High School Football

High school football notes: South Pointe heads to Maryland Thursday

Four of this week’s Tri-County Coaches Association players of the week (clockwise from top left): Lewisville’s Josh Belk, Indian Land’s Dillon Howie, Lancaster’s Ant Foster and Rock Hill High’s Jordan Morris.
Four of this week’s Tri-County Coaches Association players of the week (clockwise from top left): Lewisville’s Josh Belk, Indian Land’s Dillon Howie, Lancaster’s Ant Foster and Rock Hill High’s Jordan Morris.

South Pointe faces Maryland private school St. Frances Academy on Friday.

The Stallions will hit the road Thursday, arriving in Baltimore later that day. The plan is to tour the Under Armour headquarters, before facing the Panthers at Morgan State University.

Money from South Pointe’s booster club and online fund-raising will pay for the trip. No school district or athletic department funds were involved.

Coach Strait Herron has a simple goal for the experience:

“We’re always trying to find ways to build camaraderie among the team,” he said Tuesday. “This is a great way to do it. You put the guys on buses and drive for eight hours and they get to hang out with each other and spend the night, get to eat a couple of times together. That’s the whole reason, I think it’s gonna be great for our team.”

Lewisville offensive versatility part of 3-0 start

Lewisville coach Will Mitchell nailed it when he said Tuesday, “we’re not a lot of fun to watch on film.” A big reason why is the two offensive systems the Lions have used in the first three games, both with success.

Quarterback Trey Keels threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns en route to 36 points and a Week Zero blowout of Andrew Jackson. Keels injured his ankle and sat out the last two games, but the Lions have hardly missed him, running for 308 and 453 yards in wins over 2A schools Blacksburg and Buford. Quentin Sanders and Mike Hill took turns getting the bulk of the carries, each rushing for over 200 yards in different games.

Keels should be back to full health soon, giving Mitchell and his coaching staff a great conundrum: run or pass? Perhaps the true answer will come in three weeks when Lewisville hosts McBee and Lamar, currently No. 1 in the state in 1A, in successive weeks. The Lions face Whitmire, Eau Claire and C.A. Johnson the next three weeks, and could be undefeated headed into the McBee contest.

Jerry Howard: beast

Northwestern running back Jerry Howard is a foot short of averaging a first down per carry. The East Carolina commit is right at 9.9 yards per run and has six touchdowns to boot through three games. A highlight film he posted on social media Tuesday shows all the best sides of his game, the power and the sweet feet.

Tri-County players of the week (Week 2)

4A, 5A schools

Offensive player of the week: Ant Foster, Lancaster- senior back rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries during the Bruins’ win over Fort Mill.

Offensive lineman: Alex Lais, South Pointe- senior blocker graded out at 92 percent with three big-time blocks and a pancake last Saturday against Rock Hill High.

Defensive player: Jordan Morris, Rock Hill- safety made 10 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass break-up and recovered a fumble during the Bearcats’ loss to South Pointe.

Defensive lineman: Matt Klipa, Rock Hill- Klipa made six tackles, including one for a loss, recorded a sack, four quarterback pressures and broke up a pass during an active outing against South Pointe.

Special teams: B.T. Potter, South Pointe- Potter hit a 31-yard field goal, three extra points and six touchbacks on kickoffs. He also punted five times for a 42-yard average, with a long kick of 53.

1A, 2A, 3A schools

Offensive player of the week: Mike Hill, Lewisville- senior had a huge game last Thursday when he carried the ball 20 times for 243 yards and four touchdowns during the Lions’ win over Buford.

Offensive lineman: Josh Belk, Lewisville- junior more known for his defensive line prowess graded 92 percent with 10 highlight blocks on the offensive line, including five knockdowns and two pancakes, in Lewisville’s win last Thursday.

Defensive player: Dillon Howie, Indian Land- senior made 10 tackles (nine solos), including four for a loss, broke up a pass and forced and recovered a fumble during the Warriors’ loss to Blacksburg.

Defensive lineman: Darryl Manning, Lewisville- senior notched 12 tackles - five for a loss - and four sacks during the Lions’ 36-20 victory over Buford.

Special teams: N/A

South Pointe stays atop 4A state rankings

The S.C. Prep Media poll ahead of Week Three was released Tuesday evening and has South Pointe still sitting at No. 1 in 4A.

Northwestern (5A), Lancaster (4A) and Lewisville (1A) are the three other local schools ranked statewide. Clover was off last week but still received at least one vote in the 5A rankings.

Class 5A

1. Dutch Fork; 2. Westside; 3. Northwestern; 4. Fort Dorchester; 5. Gaffney; 6. Boiling Springs; 7. Spartanburg; 8. Dorman; 9. Byrnes; T10. Sumter; T10. Greenwood

Others receiving votes: Lexington, Blythewood, Mauldin, Spring Valley, Clover

Class 4A

1. South Pointe; 2. Myrtle Beach; 3. Hartsville; 4. Belton-Honea Path; 5. Ridge View; 6. Lancaster; 7. Union County; 8. North Augusta; 9. Cane Bay; 10. South Aiken

Others receiving votes: North Myrtle Beach, Airport, Daniel, Chapin, Greer

Class 3A

1. Dillon; 2. Bluffton; 3. Brookland-Cayce; 4. Strom Thurmond; 5. Fairfield Central; 6. Woodruff; 7. Newberry; 8. Chapman; 9. Bishop England; 10. Gilbert

Others receiving votes: Camden, Lake City, Clinton, Broome, Seneca, Powdersville, Georgetown

Class 2A

1. Abbeville; 2. Southside Christian; 3. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 4. Cheraw; 5. Calhoun County; 6. Batesburg-Leesville; 7. Allendale-Fairfax; 8. Barnwell; 9. Andrews; 10. Chesterfield

Others receiving votes: Chesnee, Carvers Bay, Silver Bluff, Saluda, Liberty, Lee Central

Class 1A

1. Lamar; 2. Lake View; 3. McBee; 4. Lewisville; 5. Wagener-Salley; 6. Cross; 7. C.E. Murray; 8. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; T9. Ridge Spring-Monetta; T9. Hemingway

Others receiving votes: Williston-Elko, Baptist Hill, Timmonsville, Green Sea-Floyds, Bethune-Bowman

The S.C. Prep Media Football Poll is conducted by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal with voting from Michael Christopher, Greenwood Index Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; Chris Dearing, The State; Joe Hughes, Myrtle Beach Sun News; Kevin Melton, Spartanburg Herald Journal; Lou Bezjak, The State; Lake Morris, Anderson Independent Mail; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill); Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News and Eric Russell, Aiken Standard.

Regions with the most teams ranked

As soon as the South Carolina High School League’s 2016 realignment was announced, Region 3-5A looked like one of the toughest high school football conferences in the country. All five teams have been ranked in the top-10 of the S.C. Prep Media Poll through the first three weeks of the rankings, including the latest. Here’s a look at the region in each classification with the most teams currently state-ranked:

5A: Region 3 (Gaffney, Boiling Springs, Spartanburg, Dorman and Byrnes)

4A: Region 5 (South Pointe, Ridge View and Lancaster)

3A: Region 3 (Woodruff, Newberry, Chapman) and Region 5 (Brookland-Cayce, Strom Thurmond, Gilbert)

2A: Region 5 (Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Calhoun County, Batesburg-Leesville, Allendale-Fairfax, Barnwell)

1A: Region 2 (Lamar, McBee and Lewisville)

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