High School Football Rock Hill vs. Dorman

Rock Hill football is eager to re-establish winning identity in season opener against Dorman

bmccormick@heraldonline.comAugust 23, 2012 

  • More information Follow @RHHerald_Preps on Twitter for updates throughout the game Rock Hill vs. Dorman Friday, 7:30 p.m. at District Three Stadium

— The past couple of seasons have been anything but rosy for Rock Hill High School’s football program. But the Bearcats have an opportunity Friday night to bury the past when they host Dorman High School in the 2012 season opener for both teams.

“Everybody wants to start off winning; we’re no different,” said Rock Hill coach Joe Mongtomery, in his eighth season at the Bearcats helm and 20th as a head coach. “It doesn’t matter what the season was before. We’re very glad to be playing Dorman, a ranked team, to show that we’re a good football team.”

The Bearcats were 11-0 in the 2009 regular season but were surprised by No. 13 seed Spartanburg High School in the first round of the state playoffs. Rock Hill then unwittingly used an ineligible player in 2010, causing the team to forfeit its first three wins.

Last season, the Bearcats got into a fracas with local rivals South Pointe, putting both schools on a one-year probation that doesn’t lapse until September and limited each team to just two scrimmages. Suffice to say, Montgomery is eager to look forward.

Dorman enters the 2012 season ranked ninth in the S.C. Prep Media Poll and just three years removed from a AAAA-DI state championship, the school’s second. But the Cavaliers also took a step back last year, going 7-6 with a host of young players forced into action. While the attention in the Spartanburg area has shifted a bit toward Byrnes, Dorman is still a formidable foe for Rock Hill in Week One, according to Montgomery.

“They’re a good football team that brings back a lot of those players. There’s a reason you’re 7-6, and there’s a reason you’re 5-6. They played a lot of young kids last year, just like we did. Theirs are back and ours are back, so the expectations are there on both sides.”

Like many football contests, quarterback play will be crucial for both sides. Trey Robinson is a talented senior signal caller for the Cavaliers who got things rolling last year after a 0-3 start for Dorman, leading David Gutshall’s team to seven wins in the last 10 games. Expect to see Rock Hill rotate quarterbacks Jamil Simpson and Josh Erby in a system the Bearcats have employed for about six years now.

“Coaches say, ‘Well, this quarterback throws and this quarterback runs,’ and what we’re able to do is we’re able to change that up,” Montgomery explained, “because both of them can run, and both of them can throw. It gives us an advantage.”

Plus, the system doesn’t rely on the performance of just one kid, meaning there’s always another one standing next to the coach capable and ready to go. Bad night for one? Play the other.

“Offensively,” Montgomery added, “you have to have two quarterbacks and two tailbacks, because of the physical part of the game.”

Rock Hill will need good quarterback play to find a talented and physically gifted group of receivers. Jaleel Scott and Jamel Jones, are 6-foot-5 wide receivers, while Tre Thompson, the slot man, works underneath in the vacancies created by the taller two. They’ll be looking to take advantage of a shorter and less experienced Dorman defensive backfield, which returns just one starter.

Adding to the game’s intrigue is a genuine lack of intel about the two sides. Montgomery thinks the lack of insight will force the cream to rise to the top.

“What they’re trying to do and accomplish offensively and defensively, it’s hard to tell because it’s so early. They had a scrimmage rained out, and we only had two scrimmages and a jamboree, so that’s not a lot to chart. They’re searching for an identity and Rock Hill is searching for one. We’ve got to find out who’s gonna make plays, and they’re in the same boat.”

The Bearcats were 112-44 from 2000 to 2009, winning four regional championships and state titles in 2002 and 2004 under Jim Ringer. Rock Hill is only 11-12 the past two years, but has won the past four season openers, a run they’ll look to prolong 7:30 p.m. Friday night at District Three Stadium.

Bret McCormick 329-4032.

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