High School Sports

Week Zero football preview

It's not like Carlos Cave lost much sleep over last year's 14-12 loss to Wade Hampton. But the Battery Creek High School football coach admits that, even a year later, the sting of this nailbiting defeat lingers.

"We've got a taste in our mouth with the way we lost last year, playing well at spots and then coming up just short," Cave said of a contest that slipped away in the final two minutes and was his first as Battery Creek's head coach. "Last year, we gave up some scoring opportunities. We can't do that (Friday)."

And when the two teams commence their seasons with a 7:30 p.m contest at Dolphin Field, Battery Creek also knows that it can't surrender another 325 rushing yards to the Red Devils, either.

Since then, tailback Jeremy Ford and two offensive lineman have graduated, leaving Dondre Brown (209 yards on 26 carries) to anchor the Wade Hampton attack. Cave figures to encounter the same run-heavy offense that threw just twice in last year's game. The result should be a healthy dose of Battery Creek blitzes from the likes of linebacker Denzel Davis and safety Ricardo Chaney.

"I don't see a reason why (Wade Hampton) won't do what they did last year, going toe-to-toe with us, running four yards in a cloud of dust," Cave said. "But I feel that we are much better prepared to defend if that's what they choose to do."

Expect to see more of the horizontal routes that have characterized the Dolphins' preseason spread offense, allowing them to open up big plays down the sideline with their blazing speed. If the Dolphins are able to protect the ball and avoid the red-zone turnovers that doomed them last year, they shouldn't have much trouble with this young Wade Hampton squad.

WADE HAMPTON AT BATTERY CREEK

Who: Wade Hampton (0-0) at Battery Creek (0-0)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Dolphin Field

PROJECTED STARTERS

Battery Creek

Offense: Stedman James, QB; Cecil Franklin, RB; Ryan Halley, WR; Leander Mobley, WR; Alex Sharpe, WR; Devon Anthony, WR; Spencer Butler, LT; Joshua Holliday, LG; David Ratliff, C; Oliver Webb, RG; James Childres, RT.

Defense: Evan Robinson, DE; Luke Johnson, DT; Dominik Lawton, DT; Richard Washington, DE; Denzel Davis, LB; Andrew Byam, LB; Spencer Shine, LB; Cleon Wright, CB; Damien Miles, CB; Ricardo Chaney, SS; Norman Jenkins, FS.

Special Teams: Jon Mostowy P/K; Cleon Wright, KR/PR.

DORCHESTER ACADEMY AT HILTON HEAD PREP

The Raiders are coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in coach Stanley Gruber's 30-year tenure at the school, a span during which he has won 287 games, taken the Raiders to 12 state title games and won six state championships.

Despite the struggles of the past two years, Dorchester has several three-year starters back this year, and its trademark physical style is a mismatch for Prep's young line. Likewise, though, the Dolphins should be able to spread the field with their bevy of talented backs and receivers and create matchup problems on the perimeter.

If Prep's front seven can do a decent job against the run and the young offensive line gets quarterback Matt Layman enough time to find his receivers, the Dolphins should be able to start the season on the right foot.

DORCHESTER ACADEMY AT HILTON HEAD PREP

Who: Dorchester Academy (0-0) at Hilton Head Prep (0-0)

When: Today, 5 p.m.

Where: Dolphin Field

PROJECTED STARTERS

Hilton Head Prep

Offense: Matt Layman, QB; Matt Bex, RB; DeAnte Scott, WR; Dimitri Lowry, WR; Jeremy Haidon, WR; Alex Orford, WR; Marc Halseth, LT; Aidan Brougham-Cook, LG; Devin White, C; Tommie Peeples, RG; Dylan Powell, RT.

Defense: Dan Chambers, DE; James Richardson, DT; Austin Baker, NG; Kyle Jordan, DT; Marc Halseth, DE; Jeremy Haidon, LB; Matt Bex, LB; Scott D'Amico, LB; DeAnte Scott, CB; Kunz, CB; Dimitri Lowry, FS; .

Special teams: Dimitri Lowry, K/KR/PR; Matt Bex, P/KR/PR; DeAnte Scott KR/PR.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN AT WILSON HALL

The Barons endured an up-and-down season before finishing as SCISAA Class 3-A runners-up last year despite a 7-7 overall record, and they're considered one of the top SCISAA teams in the state once again.

Wilson Hall won last year's meeting 34-13, but that was Eagles quarterback Luke Sirgo's first game as a starter, so Hilton Head Christian's offense was still earning its wings. With Sirgo, running back Eric Farr and receivers Zac Lenns and Ethan Gort back this year, along with an experienced offensive line, the Eagles should be able to put up some points. Then it will fall to an experienced defense to hold the Barons down enough to pull out the season-opening victory.

Hilton Head Christian has been plagued by illness and injuries in the preseason, but nearly everyone is healthy for the opener. Only offensive lineman John Taylor Stones (foot) is out of the lineup, though Wesley Cooler will start at linebacker in place of Jake Crandall, who missed practice most of the week because of illness.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN AT WILSON HALL

Who: Hilton Head Christian (0-0) at Wilson Hall (0-0)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Wilson Hall, Sumter

Directions: Take I-95 North toward Florence for about 93 miles and take exit 102 for Road 400/U.S. 15/U.S. 301 toward North Santee. Make a right at the end of the exit ramp and continue on U.S. 15 for about 28 miles. Turn left at South Guignard Parkway and go about four miles, then veer right onto North Bultman Drive. After a half-mile, turn left onto South Wise Drive and go about two miles. The school will be on the right. Allow two hours, 30 minutes travel time.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Hilton Head Christian

Offense: Luke Sirgo, QB; Eric Farr, RB; Ethan Gort, WR; Zac Lenns, WR; Alex Martin, WR; Ryan Emery, TE; Kyle Weaver, LT; Lamar Johnson LG; Alec Westmark, C; Wesley Cooler, RG; Josh Lancaster, RT.

Defense: Nick Borghi, DT; Cole Malphrus, NG; Lamar Johnson, DT; Ethan Gort, OLB; Wesley Cooler, ILB; Michael Hull, ILB; Ryan Smith, OLB; Devin McGuinness, CB; Weston Butler, CB; James Berl, FS; Shea Watkins, SS.

Special teams: Jake Crandall, K; Zac Lenns, P/KR/PR.

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