Site: Diamond Mine. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Dreher notes: The Blue Devils are looking to get off to a fast start in the wake of a 1-9 campaign in 2007. Quarterback Jacob Gindman is back to lead the attack, but the strength of the team, at least early in the season, should be a veteran defensive unit … Free safety Aradmian Player had 68 tackles and blocked three kicks last season. Rashad Benbow could be a standout at linebacker after playing at defensive end a year ago. End Farrington Huguenin (6-5, 255) had eight sacks last season.
Lower Richland notes: The Diamond Hornets are gearing up for their first season at the Class 3A level, and the goal is to make the playoffs on merit alone for the first time since 1995 when they qualified for 4A Division II postseason play. LR was an automatic Big 16 entry five times in the interim (1996-2000) despite not winning more than three games in any one season during the span … Coach J.W. Montgomery welcomes back six starters on offense, four on defense … Nick Smith returns at quarterback, as does junior running back Joe Morgan, who just missed the 1,000-yard mark last season. Smith has capable, veteran receivers in seniors Brandon Wilkerson and George Bonaparte … The big question on offense is the offensive line, which returns only Jamel Hinton … Senior linebacker Heyward Martin is the top returning player on defense. He had 90 tackles a year ago.
Series history: LR has dominated the series since 1970, winning 18 of 24 outings vs. the Blue Devils. Dreher beat the Diamond Hornets in Montgomery’s first game in 2006, but LR prevailed 35-21 in the season opener last year to bring an end to a 32-game losing streak.