Lou Bezjak

Gilbert coaches make good on promise after Indians’ perfect start

Gilbert’s postgame celebration Friday night included an impromptu trip to the barbershop for two of its assistant coaches.

Mark Cagle and Chase Duncan got their heads shaved following the Indians’ 56-27 win over Dreher. In August, both coaches promised to go with the clean look if Gilbert started the season 5-0, which it did following the win over the Blue Devils. It’s the Indians’ best start since 1986.

“You know kids never forget,” Gilbert coach Chad Leaphart said.

Players carried a bench to one of the end zones, and a crowd of people watched the haircuts take place. Cagle had just one request before defensive back Dylan McNatt took a first crack with the clippers.

“I don’t want a mohawk,” Cagle said.

Cagle said he would do it again if the team finished the season at 10-0.

This isn’t the first time a coach made good on a wild promise to his team this season. West Florence’s Trey Woodberry shaved his head after his team snapped its 13-game losing streak against Camden on Sept. 15. Ridge View coach Perry Parks and four of his assistants practiced in full football gear Monday this week after the Blazers’ 5-0 start.

Gilbert continues to be one of the best stories in the Midlands. After winning two games last season, the Indians are now ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, according to the latest S.C. Prep Writers poll.

“No doubt,” Leaphart said when asked if his team was ahead in terms of the rebuilding process. “This is something I wanted, but I didn’t know how long it would take. I thought it might take a little while. But credit to the kids who bought into what we were doing. And credit to the coaches who come in here and get the job done.”

Gilbert begins region play this week against Swansea, Leaphart’s former school. Leaphart was 41-27 in six years at Swansea before returning to coach his alma mater this year.

White Knoll getting it done on defense

White Knoll won its fourth consecutive game and got another strong performance from its defense in a 38-7 victory over Spring Valley.

The Timberwolves held Spring Valley to 107 yards rushing and 204 yards total – 154 yards below the Vikings’ season average. It was the first time Spring Valley was held to less than 10 points since being shut out by Westwood 34-0 in the 2014 playoffs.

Through five games, White Knoll has allowed 53 points, which is tied with Carolina Forest for the fewest in Class 5A.

So close

Hammond nearly pulled off an amazing trick play for a score right before halftime against Cardinal Newman.

The play started near the 50-yard line with quarterback Corbett Glick throwing to George Folline, who lateraled to Lucas Prickett, and then he pitched back to Glick. Glick then threw it across to Jack Theodore, who took off from the 45-yard line and got all the way down to the 5 before being tackled.

Efficient work

Dutch Fork had the ball for just 4:23 in the second quarter, but scored 34 points in a 47-14 win over Westwood.

The Silver Foxes scored 21 points in the final 3:13, and 14 in the final 51 seconds of the quarter. Dutch Fork has done a lot of its damage this season in the second quarter, with 96 of its 202 points scored this year coming in that frame.

Top performers

Jordyn Adams and Kenny Benton (Blythewood) – Adams threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns, while Benton had 250 all-purpose yards and three TDs against River Bluff.

Devin Beckley and JoJo Watson (Camden) – Beckley passed for 362 yards and two TDs in loss to North Myrtle Beach. Both of Beckley’s touchdowns went to Watson, who finished with six catches for 182 yards.

Catriez Cook (Gilbert) – Rushed for 243 yards and finished with 346 all-purpose yards and three TDs.

Cedrick Cunningham (North Central) – Had 241 yards rushing and four TDs despite carrying the ball twice in second half against Great Falls.

Corbett Glick and Anthony Wilson (Hammond) – Glick passed for 253 yards and rushed for 80 with four total touchdowns. Wilson finished with 200 yards rushing and two TDs.

Bobby Irby (Dutch Fork) – The receiver had 179 all-purpose yards and two scores in win over Westwood.

Aloysius Jackson (Richland Northeast) – The quarterback rushed for 151 yards and threw for 134 with four TDs against Airport.

Jacob Jeffcoat and Maurice Jones (White Knoll) – Jeffcoat passed for 261 yards and ran for two scores. Jones led team with 183 yards rushing and two TDs.

Nate Miller (Columbia) – He rushed for 245 yards and three touchdowns in win over Pelion.

Games to watch

A look at next week’s top matchups in the Midlands:

Blythewood at Dutch Fork – Game will go along way in deciding Region 5-5A championship. Both teams off to 2-0 starts in the region.

Chapin at Dreher – Region opener for two of the favorites in Region 5-4A. Chapin coach Justin Gentry going for 100th career victory.

Lexington at River Bluff – Has become a fun rivalry in a short time, with first two games decided by just four points.

Ridge View at South Pointe – Region 3-4A opener for teams ranked in top four in Class 4A.

White Knoll at Irmo – Timberwolves look to go 2-0 in region play, while Irmo looks to stop losing streak.

Woodruff at Newberry – Another matchup of ranked teams, this time in 3A. Woodruff is ranked sixth and Newberry 10th.