The Hilton Head Island and Bluffton High School football teams both appear to be nearing full strength heading into Friday's Bridge Bowl matchup.
Quarterback Aiden Hegarty is slated to make his return for the Seahawks, after the sophomore was lost following the Week 1 win over Whale Branch Early College High School with a broken hand. Senior Ben Oliff has started in his place ever since, going 3-0, but will likely give way to Hegarty against the Bobcats, coach B.J. Payne said.
Hegarty was 7 of 10 for 133 yards and two touchdowns against the Warriors despite injuring his hand earlier that week during practice. It was later revealed to be broken, sidelining him for the next three weeks in the process.
Bluffton saw the return of running back B.J. Hill on Friday night against James Island, and the senior recorded his first three carries of the season for 24 yards in a thrilling 35-34 win. The converted cornerback went down early in Week 0 against Whale Branch with a high ankle sprain.
The Bobcats also could get back a three-year starter along the offensive line in Josh Farrell, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago against Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School. It is still uncertain whether coach Ken Cribb will also get back defensive tackle K.J. Ford, who had surgery to repair a broken finger following Week 1.
WHALE BRANCH LINEMEN LEARN TO STICK
Jerry Hatcher calls them "Velcro" blocks.
When a Whale Branch offensive lineman engages a defender until the whistle blows, he has executed a Velcro block and earns a helmet sticker from the Warriors coach.
Hatcher credited the rewards system for the line's dominating performance during a 65-0 victory against Denmark-Olar this past Friday. The Warriors rushed for 344 yards to earn their first win of the season.
Missed assignments frustrated Hatcher early in the season. On Friday, he praised the improved play of freshman Caleb Hill and senior Casser Middleton.
"(Casser is) way above where he was last year," Hatcher said. "He's stronger...He's hungry for those Velcro decals, which in turn keeps him on his block."
BATTERY CREEK TO HOLD YOUTH SPORTS NIGHT
Battery Creek High School will hold Youth Sports Night on Thursday when the Dolphins play host to Ridgeland-Hardeeville.
Any fall youth sports team that arrives with their coach will be admitted free of charge. Participants can sign in at the pass gate.
The teams will be introduced before kickoff and players allowed to run onto the field with the Battery Creek football team.