Monday morning found Indian Land football coach Michael Mayer motoring down Interstate 77 to meet with Columbia High School coach Kemper Amick for a film exchange after the two schools were paired together in Friday’s first round of the Class AA Division I football state playoffs.
Indian Land (2-7), now the No. 9 seed, was originally scheduled to travel to Keenan but a mistake in the seeding arithmetic means that the Warriors will now face the No. 8 seed Capitals (3-7) at Memorial Stadium in Columbia. And so Mayer was on the road to exchange game film the old-fashioned way, since Columbia’s coaching staff doesn’t use Hudl, the popular online football film trading web site.
“Somebody just made a mistake when they were figuring everything up,” Mayer said over the phone as he drove.
The winner of Indian Land-Columbia will face No. l seed Cheraw in the second round of the state playoffs. Cheraw (6-4) won Region 4-AA with a perfect 5-0 record, but only beat Indian Land 12-6, one of four games that Mayer’s crew lost by a combined 26 points. Indian Land did pull out a close win last week, beating rival Buford 23-19 to snap a six-game losing skid. Knowing that Columbia awaits in the first round, and Cheraw in the second, seemed to buoy the Warriors players when they learned of the bracket reshuffle.
“They seemed to be excited,” said Mayer. “Everyone’s excited after winning a game finally.”
The switch of opponent undoubtedly helps the Warriors. Keenan (6-4) beat Columbia 28-0 in their regular season meeting; the Capitals’ three wins this season came against opponents with a combined 4-26 record.
“Keenan was very athletic, a lot of speed,” Mayer said. “They were going to be a lot faster than us.”
Mayer was a bit perturbed by the South Carolina High School League’s mistake. He’d only just gotten Keenan’s film off of Hudl on Sunday morning because the Raiders’ game with Pelion was postponed Friday to Saturday night due to weather. Mayer was roughly 24 hours into mulling over a gameplan for Keenan when his cell phone started humming Monday morning with texts and phone calls about the switch. Mayer called Amick, who informed him they only had DVDs of their game film, not Hudl.
“I don’t have any DVDs, I got to go burn some DVDs,” said Mayer, who evidently found discs.
Both teams are a day behind in their preparations. Both teams hope they don’t have another switcheroo Tuesday morning.
“If I have to prepare for somebody else tomorrow, we’ll just go into the game blind,” Mayer joked.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T