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Week 10 Recap

It has all come down to this – one last week of the regular season to decide region champions and finalize playoff seeding. Locally, 3 of our teams clinched region titles Friday night, while the 5A tiebreaker scenario came into effect to determine 3rd and 4th place as well as the at-large bid for the 5A upper state bracket. In total, 10 of the 11 teams we cover made the playoffs. Here’s what happened and unofficially who is going where next week for the opening round.

 

Spartanburg 35 Dorman 14

 

The annual City Rivalry came with quite possibly the highest stakes it has had in the last few years despite these 2 teams’ struggles throughout the course of the season. A Cavalier victory would lock them in as the 3 seed and push Boiling Springs back to the 4, making Spartanburg have to settle for an at-large bid. A win for the Vikings would spell a scenario that depends on point differential at the end of the 3rd quarter in which Boiling Springs would be the 3 seed, Spartanburg the 4, and Dorman as the at-large.

 

This game has a history of being unpredictable, but add in the uncertainties of these 2 teams this season on the offensive side of the football, and the laundry list of injuries Spartanburg had coming in, and on paper, this one looked like it could be a low-scoring slugfest.

 

But, just as paper was beaten last week when Boiling Springs cut the Vikings, the rivalry game was scissors once again.

 

Spartanburg found a rhythm on offense they have not had all season up to this point, scoring the first 21 points of the game unanswered. Not only did they end up scoring 35 points, but also put up 418 yards of total offense in the process, going fairly balanced in the process. Of their total offensive output, 215 of those yards came via the run while 203 came through the air.

 

Sophomore QB Trey Burke got the nod for the 2nd straight week for Mark Hodge’s squad, and he was effective, going 15 of 20 with a passing TD. Dorman stuck with Brice O’Neal as their quarterback. O’Neal attempted 46 passes in the game, completing 32 of them with 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he threw 2 interceptions, one of which was a late pick 6 by Spartanburg’s Kaleb Williams that all but sealed the game.

 

After falling down 21-0, Dorman finally broke the goose egg at the 5:22 mark of the 3rd quarter when Brice O’neal found Tra’Von Fernandez for a 9 yard TD pass . They would pull back within a score with just over 5 minutes to play in the game when Peyton Hamblett recovered a fumble for a TD. The Vikings scored the next 14 unanswered on a 78 yard TD run by their leading rusher Trenton Lynch and Williams’ pick 6.

 

As mentioned, Trenton Lynch was a key player for Spartan High with 171 yards and a pair of TDs on 14 carries. Trey Harris logged 43 yards and a touchdown on 7 attempts. Justin Rice had the Vikes’ lone TD reception, hauling in 5 passes for 83 yards. Zywilliams Bond had 2 catches for 44 yards, while Zeke Bell-Boyd had 1 snag for 36 yards. Avion Davis also was in double figures with 22 yards on 1 reception as Spartanburg picked up their 3rd straight win over the Cavaliers.

 

Spartanburg is locked in as the 4 seed, and will take on Rock Hill on the road next week with a date to be determined. With Northwestern also having a home game, it is a possibility the Vikings might end up playing on Thursday night since Rock Hill and Northwestern share District Three Stadium.

 

Dorman, as the at-large bid, will get a rematch of the thriller from 2 weeks ago with the Byrnes Rebels at Nixon Field.

 

Byrnes 33 Gaffney 21

Byrnes- Region II-AAAAA champion

 

Any time the Rebels and Indians get together, it is heated and it is personal. These 2 bitter rivals have a history, especially when they play at the Reservation, whether back in the day at the Old WK Brumbach Stadium or at the “New Reservation”. When the stakes of the game include a region championship, it just ramps up the intensity to an even higher level.

 

Despite the hype, this one very nearly turned out to be a lopsided blowout.

 

The Rebels and Indians exchanged turnovers on the first series of the game before Byrnes struck first on a 4 yard TD run by Tre Segarra. The Rebs extended their lead when a snap went over Gaffney QB Riley Staton’s head to set up a short field for Byrnes. Jacob Coman added a 25 yard fieldgoal to make it 10-0 late in the 1st quarter.

 

They would take a 17-0 lead into the half following a pick by James Oates that set up a Zy Landrum 8 yard TD run, and go up 24-0 in the 3rd quarter via yet another TD run by Tre Segarra.

 

Gaffney mounted a furious rally from that point on, outscoring Byrnes 21-3. With 4:55 to play in the game, the Rebs fumbled, setting Gaffney up with a chance to take the lead, but would end up going 3 and out. The game swung back in Byrnes’ favor for good on the play after the ensuing punt when Armoni Weaver exploded for a 72 yard touchdown to salt it away. Jaiden McDowell added a late TD for the Indians, but it was too little too late.

 

Gaffney is locked in as the 2 seed while Byrnes, as the region champ, has home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Again, Byrnes hosts the at-large (Dorman). Gaffney will host Lexington.

 

  • Boiling Springs was on bye this week. They locked up the 3 seed via Spartanburg’s win over Dorman and the tiebreaker scenario. The Bulldogs will go on the road to Dutch Fork for round one next week.

 

 

Greer 42 Riverside 21

Greer- Region II-AAAA champions

 

In the annual Battle for the Golden Spike between the Yellow Jackets and Warriors, a lot more than just the trophy and bragging rights as the best team in the City of Greer was at stake. These 2 teams were playing for the region championship at historic Dooley Field Friday night.

 

As the old adage goes, “This ain’t your daddy’s Riverside”. Ok, maybe that’s not an old saying. But, it definitely rings true. The Warriors have been on the upswing over the last couple of years, and they have several good pieces on the offensive side of the football now. They have a Qb with the ability to extend plays and sling it downfield in junior Jacob Medlin as well as a couple of speedy playmakers at wide receiver in sophomore Jaiden Taylor, junior Mikkel Skinner, and junior Israel Leamon. Unfortunately, while they have some nice pieces, they were outmatched in this game that despite the score’s appearance, was never really close.

 

From square one, that was evident. Chase Byrd ran the opening kickoff back 96 yards for a TD, but a hold at the very end of the play took it off the board, setting the Jackets up at the Warriors’ 10 yardline. The very next play, QB Chris Hall kept it and went 10 yards for the quick TD.

 

Following a quick 3 and out on the Warriors’ first series, the punt went out of bounds at the Greer 18. The Yellow Jackets marched 82 yards, scoring on a LaDainnian Martin TD where he ran all the way to the edge and went 20 yards, just barely breaking the plane while getting slammed to make it 14-0.

 

The Warriors finally managed to find some offense thanks in part to being given a short field when the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds at their own 43 yardline. A few plays later, Medlin threw a deep ball down the sideline to Jaiden Taylor, who somehow managed to get in behind the safety and hauled in the pass for a 46 yard TD to cut the deficit to 7.

 

Greer answered quickly after Chris Hall broke off a long run on 3rd and 2 from the Greer 46 to set up a 10 yard LaDainnian Martin TD run to make it 21-7 heading into the 2nd stanza.

 

The Yellow Jackets led 28-7 at the half behind a 3 yard QB keeper by Chris Hall with about 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

 

The 2 sides traded punts to start the 2nd half before Riverside managed to cut it to a 2 score game 1 last time with a quick screen to Mikkel Skinner, who broke free down the sideline and went 67 yards for a TD. Then came a huge 14 point swing that all but sealed the region title for the Jackets.

 

Facing a 3rd and 16 deep in their own territory, Jacob Medlin was picked off by Greer junior Free Safety Max Hannon, who took it back to the Warrior 15 yardline. The next play, Nick Holmes capitalized on it with a 15 yard TD run. Trouble struck the warriors again as they muffed the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by Holmes at the Tribe’s 30. The very next snap, Hall hit a wide open Brock Diggins across the middle for a TD to cap the 14 point rally that took all of 10 seconds off the clock and send the game to its final 12 minutes with Greer up 42-14.

 

Riverside struck one more time with 10:22 to play in the game when Medlin scrambled and somehow found Jaiden Taylor along the sideline, who shed a tackle and cut all the way back across the field, going the distance for a 43 yard TD.

 

Both teams squandered a red zone chance late in the 4th quarter, but in the end, Greer drove in the spike for home field advantage throughout on a night where they recognized the 20th anniversary of their 2003 state championship team.

 

Chris Hall was just 6 of 9 for 92 yards with a TD and a pick through the air. It was his legs that were a major difference maker in this game, as he led the way on the ground with 159 yards and a pair of TDs. LaDainnian Martin tallied 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries prior to exiting the game with an undisclosed injury. Nick Holmes ran for 80 yards and a TD on 8 attempts coming in relief of Martin late in the game.

 

Brock Diggins had the lone receiving TD, leading the way with 3 snags for 58 yards.

 

Greer will host their first round playoff game since they have locked up home field advantage, but they will have to wait to see who will be making the trip to them with the postponement of Indian Land’s game with Lancaster to 10 AM Saturday.

 

Chapman 38 Broome 35

Chapman- Region III-AAA champions

 

The much-anticipated battle between 2 offensive heavyweights at last has come and gone. And it lived up to the hype and then some.

 

Broome struck first, going 65 yards on 7 plays. Kamajay Brackett-Brannon landed the blow on a 25 yard TD scamper. Chapman gave them a dose of their own medicine, putting together a masterful 70 yard drive that took just 8 plays, tying things up via a 14 yard Coleman Gray TD run.

 

Following a Broome 3 and out, the Panthers put together yet another efficient drive, going 75 yards in just 5 plays, capped by the first of three rushing TDs on the night by Mathai Scott – this one from 4 yards out to make it 14-7.

 

Scott picked up rushing TD #2 midway through the 2nd quarter to cap yet another surgical 70+ yard drive that was kept alive on 3rd and long by a 43 yard pass from Coleman Gray to Hudson Moss that set the Panthers up at the Centurions’ 11.

 

Chapman would go 70 yards one more time after Jaylen McGill ran the ensuing kickoff back for a TD that briefly made it 21-14 to make for a 28-14 advantage at the half via Scott’s 3rd TD on the ground of the night.

 

Bleak as it may have looked going into the 2nd half, with Jaylen McGill in your backfield, you can never count yourself out if you are the Centurions, and as the opposition, you have to feel that no lead is safe.

 

McGill got a rally started for Broome, cutting the deficit to 1 score with a little over 5:00 to play in the 3rd frame. Following a Coleman Gray 24 yard TD run to re-up the ante to 2 TDs, a 4th down gamble led to a big play when Jaylen took a sweep 40 yards to the house.

 

Chapman would push their lead back to 10 on their next series. But, the Centurions kept fighting and McGill found paydirt one last time with 3:49 to play in the game. Chapman would hold on to win it and clinch home field advantage.

 

McGill had 22 rushes for 155 yards and 3 rushing TDs to go with the kickoff return TD. His quarterback, Kamajay Brackett-Brannon logged 112 rushing yards on 13 attempts with a TD. He also threw the ball 7 times, completing just 2 passes for 14 yards.

 

For the Panthers, Coleman Gray and Mathai Scott were the keys. Gray had just 1 incompletion, going 12-13 for 124 yards and also ran the ball 15 times for 132 yards with 2 TDs. Scott tabbed 176 rushing yards on 20 attempts with the 3 touchdowns, while also hauling in 2 passes for 13 yards.

 

Keanu Na was also over the century mark in rushing yards with 101 on 12 carries. Hudson Moss led the receivers with 4 catches for 61 yards.

 

Chapman will host Crescent in the opening round while Broome will host Seneca.

 

  • Woodruff defeated Union County 59-40. Aiden Gibson led the way for Woodruff on the ground with 173 yards on 23 attempts with a TD. Kori Moates also had over 100 rushing yards, tallying 118 on 13 carries. Moates also led the receiving attack with 223 yards on 8 catches and 2 touchdowns. Gibson hauled in 3 passes for 72 yards and a TD, while Nick McConnell added 41 yards on 3 snags with a pair of TDs. Quarterback TJ Morris was 16-24 for 351 yards and 5 touchdowns. With the loss, Union is the lone local team that will miss the playoffs. Woodruff will go on the road next week to take on Wren.

 

Liberty 36 Chesnee 35

 

This game was a bit of a heartbreaker for the Eagles. Chesnee jumped out to a 20-0 lead over most of the 1st half before the Red Devils finally broke through with 7 seconds left in the first half.

 

Liberty pulled to within 6 when they scored on their opening drive of the 2nd half before Chesnee responded quickly to go back up a pair of scores. That lead vanished as the Devils scored the next 14 unanswered to take a 28-27 lead with just under 9 minutes to play in the game. The Eagles reclaimed the lead moments later on an 11 yard TD run by Adonis Burgess, and converted the 2 to make it a 7 point game with 7:45 to play.

 

Heartbreak struck in the final seconds when Liberty QB Logan Smith hit Austin Smith for a 3 yard TD reception. Not looking to play for the tie, they went for 2 and got it to steal a win from the Eagles on the road.

 

Chesnee was led by Austin Bigford, who ran for 180 yards on 17 carries with 3 TDs. Kjay Proctor and Adonis Burgess oddly enough both logged a TD and 39 yards, Proctor with 9 attempts and Burgess with 4. Proctor was also 4 for 8 passing with 86 yards, most to leading receiver Kaylob Blanton, who had 59 yards on 2 catches.

 

The Eagles are the 4 seed from region 1-2A and will go on the road to Batesburg-Leesville next week.

 

Landrum 44 Blacksburg 7

 

The cardinals have had a rough go through region play and found themselves in a situation where they would make the playoffs regardless of the outcome Friday night, but a win would be a huge boost of confidence going ahead.

 

It did not take very long for Colton Link to do what he does best and get the Cards on track for it. After Sam Smith came up with an interception for Landrum, Link found paydirt from 25 yards out with about 9:00 to play in the opening quarter.

 

Following that, the Wildcats had back to back drives come to an end deep in Landrum territory – one on a turnover on downs at the 10 and the other on a fumble at the 18. The fumble led to a 2nd rushing TD from Colton Link, which paired with a 2 point conversion made it 14-0 in favor of the Cards with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half.

 

Link added 2 more TDs – one receiving from about 25 yards out and the other a 10 yard rush to make for a 28-0 halftime lead.

 

The game would go to a running clock in the 2nd half after Link scored his 5th TD of the game on Landrum’s first series of the 3rd quarter, and Sam Smith found paydirt from a yard out following a Blacksburg fumble.

 

Blacksburg outscored the Cards 7-2 the rest of the way as Landrum cruised to the win and locked up the 5 seed from region I-AA. They will go on the road next week to take on the Strom Thurmond Rebels.

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