Baxter: Westwood, B-C are early surprises

08/31/2014 9:10 PM

08/31/2014 9:14 PM

THE WESTWOOD Red Hawks have put on a show in the opening two weeks, first annihilating River Bluff and then overpowering Richland Northeast this past weekend. The Hawks’ defense is impressive in schematics and in execution. If the offense catches up with the defense, they could be a major player in the playoffs.

Another surprise team is Brookland-Cayce. The Bearcats are beat Fairfield Central before dominating Airport this past weekend. This is a big, physical football team.

COACHES WITH RISING STOCK

Westwood’s Rodney Summers has done a tremendous job with the Red Hawks. He got them to the playoffs last season in a tough 3A bracket and has an impressive showing in the first two games of this season. Westwood may want to make sure he’s happy if it wants to keep one of the Midlands’ top young coaches.

Brookland-Cayce’s Rusty Charpia told Lexington District II to give him three years when he got the job. Last season, his third, he took the Bearcats to the playoffs. In his fourth year, he’s got the Bearcats looking like one of the top teams in the Midlands. Not bad for a program that has lived in mediocrity its entire history. He is marketable, so supporters of the Bearcats may want to ask him what he needs to stay there long-term.

FIVE ON THE RISE

Dominick Byars, safety, Brookland-Cayce: A first-year football player, this junior has picked off five passes in two games to become an impact player for the Bearcats.

Tyler Bass, kicker, Dutch Fork: This senior has quite the leg and is a great weapon for the Silver Foxes. Last week, he never gave Greenwood’s dangerous return man a chance to touch the ball, putting the ball out of the end zone on kick offs.

Slade Carroll, running back, Lexington: Blue-collar, hard-nosed runner. This kid is an excellent prospect as a B-back for any team running the flexbone.

Taylor Jackson, quarterback, Batesburg-Leesville: Has done well picking up the new offense in his first year as a starter. He executes the spread very well.

Kadarius “KD” Jackson, quarterback, Airport: Despite the loss to the Bearcats this week, Jackson showed he is the heart and soul of his team. He is an excellent athlete and a threat to move the chains by himself when nothing else is working.

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