Lou Bezjak

High school rewind: Young quarterbacks deliver in openers

The opening week of the season was a coming-out party for sophomore quarterbacks in their first significant action on the varsity level.

Blythewood’s Quinton Patten, Chapin’s Roger Pedroni and Dutch Fork duo Graeson Underwood and Ty Olenchuk all delivered for their teams’ victories Friday.

Patten, son of former Lower Richland and New England Patriots receiver David Patten, had a big night in the 33-14 win against Rock Hill. After throwing an early interception, he went 9-for-12 passing for 230 yards, three scores and rushed for 68 yards and two TDs.

One of the touchdowns was an 81-yarder to Chris Woodall after the snap went over Patten’s head and he scrambled to find his running back for the score.

Pedroni came off the bench in relief of LaRob Gordon and helped the Eagles overcome a 14-point deficit in defeating River Bluff. The sophomore was 17-of-20 for 221 yards and a TD and also rushed for 86 yards and two scores.

Underwood and Olenchuk rotated in and out in the 51-8 win against Independence (NC). Underwood threw for 154 yards and a TD while Olenchuk ran for 60 yards, two touchdowns and passed for 52.

Good week for Region 5-5A

It was good start for the teams in Region 5-5A.

The region went 6-1 against nonconference foes Friday with four coming on the road.

Milestone for Newberry’s Abrams

Newberry running back Amir Abrams, last year’s The State’s Midlands Player of the Year, went over the 4,000-yard mark Friday against Keenan.

Abrams rushed for 146 yards and now has 4,070 for his career. If he repeats his 2,000-yard season of a year ago, there is a chance he might go over 6,000 this year.

Friday’s stars

A look at some other players in the Midlands with big performances:

Jeremiah Green, Pelion – Tailback rushed for 314 yards and four touchdowns in Panthers’ win over Calhoun County.

Elijah Heatley, Westwood – Quarterback was 20 of 31 for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Redhawks receivers Cortes Braham and Montre Miller each had more than 100 yards receiving.

T.J. Wise, Cardinal Newman – Quarterback accounted for six touchdowns and 360 total yards in overtime win over Florence Christian.

White Knoll offense – Timberwolves racked up 555 yards in win over Aiken.

Quincy Hill, Spring Valley – Was 5-of-8 passing for 225 yards, two touchdowns and also rushed for 37 yards and a TD.

Ones to watch

Some of the top matchups next week in the Midlands:

Ridge View at Blythewood – Bengals look for payback after losing last year on wild finish.

Airport at Brookland-Cayce – Five of last seven matchups have been decided by 10 points or less.

Batesburg-Leesville at Gilbert – Gilbert snapped four-game losing streak to Panthers last year.

Heathwood Hall at Ben Lippen – Marcus Lattimore got his first win in his debut but faces a tougher task to get No. 2.

South Aiken at White Knoll – Timberwolves go for sweep of Aiken schools.