High School Football

HS Football 411: everything you need to know for the 1st round of the state playoffs

HS Football Pivot: which local team will go furthest in postseason?

The Herald’s Bret McCormick looks at which local high school football teams will go the furthest in the 2018 SCHSL state playoffs.
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The Herald’s Bret McCormick looks at which local high school football teams will go the furthest in the 2018 SCHSL state playoffs.

The first round of the South Carolina high school football state playoffs begin Thursday night with three games in our area. Five more play Friday. Find everything you need to know about those games, plus the 2018 regular season’s final Hawgs of the Week and State Monsters in this High School Football 411. As always, click the links below to jump to a specific section:

First round playoff game previews

Hawgs of the Week, from Week 10

Our local Stat Monsters update


Thursday games

Boiling Springs (5-5) at Northwestern (3-6)

Last game: Boiling Springs lost to Byrnes 55-21; Northwestern lost to Rock Hill 28-21

Last meeting: Northwestern won 61-0 (2001)

Key players: BS - LB Logan Billings (Citadel commit), LB Mike McDowell (Citadel commit), QB Aaron Thomas, DB Storm Duck (North Carolina commit). N - CB Fentrell Cypress (Virginia commit), RB Antonio Heath, WR Jamario Holley (South Carolina commit), OL Hunter Burbank.

Need to know: In 22 all-time meetings, Northwestern has only lost to Boiling Springs three times. The two schools haven’t played since 2001, an easy win for the Trojans and one of nine times they’ve shut out the Bulldogs. But the gap has definitely closed in the last 17 years as Boiling Springs has undergone incredible demographic changes. Both teams have college-level individuals, but as teams haven’t achieved much this fall. Both beat the teams they should have and lost to the ones that were probably better. This feels like a game that could be very close. Maybe it’ll come down to a shining moment of individual brilliance?

Orangeburg-Wilkinson (4-5) at York (5-4)

Last game: Orangeburg-Wilkinson lost to Lower Richland 8-0; York lost to South Pointe 48-14

Last meeting: never played

Key players: OW - OL/DL Da’shon Scott, QB Nicholas Lawson. Y - LB Brian Phillip, DE Cam Steele, OL Lane Towery, DB Max Necklen.

Need to know: Neither of these teams is offensively gifted so this could be a slugfest. O-W was held to single-digit points or shut out five of its nine games, while York has labored for offensive fluidity much of the season. Standout running back Stephen Oglesby didn’t play in the second half against South Pointe so the Cougars will be hoping he’s ready this week after almost two full weeks to get right. If Oglesby and his offensive line get rolling, York should be good to go Thursday night.

Crescent (6-4) at Indian Land (5-5)

Last game: Crescent beat West-Oak 48-24; Indian Land beat Fairfield Central 13-7

Last meeting: never played

Key players: C - RB Murphy McBride, RB Clay Rebrick. IL - LB Dorian Williams (Coastal Carolina commit), DB A.J. Jefferson, LB Robby Csuhta, RB Brandon Britton.

Need to know: As mentioned earlier this week, Indian Land has played a much tougher schedule than Crescent, and should be ready for a team of the Tigers’ caliber. The Warriors have experienced performers in key spots, especially on defense, and will need those guys to keep Horatio Blades’ team relaxed and confident. Indian Land last won a playoff game in 2005. Perfect time to snap that streak in front of the home fans.


Laurens (4-6) at Rock Hill (7-2)

Last game: Laurens beat Easley 42-12; Rock Hill beat Northwestern 28-21

Last meeting: never played

Key players: L - RB/LB Duane Martin, DB/RB Shamare Dendy, QB Ryan Campbell. RH - WR Antonio Barber (Tennessee commit), RB Noah Thompson, RB/LB Narii Gaither, OL Carson Murray.

Need to know: Laurens’ four wins came against teams that finished the season a combined 7-33. The Raiders are physically a very large group and they run a triple-option offense that’s tricky to defend. But if Rock Hill sticks to the plan that’s seen it win five straight games, the Bearcats should be okay. Running back Noah Thompson’s emergence this season (he’s over 1,000 yards) has been immense for Rock Hill, allowing the team’s other standout ball-carrier, Narii Gaither, to play plenty of snaps on defense without completely wearing down.

Liberty (5-5) at Chester (10-0)

Last game: Liberty beat Powdersville 21-13; Chester beat Fairfield Central 34-15

Last meeting: Chester won 48-30 (2012)

Key players: L - RB Clay Lollis, LB Luke Terry, DE Zane Boozer. C - OL Wyatt Tunall (Appalachian State commit), LB Ly’Terrence Mills, RB/LB Pha’Leak Brown, WR/DB Zion Mills.

Need to know: Chester hasn’t played competitive football in three weeks, so the Cyclones should be rested. They may also be a little rusty. Chester’s formidable offensive line needs to keep an eye on Liberty d-lineman Zane Boozer, who has 15 sacks in 10 games. Liberty, which will play its first 3A playoff games after spending its history in the 1A and 2A classifications, only averaged 18 points per contest in the regular season. If Chester can build an early lead, the visitors would be in trouble.

Walhalla (7-3) at South Pointe (9-1)

Last game: Walhalla lost to Wren 63-0; South Pointe beat York 48-14

Last meeting: never played

Key players: W - K Patrick Nations (East Carolina commit), OL/DL Austin White, OL/DL Kory Talley. SP - RB Joe Ervin (Coastal Carolina commit), Jaylen Mahoney (Vanderbilt commit), ATH Marice Whitlock, LB Savion White.

Need to know: South Pointe has won eight games in a row since a second game defeat against Rock Hill. The Stallions enter the postseason battle-tested (four games decided by single digits) and in good form. Walhalla can’t say either of those things. The Razorbacks won their first six games, but dropped three of their last four. If Joe Ervin comes anywhere close to repeating his performance against York, the Stallions will cruise.

Lancaster (6-4) at A.C. Flora (8-2)

Last game: Lancaster lost to Ridge View 45-20; A.C. Flora beat Richland Northeast 42-0

Last meeting: A.C. Flora won 41-7 (2014)

Key players: L - OL Jalen Tatah, QB Kemarkio Cloud, DL/LB Immanuel Bush, WR Zach Truesdale. ACF - LB Dontorian Best, QB Matthew Jamison, ATH Quincy Riley.

Need to know: Lancaster encounters a surging Flora team that’s won eight straight games after an 0-2 start. Only one of those eight wins was against an opponent with a record over .500 (5-4 Dreher). Lancaster played a much tougher schedule and if the Bruins can stay on track offensively and start the game well, Bobby Collins’ crew should have a chance at springing an upset.

Nation Ford (5-5) at Blythewood (6-3)

Last game: Nation Ford beat Chapin 36-29; Blythewood lost to Spring Valley 10-3

Last meeting: never played

Key players: NF - ATH Dewuan McCullum (UT-San Antonio commit), LB Michael Peterson, DB Micah Brown, RB Nathan Mahaffey. B - DE Nick Rogers, LB Brady Carson, RB Jaylon Boyd.

Need to know: Nation Ford shouldn’t be overawed by Blythewood, which has had a solid bounceback season under first year coach Jason Seidel. Neither team is playing the QB it started the season with and neither is an offensive powerhouse. That makes turnovers, field position, three-and-outs even more critical. If Nation Ford’s defense can keep it in the game, the Falcons’ improved run game may be able to have the decisive say.

hawgs of the week logo.jpg

Tyrek Banks, Rock Hill - Banks graded 88 percent with four knockdown blocks during the Bearcats’ regular season-capping win over Northwestern. Banks, whose favorite subject is history, has been an integral part of Rock Hill’s ground game success this season. He has a 3.5 GPA and wants to be a financial adviser in the future.

Keith Collins, Clover - team captain had three knockdown blocks and a pancake, and graded 88 percent during the Blue Eagles’ win over Fort Mill two weeks ago. Collins loves fishing and his favorite food is steak. He’s been key to Clover’s success running the ball this season with David Hall and B.J. Tims.

Stat Monsters.PNG

Player Team Attempts Yards TDs
Joe Ervin SP 183 1493 19
Narii Gaither RH 172 1426 18
Kemarkio Cloud LA 138 1411 17
Nathan Mahaffey NF 226 1317 10
Noah Thompson RH 153 1123 6
Pha'Leak Brown CH 104 973 18
David Hall CL 155 959 12
Sebastian Lach FM 177 950 12
Stephen Oglesby YO 135 880 15
Stan Mills CH 125 821 8
Zan Dunham CH 138 758 7
Antonio Heath NW 124 574 6
Emmanuel Wright CH 76 550 8
Marice Whitlock SP 56 468 6
Nygel Moore LA 71 452 3
Brandon Britton IL 102 450 10
Frank Thompson YO 92 419 1
Martez Moore LE 73 379 3
Jeremiah King YO 65 331 1
Jashawn Jason LE 69 317 4
SOURCE: Local schools

Player Team Attps Comp. Int Yards TDs
Gabe Carroll CL 299 208 11 2593 19
Tahleek Steele SP 211 133 12 1995 27
Dustin Noller NW 246 133 6 1587 13
Wayde Prince NF 218 140 10 1428 13
Dylan Helms FM 218 115 7 1415 12
Kemarkio Cloud LA 142 72 2 1378 10
Hayden Jackson RH 126 68 3 992 8
Christian Yoder LE 146 77 7 761 4
Tanner McKinney YO 118 55 5 686 6
Grayson Barber IL 121 52 6 659 2
SOURCE: Local schools

Player Team Recepts Yards TDs
Heze Massey CL 52 669 5
Marice Whitlock SP 39 665 5
Jaylin Lane CL 44 606 8
Cam Saunders FM 34 591 7
Antonio Barber RH 22 513 7
Zion Robbins CL 29 496 2
Gregory Bivens Jr. NW 26 490 6
Jadon Scott LE 35 488 4
Isaac Ross SP 30 463 8
Jamaar Moore NW 48 404 1
David Hall CL 29 381 1
Kelton Talford GF 18 362 7
Kaleb Starnes NF 19 361 4
Zach Truesdale LA 13 355 3
Ty Good SP 52 354 6
Petey Tuipulotu NF 31 326 2
Dewuan McCullum NF 29 307 2
Demetric Hardin LE 19 300 2
Jamario Holley NW 21 298 4
Brayden Lee LE 16 294 0
SOURCE: Local schools

Name Team Tackles
Michael Peterson NF 134
Robby Csuhta IL 115
Hayden Johnson CL 111
Savion White SP 107
Greg Johnson NW 99
Brian Phillip YO 95
Petey Tuipulotu NF 86
Octaveion Minter CH 85
Cole Rasmussen FM 80
Dorian Williams IL 77
Kenny Byrd YO 77
Jovonti Jackson CH 76
Steven Neese FM 76
Martez Moore LE 74
John Odom NW 73
SOURCE: Local schools

Name Team Interceptions
A.J. Jefferson IL 6
Zion Mills CH 5
Jaylen Mahoney SP 4
Omega Blake SP 4
Anthony Jackson RH 4
Nick Ervin RH 4
Jhace Stevenson SP 3
Michael Peterson NF 3
Joseph Milton YO 2
Jamon Byers YO 2
Fentrell Cypress NW 2
Petey Tuipulotu NF 2
Dorian Williams IL 2
Quay Bowser GF 2
Avery Wilcox FM 2
Jay Falls CL 2
Dorrien Bagley CH 2
Emmanuel Wright CH 2
SOURCE: Local schools

Name Team Sacks
Teddy Murphy CH 10
Brian Phillip YO 8.5
Cam Steele YO 7.5
Rontarius Aldridge SP 7.5
Ashten Schaufert NF 7
Mel Plankenhorn FM 6.5
Savion White SP 6
Thomas Rainey RH 6
Andre Moore NF 6
Chauncey Massey SP 5.5
Hunter Funderburk GF 5
Ja'Marion Heath SP 4.5
Hayden Johnson CL 4.5
John Odom NW 4
Michael Peterson NF 4
Jordan Hickman NF 4
Tahj Knight IL 4
Isiah Farmer CL 4
Twan Patton CH 4
SOURCE: Local schools

Forced fumbles
Name Team Forced fumbles
Quay Evans CH 4
Da'Shawn Johnson GF 3
J.Q. Guinn YO 2
Brian Phillip YO 2
Hakeem Jackson RH 2
Michael Peterson NF 2
Demetric Hardin LE 2
Nathan Kelly LE 2
Caden Bloxham IL 2
James Hyland FM 2
D'Angelo Coit FM 2
Aaron Cathcart CL 2
Terrence Mills CH 2
Dorrien Bagley CH 2
SOURCE: Local schools

Fumble recoveries
Name Team Recovered fumbles
Justin Montgomery GF 3
Ly'Terrence Mills CH 2
Jovonti Jackson CH 2
Brandon Jennings FM 2
Dorian Williams IL 2
Hakeem Jackson RH 2
Nick Ervin RH 2
Martez Moore LE 2
Ja'Marion Heath SP 2
Dwayne Davis SP 2
Shon Brown CL 2
Noah Tamez NF 2
SOURCE: Local schools

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