High School Football

5 story lines for the SC high school football Weekend of Champions

Watch: Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts rips into team following late-game antics

Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts wasn't too pleased the way his team behaved late in the 47-14 win over Summerville in 5A Lower State Championship.
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Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts wasn't too pleased the way his team behaved late in the 47-14 win over Summerville in 5A Lower State Championship.

Here are five things to watch for in the South Carolina High School Football State championship games Dec. 7-8:

Dutch Fork goes for place among greatest teams in SC history

Dutch Fork is looking for its third consecutive state championship when it takes on TL Hanna in the nightcap at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.

If that happens, the debate can begin where the 2018 Silver Foxes stand among the greatest teams in the state of South Carolina.

Dutch Fork, ranked No. 16 in USA Today’s Super 25 poll, has outscored its opponents, 712-112, and scored more than 50 points in 11 of its 12 games. The Silver Foxes have punted just seven times and the defense is allowing 3.4 yards a play.

Dutch Fork has trailed just once this season for 59 seconds (in the second-round playoff game against West Ashley).

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Future Gamecocks in Williams-Brice

Two future South Carolina Gamecocks will get a chance to play at Williams-Brice before their time at USC.

TL Hanna’s Zacch Pickens, a senior, and Myrtle Beach junior Luke Doty will play on the field they will call home in college. Pickens is the state’s top recruit for this class.

It is second year the state’s No. 1 prospect has played in a title game. South Pointe’s Derion Kendrick, who now plays at Clemson, won a championship last year with the Stallions.

Pickens has been a force on both sides of the ball. He plays running back in Hanna’s Wing-T offense as well as defensive end.

Doty was a ball boy for Myrtle Beach the last time it played for a title in 2013. The quarterback has thrown for almost 2,500 yards and ran for nearly 700 with 40 total touchdowns.

Doty accounted for seven TDs in the 4A Lower State championship against Hartsville.

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More dynasty talk

Dutch Fork won’t be the only team looking to extend its championship streak.

Abbeville, Dillon and Lamar also will be looking to add to their stacked trophy cases. Dillon is going for its second straight championship and sixth title in seven years when it plays Chester in the Class 3A title game.

Abbeville is going for its fourth straight title when it faces Barnwell on Friday in the 2A championship game.

Lamar is in the Class A title game for the fourth straight season and going for its third championship in that span.

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First-timer

Of the 10 teams playing for a state title, Green Sea Floyds is the only one to be in its first title game.

The Trojans take on Lamar for the Class A title. GSF had relatively no postseason success until the last few years and had never made it past the second round of the playoffs until this season.

GSF went 10 years between playoff appearances when it finally made the postseason in 2016. In 2017, Donnie Keifer was named the school’s coach and the Trojans made it to the second straight playoff appearance, advancing to the second round.

Special weekend for Chester’s Floyd

Chester coach Victor Floyd will have more than one rooting interest for Weekend of Champions.

Floyd is hoping to lead the Cyclones to 3A state championship, their first title game appearance since 2008.

But Floyd’s alma mater, Green Sea Floyds, also is in the championship for the first time.

State Championship Schedule

Dec. 7

At Benedict College

Class A

Green Sea Floyds vs. Lamar, 5 p.m.

Class 2A

Abbeville vs. Barnwell, 8 p.m.

Dec. 8

At Williams-Brice Stadium

Class 4A

Myrtle Beach vs. Greer, noon

Class 3A

Dillon vs. Chester, 3 p.m.

Class 5A

Dutch Fork vs. TL Hanna, 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $12

TV/INTERNET

Friday’s games will be streamed on www.nfhsnetwork.com (subscription required).

Saturday’s games will be will be streamed on www.nfhsnetwork.com and carried locally on WACH Fox 57.2 (TWC 1250)

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.


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