Changing it up: Lancaster found itself replacing both star running backs from last year. The Bruins employed a multiple-back approach Friday night, to reasonable success. Bruising backs Ason’ta Clark and Ke’Daivdion Talford each rumbled for a score, with speedy junior Ji’Quan Stover showing good burst on his carries.
“We’ve got two running backs (Ant Foster and Farrika Grier) playing college football right now from last year. I think each back does a little something different,” said Lancaster coach Bobby Collins. “We’ve got a big offensive line, with a few seniors and a few guys that we’re trying to patch [into] some spots. We’re going to run the football as long as I’m here, and play great defense.”
New signal-callers: A number of the squads in the Jamboree broke in new leaders under center. Lancaster’s Kemarkio Cloud threw for a score, while Great Falls’ tandem of Kell Brown and Trent Isenhower was unable to guide the Red Devils to the end zone.
In the evening session, Lewisville senior Rhett Cox showed a solid grasp of the Lions’ quick-strike offense. Cox guided the Lions to a score on their first possession, with a Quentin Sanders conversion on third-and-five providing the opening points. Chester’s John Erby may have saved the best for last, though, showing good fluidity in the run game and passing just enough to keep the Clover defense honest.
A solid half for Great Falls -- and some opportunities: Great Falls struggled a bit in the second half against Franklin Christian, primarily due to numbers and conditioning. Their first-half success was not lost on their new head coach, however.
“(I was) very pleased with the first quarter,” said Great Falls coach Scotty Steen. “We were our own worst enemy (with second-half turnovers and penalties). Once our opponent got a little bit of confidence under them, they seemed to build on our mistakes, and before you know it, we were trailing.”
Ground-dwelling Cats: Lewisville experienced great success in the run game against Garinger, and Lions coach Will Mitchell was quick to theorize on one of the keys to that success. “The big thing right there is we (had) Qay Simpson, who was All-State as a junior, a 260-pound guard, is back in the game for the first time all offseason. That changes on our level, (when) you add an All-State lineman back in.” The Lions’ running back trifecta of Quentin Sanders, Corey Wright and KaiMari Davis all broke big runs behind that Simpson-led line.
Blue Eagles taking flight – sort of: Clover’s hiring of former Byrnes coach Brian Lane led to talk about the implementation of the spread and the somewhat unusual sight of footballs sailing through the air in Clover. The Blue Eagles’ first two scores had to look familiar to the Clover faithful, with both coming on short runs. The passing game was largely effective when utilized, though, even in what was a steady rain for prolonged periods of both halves. The conversion will be gradual, but Clover will throw more.
Lancaster 23, Columbia (Ga.) 8: Lancaster jumped out to an early 9-0 lead in the opener of the Chester County Jamboree, then held off the visiting Eagles with their trademark power running game and suffocating defense. The Bruins cashed in a 17-yard strike from Kemarkio Cloud to Zack Truesdale to open the scoring, then added a safety on a backwards punt that landed in the end zone.
Franklin Christian 28, Great Falls 0: The Cavaliers and Red Devils battled to a scoreless first half, before Franklin Christian took control in the second stanza. Dee Hardin turned in a huge effort under center for the visiting Cavaliers, tossing four touchdown passes of 20 yards or greater. Kamari Phillips hauled in two of Hardin’s strikes, with Zavier Mills and TyQuan Kennedy grabbing the others.
Lewisville 16, Garinger (N.C.) 0: The Lions’ fourth scrimmage in eight days ended as they hoped, with Lewisville pitching the shutout over the visitors from Charlotte. Lewisville star tailback Quentin Sanders paced a well-rounded rushing attack for coach Will Mitchell’s crew, bouncing off tacklers en route to a 34-yard score. The second score came on a fortuitous bounce, as Lion offensive lineman Dorian Kirkpatrick fell on a fumble in the end zone.
“All three running backs ran hard,” said Mitchell. “KaiMari (Davis) got thrown in there, and he wasn’t really expecting to have many carries tonight. He got downhill better than he has.”
Clover 27, Chester 20: The first half started as a back-and-forth affair, and the second half looked to be headed the Blue Eagles’ way early. After being tied at 14 at the half, the Clover defense turned up the heat in the final twelve minutes. A forced fumble led to a 52-yard Blue Eagle touchdown return, with a second looking to put away the game. Chester’s Jaylin Woods returned a Clover fumble 88 yards on that possession, though, cutting the margin to seven points. The Cyclones could draw no closer, however, as the final Chester drive ended on an interception as time expired.
The visiting schools finished the night with a 63-59 tally over the home clubs.