HAMMOND vs. PORTER-GAUD
Site: Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Hammond notes: The Skyhawks (12-0) are primed to secure their fifth consecutive SCISA Class 3A championship Hammond blew by Augusta Christian 37-12 in semifinal action last week. It was the 16th straight win for Erik Kimrey’s powerhouse team – matching the longest such streak in school history. The goal this week is: Another win, another title and a new school record winning streak QB Dave Nidiffer, RB Joey DeAngelis and RB/WR B.J. Bennett were the offensive headliners vs. Augusta Christian. Nidiffer was 17-for-24 passing for 257 yards and one touchdown. DeAngelis ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Bennett caught nine passes for 149 yards and one TD, and also scored once by land Les Cotter (10 tackles, 1 interception), Joseph McDougal (8 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Weston Verner (5 tackles, 2 TFL) and Luke Chappell (5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack) excelled on the defensive side.
Porter-Gaud notes: The Cyclones (11-1) have only faltered against Hammond. P-G advanced to the finals to the first time in eight years with an easy 44-7 semifinal triumph over Wilson Hall. Rick Reetz’s potent team had no trouble, even though blue-chip receiver Stanton Seckinger and running back Weston Stitt suffered second-half injuries P-G’s attack centers on the passing game with QB Hudson Worthy (245-344-3826-41) and Seckinger (90-1663-24) in the forefront. Seckinger recently committed to Clemson.
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Last meeting history: In a showdown of undefeated teams on Oct. 15, Hammond was clearly superior. The host Skyhawks raced to a 34-0 lead and rolled the Cyclones 54-27. Reetez admitted his team was not quite ready for the stage it found itself on at Edens Stadium In the end, Hammond’s amazing offensive balance (258 yards rushing, 269 yards passing) was just too much for the P-G defense to deal with. The Cyclones finished with a misleading offensive yardage total of 302 yards – 284 through the air. The bulk of the gains came in the second half by which time the verdict was no longer in question.
Playoff history: During the Kimrey Era, Hammond and P-G have split four playoff encounters. The Cyclones eliminated the Skyhawks with first round wins in 2004 and 2005. Hammond sent P-G packing in the first round in 2007 and 2008 on the way to championships. The Cyclones’ last SCISA title was in 2002.