High School Football

Tri-County awards, state rankings, previews of hurricane-impacted HS football games

Chester’s Oct. 12, 2018 game against Camden would likely decide the Region 4-3A champ.
Chester’s Oct. 12, 2018 game against Camden would likely decide the Region 4-3A champ.

Check out these previews of the five high school football games in our area that were moved to Wednesday night, below. Rock Hill-York is still scheduled to play Thursday night, though it’s not clear if that game will go forward with Hurricane Florence expected to impact the area by Thursday.

Northwestern-Sumter and Great Falls-Dixie have been postponed indefinitely, with Sumter’s school district already closed as of Tuesday. It’s unknown if games that are postponed this week will be made up in the future, because many regions across the state begin league play next week.

Wednesday games

Lancaster at Chester, 6:30 p.m.

Last week: Lancaster beat Nation Ford 24-13; Chester beat Columbia (Ga.) 26-16

Last meeting: Chester won 43-22 (2017)

Key players: L: DB Jaelan Harfield, DB Zyon Duncan, WR Zach Truesdale, RB Nygel Moore. C: RB Pha’Leak Brown, WR Ja’Rel Hill, DB Dorrien Bagley, RB Emmanuel Wright.

Need to know: Both undefeated at 4-0, both love to run the football, and both play pretty good defense. Wednesday night’s game should be a great affair, especially with a short week. Wonder if either side will try to slip in a weird trick play or something that’s unexpected from the opposition, given the lack of time to prepare fully. Lancaster is running the ball very well, but the Bruins haven’t allowed more than 18 points in a game this season. Lancaster will be the best test yet of whether Chester can blast through teams with sheer will and skill.

The Chester Cyclones defeated the Rock Hill Bearcats 36-14 Friday in Chester.

Indian Land at Nation Ford, 6:30 p.m.

Last week: Indian Land lost to Rock Hill 34-7; Nation Ford lost to Lancaster 24-13

Last meeting: Nation Ford won 31-7 (2017)

Key players: IL: LB Robby Csuhta, OL Nick Yarborough, RB Tyree Sistare, DB A.J. Jefferson. NF: LB Michael Peterson, DB Xavier Diaz, DL Jordan Hickman, OL Garrett Buckley.

Need to know: a win for Indian Land would be an immense boost for the Warriors ahead of very difficult games agianst South Pointe and Chester. Nation Ford, struggling again, could also use a victory. The Falcons got a school record 218 yards on the ground from Nathan Mahaffey last week, but can’t seem to pair the junior’s breakout season with much team success so far.

Greenville at South Pointe, 6:30 p.m.

Last week: Greenville beat J.L. Mann 48-19; South Pointe was idle

Last meeting: South Pointe won 48-30 (2016)

Key players: G: RB Collin Wakefield, QB Davis Beville (Pitt commit), WR Aziz Huff, DB Jalen Tate. SP: RB Joe Ervin (Coastal Carolina commit), OL Kyson Chisholm, LB Kobe Shannon, DL Adam Foxx.

Need to know: South Pointe has scored at least 48 points in four all-time wins over Greenville. The current version of the Red Raiders have leaned big-time on running back Collin Wakefield, who is averaging almost 200 yards rushing per game and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. After hanging 60 points on Nation Ford Aug. 31, South Pointe probably would have rather played last week. The Stallion offense was humming behind junior QB Tahleek Steele and the school record total yardage performance he produced will have really helped his confidence.

South Pointe defensive line coach Gerald Peake is known for his humor and biting wit. He wore a wireless mic during Tuesday’s practice to give an idea of what a normal day around him is like.

Ashbrook (N.C.) at Clover, 7 p.m.

Last week: Ashbrook beat Forestview 28-27; Clover beat South Point (N.C.) 30-21

Last meeting: Clover won 56-26 (2017)

Key players: A: RB Tyresse Nicholas, QB Jakai Grier, LB Quan Willis. C: RB David Hall, RB Jo Jo Ellis, OL Colby Ballard, WR Jaylin Lane.

Need to know: Clover’s second half defensive performance against South Point was excellent and should give the Blue Eagles belief as they approach the business end of the season. This game is really a trap more than anything - a short week against a tricky opponent, with an attention-sucking serious weather event looming on the horizon. This will be a test of Clover’s region title credentials, but in a different way: can Brian Lane’s team follow up a big win with another, in less than ideal circumstances?

The Clover Blue Eagles varsity football team defeated the South Point Red Raiders 30-21 on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 in Clover.

Fort Mill at Lugoff-Elgin, 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Fort Mill lost to Camden 28-16; Lugoff-Elgin lost to River Bluff 28-18

Last meeting: Fort Mill won 35-14 (2015)

Key players: FM: WR Cam Saunders, WR/DB Justin Crimm, LB Brandon Jennings. LE: DL Ethan Hix, LB David Pillard, LB Eli McGee.

Need to know: one of these two teams will get its first win of the season Wednesday night. Fort Mill’s defense has had a tough season, but the Yellow Jackets forced four turnovers last week against Camden, a stat that sorely needs to be replicated against the Demons.

Fort Mill (S.C.) hosted Camden in high school football action on Sept. 7, 2018 at Bob Jones Stadium. Check out highlights from the game and hear from Fort Mill coach Rob McNeely.

Tri-County players of the week (from Week 3)

5A schools

Offensive player of the week: Narii Gaither, Rock Hill - senior running back carried the ball 15 times for 197 yards and a 95-yard touchdown run against Indian Land.

Defensive player: Hayden Johnson, Clover - junior linebacker piled up 17 tackles and a sack during the Blue Eagles’ win over South Point (N.C.).

Offensive lineman: Carson Murray, Rock Hill - junior offensive lineman graded 90 percent with three knockdown blocks during the Bearcats’ win over Indian Land.

Defensive lineman: D’Rece McMullen, Rock Hill - McMullen recorded four tackles, a tackle-for-loss and sack against Indian Land.

Special teams: Seth Richardson, Nation Ford - punter hit seven kicks for 233 total yards, with four punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Lancaster had negative-1 yard in punt returns.

1A - 4A schools

Offensive player of the week: Christian Yoder, Lewisville - freshman QB completed 25-of-42 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns against Carolina Pride.

Defensive player: Gavin Phillips, Andrew Jackson - Phillips made seven tackles, intercepted a pass and recorded a sack during the Vols’ win over Great Falls.

Offensive lineman: Ryan Hunter, Andrew Jackson - the offensive lineman from AJ graded 93 percent against Great Falls, making three pancake blocks in the Vols’ win.

Defensive lineman: Luke Faulkenberry, Andrew Jackson - Faulkenberry notched six tackles, three sacks, two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble against Great Falls.

Special teams: Devin McCrorey, Lewisville - McCrorey averaged 46 yards on three returns, including an 80-yard touchdown, his second of the season.

With the help of Bret McCormick’s childhood Legos, South Pointe offensive coordinator Jason McManus explains the bubble screen football play.

Sept. 11, 2018 high school football state rankings

5A

1. Dutch Fork (14)

2. Dorman

3. Gaffney

4. Fort Dorchester

5. T.L. Hanna

6. Hillcrest

7. Berkeley

8. Sumter

9. Byrnes

10. Summerville

Receiving votes: West Florence.

4A

1. Hartsville (14)

2. South Pointe

3. Myrtle Beach

4. Greer

5. North Myrtle Beach

6. Belton-Honea Path

7. Westwood

8. Greenville

9. Daniel

10. Marlboro County

Receiving votes: Eastside, Wren, Lancaster, Brookland-Cayce, North Augusta.

3A

1. Dillon (14)

2. Chapman

3. Chester

4. Gilbert

5. Woodruff

6. Wade Hampton (H)

7. Strom Thurmond

8. May River

9. Camden

10. Broome

Receiving votes: Aynor, Pendleton, Union County, Newberry.

2A

1. Abbeville (14)

2. Barnwell

3. Carvers Bay

4. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

5. Saluda

6. Ninety-Six

7. Southside Christian

8. Whale Branch

9. Hannah-Pamplico

10. Timberland

Receiving votes: Andrews, Andrew Jackson, Fox Creek, Silver Bluff, Latta, Batesburg-Leesville, Landrum, Woodland.

1A

1. Lamar (14)

2. Wagener-Salley

3. Lake View

4. Dixie

5. Ridge Spring-Monetta

6. Timmonsville

7. St. John’s

8. C.E. Murray

9. Blackville-Hilda

10. Baptist Hill

Receiving votes: Green Sea-Floyds, Hemingway, Branchville, Williston-Elko, Denmark-Olar, Great Falls

Voters: Chris Dearing, The State; Bret McCormick, The Herald; Lou Bezjak, The State; Travis Jenkins, Chester News Reporter; Jed Blackwell, Spartanburg Herald-Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Chris Burgin, 100.1 The Fan; Eric Russell, Aiken Standard; Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News; Ian Guerin; Dennis Brunson, Sumter Item; Justin Jarrett, Lowcountry Sports; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; David Roberts, Greenwood Index-Journal; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Lake Morris, Anderson Independent Mail.

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