Football: Five Midlands games to watch, Sept. 6

September 5, 2013 

Dutch Fork and senior quarterback Derek Olenchuk are coming off a 42-6 win against XXX in Myrtle Beach.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH/TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate.com Buy Photo

Now that most every team has gotten first-game jitters out of the way, a better quality of football should follow after two weeks of turnover-heavy match-ups. Week 2 promises to be a better indication of how teams will perform through their conference schedule.

DUTCH FORK (1-0)

AT FORT MILL (1-0)

Dutch Fork rolled Southeast Raleigh (N.C.), 41-6, on Saturday and likely will do the same to the Yellow Jackets. The Silver Foxes, the No. 4 team in 4A, are aiming to return to the state championship game, and thus is taking their nonconference slate seriously. Rock Hill, Dorman and Goose Creek await after the matchup against Fort Mill and will present bigger challenges than the Yellow Jackets will. The Silver Foxes will lean on quarterback Derek Olenchuk, who tallied over 3,500 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.

BATESBURG-LEESVILLE (1-0)

AT BROOKLAND-CAYCE (2-0)

The Bearcats just ended a 13-game losing streak against Airport and have already exceeded their 2012 win total. Brookland-Cayce, which is led by 20 seniors, has momentum in its favor this week. Senior Zeke Walker has carried the Bearcats. The dual-threat quarterback rushed for more than 80 yards, passed for 70 and tallied four touchdowns last week. A win against Batesburg-Leesville would give Brookland-Cayce even more confidence when it hopes to make an impact in its conference schedule in a few weeks.

LEXINGTON (1-0)

AT BLYTHEWOOD (0-1)

After beating Ridge View at Blythewood’s stadium last week, there was a celebratory feel around the Lexington sideline. It was coach Josh Stepp’s first win at Lexington, and amidst the cheering, quarterback Will Hunter yelled that the team would be back in the stadium the next week. Blythewood lost its season-opener at South Pointe, 49-24. If the Wildcats want to continue their winning streak, they’ll need a stronger start against the Bengals than the four-turnover first half they had in Week 1. Hunter carried the team in the second half, accounting for the Wildcats’ final three touchdowns.

ORANGEBURG PREP (2-0)

AT HAMMOND (1-1)

Hammond returns to reality after being outmatched by a superior Charlotte Christian team last week. Looking to return to its state championship-winning ways, Hammond should be the favorite at home on Friday night with transfer senior quarterback Davis King. King threw for four touchdowns in Hammond’s season opener, but struggled in Week 1 against Charlotte Christian in a 42-0 loss. Against a more comparable opponent, Hammond will have less trouble this week.

DREHER (1-0)

AT COLUMBIA (1-1)

Both teams are coming off Week 1 wins as Dreher beat Fox Creek, 29-6, and Columbia beat Calhoun County, 14-0. Dreher won this matchup 21-6 last season, and is likely to do the same this season with five starters back from last year on both sides of the ball. Columbia will take advantage of defensive mistakes, as Diante Petruso had eight tackles, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception in last week’s win.

Isabelle Khurshudyan

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