A rivalry game on Halloween night seems to have all the makings for a strange evening at the football field. Hilton Head Prep coach Kevin Wald is certainly looking for it, anyway.
"For our sake we certainly hope so," he said, laughing. "If it gets a little hairy or weird, we may have a chance."
The Dolphins are out of the SCISAA playoff picture, an 0-3 mark in region play proving to be the ultimate back breaker. But Wald and Co. will have one more shot to go into the offseason on a positive note Thursday night, when the team travels up the road to rival Hilton Head Christian Academy for a 7 p.m. kick.
The game will be televised by WSAV-TV as the latest edition of its Blitz Game of the Week.
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"This is a rivalry game," Eagles coach Ryan Mitch said. "Just like if we were in the same boat as them, this would make our season winning the game. They're going to come out looking for a win and we're looking for the same."
Hilton Head Christian will soon turn its focus toward a potential third consecutive state championship. But Mitch hopes to first end the regular season with as much momentum as he can, as a win over the Dolphins would give the Eagles seven straight victories following an 0-2 start.
The team earned homefield advantage throughout the postseason thanks to a key 46-35 win last week over Palmetto Christian.
"We've played well the last couple weeks," Mitch said. "We've done some things well, we've had a couple lucky breaks."
This latest chapter of the rivalry may not last very long if the team's tailbacks have anything to say about it. Prep's Teron Daley and Christian's Deo'Vonte Doe have been the workhorses of their respective offenses this season, as the pair have combined to rush for nearly 3,000 yards and 44 touchdowns.
"We're not going to change what we've done well," Wald said. "That's the whole thing. For us to have a chance in this game, I believe we've got to stop their run and we've got to continue to be able to run the ball. I think the same could be said for Christian Academy."
The Dolphins will have contend with more than just Doe, however. Eagles quarterback Brad Meccariello has averaged 10.7 yards per carry this season while tailback DeAngelo Clark has averaged 8.2 yards per touch.
Noah Sulek, meanwhile, balances out the Prep offense. The receiver has recorded nine touchdowns and 490 receiving yards this season.
"We're up for it," Mitch said. "We've actually had a pretty good week of practice coming off last week. ... It is Prep and the guys are pumped up about it."
This week's schedule
Hilton Head Prep at Hilton Head Christian, 7 p.m.
Battery Creek at Academic Magnet, 7:30 p.m.
Berkeley at Hilton Head Island, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop England at Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 7:30 p.m.
Bluffton at Colleton County, 7:30 p.m.
Fort Dorchester at Beaufort High, 7:30 p.m.
Palmetto Christian at Thomas Heyward Academy, 7:30 p.m.
Patrick Henry at Beaufort Academy, 7:30 p.m.
Whale Branch at Allendale-Fairfax, 7:30 p.m.