High School Sports

Football: Columbia at Hanahan

Columbia at HanahanTime: 7:30 p.m.

Game notes: Columbia makes its first-ever regular-season visit to the Lowcounty when it travels to face Hanahan in one of the more interesting Week 0 match-ups in the state. Both teams have been extremely successful over the past 11 seasons. Hanahan has gone 105-31 overall and 15-11 in the playoffs between 1997 and 2007. Columbia is 81-48 overall and 11-8 in the playoffs during the same span. Columbia’s one clear edge is that it has advanced to the Class 2A semifinals three times during the period, while Hanahan has made it as far as the fourth round just one time … The host Hawks are something of a question mark entering the new campaign. Jeff Cruse, the most successful coach in Hanahan annals, has left to launch a new program at nearby Cain Bay, and graduation losses were heavy. The toughest player to replace will be record-breaking quarterback John Carnell. New coach is Charlie Patterson is in an interesting and challenging position … Columbia, coming off a 13-1 season, is a team on a mission with the motivation stemming from two straight bitter losses in the Upper State championship game. Seniors Demario Jeffrey and Chris Payne, who have both committed to South Carolina, are Columbia’s leaders. The game will mark the debut of senior transfer Antonio Marshall as the starting quarterback.

Series history: Columbia, led by Mike Davis, knocked Hanahan out of the Class 2A state playoffs with a 28-7 second-round win in 2003 in the only previous meeting of the teams.

Trivia: Hanahan is the only team in modern state history that did not make the state playoff cut after going undefeated during the regular season. No, the Hawks were not ruled ineligible for postseason play for any sort of rules violation. The problem was the year and the times. In 1970, Bishop England and the Hawks both went 10-0 in 1970 as members of unwieldy, 13-team Region 8-AAA and did not play during the regular season. Bishop England eventually was deemed the playoff representative. This was in the days when only region champions qualified for the state playoffs.