York (0-0) at Rock Hill (0-1)
Last week: York was idle; Rock Hill lost to Blythewood 27-13
Last meeting: York won 31-12 (2015)
Key players: YCHS- Sr. OL Danny Warren; Jr. LB J.T. Sanders; Sr. RB Tyquan Huntley; Sr. QB Shandon Cobb. RHHS- Sr. LB Kendrick Hicks; Jr. RB Des Buchanan; Sr. DB Nick Truesdale; Soph. DT Logan Hicks.
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Need to know: York hasn’t lost a season opener in Bobby Carroll’s five seasons at the school. What looks like a close game on paper could come down to two pretty decent kickers, Rock Hill senior Zhenya Deller and York junior Myles Prosser. Deller has a strong leg and the Ukrainian native has learned more of the nuances of American football, where to put the ball on punts and kickoffs, and where not. Prosser has a big leg and could make things difficult for the Bearcats’ offense with touchbacks and non-returnable punts.
Northwestern (0-1) at Dorman (0-1)
Last week: Northwestern lost to South Pointe 30-23; Dorman lost to Bob Jones (Ala.) 35-14.
Last meeting: Dorman won 37-7 (2005)
Key players: NHS- Sr. OL Alex Parker; Sr. QB Gage Moloney; Jr. WR Jordan Starkes; Sr. DB Ali Shockley. DHS- Sr. QB Jalen Fowler; Soph. WR. Jacoby Pinckney; Jr. DL/OL Jalen Belton; Sr. LB Tyrell Earles.
Need to know: Hard to imagine that one of these teams will be 0-2 after this week, but also easy to see both being a factor in November playoff football too. Dorman surrendered 377 yards rushing last week in a loss down in Alabama, and the Trojans have the kind of backfield firepower to inflict the same hurt. The trick for new play-caller Robert Hellams is figuring out when and how to get all of his talented offensive players a share of the ball.
Nation Ford (1-0) at South Pointe (1-0)
Last week: Nation Ford beat Irmo 28-27; South Pointe beat Northwestern 30-23
Last meeting: South Pointe won 30-7 (2015)
Key players: NFHS- Sr. OL Tariq Walker; Jr. LB Vinny Catan; Sr. WR/DB Halen Burgess; Sr. LB Corbin Tesimale. SPHS- Sr. RB Voshon St. Hill; Soph. DL Adam Foxx; Jr. OL Jaydon Collins; Jr. WR/LB B.J. Davis.
Need to know: Nation Ford has yet to win in five tries against South Pointe, the closest of those games decided by 18 points five years ago. This could be a trap game for the Stallions following their rivalry win last week. Still, Strait Herron’s team wowed fans last week with its defensive speed and collective swarm; South Pointe forced Northwestern into six punts last week, after the Trojans punted more than three times in a game just twice in 2015. Speed and pursuit should help the Stallions against Falcons dual threat QB Kirk Rygol and their spread offensive attack.
Fort Mill (0-1) at West Florence (0-1)
Last week: Fort Mill lost to Spring Valley 21-13; West Florence lost to Lexington 34-13
Last meeting: Fort Mill won 35-14 (2015)
Key players: FMHS - Sr. ATH Ronnie Hughes; Jr. OL Trey Reed; Sr. QB Ryan DeLuca; Jr. DB/WR Ryan Heriot. WFHS - Jr. OLB/MLB Stephon Alexander; Jr. QB Ryan Roberts, Sr. RB Malik Eaddy; Sr. WR/RB/SB Drake Deal.
Need to know: Fort Mill coach Ed Susi will coach in this game, but he’s been in Ohio for much of the week coping with the passing of his father. The Yellow Jackets were very unlucky to lose to Spring Valley last week and one would imagine they’ll be doubly motivated by that defeat and a desire to honor their coach during his tough time. Starting QB Ryan DeLuca was banged up in last week’s loss to the Vikings, so Drew Hartman will be ready to go if the senior cannot.
Clover (1-0) at Forestview (N.C.) (1-0)
Last week: Clover beat Ashbrook 48-13; Forestview
Last meeting: Clover won 23-20 (2015)
Key players: CHS- Sr. LB/FB Willy Clark; Jr. QB Garrett Miller; Sr. TE Jackson Parrish; Sr. WR DreQuan Starr. FHS- Jr. QB Mac England; Sr. LB Jaylen McCree; Jr. WR Saveon Falls; Sr. OL Tremayne Booker.
Need to know: Clover surprised many with the viciousness of its win over Ashbrook last week, and the Jaguars - 33 wins and four playoff appearances the last four years - offer a great litmus test of whether last week’s game says more about Clover or Ashbrook. The Blue Eagles had seven explosive plays of 20 yards or more against the Green Wave, the kind of offensive pop Chad Smith envisioned when he first arrived in town.
Blacksburg (0-0) at Lewisville (1-0)
Last week: Blacksburg was idle; Lewisvile beat Andrew Jackson 36-6
Last meeting: Blacksburg won 38-18 (2015)
Key players: BHS- Jr. CB/QB Elijah Rodgers; Sr. RB/MLB Antoine Wilson; Soph. TE/DE Jeremey Wright; Jr. WR/FS Netavion Thompson. LHS- Sr. QB Trey Keels; Soph. WR Johnny Courtney; Sr. ATH Mike Hill; Jr. DL Josh Belk.
Need to know: The last time Lewisville started 2-0 was in 2000. A typically big Blacksburg team stands in the way of a repeat this Friday. The Wildcats have beaten Will Mitchell’s team each of the last two years, but these Lions have a bit more substance. Speed could be the difference, too, especially on offense where Mike Hill, Quentin Sanders and Johnny Courtney are just three of the game-breakers Will Mitchell can call upon. If Lewisville can avoid turnovers - two interceptions last week in the win - it could be another good night for the Lions.
Buford (1-0) at Indian Land (0-1)
Last week: Buford beat Franklin Christian 35-6; Indian Land lost to Lancaster 47-10
Last meeting: Indian Land won 39-38 (2015)
Key players: BHS- Sr. WR/CB Nick Jones; Soph. QB/CB Ryan Moore; Sr. DT/FB Caleb Parker; Sr. RB/OLB Ladarius Parker. ILHS- Sr. WR Ryan Albino; Jr. QB David Loughry; Sr. OL/DL Stone Potts; Sr. RB Lee Massey.
Need to know: Indian Land is going to have games like last week’s loss to Lancaster as it moves up the enrollment ladder and confronts bigger, faster, deeper-rostered opponents. The Warriors struggled with Lancaster’s speed, especially on the defensive front with Bobby Collins’ Bruins holding them to 40 rushing yards on 27 carries. Indian Land has a smasher in Lee Massey but still needs to find a speedier compliment that will open up the run game and let Massey bust loose like he did at the end of last season.
Franklin Christian (0-1) at Chester (0-1)
Last week: Franklin Christian lost to Buford 35-6; Chester lost to Westwood 20-23
Last meeting: Never played
Key players: FCS- Sr. WR/LB Tyler Morgan; WR Bronx Bratton. CHS- Sr. DE Radarrius Wright; Soph. OL Wyatt Tunall; Sr. QB Malik Williams; Jr. CB/WR Quay Hardin.
Need to know: Another area coach lost a parent this week. Chester coach Victor Floyd is dealing with the death of his mother; he plans to coach in Friday night’s game before making his way to Green Sea, S.C. for her funeral on Saturday. Franklin Christian would have struggled in this game anyway, but the Cyclones will certainly be fired up to lighten the emotional and mental burden on their coach with a blowout non-region win. Chester senior QB Malik Williams had a great start to the season last week with 100-plus rushing yards and two touchdowns and Friday could be a chance to see if there is a player that can take his place next year.
Whitmire (0-1) at Great Falls (0-1)
Last week: Whitmire lost to Wagener-Salley 36-0; Great Falls lost to New Covenant Knights 56-13
Last meeting: Great Falls won 22-6 (2013)
Key players: WHS- Sr. LB Colton Evans; Soph. DB Jaylen Brown; Jr. OL/DL Chase McCarley; Sr. DL Daquan Agnew. GFHS- Soph. RB/MLB Trent Isenhower; Sr. DL/OL Zy’kevious McIlwain; Jr. WR/OLB Gage Spinks; Sr. ATH Aaron Rice.
Need to know: Great Falls completed 15 passes in last week’s Air Raid offense debut but the Red Devils averaged just two yards per catch; next step in the team’s progression is turning short completions into big gainers with yards after the catch. Red Devils senior Aaron Rice was the only area player to score an offensive and defensive touchdown last week so he’s an obvious candidate to make plays. Great Falls is not in an easy situation but coach John Barrett is hard-nosed and won’t let his kids give in.