With the high school football season in South Carolina coming to a close, here are some things that stood out from the Weekend of Champions:
Powerhouse programs rise to the top
The state’s top programs again hoisted championship trophies.
Lamar, Abbeville, Dillon, South Pointe and Dutch Fork won championships at the games at Benedict College and Williams-Brice Stadium. The five schools have combined to win 30 championships, much of them coming in the past two decades.
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Abbeville won its third consecutive title and has the most titles of the group with nine followed by Dillon, which has won seven state titles since 2008 and played for championships in nine of the past 10 seasons.
South Pointe won its fourth consecutive title and has six state championships since the school began varsity football in 2006.
Dutch Fork has just three titles but all coming since 2013. The Silver Foxes have won both Class 5A titles since the state expanded to five classifications and have made it to championship games in five of the past six seasons.
Lamar, which won three in a row from 2002-2004, captured its second title in three years.
Dutch Fork’s Knotts ties McKissick
Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts won’t break John McKissick’s record of 621 wins, but he tied the former Summerville coach in state titles.
Knotts won his 10th state championship with Dutch Fork’s 28-27 win against Dorman. Three of Knotts’ titles have come in his seven years at Dutch Fork with the other seven coming in North Carolina. McKissick won all 10 of his titles at Summerville.
Of the top 50 active winningest coaches according to MaxPreps, Knotts is one of only 12 coaches with 10 or more state titles.
Knotts can go after another milestone next year as he is 12 wins away from 400 victories.
Where does South Pointe rank among state’s great dynasties?
South Pointe became the sixth team in state history to win four championships in a row with its 38-14 win against Hartsville.
So where do the Stallions rank among the state’s great dynasties? That’s a topic that can debated throughout the state, but they are definitely in the conversation.
South Pointe is 55-5 over thepast four years and has won 20 consecutive playoff games.
This year’s South Pointe team (15-0) is ranked No. 4 in USA Today poll and has wins against Mallard Creek (N.C.), Shelby (N.C.) and Buford (Ga.). Mallard Creek is playing for a state title Saturday, and Buford lost in the state semifinals this weekend.
The Stallions have a pair of US Army All-Americans, Derion Kendrick and BT Potter, both Clemson commits, and more than 23 of the team’s seniors are likely to play college football.
Top prospects Thompson, Kendrick deliver
South Pointe’s Derion Kendrick and Bryce Thompson were the top two ranked prospects playing this weekend, and both didn’t disappoint in their final high school games.
Kendrick, a Clemson commit and No. 1- ranked prospect in S.C. by 247Sports composite, was 14 of 17 passing for 124 yards and ran for 119 yards with four total TDs in the 38-14 win against Hartsville.
Thompson, the No. 7-ranked prospect in the state by 247Sports, finished with 168 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 25-yarder in the fourth quarter of the 28-27 win against Dorman.
Both Kendrick and Thompson will play in next week’s Shrine Bowl.
Lamar’s offense provides fireworks
Lamar’s offensive showing in the Class A championship might be hard to top for years to come.
The Silver Foxes’ 74 points were the most in state championship history, breaking Northwestern’s 63 points set against Lexington in 2015. Lamar and Baptist Hill combined for 120 points, breaking the mark of 97 set by Stratford and Northwestern in 2013.
The South Carolina High School League doesn’t keep individual records, but Lamar’s 722 yards of total offense and JacQuez’ Lucas’ six touchdowns also might have been records.