Dreher running back Jay Washington likes the fact his team has slid under the radar the first half of the season.
It’s going to be harder to do with each win the Blue Devils rack up. Dreher’s 4-0 for the first time since 2012, moved to No. 7 in this week’s Midlands Top 10 and is tied for 10th in the S.C. Prep Writers Class 4A poll.
The Blue Devils are one of five unbeatens in the Midlands, joining Dutch Fork, Ridge View, Gilbert and W.W. King. Dreher, which plays at Gilbert on Friday, is coming off a 42-28 win over previously unbeaten Calhoun County to earn The State’s Team of the Week honors.
“Our mentality stays the same. We were under the radar, and we still are under the radar,” Washington said. “We’ve just got to keep grinding, stay humble and keep competing. That is the thing everybody thinks – we can’t compete – but we are up there.”
Dreher coach Treigh Sullivan said his team is managing expectations and trying to avoid complacency heading into region play, which begins next week against Chapin.
“We always talk about growth, not wins and losses at this point. It is great that we are 4-0 and found a way to win tough ones the last couple weeks,” Sullivan said. “The main thing with us, there is still a lot of things we got to clean up and improve on. That is the mindset every day moving forward.”
One of the keys to the Blue Devils’ success has been its balance on offense. Dreher has rushed for 801 yards and thrown for 780.
Quarterback Matthew Campbell, who took over for North-South selection Avery Armstrong, has completed 66.7 percent of his passes.
Washington is fourth in the Midlands with 589 yards rushing. Senior Anthony Salters leads the Midlands with four interceptions and is tied for the area lead with 10 total TDs.
Defensively, the Blue Devils rely on their experience up front and have gotten key contributions from young players in the secondary.
“It’s been a lot of positives, but I’m not going to say I am super surprised by any of it, though,” Sullivan said.
The Blue Devils also have been a strong second-half team, especially the past two weeks against River Bluff and Calhoun County. The Blue Devils gave up six points combined in the second half in those wins.
“Our players have fought hard in the last two quarters,” Washington said. “We fix what we didn’t do in the first half, and we go out and execute it.”
“It says a lot of about this team,” Sullivan said of his team’s second-half performances. “This is a true team and they love each other, play hard for each other. Fourth quarter is about want to. You’ve got to want to execute for your brother. They genuinely care for each other, and the execution in the fourth quarter on offense, defense and special teams has shown.
“They don’t want to let each other down.”