High School Football

Week 3 football preview: Players from Rock Hill area to watch for

The third week of the high school football season has arrived.

Ahead of Friday night’s contests, here’s a look at some of the statistical leaders from the Rock Hill-area, categorized by size of school.

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Clover’s Jaylin Lane carries the ball against York’s Ashton Edington (19). Tracy Kimball tkimball@heraldonline.com

Who to watch from 5A: Clover, Nation Ford

Gabe Carroll, QB: Quarterback Gabe Carroll, who transferred from York in his junior year, has led Clover to a blemish-free 2-0 record with an impressive statline: 31-for-42 passing for 637 yards passing and seven touchdowns.

Carroll hasn’t played every snap in the Blue Eagles’ young season — but it’s because he hasn’t had to. In his team’s season-opening contest against York, the senior signal-caller was replaced in the third quarter after creating a 30-plus point margin, before returning later in the second half.

And in the second game of the season, Carroll only played in the first half.

Nathan Mahaffey, RB: In its two wins to start the season, Nation Ford has heavily relied on running back Nathan Mahaffey, who earned Offensive Player of the Week honors after his performance in Week One.

On the season, Mahaffey has accumulated 362 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 61 carries — accounting for over 80 percent of his team’s production on the ground.

Jaylin Lane, WR: Clover wide receiver Jaylin Lane seems to have done it all this season thus far. The senior has caught 14 passes for 351 yards and six touchdowns, and on a trick play last Friday night, Lane threw for a score.

Clover quarterback Carroll said he and Lane spent much of the summer working on their route running and timing: “(Jaylin is) one of my best friends now because we’ve hung out so much,” said Carroll, Lane’s quarterback, after Clover’s season-opening win over York. “It’s just chemistry.”

Clover will travel to North Carolina-based South Point on Friday.

Notable storyline: Rock Hill High School running back Tommy Neff had his number called 27 times last week against a formidable defensive line at South Pointe. Although he only ran for 68 yards in his team’s second loss of the season, averaging less than three yards a carry, it’s clear Neff is a weapon head coach Bubba Pittman finds reliable.

He’ll likely be called on again this week, in what may be his team’s toughest test of the season thus far. The Bearcats travel to Chester on Friday to take on the defending state champions, who haven’t lost in 17 contests.

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Northwestern’s Zay Page is taken down by South Pointe’s Kobe Shannon. Andy Burriss Special to The Herald

4A: Will South Pointe continue defensive dominance?

Quay Chambers, RB: Last week, in his team’s fourth-quarter comeback win against Rock Hill, South Pointe running back Quay Chambers had 113 yards rushing on 14 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown scamper. The senior has now rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns.

Head coach DeVonte Holloman praised his starting running back after his team’s Week Two win: “It seems like the more he touches the ball, the harder he runs.”

Jaden Hicklin, DL: South Pointe’s defense has only allowed 130 rushing yards and 29 total points in its first two games of the season — and defensive end Jaden Hicklin seems to be a big reason why.

The sophomore, in the Stallions’ season-opener, notched a team-leading eight tackles and two tackles for loss. He, along with senior Rontarious Aldridge, are the anchors of one of the most formidable defensive lines in the area.

Notable storyline: York has given up 100 points in its first two contests of the 2019 season, which is largely a product of a non-region schedule that is tougher than most, if not all, of its school-area counterparts. The Cougars have played an undefeated Clover team and Dorman, a team ranked fifth in the state by the most-recent football media poll.

York’s Week Three performance in its matchup with Indian Land — an undefeated, tough football team in its own right — will be a good indicator of how good York actually is this season.

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Chester’s Stan Mills carries the ball against Aiken’s Justin Whitt (26). Tracy Kimball tkimball@heraldonline.com

Who to watch from 3A: Chester, Catawba Ridge, Indian Land

Stan Mills, RB: Chester senior running back Stan Mills has been the engine to Chester’s offensive attack. Mills has rushed for 222 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries in his team’s two wins this season, and he’ll be expected to produce in his team’s toughest test thus far against Rock Hill.

Dunkele Idehen, DL: Nominated for Player of the Week this past week, Dunkele Idehen notched seven tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble in his team’s win over Buford. His defense’s next test will be against York.

Interesting storyline: Catawba Ridge, in its first football season ever, is undefeated, having won its first game, 13-0, over a Charlotte-based high school and its second game over Stuart Cramer, 19-12.

The Copperheads will likely have their hands full this week, though, when they host perennial powerhouse Charlotte Latin. This will likely be Catawba Ridge’s toughest test in its young program history.

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Members of the Lewisville Lions run line drills during a recent practice. Mac Banks

2A, 1A: Andrew Jackson, an old rivalry

Chas DeBruhl, QB: On MaxPreps coming into Friday’s contest, Andrew Jackson quarterback Chas DeBruhl ranks No. 11 among South Carolina’s passing leaders by yards.

DeBruhl has thrown for 416 yards and seven touchdowns and an interception thus far this season — a component of the Volunteers’ dominant start to the season.

Andrew Jackson hasn’t given up a point through its first two games.

D’Arrius Edwards, DL: Lewisville defensive lineman D’Arrius Edwards, through his team’s first two wins after enduring a winless 2018 campaign, has notched five tackles for loss and two sacks. The Lions’ defense has allowed 34 points this season.

Interesting storyline: On Friday night, Lewisville and Great Falls will write a new chapter in what is one of the oldest, most-significant football rivalries in the Rock Hill area. In the teams’ last 20 matchups, Lewisville has emerged with wins 14 times.

The victor of the two teams will likely be decided by who wins on the line. In Great Falls’s sole loss this season, the team gave up over 250 yards rushing.

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