ONE THING I’VE learned in 29 years as a coach and/or analyst is that you can learn a lot from a scrimmage.
Here’s some notes from a couple of early match-ups:
Sumter vs Lexington: Sumter whipped the Wildcats in a game-like scrimmage and scored about 50 points to Lexington’s two scores. What you don’t get from the score is that the Wildcats had five stops, which is pretty good considering the performance of that same defense last season.
Sumter looked good moving the ball on the ground and with the short pass. They will struggle this year if they try to throw the ball deep. Defensively, the Gamecocks looked good against the run.
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Dutch Fork vs Spartanburg: Spartanburg sophomore quarterback Austin Scott tossed three scoring passes (one was called back). Scott trained with QB1 this offseason and it shows in his mechanics. He needs to settle down on broken plays and not force things.
Dutch Fork moved the ball well on the ground. Running back Matthew Colburn got limited touches but senior Walter Roberson had a solid performance. Dutch Fork will be fine on the defensive side. Its offensive line is huge but didn’t blow me away between the tackles. Their tight end set is second to none.
North Augusta vs Goose Creek: North Augusta flexed its muscles and downed Goose Creek. North Augusta got solid play from junior quarterback Trib Reece, who was a standout recently at the QB1 Challenge in Columbia.
North Augusta might have its best roster in a while and should be a strong contender for the Region V crown.
Spring Valley vs Manning/Brookland-Cayce: Two scrimmages for the Vikings last week and each was successful; against Manning, the Vikings ran the ball at will and their defense was too much for the Monarchs.
Against Brookland-Cayce, more of the same for the Vikings. The offensive front was dominating and the Vikings moved the ball well on the ground. Running back Ryan Lee was impressive in that scrimmage. Josh Harlan has moved to inside linebacker and Christian Miller was unblockable.
Brookland-Cayce’s passing game will struggle this year. They have several running backs who are better than average but they need to tighten up on defense.
Richland Northeast vs York: The Cavaliers’ defense appeared to be young in the secondary, and vulnerable to the pass, but their front seven looked good. Offensively, they return to a two-back and even some three-back offense with an inexperienced quarterback.
York has a good junior quarterback in Dashawn Andrews (6-3, 230), but he needs to mature at thate position.