Enquirer Herald

Running into The Reservation

CLOVER -- With playoff implications on the line, the Clover Blue Eagles enter Gaffney's "new" Reservation Friday night.

Kickoff time is 7:30 p.m. for the Region 3-AAAA headliner.

Gaffney's old stadium, known for decades as The Reservation, has given way to a new facility, but the Indians' football tradition (15 state championships) remains legendary.

"The football tradition they have is unbelievable," CHS head coach Jet Turner said of Friday's opponent.

"Gaffney is a great football team and very athletic," added Turner. "It's a big region game for both teams."

The Indians are 6-3 for the season and 3-0 in region play.

The Blue Eagles have a 6-3 overall record and are 2-1 in the region.

Both teams took care of business last week, Gaffney shutting out Fort Mill 40-0 and the Blue Eagles rolling past Nation Ford 32-7.

Said Turner of Friday's marquee attraction, "It'll be a challenge playing over there but our kids are excited. It's a great opportunity."

The Blue Eagles wasted little time assuming command in the Thursday night win over Nation Ford, scoring early and often.

Clover entered the contest averaging 349 yards rushing per game and matched that total in the first half, finishing with 455 infantry yards for the game.

Spearheading the offensive onslaught was a trio of 100-yard rushers, Tyron Douglas with 119 yards on the ground, Rickly Moore 111 and Max Elliott, 101.

Douglas and Moore upheld their reputations as bruising runners, shedding tackles at the point of contact. Elliott uses finesse to make defenders miss.

Douglas got things started in the first quarter, scoring from five yards out. Quarterback Aaron Miller sneaked in from the 1.

Douglas had a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Elliott scored on a seven-yard TD run before the half, staking the Blue Eagles to a 26-0 lead.

Miller's 44-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Josh Clawson closed out the scoring for Clover.

"It felt great," Clawson said of the TD reception. "It gives opponents something to think about."

Clawson said the Blue Eagles need a good week of practice to be ready for Gaffney.

"We need to play well offensively and defensively," he said.

Senior offensive lineman Ryan Krivis talked about snapping the ball in tune with sophomore quarterback Miller.

"There's so much preparation that goes into the quarterback taking the center snap," he said. "We have a lot of reps at practice. It has to be a smooth exchange."

Miller said he feels comfortable with the center snap and is playing with more confidence as the team enters the stretch run.

"The key against Gaffney is to cut down on mistakes and move the ball," noted Miller.

Turner said the Blue Eagles appear to be in good shape injury-wise, with senior tight end/linebacker Mike Hohler the lone exception.

Hohler is recovering from a spleen injury and his playing status remains questionable.