CHESTER — Coach Anthony Sterling had no choice but to look at the bright side in the wake of a 30-7 Cyclone loss to Blythewood in two quarters of action at Friday's Chester Football Jamboree.
"There is no need to push the panic button at all," Sterling said prior to delivering the postgame address to his players at midfield of the Chester Stadium. "We appreciate the good competition that Blythewood brought to us tonight.
"All this did was to show us where we are at as a team right now and what we need to work on."
Blythewood, a Class AAAA squad, dominated both sides of the football. The Bengals posted 20 first-quarter points by reaching the end zone of their first three possessions.
Meanwhile, Chester was unable to generate any offensive momentum in the early stages. Junior Jamarcus Moore, taking over the starting duties after the departure of three-year starter and Clemson signee Tony McNeal, was under constant pressure from a ferocious Bengal pass rush.
Chester was only able to generate 13 total yards and one first down in their first three possessions.
Sterling said that the offensive struggles show the need for improvement in the trenches.
"We have to get better up front; we did make some position movements with our personnel up front; so we really have to work hard with that this week.
"Defensively, we have to do a better job of tackling and getting in position to make plays."
Blythewood scored first when quarterback Demetric Gray scampered 12-yards on a keeper. On the next possession, Gray connected with receiver Davon Smith with an 11-yard strike to cap an 8-play, 66-yard drive.
Chester coughed up a fumble at its own 27, and Blythewood wasted little time, with Gray firing a 25-yard completion to Smith at the 3-yard line, setting up James Williams with a scoring run on the next play.
Following another Blythewood score, Chester got on the board when highly-touted freshman Tommy Sanders scored on a 1-yard run with 3:38 remaining.
Chester will work to get better in preparation for next week's season-opener against Abbeville, the defending Class A state champions, at a neutral site at Newberry College.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL 20, LANCASTER 9 -- Running back Damien Bell scored twice and quarterback Nyjawon McKinstry added another score to boost Fairfield Central over Lancaster.
Lancaster took a 7-0 lead when Daquaron Bell blocked a punt at the Griffin 25-yard line. That set up quarterback Shaq Williams with a 17-yard touchdown pass to C.D. Pellam.
The Griffins regrouped with a three-play, 60-yard drive with McKinstry running 17-yards into the endzone.
After Fairfield Central held the Bruins, the Griffins took over at midfield and move the ball methodically with a five-play, 55-yard drive with Bell running 11 yards for the score.
In the second-quarter, the Griffins continued to dominate offensively with a six-play, 67-yard march with Bell carrying 1-yard across the goal line.
Lancaster got a late score when the center snapped the ball over the punter's head for a safety.
GREAT FALLS 18, WESTMINISTER CATAWBA 6 -- A series of big plays, which included two interception returns for scores, lifted Great Falls over Westminister Catawba.
Running back Shaquille Simpson got the Red Devils on the board with a 51-yard run on the first offensive possession. Westminister Catawba regrouped and mounted an effective drive inside the 5-yard line.
However, quarterback Mark Vehoun's pass was deflected in the air and landed in the hands of defensive back D.C. Caldwell.
He then ran 97 yards in the other direction for a 13-0 Red Devil lead.
The Indians were on the move late in the contest, but this time, David Jeter picked off a pass and raced 35-yards for an 18-0 Great Falls advantage.
Westminister Catawba, however, avoided the shutout when Vehoun tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nate Casey with 15 seconds remaining.
WESTMINISTER CATAWBA 19, LEWISVILLE 6 -- Vehoun completed four-of-seven attempts for two touchdowns to lift Westminister Catawba over Lewisville.
Vehoun passed for 94 yards and finished the scrimmage with four straight completions. Running back Stevie Maqyar got the Indians on the board with a 17-yard run early in the contest.
After recovering a Lions fumble at the 33, the Indians orchestrated a six-play, 33-yard drive with Vehoun finding Devonte Jackson for a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Lewisville was able to move the ball effectively on their next possession with a six-play, 70-yard drive as quarterback Tony Gaston eluded defenders on a 28-yard quarterback keeper.
Westminister Catawba polished the scrimmage victory with Vehoun throwing a 29-yard pass to Casey.
GREAT FALLS 13, LEWISVILLE 7 -- In a preview of the annual rivalry among Chester County Class A schools, Great Falls was able to hold off Lewisville.
The scrimmage began in a bizarre fashion when Great Falls running back Ernest Talford picked up a fumble during a third-down running play. Talford ran 41 yards inside the Lions' 10-yard line, setting up a Simpson short-yard scoring run.
Lewisville coughed up one of seven fumbles in the two scrimmages, giving Great Falls possession at its own 42.
Fullback Jake Payseur broke loose on a 62-yard run on the next play, putting the Red Devils in control, 13-0.
The Lions were able to regroup with a 12-play, 77-yard drive, which ended with Gaston tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Myah Walls.