Which play from Week 5 high school football was the best? You decide
Find everything you need to know ahead of Week 6 high school football in The Herald’s coverage area. Click on the links below to jump to different sections:
Fort Mill at Rock Hill
Last week: Fort Mill lost to York 42-14; Rock Hill beat Lugoff-Elgin 44-10
Last meeting: Rock Hill won 21-16 (2017)
Key players: FM - WR Cam Saunders, DB Steven Neese, DL/TE Noah Stoudamire, LB Brandon Jennings. RH - OL Devin Armstrong, DE Thomas Rainey, DT Logan Hicks, LB Caison Jones.
Need to know: Rock Hill has rushed for 680 yards in the last two games, albeit against opponents that are a combined 2-10. But Fort Mill is 1-5 and one of the Yellow Jackets’ critical weaknesses has been stopping opponents’ run game. York battered Fort Mill last week, and it’d be wild for Rock Hill to not attempt to do the same. This game -- the third straight in which Rock Hill would probably be the favorite -- will be another test of the Bearcats’ ability to win games that they should. It’s also a chance for Fort Mill to evaporate its non-region struggles in one dramatic swipe.
Clover at Nation Ford
Last week: Clover lost to Irmo 42-34; Nation Ford was idle
Last meeting: Nation Ford won 38-27 (2017)
Key players: C - ATH Nygle Biggers, QB Gabe Carroll, WR Heze Massey, LB Shon Brown. NF - DB Petey Tuipulotu, OL Aronde Smith, RB Nathan Mahaffey, LB Michael Peterson.
Need to know: Turnovers -- including a 99-yard fumble returned for a touchdown and an interception returned to the 1-yard line and later turned into a TD -- put Clover in a 14-0 hole last week against Irmo. Cut those out and the Blue Eagles should have a good chance of victory against Nation Ford. The Falcons have had a whole extra week to prepare, though the team’s head coach, Michael Allen, was undoubtedly focused on his family after his 91-year old father, Gus, the former Fort Mill football coach, passed away. It’s very likely Nation Ford, which has won three straight against Clover, will have the emotional edge, upping the importance of the Blue Eagles playing a clean game offensively.
Westwood at South Pointe
Last week: Westwood beat Fairfield Central 48-20; South Pointe beat Indian Land 52-0
Last meeting: South Pointe won 48-7 (2017)
Key players: W - WR Cortes Braham, DB Cam Smith (South Carolina commit), QB Ahmon Green. SP - LB Savion White, DB Troy Frazier, OL Jackson Chappell, WR Ty Good.
Need to know: South Pointe has beaten Westwood by a combined 105-14 in the two schools’ two previous meetings. Friday’s game should be closer. The Redhawks have a large QB (Green) and an elite defensive back (Smith), but it’s not clear if they’ve made up enough ground to challenge the Stallions. South Pointe is rolling offensively, averaging 567 yards in the last three games. A big reason: senior and big-play conveyor belt Marice Whitlock, who is averaging 19 yards per touch -- whether, rush or reception -- in those three games.
Indian Land at Chester
Last week: Indian Land lost to South Pointe 52-0; Chester beat Carolina Pride 67-14
Last meeting: Chester won 35-34 (2017)
Key players: IL - RB Jiquese Tinsley, LB Dumkele Idehen, DB Gabe Faulkner, LB Robby Csuhta. C - OL Montez Hall, RB/LB Pha’Leak Brown, ATH Zion Mills, LB Jovonti Jackson.
Need to know: Chester probably took Indian Land lightly last season and the Warriors probably should have won that game, which the Cyclones instead won on a TD with 3.5 seconds left. It’s hard to see this season’s game being as close, simply because of Indian Land’s pervasive offensive troubles, coupled with a hardened ruthlessness that Chester started showing in 2018. The Warriors have scored 21 points in their last four contests and simply need to put more points on the board to have a shot at the postseason.
York at Ridge View
Last week: York beat Fort Mill 42-14; Ridge View beat Keenan 62-8
Last meeting: York won 59-26 (2017)
Key players: Y - LB Kenny Byrd, WR Dashawn Brown, WR Jorden Evans, DB Joseph Milton. RV - ATH Walyn Napper, DE Deaundre Brown, LB Dwight Jacobs.
Need to know: Ridge View has allowed just 21 points in its last three games, all wins. York’s defense will have a big focus on dynamic Blazers standout Walyn Napper. He does a little of everything -- catching passes, running the ball, returning kicks -- and all of it well. The Cougars had 8.5 sacks and 18 tackles-for-loss against Fort Mill last week. A repeat of that performance by the York front seven could lead to a 1-0 region record.
Richland Northeast at Lancaster
Last week: Richland Northeast lost to Camden 45-0; Lancaster was idle
Last meeting: Lancaster won 25-23 (2017)
Key players: RNE - RB Twontae Wallace, DB Jaiden Jeffery, WR LaBruce English. L - OL Jalen Tatah, LB Immanuel Bush, RB Asont’a Clark, ATH Nygel Moore.
Need to know: Lancaster got cracked in its loss to Chester two weeks ago, but the Bruins had a well-timed bye week to lick their wounds. They open region play against Richland Northeast, which has been shut out in three of its four games. Richland Northeast has struggled on both sides of the ball and Lancaster will try to flex its run game muscles on the Cavaliers. It’s a must-win Region 3-4A game for the Bruins, whose remaining schedule only gets tougher.
Lewisville at Buford
Last week: Lewisville lost to Central 54-18; Buford beat Andrew Jackson 28-7
Last meeting: Buford won 38-20 (2017)
Key players: L - WR Brayden Lee, LB Will Stone, RB Deven McCrorey. B - RB Tyheim Miller, QB Brayden Phillips, LB Webber Moore.
Need to know: Buford started 0-3, but scored impressive wins over Chesterfield and Andrew Jackson the last two weeks to vault to the top of Region 4-2A’s standings. Buford took advantage of several critical injuries to Vols QBs to get the win, despite completing just four passes during the game. Lewisville has shown explosive offensive capabilities in flashes this season, especially on kickoff returns. The Lions will need a few of those plays to get a first region win.
Camden Military at Great Falls
Last week: Camden Military was idle; Great Falls beat Ware Shoals 36-30 (5 OT)
Last meeting: Great Falls won 42-0 (2011)
Key players: CM - DL James Oribhabor, LB Ryan Neel, OL Gage Noel. GF - WR Xavien Moore, FB/LB Da’Shawn Johnson, DL Ubi Ferrufino-Stanley.
Need to know: Great Falls showed grit in its five-overtime win last week that would have thrilled coach Scotty Steen, grit that the program just didn’t possess the last few years. The Red Devils also showed they’ve got play-makers outside of just star receiver Kelton Talford. Freshman Xavien Moore made some important contributions in OT, including a nifty move on the game-winning catch and run, while D.J. Adams was everywhere, in all three phases of the game. More of that and Great Falls could be 4-2 headed into region play.
South Pointe’s Marice Whitlock earned play of the week honors from Week 4, after receiving 62 percent of the popular vote. Check out the nominees from Week 5 -- which again include Whitlock -- and vote for the best play below (or here if you’re on a mobile device):
4A, 5A schools
Shaw Littleton, York - the 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior graded 92 percent during the Cougars’ 42-14 win over Fort Mill. He added eight knockdown blocks. Littleton is president of York Comprehensive’s Future Farmers of America chapter and enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time. York offensive line coach John Boggs said Littleton is a dedicated leader of the Cougar offensive linemen and that he’s one of the team’s most physical players up front.
1A, 2A, 3A schools
Keith Boyd, Chester - the 6-foot-1, 250-pound guard graded 88 percent as the Cyclones rushed for six touchdowns and 300-plus yards. The son of a pastor and college professor, Boyd is a talented singer and performs in a gospel music group with his sisters on weekends. Boyd has a 4.4 GPA and has started for the Cyclones since his sophomore year.
Nominated: Jackson Chappell, South Pointe.