
Both teams came out slow on offense, with the 2 exchanging punts up until the last 2:00 of the 1st quarter when Gaffney QB Grayson Loftis connected with a wide open Drew Medley down the sideline for 74 yards, setting up a 5 yard TD run by Quashon Tate.
Byrnes responded perfectly, as they took advantage of a nice kick return by Knai Cook and went on a 56 yard drive that ended in a 32 yard TD pass from Colby Shaw to Ethan Morris.
Gaffney then went down the field and stalled, opting for a fieldgoal that would have given them a 10-7 lead. However, a bad snap resulted in a block, setting in motion a big 85 yard drive for the Rebels.
On 2nd and 10 from the Gaffney 21, Colby Shaw, under heavy pressure from the middle dumped it off to Kyai Cook, who stiff armed a defender and got the sideline to go for what would basically be a walk-in TD to go up 14-7.
Byrnes added on with 13 unanswered to go up 20 via a long 71 yard TD pass from Shaw to Armoni Weaver that made it 21-7 and a 20 yard connection with RJ Livingston (PAT was no good after a bad snap).
In the 2nd half, it appeared the death blow was sure to come quickly if it hadn’t already happened. Gaffney’s Kaliber Hoey fumbled the 2nd half kickoff, setting Byrnes up near midfield. Luckily, Gaffney staved off disaster as Trey Smith picked off Colby Shaw.
The Indians struck quick from there as 5 plays later, Loftis hit a wide open Drew Medley for his 2nd touchdown of the night to cut it to a 2 score game.
Byrnes attempted to change things up on their ensuing possession, going with Chamarryus Bomar out of the wildcat taking direct snaps for small chunks of yardage at a time while eating clock.
Ultimately, they kept Gaffney’s offense off the field until the 4th quarter despite the long clock melting drive resulting in a turnover on downs.
The Tribe cut it to a 1 score game on a Quashon Tate 3 yard draw for a TD before once again the Rebels played it conservatively and went with a heavy dose of RJ Livingston running the ball. They managed to go on a 7 play drive capped with a 37 yard fieldgoal that would make it 30-21.
On Gaffney’s ensuing possession, the Byrnes defense did what they had been all night long with ease and kept Grayson Loftis flushed from the pocket and running for dear life. On 4th and 20, he unwisely threw across his body to the opposite side of the field trying to hit Shuga Jefferies, ultimately getting picked off to all but seal it.
Gaffney gets back to action hosting Rock Hill next week in round 1 while the Rebels will hit the road to Hillcrest.
NOTE: Boiling Springs has made the playoffs as an at large bid. The Bulldogs will travel to Blythewood Friday night.
Greer 49 Riverside 42
The Battle of Greer
This rivalry matchup may not have the same luster that Byrnes-Gaffney or Spartanburg-Dorman do. As a matter of fact, as you might expect, it is quite lopsided historically in favor of the Yellow Jackets. But, don’t tell Coach Matthew Rochester that. One cannot deny that he has done marvelous things to turn the program at Riverside around. He has them believing. And that made the first ever battle for the Golden Spike (they have played a lot but this year, a trophy was on the line for the first time ever) intriguing.
Not only was there a trophy on the line, but this game had major region standings implications. A win for Riverside would mean a region title. A Greer win would force a 3 way tie for first.
That is ultimately what happened.
In a true back and forth that literally came down to the last play, Greer stopped a 2 point conversion to end the game and head back home in 2nd place in the region.
LaDainnian Martin was the workhorse for the Jackets, with 272 yards and 4 TDs on 35 carries and 2 receptions for 26 yards with a TD. Chase Byrd also had a receiving TD on 4 snags for 33 yards.
Greer will face South Pointe at Dooley Field in the opening round next week.
Chapman 32 Broome 6
This game was for all the marbles. The region 3-3A title was on the line. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to the epic billing it was being given, but that is a credit to Chapman. The Panthers have really found their stride on offense over the last month. In the end, there is no changing of the guard in 3-3A just yet, as Chapman took home their 6th straight region title.
The Panther defense held Broome to just 162 yards of total offense. Led by Abraham Fyffe (10 total tackles. 5 solo, all 5 for a loss, as well as 3.5 sacks), the Panthers defense limited Jaylen McGill to just 8 rushes for 22 yards. Kamajay Brackett-Brannon was the Centurions leading rusher with 13 carries for 75 yards to go along with his 87 passing yards.
Chapman QB Coleman Gray had a big night, not so much passing the ball, but with his legs. Gray led Chapman’s ground attack with 20 rushes for 133 yards to accompany his 9 for 13, 142 yards and 3 TDs passing. Shawn Cunningham hauled in 4 passes for 81 yards with a TD while Colt McPeters and Mathai Scott each rallied a receiving TD. Scott also added a rushing TD on 84 yards with 14 touches.
The Panthers will host Emerald in round 1 while Broome hosts Woodruff.
Speaking of Woodruff…
Wolverines 41 Union County 23
Union County has had it rough this year. The injury bug hit them harder than anyone after they showed so much promise early on, including an upset of Broome.
They lost their QB Ben Black, having to move their leading receiver MJ Porter to that role. Cam Owens was banged up off and on. Needless to say, a lot was put on Porter’s shoulders.
Last night, he accounted for a lot of Union’s offense. He ran the ball 19 times for 117 yards and a TD.
Union actually jumped ahead in this game, using their running game to keep Carson Tucker, who came back from being injured the last few weeks last night, off the field. The Jackets dominated the time of possession 30:46-17:14. They did that running the ball 50 times for 280 yards.
Union scored 11 unanswered to take a 17-7 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. Woodruff battled back, and after an exchange of scores, they went to the locker room tied at 20.
The 2nd half was all Wolverines as they outscored the Jackets 21-3 to end Union’s season.
Carson Tucker was 9 of 20 in his return with 206 passing yards and 3 TDs. He also had a rushing TD on 2 carries for 39 yards. DJ Nash led the aerial attack with 5 snags for 107 yards and a touchdown. Nemo Cochran hauled in 3 passes for 54 yards and 2 TDs. Eastin Burch tallied 95 rushing yards with 2 TDs on 13 carries to lead the ground game.
Again, Woodruff travels to Broome for round 1 next week.
Liberty 49 Chesnee 41
The Eagles came into this game with a renewed confidence, having won 2 in a row with a shot at improving their playoff seeding. They played very well in this game, having led 35-14 at the half.
But things took a turn for the worst in the 2nd half. In similar fashion to their loss to Broome earlier this season, Chesnee’s defense allowed 35 unanswered to go down 49-35.
The Eagles would muster just 6 points in the 2nd half on an 8 yard Kyle Martin TD run, but they missed the PAT. They still had a chance late as Liberty fumbled it at the Eagle 30 with 2:11 to play. It ended up not coming to fruition as Chesnee ran out of time at their own 43.
KJ Proctor was 12-17 passing with 160 yards and a TD. He also ran for a TD. The Eagles had 5 rushers in double digit yardage led by Kyle Martin with 58. Four eagles put up double digit receiving yards also led by Martin with 69. Ezequiel Lazarin had Chesnee’s lone receiving TD.
Chesnee will open their playoff run on the road at Strom Thurmond where they hope they can filibuster their way to an upset that might set up a rematch with Landrum in round 2.
Landrum 62 Blacksburg 40
The Cardinals had an all out fight on their hands with a Blacksburg team that had nothing to lose. The Wildcats threw everything at them but the kitchen sink. In fact, they might have thrown the bathtub at them instead.
Blacksburg drew first blood on a 2 yard TD run. After an answer from Landrum in the form of a 3 yard Colton Link TD run, the Cats scored 12 unanswered to go up 19-7.
After a Braden Mashtare 5 yard Touchdown run made it 19-14, Dre Buckson broke off a 60 yard run to put Blacksburg back up 12. From there, Landrum went on a tear.
They hung 41 unanswered to take a 55-26 lead, which was more than enough cushion.
Colton Link broke the 1,000 yard rushing mark to become Landrum’s first in a decade. Aaron Bryant was the last to hit that mark back in 2013. Link had 16 carries for 191 yards and 3 TDs along with a 99 yard kickoff return.
Braden Mashtare can’t be ignored as he ran for 124 yards and a TD on 15 carries. Freshman Fullback AJ Lindsey also ran for a pair of TDs.
Also of note is that Ronnie Belue and Andrew McPeters each recorded a pick 6 for the Landrum defense.
Landrum locked up the 2 seed with the win and will now host Keenan in round 1. The winner will host the winner of Chesnee vs Strom Thurmond.
The playoffs are set. Bring it on!