High School Football

High school football notes: Kentucky offers Northwestern freshman

Rock Hill hosts Northwestern Friday October 30 at District 3 Stadium in Rock Hill. Northwestern's Jamario Holley catches a pass from Gage Moloney for a two point conversion after a touchdown in the first quarter. Rock Hill's Nick Truesdale defends on the play.
Rock Hill hosts Northwestern Friday October 30 at District 3 Stadium in Rock Hill. Northwestern's Jamario Holley catches a pass from Gage Moloney for a two point conversion after a touchdown in the first quarter. Rock Hill's Nick Truesdale defends on the play. aburriss@heraldonline.com

Holley, Rudolph add scholarship offers

A year ago, Jamario Holley was tearing up the middle school football fields of York County. On Monday, the Northwestern freshman received a scholarship offer from an SEC school, Kentucky.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver has come a long way in just one year, but his potential suggests there is much more to come. Holley is one of the few freshman ever to start on the varsity football team at Northwestern and he’s made an impact this fall, grabbing 42 passes - second most on the team - for 542 yards and six touchdowns.

Now, he’s got his first college scholarship offer as a ninth grader, likely the first of many. After Holley hits the summer camp circuit in 2016, the offers should start piling in.

“He’s got a chance to be a really special player,” said Northwestern coach Kyle Richardson. “Holley’s a good kid and he’s got a bright future ahead of him. He’s just got to keep working.”

Holley isn’t the first from the area to get an offer from the Wildcats. Logan Rudolph and Derion Kendrick also have offers from the SEC school. Kentucky has long had an eye on the area, dating back about seven or eight years when the Wildcats successfully recruited Chester’s Gene McCaskill. He’s back in the area as an assistant coach for the Cyclones, suggesting there may be some connections to be made in the future between Kentucky and local prospects.

Speaking of Rudolph, he added to his ever shinier list of offers on Monday with Southern Cal reaching out across the country to extend one his way while he was standing on the sidelines at Bank of America Stadium before the Panthers game. Like many of his most recent offers, USC wants Rudolph - who has eight sacks in 10 games this fall - as an edge rusher or defensive end.

Rudolph adds the head coach-less Trojans to a group that includes Michigan, Oklahoma State, UNC, N.C. State, ECU, Vanderbilt and a slew of others. In-state offers had been conspicuously absent - something folks criticized Clemson and South Carolina for when not offering Rudolph’s older brother, Mason. But that changed Tuesday morning when the Gamecocks extended a scholarship offer to Logan Rudolph, his 14th.

Northwestern on Monday Night Football

Northwestern’s Monday Night Football experience was nearly perfect, except for the part where ESPN announcer Mike Tirico called Northwestern the “Bearcats” during the school’s moment in the limelight early in the second quarter of the Panthers’ game with the Colts.

“As soon as it happened, my phone started blowing up,” Northwestern’s Richardson said, grinning. “Obviously Trojan Nation wasn’t happy.”

After Sunday’s activities, which included watching the Panthers’ private walk-through and meeting the players, the eight Trojan players selected by their coach got to go Bank of America Stadium before the game Monday night and watch the Colts and Panthers warm up and also watch ESPN’s Monday Night Football pregame show. They also bumped into singer Jordin Sparks before she belted out the national anthem prior to the game. Photos and selfies ensued.

“There were just a lot of experiences like that you just can’t get, and the NFL, ESPN and the Panthers all provided that,” said Richardson. “It was a fun time.”

Northwestern’s Monday Night Countdown spot

Northwestern’s Monday Night Football in-game spot

Donavon Perryman named Carolina Panthers Community Captain

Rock Hill senior Donavon Perryman has been selected as one of 10 Carolina Panthers Community Captains by the NFL franchise. The program recognizes outstanding young leaders “in the Carolinas who have excelled on and off the field.”

3A playoff situation

Region 3-3A’s playoff situation is set. South Pointe will host Daniel and Lancaster will host Wren, while Union County will take on Belton-Honea Path and Broome will get undefeated Seneca on the road. The earliest South Pointe and Lancaster could meet in the postseason would be the 3A Upper State championship game.

Indian Land likely headed to Woodruff for first round of playoffs

Indian Land coach and athletic director Michael Mayer is fairly certain his Warriors will be headed to Woodruff for the first round of the 2A Division I playoffs in two weeks.

Indian Land can do so with a bit more confidence after a solid final two games of the season, big wins over rivals Buford and Andrew Jackson that saw the team finish the regular season 7-3 and in third place in a tough Region 4-2A.

Junior Lee Massey’s running is a big reason why. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Massey ran the ball 30 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the 48-21 blowout of Buford two weeks ago, before racking up 215 yards and two more scores on 23 carries last week against Andrew Jackson. Massey has feasted on excellent blocking in front of him by fullback Austin Gordon and an experienced offensive line.

“Lee Massey has gone beast mode the last two games,” said Mayer. “Lee has run harder the last two weeks than I have ever seen him run.”

Tri-County Coaches’ awards winners from Week 10

4A schools

Offensive player of the week: Cole Martin, Nation Ford- senior QB completed 23-of-28 passes for a school record 506 yards and four touchdowns during the 56-21 win over Clover.

Defensive player: Corbin Tesimale, Nation Ford- junior linebacker made 17 tackles to lead the Falcons’ defensive effort against Clover.

Offensive lineman: Demontre Buckson, Northwestern- senior graded out a 90 percent with three pancake blocks during the Trojans’ 49-13 win over Rock Hill.

Defensive lineman: Jon’quavious Benton, Nation Ford- defensive lineman made eight tackles during the Falcons’ win over Clover.

Special teams: Lexi Dressing, Nation Ford- kicker hit all eight extra point attempts in the win against Clover last Friday.

1A, 2A, 3A schools

Offensive player of the week: Lee Massey, Indian Land- junior finished with 215 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries against Andrew Jackson. Massey also had two catches for 74 yards and a 30-yard kickoff return, giving him 319 total yards of offense for the night.

Defensive player: Dillon Howie, Indian Land- junior made 17 tackles - with 12 solo efforts -, along with a tackle-for-loss and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Offensive lineman: Jacob Williams, Indian Land- senior hit on 95 percent of his assignments, with three pancake blocks to boot, during the Warriors’ win over Andrew Jackson.

Co-defensive linemen: Trevor Martin, Indian Land, and Najaylin Sanders, Lewisville- Martin made 10 tackles (seven solos) with a sack and a forced fumble during the Warriors’ win over Andrew Jackson. Sanders also recorded 10 tackles with two for a loss and a sack during the Lions’ victory over Great Falls.

Special teams: Xavier Wesley, Lewisville- Wesley returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown against Great Falls, part of his two kick returns for a combined 96 yards last Friday.

Final S.C. Prep Media poll for 2015

4A

1. Northwestern; 2. Byrnes; 3. Spartanburg; 4. Fort Dorchester; 5. Lexington; 6. Westside; 7. Ashley Ridge; 8. Dorman; 9. Hillcrest; 10. Dutch Fork

Others receiving votes: Sumter, York, Gaffney, T.L. Hanna, Westwood, Conway

3A

1. Hartsville; 2. South Pointe; 3. Greer; 4. Seneca; 5. Chapin; 6. Belton-Honea Path; 7. Hilton Head Island; 8. Myrtle Beach; 9. Airport; 10. Lancaster

Others receiving votes: Hanahan, Midland Valley, Marlboro County

2A

1. Dillon; 2. Abbeville; 3. Strom Thurmond; 4. Fairfield Central; 5. Newberry; T6. Timberland; T6. Woodruff; 8. Saluda; 9. Batesburg-Leesville; 10. Chesterfield

Others receiving votes: Andrews, Pendleton, Lake Marion, Central

1A

1. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 2. Calhoun County; 3. McBee; 4. Allendale-Fairfax; T5. Lake View; T5. Southside Christian; T5. Lamar; 8. Christ Church; 9. Cross; 10. Williston-Elko

Others receiving votes: C.E. Murray

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.

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