Speed sets apart top contenders

09/17/2012 12:01 AM

09/17/2012 12:33 AM

IN CLASS 4A, there is a large gap between the top three teams and the rest of the pack. Byrnes junior quarterback Shuler Bentley is leading the Rebels (4-0) with 1,536 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Northwestern is No. 2, with the Trojans’ only loss a four-point setback against Byrnes. Like the Rebels, the Trojans are high-octane on offense with a fast, physical defense.

No. 3 is Goose Creek, which can dominate the trenches. Senior Georgia commit Tramel Terry is averaging more than 200 yards of total offense a game and has been pretty much unstoppable.

In Class 3A, Hartsville is dominating with a ground game led by running back Trey Samuels and his 16-plus yards per carry average. The Foxes (5-0) have rushed for well over 2,200 yards of offense and are averaging more than 14 yards per play.

Dillon and Timberland could be destined for another epic matchup in Class 2A’s playoffs.

Christ Church is at the top of Class 1A , but I think Johnsonville may be the team to beat. Coach Lewis Lineberger’s Flashes have outscored opponents 169-51 in their first five outings.

The limelight

Wando quarterback Christian Hart: Has passed for more than 1,200 yards in five games with nine touchdowns and is completing 64 percent of his passes for the Warriors (5-0).

Dorman quarterback Trey Robinson: He struggled with turnovers in 2011 but has thrown one this senior season. He is completing 77 percent of his passes and has generated more than 1,100 yards of offense with his dual-threat abilities.

Socastee quarterback Hunter Renfro: Was asked to take over the offense and the dual-threat quarterback has rushed for 440 yards with an 11-plus yards per carry average for the Braves (5-0).

Lexington wide receiver/defensive back Al Walker: Despite an 0-4 start, the Wildcats have a star in the making. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore is averaging 16 yards per catch for more than 250 yards and three scores, and has collected more than a dozen tackles on defense despite not playing full-time on that side of the ball. He is a dangerous special teams player, averaging 35 yards on his kick returns.

Dreher running back Donovan Ward: The sophomore has stepped out for the Blue Devils (4-0) , rushing for 362 yards with a 6.1 yards per carry average.

Chesterfield quarterback Dillon Rivers: The junior has seen his notoriety explode while passing for more than 1,300 yards. He has the Rams in position to be one of the favorites in Class 2A.

Northwestern wide receiver Rontavius McClure: This 6-4, 215-pound senior athlete has been a go-to receiver for the Trojans. He can separate from defenders after the catch and has moved into my Top Five at the wide receiver position.

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