Three things we know
They’re still winning in Batesburg Under new coach Perry Woolbright, the Batesburg-Leesville Panthers continued their winning ways, kicking off the season a lopsided win against Woodland. The Panthers were led by Taylor Jackson, who threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns, and Xavier Mackey, who rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns. The defending Class 2A Division 2 champions will host 2-0 Brookland-Cayce next.
Keenan is a winner The Keenan Raiders defeated Lower Richland 34-30 to improve to 2-0. And the Raiders have the tools to keep on winning.
Quin McCollum’s squad is helmed by two quarterbacks – Deion Trezevant and D’Marco Zeigler – with high completion percentages and talented skill players such as running back/wide receiver Tiski Gray. The Raiders face C.A. Johnson next, and have a chance to roll into their biggest test – a Sept. 12 meeting with Westwood – with a 3-0 mark.
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Ben Lippen is on the right track Though a narrow loss at Hammond dropped the Falcons to 1-1, Ben Lippen coach Derek White has much to be pleased about.
The Falcons’ offense, directed by coordinator Scott Jones and led by senior quarterback Robert Barrow averages 42 points per game. It will take more than two games to complete the turnaround from the Falcons’ 1-10 record last season, but Ben Lippen is clearly off to a strong start.
Three things we don’t know
Does Dutch Fork rule the road? The Silver Foxes, defending champions and the state’s No. 1 ranked Class 4A squad, go to Texas this week to face the Allen Eagles. The Eagles have gone 41-2 over the past three seasons, were undefeated last year, and are the No. 1-ranked team in Texas. Dutch Fork has had two weeks to prepare since its win against Greenwood.
Will Westwood stumble? Westwood’s results in its first two weeks of Class 4A competition have been impressive. The Redhawks’ defense has given up six points, while their offense has posted 84 points in their 2-0 start. This week, the Redhawks test Clover.
Can the Bearcats stay undefeated on their new field? Brookland-Cayce has won its first two games in its new stadium. This week, the Bearcats start a three-week road trip at Batesburg-Leesville. Regardless of the results of the roadtrip, their pristine homefield will be unblemished when they return on Oct. 3, to face Aiken.
Three top performers
Brandon Tillman, River Bluff Quarterback threw for 218 yards and rushed for 106 yards, scoring four touchdowns in total.
Robert Barrow, Ben Lippen Quarterback completed 22 of 24 pass attempts for 348 yards and four touchdowns
Dominick Byars, Brookland-Cayce Defensive back made three interceptions in Bearcats’ win
Three to watch
C.A. Johnson at Keenan After edging Eau Claire 16-14, C.A. Johnson is 2-0 for the first time since 2011. The Hornets, led by quarterback Charles Mallory, will need big offense to get past Keenan, and their lack of a kicking game could become sore point. Keenan, which put up 64 points against Eau Claire, poses a bigger challenge for the Green Hornets defense.
Chapin at Swansea Swansea is looking to recover from its season-opening loss at A.C. Flora, and to do it the Tigers will need to avoid penalties and take care of the ball. Both teams have a strong passing game that can make short work of a long field – Swansea with the quarterback-receiver pair of Clay Lucas and Craig Johnson, while Chapin’s Jordan Day takes aim at multiple targets.
Swansea kicker Yunuem Pena, who cleared a 39-yard field goal on Friday, could give the Tigers the edge they need.
Goose Creek at Ridge View The Blazers had a rough start to their season with the 20-5 loss against rival Blythewood, and they could not have a tougher opponent to follow with than the Goose Creek Gators. Goose Creek’s multi-dimensional offense will be a huge test for the Blazer defense, which allowed 213 yards in the season opener. Ridge View recorded four sacks in its debut, and will have to put similar pressure on the Goose Creek quarterback to have a chance at slowing that machine.
What they said
“We had that deer-in-the-headlights look and it felt like I was watching (South) Carolina all over again tonight.” A.C. Flora coach Reggie Shaw on the Falcons’ slow start against Swansea
“It’s always difficult trying to overcome turnovers, especially when it’s five of them.” Rock Hill coach Bubba Pitman on the Bearcats’ 28-20 loss to South Pointe
“It was a learning experience for us.” Lugoff-Elgin coach Dave Thomas, a Fort Mill alumnus, on the Demons’ 41-0 loss at Fort Mill
Akilah Imani Nelson