While lightning flashed on and off in the distance Friday night, fans at the York-South Pointe game saw two flashes of light of a different sort during the football action.
Sophomore Derion (pronounced “Derry-ahn”) Kendrick has been much hyped since the summer when he received scholarship offers from Florida, Clemson and South Carolina, despite just six games of varsity football. But Kendrick, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete who will play all over the field this fall for the Stallions, offered the first glimpses Friday of why he’s so highly thought of by some of college football’s bluest bloods.
Kendrick took a direct snap 57 yards for a touchdown, blowing by the line of scrimmage, then cutting back into the middle of the park before strolling into the end zone to put the Stallions up 21-7 before halftime.
But it was Kendrick’s fake punt that turned the tide of a game tied at 21 all in the fourth quarter. York coach Bobby Carroll said he and his coaches had an inkling a fake punt was coming and had a player in the right position to make a play. Kendrick blew right past him.
After the game, South Pointe coach Strait Herron was visibly impressed with Kendrick’s outing.
“He’s a great athlete and I’m just looking forward to watching him play for us for a while,” said the Stallions’ coach.
The thing that stuck with anyone paying attention was how easy Kendrick, a sophomore, made it look.
Carroll has been around York County football for close to 40 years as a player and coach, and has worked with some of the area’s best, including the Burris brothers, Stephon Gilmore and Jadeveon Clowney. After seeing Kendrick up close Friday night, consider him impressed.
“I’ve seen a lot of great players,” Carroll said Tuesday. “He has the potential of being maybe the best one that’s come out of here. If he just realizes what’s out there in front of him, he really could be the best player that’s played here in a long time. He’s got all the attributes of a Division I player and an NFL player. He’s really a great football player.”
Lightning delays make for some late Friday nights... and Saturday mornings
Coaches and administrators were caught between rocks and hard places Friday night due to weather-caused delays. A few schools postponed games to Saturday and even Monday afternoon in one case, but most just waited out the storms and finished around or after midnight.
The latest finish? Clemson commit Tavien Feaster scored five touchdowns as Spartanburg beat Union County 49-20, with the clock showing 0:00 at 2:24 a.m. Don’t think that one made the local newspaper’s deadline.
Paul Martin, who covered the game for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and stayed for the duration, tweeted at the conclusion, “The last time I was up this late, these kids weren’t even born yet.”
Update on injured Westwood player
Westwood junior defensive back Mark Mickens was seriously injured with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Redhawks game against Clover.
But according to a Tuesday update from the local school system, Mickens has opened his eyes and is responsive after surgery on his injured neck. The State’s Lou Bezjak reported that Mickens’ mother has posted a message on her Twitter account, saying, “We are overwhelmed by all the love and support.”
The RedHawk booster club has set up a fund for those who want to help with financial contributions. Any donations can be givent to trainer Jason Nussbaum at Westwood High School or by mail to: The RedHawk Football Club Attention: Mickens Family Fund, Post Office 722 Blythewood, S.C. 29016.
Indian Land gunning for 3-0
Indian Land has a chance Friday against Lewisville to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2011. That year’s Warriors won their first six before losing four of the last five games. The last time Lewisville lost back-to-back games to Indian Land was 1990, ’91. The Warriors won this matchup last season 37-6.
South Pointe stays atop 3A for second week
The S.C. Prep Media poll was released Tuesday evening and South Pointe stayed at No. 1 in 3A for the second straight week. Northwestern and York remained in the 4A top-10, while Fort Mill got its first vote – or votes – of the season. Indian Land also received votes in the 2A rankings.
S.C. Prep Writer’s Poll – Week 3
1. Spartanburg; 2. Hillcrest; 3. Byrnes; 4. Fort Dorchester; 5. Dorman; 6. Northwestern; 7. Westwood; 8. Westside; 9. Greenwood; 10. York
Others receiving votes: Conway, Fort Mill, Gaffney, Goose Creek
1. South Pointe; 2. Hartsville; 3. Greer; 4. Myrtle Beach; 5. Seneca; 6. Chapin; 7. Belton-Honea Path; 8. Hanahan; No. 9 Marlboro County; No. 10. Airport
Others receiving votes: Hilton Head Island, Southside, Wren, Dreher, Emerald, Lancaster, A.C. Flora, Midland Valley
1. Dillon; 2. Abbeville; 3. Newberry; 4. Batesburg-Leesville; 5. Woodruff; 6. Timberland; 7. Pendleton; 8. Lake Marion; 9. Fairfield Central; 10. Strom Thurmond
Others receiving votes: Crescent, Loris, Ninety Six, Chesterfield, Indian Land
1. McBee; 2. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 3. Christ Church; 4. Allendale-Fairfax; 5. Lamar; 6. Calhoun County; 7. Lake View; 8. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; 9. Cross; 10. Whitmire
Others receiving votes: C.E. Murray, Southside Christian, Williston-Elko, Hemingway, Estill
The S.C. Prep Media Football Poll is conducted by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal with voting from Andrew Macke, Greenwood Index Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Mike McCombs, The Island Packet; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; Chris Dearing, The State; Ian Guerin, Myrtle Beach Sun News; Kevin Melton, Spartanburg Herald Journal; Lou Bezjak, The State; Lake Morris, Anderson Independent Mail; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Bret McCormick, The Herald (Rock Hill); Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News and Eric Russell, Aiken Standard.
Tri-County Coaches’ Awards from Week Two
Offensive player of the week: Cole Martin, Nation Ford- senior quarterback completed 23-of-31 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ 43-0 shutout of Lugoff-Elgin. Martin has yet to thrown an interception in three games this season.
Defensive player: Zion McClinton, York- junior defensive back made 13 tackles, including six solos, during the Cougars’ loss to South Pointe.
Offensive lineman: Yari Wright, Northwestern- senior graded out at 95 percent and did not allow a sack during Northwestern’s 59-0 win over Irmo.
Defensive lineman: Deivonne Chalk, York- senior defensive end made eight total tackles – including two solo – and also made two tackles-for-loss, one QB pressure, blocked a kick and recorded a sack.
Special teams: Taylor Sheets, Fort Mill- kicker hit four kickoffs for touchbacks, made five PATs and averaged 38 yards per punt during Fort Mill’s win over Greenville.
1A, 2A, 3A schools
Co-offensive players of the week: Ant Foster, Lancaster, and Mike Hill, Lewisville- these two juniors share the award after excellent performances last Friday. Foster rushed the ball 19 times for 201 yards and three touchdowns during Lancaster’s win over Richland Northeast, while Hill caught eight passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns during Lewisville’s loss to Chesterfield.
Defensive player: Ethan Burdette, Indian Land- junior linebacker made 14 stops for the Warriors during their win over Blacksburg. Burdette also forced a fumble.
Offensive lineman: Jacob Williams, Indian Land- senior offensive lineman made a pancake block and graded out at 80 percent during Indian Land’s 38-7 win over Blacksburg Friday.
Defensive lineman: Darryl Manning, Lewisville- junior recorded 12 tackles – including seven primaries – and also intercepted a pass against Chesterfield.
Special teams: Mason Mullis, Indian Land- senior punter allowed zero return yards for the second straight week, and averaged nearly 36 yards per punt during the Warriors’ win.
Friday’s are games
Greenwood at Northwestern
Indian Land at Lewisville
South Pointe at Vance (N.C.)
Lancaster at Central
Rock Hill at Dorman
Nation Ford at Greenville
Chester at York
Clover at White Knoll
Fort Mill at River Bluff
Andrew Jackson at Great Falls
*Games start at 7:30 p.m.