Now the real fun begins.
For four weeks now, the Hilton Head Island High football team has feasted on outmanned opponents, as area foes from lower classifications succumbed to the deeper and more talented Seahawks. The squad has raced out to its best start in nearly 25 years behind a sought-after Division I recruit and a running back who has spent a month slicing his way through opposing defenses.
Things have been easygoing thus far for coach B.J. Payne and Co.
"It's not easy now," he said. "We've got eight days until we play the biggest game here in a while."
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Hilton Head High improved its unblemished record to 4-0 Thursday with a sound 34-14 victory over Wade Hampton. But the talk afterward quickly shifted to next Friday's game against Bluffton and what could be the most exciting Bridge Bowl matchup to date.
"This is the biggest game of my life, pretty much," said defensive tackle and Louisville commitment Poona Ford, who registered another solid game against the Red Devils.
"We've got two good teams, us and Bluffton," receiver Aaron Frazier said. "We've just got to come to win because we know they're going to come to win."
Frazier, who led all receivers with five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, admitted it was difficult to keep focus this week with next Friday's game on the horizon. The Hilton Head High offense struggled in the days leading up to Thursday and was sluggish in the second half upon opening up a big lead.
"We got a little big-headed because we were 3-0," he said. "But we came out and got a 'W.'"
His distractions could be justified to anyone other than his coaching staff. The Seahawks (4-0) have struggled to keep pace of late in their rivalry with Bobcats but could have a chance to get back on track this year.
Ford thinks it's possible. He once again led an improved Seahawks defense that stymied the Red Devils (2-2) early, forcing three and outs on three of the first four possessions as Hilton Head High built its big advantage.
Hilton Head High was closing in on its second second-half shutout in as many weeks before the defense gave up a long touchdown in the waning moments.
"I'm pretty sure a lot of people didn't think we would be 4-0 at this point already," he said. " ... Those are the people that are going to ride the bus when the limo breaks down."
Tailback Khalil Lewis once again paced the Seahawks offense with 170 rushing yards and four more touchdowns, upping his season total to 17. He fought through an illness during the week and finished with pedestrian numbers by his standards against the Red Devils, though he is now just 124 yards away from 1,000 for the year.
"Offensively, we sputtered at times and they took some things away," Payne said. "We've got to get better and we will.
"It was coming on a short week, but the bottom line is we got the 'W.' ... The defense played their tails off and now we've got time to rest up and get ready (for Bluffton)."
Hilton Head High 34, Wade Hampton 14
Wade Hampton 7 0 0 7 -- 14
Hilton Head High 21 6 0 7 -- 34
HHH--Aaron Frazier 33 catch from Ben Oliff (Savannah Reier kick), 10:12.
HHH--Khalil Lewis 5 rush (Reier kick), 5:47.
HHH--Lewis 56 rush (Reier kick), 4:02.
WH--Daniel Gordon 78 catch from Sheldon Swofford (George Skinner kick), 2:49.
HHH--Lewis 18 rush (kick failed), 1:33.
HHH--Lewis 16 rush (Reier kick), 8:18.
WH--Brenden Strother 18 catch from Swofford (Skinner kick), 0:05.
First Downs 9 26
Rushes-Yards 25-109 45-219
Comp-Att-Int 7-18-2 14-26-0
Passing Yards 135 197
Punts-Avg 7-29 3-34
Fumbles-Lost 0-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-60 11-100
Third-Down Conv 2-10 5-12
Fourth-Down Conv 0-0 1-2
PASSING: WH -- Sheldon Swofford 6-17-2-110-2, Bryson Butts 1-1-0-25; HHH -- Ben Oliff 14-26-0-197.
RUSHING: WH -- D.J. Davis 17-76, Sheldon Swofford 2-15, John Fair 2-14, Bryson Butts 4-4; HHH -- Khalil Lewis 20-170, Poona Ford 4-28, Ben Oliff 11-25, Chase Rinhart 7-25, Savion Fuller 1-0, Team 2-(-29).
RECEIVING: WH --Daniel Gordon 2-83, Brenden Strother 4-52; HHH -- Aaron Frazier 5-122, Tyler Hamilton 5-31, Ja'Carri Aiken 3-30, Khalil Lewis 2-14.