Week 1 4A/5A Preview
Here’s a look at what’s coming up this Friday in 4A and 5A.
Union County (0-1) at Gaffney (0-1)
Gaffney will look to bounce back from a 44-38 loss to Crest. Union fell to Newberry 47-20. The Indians will look to get into the win column this week as they host the 3A Yellow Jackets. Last week Gaffney was excellent offensively, led by quarterback Riley Staton – who threw for 279 yards and a pair of scores in his Gaffney debut. Running back Jaiden McDowell led the ground game with 142 yards on 20 carries and 3 scores. Defensively Gaffney was good, but gave up too many big plays to come away with the win.
Union was overmatched in their first game, and will be once again by the Indians. Moving the ball on offense will be a struggle, and I will be surprised if the Jackets can keep it close. Gaffney will roll to their first win of the season, possibly topping 50 points on Friday.
Boiling Springs (0-1) at Mauldin (0-0)
The Bulldogs hung close before eventually falling to T.L. Hanna 34-26. Mauldin was off last week.
Boiling Springs put up a fight against Hanna last week, and I expect more of the same this Friday. The offense was a weak spot in 2022, but that doesn’t appear to be the case this year. Quarterback Lincoln Huskey led a unit that topped 200 yards passing and rushing against the Jackets. Coach Matt Reel appears to have a much more mature and physical team in year 2.
Mauldin lost a lot to graduation from a team that only won 2 games a season ago. I like the Bulldogs to be able to go on the road and run the football well this Friday. Look for running back Javen Chhim to have a second straight 100 yard game, this time leading to a win.
Byrnes (1-0) at Chapman (1-0)
Byrnes got a 24-9 win over Hough, while Chapman knocked off Woodruff 57-34. For more on this game see our 3A preview.
North Augusta (1-0) at Dorman (0-1)
The Cavaliers fell to Greenville 34-21, while North Augusta beat Evans (GA) 14-7.
The Cavs had their struggles in game one under new head coach Jake Morris. The offense’s lack of a run game could be a cause for concern going forward. Defensively they struggled to get third down stops, and some poor tackling led to a couple of long plays for the Red Raiders. It wasn’t all bad for Dorman, quarterback David Sorenson connected on a couple of long passes, including a 40 yard score to Brannon Teamer.
The Yellow Jackets won’t be as fast or as physical as Greenville. The Cavaliers should be able to run the ball much better this week, and won’t have to tackle 4 star athletes in space. I look for Dorman to find their identity this week and get win number one for Coach Morris.
Spartanburg (0-1) at Dutch Fork (0-1)
The Vikings fell in a close one to South Pointe 16-14, while the Silver Foxes fell to nationally ranked Colquitt County 48-17.
These teams met twice last season with Dutch Fork getting wins in both. One by a little, one by a lot. If Spartanburg wants this to be another close one, they will need to be better on the offensive line than they were last week. Despite the struggles up front, the Vikings offense still had some life, mainly due to quarterback T.J. Johnson’s mobility. He’ll need to utilize his legs once again, as I expect them to have difficulty blocking the Foxes’ defensive front.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings were outstanding. They held South Pointe to just 16 points, with the only touchdown coming on a short field after a turnover. Linebacker Cam Smith was everywhere, finishing with 16.5 tackles and a sack last week. He’ll need a similar performance this Friday against a Dutch Fork team that will be run-heavy, especially after losing their starting quarterback to injury last week.
I think this game will be tight for all four quarters. I expect a low scoring game that will probably come down to whoever wins the turnover battle.
Greer (0-1) at Hillcrest (1-0)
Greer fell to Daniel 48-20, while Hillcrest beat Laurens 55-9.
The Yellow Jackets early season schedule doesn’t get any easier this week, as they face 5A Hillcrest. Running back LaDannian Martin was expected to be great this year, and he got off to a good start with 145 yards and 3 touchdowns last Friday.
While another big game from Martin would be nice, it’s the defense who will need to step up if the Jackets want to get a win. I think Hillcrest has too much speed on the outside, and will lead to enough points to get the win over Greer. If the defense forces some turnovers, this one could be tight for four quarters.