THREE THINGS WE KNOW
BLYTHEWOOD WAS NOT IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD
Going up against former coach Reggie Kennedy’s new Sumter team, the Blythewood Bengals might have benefitted from a little extra motivation.
On the field, Blythewood was decidedly inhospitable to its former coach.
The Bengals handed Sumter a 34-19 loss, outgaining the Gamecocks 428-270, grabbing two interceptions, and racking up seven sacks.
Blythewood (3-2) is led by Dan Morgan, who served as defensive coordinator during Kennedy’s two year tenure with the Bengals.
DUTCH FORK CAN WIN WITHOUT COLBURN, BUT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO FOR LONG
After taking a hit in the knee from the Goose Creek defense, sophomore stud back Matt Colburn was forced to sit the sidelines as Dutch Fork fell to the Gators. With Derek Olenchuk directing the Silver Foxes’ passing game, Colburn’s rushing normally provides Dutch Fork’s offense with an efficient counterpunch. And though Dutch Fork managed 462 yards with 30 yards from Colburn, his absence is a substantial blow to the offense. The sooner Colburn is back on that field, the better.
CAMDEN WILL TEST A.C. FLORA IN REGION OPENER
After starting the season 0-3, the A.C. Flora Falcons have earned back-to-back wins after a 14-point win over Airport on Friday. But Camden could stop Flora’s ascent. The Bulldogs average 25.6 points per game to the Falcons’ 28.8, but their stingier defense has limited opponents to 20 points per game.
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW
CAN GOOSE CREEK BE BEATEN?
If any team on Goose Creek’s regular season schedule had the skill and the strategy to deal the Gators their first loss since early 2011, it was Dutch Fork.
But Goose Creek, led by quarterback Dantez Bennamon, rolled over Dutch Fork (4-1) with its big offense.
The Gators, who missed a shot at an undefeated season and Class 4A title in 2012, seem determined to make up for it this season.
WHO WILL ROLL UNDEFEATED INTO REGION SEASON?
With one week left before region competition begins, 10 undefeated teams remain in Class 4A.
With Spring Valley facing White Knoll, and Goose Creek seeing Beaufort, two unbeatens are bound to fall this week. But could eight squads carry unblemished records into region?
Stratford will have to top 4-1 Summerville to stay perfect. Northwestern must contend with South Pointe (4-1), Spartanburg with Byrnes (4-1) and North Augusta with 4-1 Lexington. York and South Florence face opponents who are 2-3.
WHEN WILL RICHLAND NORTHEAST RISE?
Though the Cavaliers have yet to notch a win this season, Richland Northeast is bound to get one soon.
Richland Northeast has not had an 0-5 start in more than a decade, and has not won fewer than five games in a season since 2006.
Though they are averaging fewer than 12 points per game, it is not a matter of if the Cavaliers will get a win, but when. They face Sumter (1-4) next and Lugoff-Elgin (0-5) on Oct. 11.
THREE TO WATCH
BROOKLAND-CAYCE AT STROM THURMOND
While the Bearcats (5-0) had a week to rest and mend injuries to key players, Strom Thurmond went up against unbeaten North Augusta this week. The Rebels may be strengthened by the tough match-up, but Brookland-Cayce should bring it’s A-game. The Bearcats are led by Zeke Walker at quarterback (461 passing yards, seven touchdowns) and Kyle Stinson on defense.
SPRING VALLEY AT WHITE KNOLL
Two undefeated teams clash in the final non-region contest on the 4A calendar. Rushing from Spring Valley’s John Miller could offset White Knoll’s big running game, powered by Quin Jones. But the Vikings will need a bigger passing game, or bigger defense, to top quarterback Craig Blakey and the host Timberwolves’ offense.
MIDLAND VALLEY AT GILBERT
Coming off a loss at Batesburg-Leesville, the host Indians will be looking for a stronger defensive performance against the Mustangs (4-2). Gilbert has given up 118 points in its past two games. The Mustangs average 49 points per game.
Gilbert can post big offensive numbers, too. The Indians are led by quarterback Mitch Spires, who has had consecutive 200-yard passing games.
THREE TOP PERFORMERS
T.J. BRADY, HAMMOND
Rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries
DEREK OLENCHUK, DUTCH FORK
Completed 33 of 45 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns
BRANDON HOWARD, WESTWOOD
Made field goals of 30 and 37 yards
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“We feel like we’re taking step in the right direction. We just need to make sure the players stay patient and keep working.”
Hammond coach Erik Kimrey, after his team improved to 3-3
“It’s hard to play the option when you don’t ever see it. They ran the football and kicked out butts.”
Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts, whose squad fell to 4-1 at the hands of undefeated Goose Creek
“This football team never ceases to amaze you.”
York coach Bobby Carroll, on improving to 5-0 by defeating Rock Hill for the second straight year
Akilah Imani Nelson