Site: Edens Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Storyline: A year ago, the Ben Lippen, off to a disappointing 0-2 start in SCISA Region 1-3A play, stunned the mighty Skyhawks 33-26, who were riding a 14-game winning streak, to turn around a season heading in the wrong direction. Talk about a statement game. The Falcons went on to reach the reach the semifinals in the playoffs, but failed to get another crack at Hammond in the title bout. This time, Ben Lippen (5-1, 1-1) is looking to make another statement, especially in the wake of yet another loss to Heathwood Hall in region play. The Falcons need a win to stay in the hunt for at least a share of the region title. Hammond, on the other hand, is unbeaten entering its region opener and is in the midst of a 12-game winning streak since that wake-up call loss to Ben Lippen. The rebuilt Skyhawks have once again established themselves as the team to beat in SCISA for the fourth year in a row.
Ben Lippen notes: The Falcons rebounded nicely from its Week 4 loss to Heathwood Hall in a 42-20 region win last week against Augusta Christian ...Quarterback Joey Carter was 14-for-22 passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns in the win over AC. Taylor Wilson had 30 yards rushing, was 4-for-4 passing for 50 yards and caught six passes for 139 yards and one TD in a busy performance. Ross Flemming caught seven passes for 88 yards. Issac Elsenheimer had three short scoring runs in his new role as a short-yardage back … The balanced defensive effort featured Dylan Vice (7 tackles), Gabe Smith (6 tackles), Zack perry (6 tackles, 1 sack) and Jonthan Nahlen (2 tackles, 1 sack) … To date, Carter is 84-for-162 passing for 1,345 yards and 11 TDs and has 160 yards and three scores by land. Wilson (32-480-3), Flemming (24-267-3) and Will Roseborough (15-287) at the top receivers … Smith leads the team in tackles with 55, followed by Perry (36), Tuck Benefield (36) and Elsenheimer (32). The Falcons pass rush has generated 30 sacks so far. Perry has nine, Nahlen seven and Sammy Joe White five. Cornerback Andre Hennie has two of BL’s six interceptions.
Hammond notes: The youthful Skyhawks ran their record to 5-0 last week, routing Porter-Gaud 45-7 in Charleston. Quarterback Dave Nidiffer was 11-for-18 passing for 136 yards and three touchdowns. B.J. Bennett darted for 177 rushing yards and three TDs on 28 carries. Ron Millhouse caught six passes for 50 yards and one score. Gavin Fawcett and Luke Chappell also hauled in scoring tosses. Kicker David Tucker had six PATs and one field goal … Jordan Kay paced the defensive performance in the Holy City with eight tackles and one interception. Weston Verner had seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Joseph McDougal was credited with seven tackles, one TFL, one sack and one caused fumble. In the end, the Hammond defense allowed the previously potent Cyclones attack just 166 total yards … Nidiffer is 69-for-96 for 930 yards and an eye-opening 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his first five games as the starting quarterback. The top receiver is senior Aaron Walters (26-357-7), who missed the P-G game. Millhouse, a freshman, has 16 catches for 249 yards and three scores. Bennett, a sophomore, now has the team rushing lead with 428 yards and four TDs on 61 carries … Kay (49), Verner (39) and McDougal (33) are the season tackle leaders.