High School Football

Capsule look at area football playoff teams

info@islandpacket.comNovember 3, 2011 

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All the work that went into the past 11 weeks was to get to this point. Now, none of what has happened over the past three months matters much to the seven area teams who begin the high school football playoffs Friday night.

One goal is marked off their list, but the biggest one still remains.

The quest for a state championship ring begins anew on Friday. Here's a look at the area teams embarking on the journey.

BLUFFTON HIGH SCHOOL (10-0, No. 1 seed from Region 7-AAA)

Best wins: vs. Cane Bay (42-14), at Berkeley (53-7)

First-round matchup: vs. Georgetown (7-3, No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAA)

Looking ahead: The Bobcats have one of Class 3-A's toughest draws, beginning with Friday's game against Georgetown, which finished 3-2 in the region but lost out on a three-way tiebreaker and dropped to the fourth seed. With a win, Bluffton could be looking at a rematch with Hartsville, followed by a trip to defending state champion Myrtle Beach.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- CJ. Frazier (2,278 yards, 38 TDs, 3 INTs); Rushing -- Jerry Scott (607 yards, 12 TDs); Receiving -- Dimitri Lowry (41 rec., 652 yards, 16 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Corey Stoner (84); Sacks -- Ladarius Hughes and Michael Grant (6); Interceptions -- Anthony Smith and Jaquan Campbell (4).

Key stat: The Bobcats broke South Carolina's single-season regular season record with 605 points in 10 games. They average 60.5 points per game and have given up only 54 total points all season.

HILTON HEAD HIGH (4-6, No. 4 seed from Region 7-AAA)

Best wins: vs. Lake Marion (21-6)

First-round matchup: at Myrtle Beach (9-1, No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAA)

Looking ahead: In a matchup of Seahawks mascots, Hilton Head High will travel to face the defending Class 3-A state champions in the opening round.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- Michael Julian (1,765 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs); Rushing -- Khalil Lewis (358 yards, 7 TDs); Receiving -- Adam Orischak (38 rec., 612 yards, 7 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Lamond Williams (98); Sacks -- Robert Stevens (7); Interceptions -- Adam Orischak and Desmond Bonaparte (2)

Key stat: Quarterback Michael Julian broke two school records last Friday. He now owns the record for most passing yards in a season (1,765), previously held by Tim Singleton, and also set a mark for the most completions in a year (134), previously owned by Shawn Pritchard.

RIDGELAND HIGH SCHOOL (8-2, No. 4 seed in Class 1-A Division I)

Best wins: at Whale Branch (42-18), vs. Estill (28-12)

First-round matchup: at Johnsonville (8-2, 5-1 Region 8-A)

Looking ahead: With a victory, Ridgeland likely would travel to face Bamberg-Ehrhardt, which knocked the Jaguars from the Class 1-A playoffs last season.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- Xavier Capers (476 yards on 22-of-65 passing, 5 TDs, 4 INTs); Rushing -- Torray Amlett (1,203 yards on 210 carries, 16 TDs); Receiving -- Tyron Mikell (18 catches for 404 yards, 6 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Wesley Scott (82); Sacks -- Scott (11); Interceptions -- Mikell, Keandre Frazier, Immanuel White (3)

Key stat: Scott's 23 tackles for loss are more than the next two Jaguars' totals combined. The senior defensive lineman will play for Miami of Ohio.

WHALE BRANCH HIGH SCHOOL (7-3, No. 3 seed in Class 1-A Division II)

Best wins: at Baptist Hill (29-19), at Hardeeville (18-16)

First-round matchup: vs. Scott's Branch (3-7, 2-3 Region 7-A)

Looking ahead: With a victory, Whale Branch would travel to face the winner of Bethune-Bowman and Timmonsville.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- Brandon Morton (1,218 yards on 71-of-138 passing, 17 TDs, 14 INTs); Rushing -- Andre Watson (615 yards on 66 carries, 8 TDs); Receiving -- Dee Delaney (29 catches, 453 yards, 8 TDs); Josh Fields (27 catches, 573 yards, 7 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Trey Nelson (95); Sacks -- Tyrik Spicer (3.5); Interceptions -- Frank Washington (4)

Key stat: Andre Watson has more rushing touchdowns and Dee Delaney has more scores through the air, but no one has been more productive than Josh Fields, whose 15 total touchdowns lead the team. Fields also averages 33 yards per kick return.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (10-0, No. 1 seed from SCISAA Region 2-AA)

Best wins: vs. Thomas Sumter (21-20), vs. Augusta Christian (21-7), at Thomas Heyward (35-26)

First-round matchup: vs. Calhoun Academy (3-6, No. 4 seed from SCISAA Region 1-AA)

Looking ahead: The Eagles should advance easily to the semifinals, where they would host the Wiliamsburg Academy-Hilton Head Prep winner. If they get back to the finals for the third consecutive year, a rematch with Thomas Sumter or Thomas Heyward likely would await.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- Caleb Lewis (1,229 yards on 84-of-162 passing, 21 TDs, 3 INTs); Rushing -- Tyler Chisholm (653 yards on 104 carries, 4 TDs); Receiving -- Alex Martin (38 catches for 643 yards, 13 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Clay Oliver (84); Sacks -- Logan Cunningham (4); Interceptions -- George Tesoniero (4)

Key stat: Nine different players have scored offensive touchdowns for the Eagles this season. That kind of balance presents major matchup problems for most SCISAA Class 2-A schools and is a big reason Hilton Head Christian is the leading contender to win its third state title since 2006.

THOMAS HEYWARD ACADEMY (8-1, No. 2 seed from SCISAA Region 2-AA)

Best wins: vs. Colleton Prep (28-21), vs. Hilton Head Prep (18-13)

First-round matchup: vs. Florence Christian (4-6, No. 3 seed from SCISAA Region 1-AA)

Looking ahead: If the Rebels advance, they'll likely be headed on the road to face defending state champion Thomas Sumter in the semifinals.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- J.D. Tuten (666 yards on 41-of-86 passing, 15 TDs, 4 INTs); Rushing -- Ryan Day (1,315 yards on 108 carries, 18 TDs); Receiving -- Bryan Lee Wade (16 catches for 251 yards, 8 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- J.D. Tuten (65); Sacks -- Seth Jones (3.5); Interceptions -- Ryan Day (3)

Key stat: Day and Tuten have combined to account for 41 of the Rebels' 50 offensive touchdowns and 83 percent of their total offense.

HILTON HEAD PREP (5-4, No. 3 seed from SCISAA Region 2-AA)

Best wins: at Bible Baptist (31-6), vs. Northwood Academy (27-7)

First-round matchup: at Williamsburg Academy (9-2, No. 2 seed from SCISAA Region 1-AA)

Looking ahead: The Dolphins have all the motivation they need this week with the potential for a rematch with Hilton Head Christian in the semifinals.

Offensive leaders: Passing -- Jeremy Haidon (520 yards on 45-for-79 passing, 7 TDs, 3 INTs); Rushing -- Teron Daley (745 yards on 93 carries, 7 TDs); Receiving -- Jon Dillon (21 catches for 289 yards, 3 TDs)

Defensive leaders: Tackles -- Austin Baker (87); Sacks -- Devin White, L.J. Orage (3); Interceptions -- Logan Clark (3)

Key stat: The Dolphins have 11 interceptions this season, and the ball-hawking nature of their secondary should come in handy in the playoffs. Williamsburg Academy is a pass-first team, and Hilton Head Christian also likes to put the ball in the air.

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