The storylines in Week Four of the high school football season feature a recharged and refocused York team that will travel to Rock Hill, a South Pointe team that might need its best performance of the season to date to remain undefeated — and more.
Here’s what you need to know.
Rock Hill vs York at District Three Stadium
York head coach Dean Boyd said he’s asked his team one question all week: “Are we making progress the way we feel like we are? Or is it all just smoke and mirrors at this point, and we still have a long way to go?”
Before its win two weeks ago, York had given up 100 points in two games. But things seem to have changed a bit: York earned its first win of the season over Indian Land two weeks ago, and afterward, it entered a bye week — a week that is particularly valuable for a team that’s been trying to implement a new system since the start of Boyd’s tenure.
This confluence of factors begs the question: Are the Cougars embarking on a challenge on Friday night, in playing Rock Hill at District Three Stadium, that they are particularly positioned to meet?
Head coach Boyd’s answer? Maybe.
“In those first two games, I don’t even think we really competed well. We did not play well. We didn’t know the offenses, we didn’t know the systems — but we didn’t compete well,” Boyd said. “Have we gotten to a point where we can really start to work on the little things to become pretty good? Or are we still at that point where we still have so much to learn that we’re still a ways off? This is a good measuring stick for us.”
All this said, Rock Hill also is riding a bit of momentum. The Bearcats dropped two close games to open the season — one a seven-point loss to Sumter (one of the best teams in the state) and the other a loss defined by an odd play to South Pointe. Rock Hill followed the losses with a pair of impressive wins.
“Well, the first two weeks, we kind of felt like we beat ourselves,” Rock Hill head coach Bubba Pittman said. “Not to take anything away from Sumter or from South Pointe. Those are two really really good football teams, but it kind of felt like we were in a position to win both of those ...
“We just got to continue to build. That’s the message we’re preaching around here: ‘Get a little bit better every day.’”
To use Boyd’s words as a proverbial punctuation mark: “It’s going to be an interesting game.”
South Pointe visits Greenville
Throughout its bye week, South Pointe head coach DeVonte Holloman and his staff echoed a point of improvement that is as cliché as it is difficult to do.
“Starting faster,” Holloman said. “The past couple of weeks, we’ve gotten off to some slow starts, but we finish strong, so I’m hoping we get off to a fast start and we continue to finish strong.”
South Pointe is the only team in its region that hasn’t lost a game yet. Its three wins weren’t all easy and pretty: The Stallions defeated Northwestern by three in a game where their defensive line made up for an offense that struggled; and they defeated Rock Hill despite a flurry of penalties and a fourth-quarter turnover that set up their opponents just yards from the goal line.
In so many words, to summarize South Pointe’s season to date: results from the first part of the season prove that South Pointe can finish close games. The bye week “came at the right time,” according to Holloman, and allowed players who had lingering, nagging injuries to heal.
And this week, looking ahead to Friday, the Stallions will meet their match in size and athleticism and get the chance to reveal their true status as a team.
“Greenville is a pretty tough team…” Holloman said.
“We got to show up to play probably one of our better games this season.”
Legion Collegiate endures another cancellation
The Herald confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Legion Collegiate Academy’s game scheduled at Battery Creek High School has been canceled.
The news adds to a list of several scheduling hurdles that the Lancers have already dealt with this season. In Week 1, the Lancers were prepared to play the Greenwood Raptors, but the Raptors didn’t show up and didn’t explain their absence. In Week 2, Legion Collegiate was originally scheduled to play St. John’s, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian led to a last-second scheduling switch, and the Lancers traveled to Metrolina Christian in Indian Trail, N.C.
Battery Creek Athletic Director Sarah Hayes could not be reached before publication to explain why this week’s game was canceled.
Legion Collegiate is the area’s newest public charter school. It opened this year. Battery Creek is a public school in Beaufort County, about three hours south of downtown Rock Hill.
Friday’s full football schedule
All kickoffs are scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Northwestern (1-3) at Sumter (3-0): Northwestern will look to build off its 16-14 win over Ridge View when it travels to Sumter. Sumter has won its last two games by 60-plus points, but the team’s only test of the season thus far came when they visited Rock Hill, a city rival of Northwestern.
LISTEN: FM 94.3.
Lugoff-Elgin (1-3) at Fort Mill (1-3): After Fort Mill’s first two games, where it scored three points total, the team has put up 24 and 27 points, respectively.
Nation Ford (2-2) at Indian Land (2-2): You can’t discuss the Nation Ford football team without mentioning its offense’s engine: Nathan Mahaffey. The senior running back has notched over 100 carries for 661 yards and three touchdowns — in four games. Indian Land is looking for its first home win of the season.
LISTEN: FM 107.1.
York (1-2) at Rock Hill (2-2)
LISTEN: FM 100.1/AM 1340.
Chester (3-1) at Lancaster (1-3): Lancaster earned its first win of the season against Nation Ford after its offense orchestrated a go-ahead seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. That said, the Bruins will have their hands full this week when they host the defending state champions and school rival, Chester.
LISTEN: FM 104.1.
South Pointe (3-0) at Greenville (3-1)
LISTEN/FOLLOW: Cable Channel 103.
Catawba Ridge (2-2) at Blacksburg (2-1): Catawba Ridge is in the middle of a short week after inclement weather led them to play Weddington (North Carolina) on Monday night. The Copperheads lost Monday night’s contest, 45-7.
Great Falls (2-2) at Dixie (0-4): After a shutout loss to Andrew Jackson last week, Great Falls will travel to Dixie on Friday night. The Red Devils have averaged 35.5 points in their wins and 14.5 points in their losses.
North Central (1-2) at Andrew Jackson (4-0): Andrew Jackson is the only public school in South Carolina to have gone through its first four games without surrendering a point. Yes, not one point. The Volunteers head into its toughest test yet on Friday night against rival North Central.