Whale Branch Early College High School football coach Jerry Hatcher isn't usually one to mince words.
And he saw no reason to shy from his team's next opponent after the Warriors defeated Barnwell to open the Class 2-A Division II playoffs.
Timberland is 11-0 and the Region 7-AA champion. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Timberland.
Whale Branch has won seven straight since opening the season with four losses.
"They ain't got any more than we do," Hatcher said. "They execute pretty well. I say that now, I might be eating crow next week. We're not afraid of Timberland. We've got good players, too."
Hatcher said the Warriors were treating anything past the first round as bonus football, and that they had not spoken of a state championship run.
Whale Branch has not advanced past the second round of the playoffs. The team won at Allendale-Fairfax to open the Class 1-A playoffs in 2012 before losing at Estill.
"We're just glad we get to play another week of football," Hatcher said.
Whale Branch receiver Marlon Williams sat out part of the Warriors' first-round victory with an injured right ankle. As he left the field Friday, he said he should be able to play against Timberland.
GROUND GAME COSTLY FOR PREP
Hilton Head Prep saw its season come to an end Friday night in a 41-17 loss to Holly Hill Academy, and part of the problem was a stagnant offense. While quarterback Tyler Fox struggled with his accuracy in the passing game, coach Kevin Wald was looking for anything to get the ground game going.
A major factor in the demise of Prep's ground attack was the limited availability of Noah Sulek, who had carried the load for the Dolphins for much of the year.
Sulek, who ran only three times, none in the first half, was battling an illness all week and seemed to have aggravated an ankle injury, Wald said.
The coach added Sulek, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Gavin Hurlbut, was playing at about 30 or 40 percent.
Hurlbut had trouble finding running room and the Dolphins were unable to maintain drawn out possessions as the Raiders jumped all over the home team early and often.
Friday's playoff schedule
Class 2-A Division I Lower State
Loris (10-1) at Ridgeland-Hardeeville (8-3), 7:30 p.m.
Class 2-A Division II Lower State
Whale Branch (7-4) at Timberland (11-0), 7:30 p.m.