The undefeated South Pointe and Clover football teams had their own “wake-up calls” this past Friday night — and they led to wins for both teams and representation in this week’s Tri-County Player of the Week awards.
Clover, of course, knew a challenge was coming on Friday night: Before last week, the Blue Eagles hadn’t beaten Northwestern in 13 years.
The game came down to the wire, and Clover ultimately prevailed, 27-24, by virtue of a fourth-quarter drive that ended in a go-ahead touchdown and then a game-sealing interception (deflected by eventual defensive lineman of the week Jaquarius Guinn) on Northwestern’s final possession.
South Pointe, conversely, wasn’t expecting its wake-up call on Friday night. But after Lancaster ran its way to a 21-8 score at halftime, the Stallions responded with 34 unanswered points behind a career day from eventual offensive player of the week Tahleek Steele.
“It’s a win, but it’s also what we needed,” said South Pointe head coach DeVonte Holloman after his team’s 42-21 win over Lancaster. “We needed a little bit of a wake-up call.”
Chester and Catawba Ridge were also represented in the 3A, 2A, 1A slate of awards this week.
The Tri-County Coaches Association voted on the awards on Tuesday afternoon. The Herald facilitated the vote.
Here are all of the selections, nominations and pertinent statistics from Week 7’s high school football games.
5A, 4A: Clover and South Pointe
Offensive Player(s) of the Week: South Pointe’s Tahleek Steele and Northwestern’s Gregory Bivens split this week’s vote for offensive player of the week.
Steele was 20-for-25 passing for 387 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 19 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Bivens had four carries for 92 yards and a touchdown, and he added seven receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Nominations: Montreal Goodson (Nation Ford), Riley Duran (Northwestern), Sean Truesdale (Lancaster), Jaylin Lane (Clover), Frank Thompson (York).
Offensive Lineman of the Week: Travell Walker of South Pointe helped pave the way for the Steele-led engine on Friday night and earned his first offensive lineman of the week selection.
He graded out at 91 percent with two pancake blocks and three knockdowns.
Nominations: Clint Sexton (Clover).
Defensive Player of the Week: Clover’s Hayden Johnson had 16 tackles, one tackle for loss, three quarterback pressures and two pass breakups en route to this week’s defensive player of the week selection.
Nominations: Jalon Mickle (Northwestern), Tray Talford (Lancaster).
Defensive Lineman of the Week: In his team’s win, Jaquarius Guinn of Clover had six tackles, a sack, one quarterback pressure, and, as aforementioned, he deflected the pass that led to the game-sealing interception.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Quinn Castner isn’t new to this award. He put in another memorable week this week, forcing four touchbacks and knocking in five extra points in as many attempts. He also made a 33-yard field goal.
Nominations: Ben Rich (Fort Mill).
3A, 2A, 1A: Chester, Catawba Ridge
Offensive Player of the Week: Without regular starting quarterback Zan Dunham, Chester’s Stan Mills picked up the mantle and found a way to power his team’s offense to its 31-6 win over Keenan.
Mills notched 297 yards and three touchdowns of total offense.
“I’d have to go back and look, but I think he’s undefeated as a starter at quarterback,” Floyd said of Mills after the game. “He’s been around four years, and he can play just about any skill spot for us. He did a good job for us tonight.”
Nominations: Harrison Wilson (Catawba Ridge), Jaden Scott (Lewisville).
Offensive Lineman of the Week: N/A.
Defensive Player of the Week: Chester’s Anthony Taylor-Spencer earned defensive player of the week after an impressive performance: nine tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Nominations: Brody Tesimale (Catawba Ridge).
Defensive Lineman of the Week: R.J. Lincoln of Catawba Ridge was voted as defensive lineman of the week after notching nine tackles, three tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry in his team’s 22-19 overtime loss to Legion Collegiate on Friday night.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Stephen McGarity of Chester earned his second special teams player of the week award in Week 7 after his near-perfect kicking game.
The senior was 4-for-4 on point after touchdown attempts and 1-for-1 on field goals (28 yards). He also forced three touchbacks on kickoffs.
GUARDIAN OF THE WEEK AWARDS
The Week 5 Guardian of the Week was awarded to Great Falls offensive lineman Eddie Roach for his play against Ware Shoals on Sept. 27.
The Week 6 Guardian of the Week was given to Lewisville offensive lineman Taylor Smith for his performance against Buford on Oct. 4.
This weekly award is delivered by Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey to the week’s best high school football offensive lineman from Lewisville High School, Chester High School or Great Falls High School. Dorsey began the tradition this year.