High School Football

High school football notes: winning start for Nation Ford and new QB

Quarterback Kirk Rygol (12) fakes the hand off to running back Jaylen Keels (24) on the quarterback keeper.
Quarterback Kirk Rygol (12) fakes the hand off to running back Jaylen Keels (24) on the quarterback keeper.

It was a winning start for new Nation Ford QB Kirk Rygol, who led the Falcons to an overtime win against Irmo last Friday. The senior showed great pocket awareness and mobility, avoiding sacks and turnovers while throwing two touchdown passes. He was 21-of-32 for 264 yards and also rushed for 40 and another touchdown.

Rygol’s highlights:

Rygol, a senior transfer from Virginia, appears to have formed a solid bond with fellow senior Alex Stennett, the top returning offensive contributor for the Falcons. Stennett caught nine passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

Get to know Nation Ford senior and wide receiver standout Alex Stennett

▪ Lewisville receivers Mike Hill and Johnny Courtney both scored on their first touches of the season last Friday. Hill went 80 yards for a score on his first catch, while Courtney took his first grab 65 yards to the house.

▪ Northwestern threw no touchdown passes Friday night for the first time since the 2015 season opener, a loss at Byrnes. With all the weapons that the Trojans have, it’s difficult to see that streak lasting beyond this Friday.

▪ Speaking of the Trojans, they face Dorman on the road this Friday with the Cavaliers fresh off a 35-13 spanking from Alabama 7A football powerhouse, Bob Jones High School. Bob Jones ball-carrier Brad Anderson racked up 313 yards and three touchdowns rushing on just 17 carries. A pair - not one, but two - of 99-yard touchdown runs certainly inflated Anderson’s stat line. Dorman, Big 16 state finalists last season, is regrouping after losing talented QB Collin Hill to Colorado State and 27 other seniors to graduation.

▪ Chester sacked the QB five times and forced three turnovers during its Week Zero opener against Westwood. That was the good news from a game pushed to Saturday morning by lightning; the bad was a 23-20 loss in which the RedHawks scored late for the win. Have to think those results will turn if the Cyclones’ defense keeps up the pressure.

Correction: stats provided in an earlier version of this story were incorrect.

Get to know Chester senior offensive lineman Xi Simpson better in this video asking him a handful of random questions.

Week One S.C. Prep Media poll

South Pointe is No. 1 in the 4A S.C. Prep Media football state rankings after its big win over Northwestern.

Class 5A

1. Fort Dorchester; 2. Westside; 3. Dutch Fork; 4. Northwestern; 5. Spartanburg; 6. Gaffney; 7. Lexington; 8. Dorman; 9. Boiling Springs; 10. Byrnes

Others receiving votes: Conway, Goose Creek, T.L. Hanna, Blythewood, Sumter, Hillcrest, Greenwood, Nation Ford, Summerville

Class 4A

1. South Pointe; 2. Myrtle Beach; 3. Hartsville; 4. Belton-Honea Path; T5. Union County; T5. Ridge View; 7. Airport; 8. Marlboro County; 9. Lancaster; 10. York

Others receiving votes: Cane Bay, North Augusta, South Aiken, Westwood, Greer, Beaufort, Wren, Daniel, North Myrtle Beach, Chapin

Class 3A

1. Dillon; 2. Woodruff; 3. Fairfield Central; 4. Strom Thurmond; 5. Newberry; 6. Bluffton; 6. Seneca; 8. Hanahan; 9. Brookland-Cayce; 10. Chapman

Others receiving votes: Camden, Georgetown, Timberland, Loris, Bishop England, Emerald, Swansea, Lake Marion, Pendleton, Chester, Powdersville, Crescent, Lake City

Class 2A

1. Abbeville; 2. Southside Christian; 3. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 4. Calhoun County; 5. Batesburg-Leesville; 6. Allendale-Fairfax; 7. Andrews; 8. Chesterfield; 9. Christ Church; 10. Cheraw

Others receiving votes: Chesnee, Barnwell, Central, Saluda, Fox Creek, Silver Bluff, Ninety Six, Johnsonville

Class 1A

1. Lamar; 2. McBee; 3. Lake View; 4. C.E. Murray; 5. Cross; 6. Lewisville; 7. Wagener-Salley; 8. Williston-Elko; 9. Ridge Spring-Monetta; 10. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler

Others receiving votes: Hemingway, St. John's, Baptist Hill, McCormick, Green Sea-Floyds, Timmonsville

The S.C. Prep Media Football Poll is conducted by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal with voting from Michael Christopher, Greenwood Index Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Chris Clark, Orangeburg Times and Democrat; Chris Dearing, The State; Joe Hughes, 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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