South Carolina didn’t recruit K.J. Brent for his speed and elusiveness – the kind that Gamecocks receiver Ace Sanders showed last Thursday – but he may have more than some think.
Although still slowed by a back injury, the USC commit had four catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns in Marvin Ridge’s (N.C.) 56-13 win over Cuthbertson (N.C.) Friday. The Mavericks improved to 3-0.
Brent faced consistent double teams in Marvin Ridge’s first two games, allowing fellow receiver J.C. Howze to benefit from the hot start of quarterback Tyler Chadwick. Howze had 11 receptions for 216 yards and three scores in the first two weeks.
“They backed off that this week,” Marvin Ridge coach Scott Chadwick said of the double teams on Brent. “They gave him a little more single coverage. They tried to take the deep ball away from us. We tried to hit K.J. on some underneath routes, and he did a great job of turning in great plays with runs after the catch.
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“That was one of the things we talked about going into the season that he needed to get better at and he did. He took a couple of short throws for big gains. He had a 53-yard catch and run. One of his touchdowns was on a jailbreak screen.”
Brent now has 11 receptions for 242 yards and three scores this season. However, he still isn’t at full strength. A lingering back injury has forced him to play at 85 to 90 percent of full strength, Chadwick said.
“We’ve got three more non-conference games and then we get the bye week,” Chadwick said. “We’re hoping he gets a little better each week. Then with that bye week, hopefully by the time we start conference play he’ll be 100 percent.
Here are how USC’s other commits performed Friday:
Kaleb Broome, OT, Georgia Military | Broome started at right tackle in a 27-7 season-opening loss to Navarro (Texas). GMC’s offense surrendered six sacks and gained just 2.7 yards per carry.
Thomas Finnie, CB, Miami Central | Finnie had five tackles in a 45-42 season-opening loss to Camden County, the reigning 5A state champions in Georgia. Central, ranked second nationally by USA Today, lost on a field goal as time expired.
Deon Green, DT, Olympia (Fla.) | Green’s individual stats were not available from a 38-27 season-opening win over Boone (Fla.). Olympia visits Edgewater (Fla.) this Friday.
Mason Harris, DE, Ridgeland (Ga.) | Harris had nine tackles, including six solos and two for loss, and one sack in a 17-14 loss to Allatoona (Ga.). Ridgeland is 1-1 this season.
Jared Henry, S, First Coast (Fla.) | Henry’s individual stats were not available from a 26-17 season-opening win over American Heritage (Fla.). First Coast visits cross-town rival Ribault (Fla.) this Friday.
Ronnie Martin, DB, Spartanburg | Martin had three tackles, one pass breakup and one catch for 53 yards in a 21-14 loss to defending state champion Dorman. The Vikings (1-1) visit Sumter this Friday.
Martay Mattox, QB, Clarke Central (Ga.) | Mattox was 10-of-19 passing for 168 yards in a 34-14 win over Heritage (Ga.). He ran seven times for 15 yards and a touchdown. For the season, he is 20-for-41 passing for 341 yards, three scores and two interceptions. Central is 2-0 heading into its bye.
Mike Matulis, OL, Park Vista (Fla.) | Matulis graded 79 percent and had three pancake blocks in Park Vista’s 34-28 season-opening, overtime win over Jupiter (Fla.).
Lorenzo Mauldin, DE, Jackson (Ga.) | Mauldin’s individual stats were not available from a 26-13 loss to North Atlanta (Ga.). Jackson (0-2) hosts Decatur (Ga.) this Friday.
Quincy McKinney, OL, Carver (Ga.) | McKinney suffered an ankle injury – it is not considered serious, according to his high school coach – in a 14-0 upset win over two-time defending state champion Buford (Ga.). It was the first time Buford had been shut out since 1999.
Jordan Montgomery, LB/DB, South Lake (Fla.) | Montgomery had 11 total tackles, including seven solo stops, recovered and returned a fumble 21 yards and had one sack in a 24-7 season-opening win over Tampa Catholic (Fla.).
Edward Muldrow, OLB, South Gwinnett (Ga.) | Muldrow’s individual stats were not available from a 44-41 over M.L. King (Ga.). South Gwinnett is 1-1 after a season-opening loss to Lowndes (Ga.).
Angelo Watley, DE, Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) | Watley’s individual stats were not available from a 24-17 win over Roswell (Ga.). He had two tackles and three catches for 39 yards in a season-opening win. Peachtree Ridge is 2-0.
Brandon Wilds, RB, Blythewood | Wilds rushed 13 times for 51 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 10 yards in an 18-15 loss to Lexington. He has 106 rushing yards (2.8 per carry) and has eight receptions for 57 yards this season. Blythewood heads into its bye at 1-2.