Brian Turner, Nation Ford High School's athletics director, couldn't be picky when putting together the Falcons' first varsity football schedule.
Most South Carolina teams were booked because they signed two-year contracts. So when the Carolina Pride Lions came calling, Turner made a date.
The Lions and Falcons play at 7:30 p.m. today at Bob Jones Stadium on the campus of Fort Mill High School. There are several similarities.
Nation Ford, Fort Mill's second high school, opened in August for grades 9-11. The Falcons are 2-4 and are playing an independent schedule before jumping into Region 3-AAAA next year.
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Carolina Pride (4-3) is in its second season of 11-man football after seven seasons as an 8-man team. The team was primarily established several years ago for homeschooled and private school students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to play.
"Our schedule was made through our AD, Steve De Stefani,'' first-year coach Chuck Harless said. "As far as teams we play, most are in our conference, the Carolinas Independent Athletic Association. The other schools we play are the ones our AD contacted that were willing to play us.
"Nation Ford is the only public school we'll play this year, but not the only South Carolina team on our schedule. We play Camden Military next Saturday. We are looking forward to playing Nation Ford and we think it will be a good game.''
Another school that made Nation Ford's schedule, although a late addition, was Charlotte's Derita Christian Academy. The Falcons won that game, the first in school history, 39-6 on Sept. 7.
Carolina Pride opened the season with a 12-6 win over Derita.
"It's good to play somebody that's not undefeated for a change,'' Nation Ford coach Rusty Jester said. "We need to play teams like this. Right now our confidence level is not too good. We need to play teams we can compete with and have some success.
"We are getting a little better and we're focusing on blocking and tackling. We feel we are making progress. We have some good skill players, but we are not very strong physically on the line.''
Northwestern at Fort Mill, 7:30 p.m.
Clover at Rock Hill, 8 p.m.
Lancaster at South Pointe, 7:30 p.m.
Gaffney at York, 7:30 p.m
Blythewood at Chester, 8 p.m.
McBee at Lewisville, 7:30 p.m.
Great Falls at Indian Land, 7:30 p.m.
Westminster Catawba at Asheville (N.C.) School, 7:30 p.m.
• Records: Carolina Pride 3-4; Nation Ford 2-4
• Last week: Providence Christian 33, Carolina Pride 12; Nation Ford 27, Hardeeville 14
• Last meeting: Never played
• Regions: Carolina Pride, CIAA; Nation Ford, Independent
• Of note: Nation Ford scored more than seven points in a game for the only the second time in last week's wins. QBs Joey White and Mitchell Starnes, TB Tony Hall and WR Dee Truesdale are the offensive leaders.