High School Football

Inaugural Metro Bowl game gives Midlands standouts ‘one more chance’ to take field

East team running back Thomas Green (Columbia High) carries the ball Saturday at the 2018 Columbia Metro Senior Bowl held at Irmo High School.
East team running back Thomas Green (Columbia High) carries the ball Saturday at the 2018 Columbia Metro Senior Bowl held at Irmo High School.

The inaugural Columbia Metro Senior Bowl was an opportunity for players from across the Midlands that didn’t get elected to the state’s other two All-Star games — the Shrine Bowl and North-South Game — to play one final time in front of family, friends and more importantly college coaches.

To say A.C. Flora’s defensive lineman Dewey Greene made the most of that chance would be a huge understatement. Greene was named the Most Valuable Player as the East defense dominated in a 22-16 victory over the West on a cool, brisk afternoon at Irmo’s W.C. Hawkins Stadium.

Greene finished with six solo tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks. That effort helped limit the West squad to 93 total yards that included a negative 11 yards rushing.

It was a memorable week that Greene feels he made the most of.

“It meant I get one more chance to ride with my teammates,” Greene said “I did feel like I was being overlooked, but this game was a great thing and great for the community. It shows how much hard work I’ve put in. Getting this award means so much to me.”

East head coach Demetrius Davis of Fairfield Central was impressed by what he saw out of Greene and his defensive teammates. Blythewood’s Nic Rogers and Patrick Godbolt and Lower Richland’s Desean Smith helped dominate the defensive front as well.

“Greene is one of the better defensive linemen that I’ve seen,” Davis said. “I didn’t get to see the other two All-Star games, but I would put our defensive line with Dewey, the Smith kid from LR, Rogers and Godbolt from Blythewood against anybody. You show me four guys better than them and I would have to take my hat off to you.”

The 6-3, 240-pound defensive end didn’t sign during the early signing period this week but has offers from Air Force, Mercer, South Carolina State, The Citadel, Troy and Georgia State. He hopes his performance Saturday will open additional opportunities.

“My recruitment is still open,” he said. “I still have to take my official visits, but my recruitment is open, so if you like me, you like me.”

Spring Valley kicker Alex Herrera, who has accepted a preferred walk-on offer from South Carolina, was named the Offensive MVP for the East. He connected on field goals from 37 and 42 yards.

“It was a great week,” Herrera said. “At practice, it was fun meeting each other and new players that we played against. I made a bunch of new friends.”

The East led 17-3 at the half and held on.

Ridge View’s Walyn Napper, who only played the first half so he could make it to the Blazers basketball game Saturday afternoon, threw a 65-yard touchdown strike to Lower Richland’s Jamal Henderson on a receiver reverse to make it a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.

Ridge View’s Senika McKie hauled in a 41-yard pass from A.C. Flora’s Matt Jamison to make it 17-0 before the West got a 25-yard field goal by River Bluff’s Coltin Hallman before the half.

The West Team got within 19-16 in the second half. Gray Collegiate’s Kyser Samuel and River Bluff’s Antonio Gantt caught touchdown passes, but Herrera’s 42-yard field goal with 1:46 remaining ended the scoring. Greene recorded his final sack with just over a minute remaining to force the West team to turn it over on downs.

The game capped off a tremendous week spearheaded by Ridge View coach Perry Parks. He was instrumental in making this week possible. The teams held a toy drive that garnered hundreds of gifts for underprivileged kids in the Midlands community.

“I think we wanted to have this inaugural bowl be the best because the first impression is a lasting impression,” Davis said. “I would have hated for all the work that Perry Parks did, that we couldn’t have come out and put a good product on the field. I’m excited that we were able to do that.”

HOW THEY SCORED

1st Quarter

E – Alex Herrera 37 FG 5:26

2nd Quarter

E – Jamal Henderson 65 pass from Walyn Napper (Herrera kick) 11:49

E – Senika McKie 41 pass from Matthew Jamison (Herrera kick) 9:56

W – Coltin Hallman 25 FG 1:47

3rd Quarter

E – Safety 11:08

W – Kyser Samuel 52 pass from John Ragin (Hallman kick) 7:33

4th Quarter

W – Antonio Gantt 8 pass from Brandon Caughman (kick blocked) 11:46

E – Herrera 41 FG 1:46

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: E: Day Day Washington 9-22, Matthew Jamison 9-16, Thomas Green 5-11, Trevon Hart 1-4, Walyn Napper 1-1, Jaylon Boyd 5-(-2), Bryce Jeffcoat 2-(-15). W: Antonio Gantt 6-9, Tayvon Wilson 2-3, Keenan Coats 2-1, Brandon Caughman 7-(-3), John Ragin 18-(-21).

Passing: E: Bryce Jeffcoat 6-11-1-47, Jamison 4-6-1-59, Napper 1-1-0-65. W: Caughman 8-14-1-46, John Ragin 2-8-0-58, Coats 0-1-0-0.

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