High School Sports

If you like seeing points, check out Hilton Head Prep football

It was somewhere around the seventh or eighth touchdown of Hilton Head Prep's 73-40 victory against Bible Baptist on Friday that a Dolphins fan sidled up beside me and asked, "You think they'll call off the dogs now?" clearly having blocked out the second-half leads Prep had blown the previous three games, two of which ended in losses.

"With your defense?" I replied. "Heck, no."

It's true, the Dolphins' defense leaves something to be desired. Tackling hasn't been their strong suit the past few years, so they have a tendency to let 3 yards and a cloud of dust billow into a full-blown tornado.

But who cares?

I mean, Prep coach Ron Peduzzi cares. But for the rest of us, the quicker the other team scores is the quicker Matt Layman and the offense gets its hands on the ball, and that offense is a blast to watch.

The Dolphins have so many talented athletes who allow Layman to pick defenses apart, and because their offensive line is a bit undersized, to say the least, Peduzzi and offensive coordinator Steve Fuller have to get extra creative with their play-calling.

They make full use of every kind of screen pass you can imagine, and many of their plays seem like the kind Mike Leach probably used to draw up in the dirt on the playground.

The numbers Prep posts are staggering. Through five games, the Dolphins have scored 207 points (41.4 per game), Layman has thrown for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Dimitri Lowry has 42 receptions for 672 yards and nine touchdowns.

None of those are typos. I double-checked.

But because the offense often scores so quickly, and because so many of the same players are in key roles on both sides of the ball, and because the Dolphins play their home games in the heat of the afternoon, the defense has a bad habit of wearing down as the game progresses.

As a result, watching Prep play is something like sitting on the couch while your friend, the video-game junkie, pulls out all the stops to poke holes in the computer-controlled opponent's secondary ... then walks away to get a snack while his team plays defense on auto-pilot.

For the Dolphins, there's a fine line between running up the score and playing to win -- for both teams. No lead is safe at Prep, like Coors Field before the humidor.

But you get the feeling the Dolphins like it that way. Shootouts seem to suit them.

"It's so much fun," Layman said of playing in Prep's offense.

That's probably the best way to describe it. Win or lose, Prep always entertains.