To everyone else, this was another week of preparation during the high school football season.
And Battery Creek coach Jim Shuman tried to treat it that way. But he couldn't help but notice while breaking down film of the Dolphins' opponent that last year he was leading this Wade Hampton team. Now he was plotting against them.
Outside of stirring personal feelings, though, the significance of Shuman facing his old team, which he coached the past four seasons, is overshadowed by the Dolphins' search for a victory. They take Dolphin Field to face the Red Devils at 7:30 tonight.
After opening the season with a win, Battery Creek has dropped its past three games. The Dolphins felt last week at Edisto was an opportunity lost.
"We need to win the ball game," Shuman said.
Hindering that goal will be a banged-up Dolphins squad. Center David Ratliff is nursing a hand injury. Linebacker Trevon Heyward has an injured knee. Defensive end Willie Doe was hurt two weeks ago and is questionable for today's game. Linebacker Javnon Livingston suffered a shoulder stinger during practice this week. And quarterback Leroy Jennette is playing with bruised ribs.
How Battery Creek fares will be determined by how effective the injured will be and whether its offense can convert more opportunities for points, Shuman said.
Shuman said the Dolphins were moving the ball well on the ground but not capitalizing.
"We don't want to leave points on the field," Shuman said. "We're making good progress, we just can't get into the end zone here lately."
Standout linebacker Nolan Tuten and defensive end Cory Magwood will help lead the Red Devils' effort to keep the Dolphins out. And on offense, Running backs Dondre Brown, who has played quarterback this season while Wade Hampton's starter deals with injury, and Corinthian Williams are among the skill players Shuman coached last season who have returned.
Shuman and Wade Hampton dropped 64 points on Battery Creek during the Dolphins' winless campaign last season. Shuman said things have changed since then.
"Wade Hampton is a totally different team than what we had last year," Shuman said. "A lot of the key components to that game last year are no longer there."
West Ashley at Beaufort High, 7:30 p.m.
Wade Hampton at Battery Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Branchville at Ridgeland, 7:30 p.m.
Hardeeville at Estill, 7:30 p.m.
Whale Branch at Allendale-Fairfax, 7:30 p.m.
Augusta Christian at Hilton Head Christian, 7 p.m.
St. John's Christian at Thomas Heyward, 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Head Prep at Bible Baptist, 7:30 p.m.
Beaufort Academy at Andrew Jackson, 7:30 p.m.
Whale Branch (4-0, 1-0 Region 5-A) at Allendale-Fairfax (2-2, 1-0 Region 5-A), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: The Warriors were held to their lowest point total of the season during last week's victory at Hardeeville. The Tigers won last year's game, 34-22. One of Allendale-Fairfax's victories was at Hilton Head Christian to start the season.
Last week: Whale Branch won 18-16 at Hardeeville; Allendale-Fairfax lost 27-6 to Orangeburg-Wilkinson
Key to the game: The Warriors have talked this week about making the pivotal plays. Last year, with the Tigers holding a one-score lead, Whale Branch allowed a big third-down conversion that squashed hope of a comeback. With a more experienced, better equipped team, the Warriors look to solve those previous issues.
West Ashley (3-1) at Beaufort High (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: Beaufort High has dropped consecutive games after opening the season with consecutive blowout victories. The Eagles shutout West Ashley on the road last season, winning 34-0. Defensive coordinator Jerry Hatcher's unit has forced 11 turnovers through four games.
Last week: Beaufort High lost 21-14 at Stratford; West Ashley lost 17-14 to Ashley Ridge
Key to the game: The Eagles will need to eliminate the turnovers. Last week, they had an interception returned for a score, lost a fumble and tossed another interception inside the red zone. All three turnovers came in the second half.
Augusta Christian (4-0) at Hilton Head Christian (2-1), 7 p.m.
The skinny: The Eagles are coming off a big 21-20 win over Thomas Sumter in a rematch of last year's SCISAA Class 2-A state championship game, but there's no time to relax -- now they have to face one of the top teams in SCISAA Class 3-A. The Lions are led by junior quarterback Tyler Roberson, a third-year starter.
Last week: Augusta Christian won 32-14 vs. Laurence Manning; Hilton Head Christian won 21-20 vs. Thomas Sumter
Key to the game: The Eagles' defense showed it can defend a balanced team last week against the Generals, but the Lions will find a way to score some points. So Hilton Head Christian's offense has to be sharp to stay in the game, and that will require another solid game from running back Tyler Chisholm (98 rushing yards last week) and a turnover-free performance from freshman quarterback Caleb Lewis.
Hilton Head Prep (2-2) at Bible Baptist (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: Two teams headed in different directions will meet tonight in Savannah, but Hilton Head Prep would like to change both teams' course. The Braves have won two straight after losing their first two games, while the Dolphins have dropped two in a row after starting 2-0. After scoring 94 points in their first two games, the Dolphins were held scoreless for seven quarters before scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter last week.
Last week: Hilton Head Prep lost 48-21 at Aynor; Bible Baptist won 26-6 vs. Charleston Collegiate
Key to the game: The Dolphins need to get back to dominating the line of scrimmage and establishing the run like they did in their first two games. Ball control was the key to those wins, and if they can get Teron Daley and the running game going again, they can get back above .500.
Branchville (1-3, 0-1 Region 5-A) at Ridgeland (2-2, 0-1 Region 5-A), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: Ridgeland won last year's meeting 41-7. Branchville's three losses have come by an average of 24 points.
Last week: Ridgeland lost 22-21 at Bamberg-Ehrhardt; Branchville lost 44-13 to Estill
Key to the game: The Jaguars will have to flush a tough loss and take care of business. Key region tests at Whale Branch and at home with Allendale-Fairfax follow. No looking ahead.
St. John's Christian (2-2) at Thomas Heyward (3-0), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: The Rebels will look to remain undefeated against a St. John's Christian team they dominated on the ground in a 54-30 win a year ago. The running game again has been the key to Thomas Heyward's success, with junior Ryan Day leading the way with 571 rushing yards and six touchdowns. The Cavaliers had a week off after evening their record with a 58-44 win over Palmetto Christian on Sept. 9.
Last week: St. John's Christian was idle; Thomas Heyward won 28-21 vs. Colleton Prep
Key to the game: The Rebels went into the season wanting to be more balanced on offense, and although they've been successful running the ball, they've been a bit one-dimensional. They need to get the passing game going in order to be tougher to defend during region play.
Beaufort Academy (1-4) at Andrew Jackson (0-4), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: The status of Beaufort Academy's top two rushers and receivers was up in the air until Thursday night, but the Eagles will be at full strength, after all. The Eagles thought they might be without Billy Dailey, their No. 2 rusher and receiver who will compete in the state swim meet this weekend, and leading rusher and receiver Jack Griffith, who left last week's game by ambulance after suffering a neck stinger. But Griffith was cleared to play, coach Wheatley Alford said, and Dailey agreed to travel to Augusta, Ga., for the swim meet after playing tonight. The Confederates have been outscored 182-20 in their past three games.
Last week: Beaufort Academy lost 40-26 at Greenwood Christian; Andrew Jackson lost 58-0 at Patrick Henry
Key to the game: With Dailey and Griffith in the lineup to help quarterback Gibson Achurch carry the offense, the Eagles should be able to pick up a win in the region opener. The one thing that could derail them is an injury to a key player, something that has plagued them all season.
Estill (1-3, 1-0 Region 5-A) at Hardeeville (0-4, 0-1 Region 5-A), 7:30 p.m.
The skinny: In their attempt to open the Region 5-A season on the right note, the Hurricanes lost a heartbreaker last week to Whale Branch in the final seconds. The Hurricanes are 0-4 a year after traveling to the Class 1-A Lower State title game, but they were 0-3 a year ago.
Last week: Estill defeated Branchville 44-13; Hardeeville lost 18-16 to Whale Branch
Key to the game: With only one region game under their belt, the Hurricanes have plenty of time to turn their season around. In order to do that, they will have to get some momentum rolling offensively. Quarterback Philip Harris' addition has helped in that aspect over the past two weeks.