Several Midlands high schools got in a final tuneups for the regular season by participating in jamborees Friday night.
The State’s Lou Bezjak and Chris Dearing attended Joe Turbeville Jamboree at Irmo High School and Camden Jamboree. Here is what we learned from the night of football.
Dutch Fork looks sharp
Maybe coach Tom Knotts wasn’t exaggerating when he said this might be his best team ever at Dutch Fork. The two-time defending state champs looked the part in the 28-0 win over Ridge View.
The Silver Foxes had an impressive drive to start the game and didn’t have much drop-off after that. Defensively, Hugh Ryan picked off two passes and the team blocked a punt for a score.
Wide receiver Jalin Hyatt missed the game with an ankle injury but hopes to be back for the opener next Saturday against Mallard Creek in a matchup of powerhouse programs in the Carolinas.
Greg Williams back with Swansea
Swansea linebacker and Clemson commit Greg Williams said he came close to leaving the program and finishing his senior season elsewhere.
Williams was unhappy the school fired coach Greg Wright and he didn’t practice for the first week while he decided his next move. But he returned to practice this week and was on sidelines Friday against Richland Northeast. Williams didn’t play but will start next week in the opener against Lower Richland.
“I just wanted to take some time and make the best decision,” Williams said. “I went over it with my family and made the right decision.“
Without Williams, Swansea still looked strong against Richland Northeast as quarterback Keenan Coats scored three times and the defense picked off two passes. The biggest thing going forward will be depth. Swansea had about 30 players in uniform.
Kendrell Flowers poised for big year
Irmo’s Kendrell Flowers showed why he is one of the top running backs in the state. The Wake Forest commit had a pair of dazzling runs and also scored twice against Airport.
Yellow Jackets coach Reggie Kennedy hopes to get Flowers 25 to 30 touches a game, and he could be in for another big season.
Gray Collegiate ready to take next step
Gray Collegiate has talked during the preseason about taking the next step forward in its young program and looked to be ready to do that.
The War Eagles looked strong on defense in shutting out Fairfield Central. Offensively, they showed patience and put together long drives capped off by Hunter Helms’ TD passes.
Keenan has 1-2 combo in Robinson and Reed
Keenan quarterback Alajuwan Robinson and running back-receiver Chris Reed are a dangerous combo.
Robinson had a 70-yard TD run and Reed had a game-tying TD in the final seconds against Wade Hampton. Robinson converted on a long pass to set up Reed’s touchdown.
The Raiders will need more of that if they will contend for a playoff spot in their move to Class 3A.
Spring Valley quarterback shuffle
Spring Valley will enter the first week of the season with an unsettled quarterback situation. Senior Alex Herrera took the opening snaps Friday night at the 43rd Annual Camden Shrine Club Jamboree.
Vikings coach Robin Bacon was expected to give fellow senior TJ Wise and junior Hunter Rogers the bulk of the snaps during Saturday’s action against Newberry during the Aun and McKay Kickoff Classic at Chapin.
The trio is looking to replace Quincy Hill. Herrera would be an interesting selection if he wins the job. He is also the Vikings kicker and is one of the top kickers in the state. Wise transferred from Cardinal Newman.
Westwood’s Green impresses
Westwood junior quarter Ahmon Green looks comfortable under center. He’s got a couple of big targets in Cortez Braham and Christian Horn at wide receiver that will help.
If the Redhawks are able to clean up a couple of miscues along the offensive line and get consistent play from running backs Deshawn Boyd and Jalen Briggman, they could be better than the 6-6 record they finished with last season.
Enforcing new rules
It’s been obvious officials are going to enforce the new rules concerning uniforms and safety. Several times on Friday, players were sent to the sidelines for their knee pads being above their knee caps or jerseys hanging out.
Coaches and players are going to have to adjust to the new rules quickly. If this continues deep into the season, teams could find themselves in position to run a play without a key player or use a timeout to prevent them from having to sit out a play.
Joe Turbeville Football Jamboree
At Irmo High School
Keenan 20, Wade Hampton 20
Swansea 21, Richland Northeast 0
Gray Collegiate 14, Fairfield Central 0
Dutch Fork 28, Ridge View 0
Irmo 21, Airport 6
At Lexington High School
Gilbert 19, Chapin 0
White Knoll 14, Pelion 0
River Bluff 3, Batesburg-Leesville 0
Lexington 7, Mid-Carolina 0
Camden Shrine Club Jamboree
At Camden High School
Westwood 19, Buford 0
North Central 7, A.C. Flora 0
Lugoff-Elgin 7, Andrew Jackson 6
Spring Valley 14, Camden 7