High School Sports

Week 7 high school football preview

In years past, trips to Savannah to take on St. Andrew's have been afterthoughts for teams planning on contending for the SCISAA Region 2-AA title.

But the Saints are off to a 5-1 start under first-year coach Brock Miller, who has continued the success he had at Colleton Prep, and Hilton Head Christian coach Tommy Lewis has tonight's matchup with St. Andrew's circled as a major test in the Eagles' bid to repeat as region and state champions.

"I expect what we always get from St. Andrew's, which is a physical game, and what we always get from Brock Miller, which is a well-coached team with a good game plan," Lewis said.

Lewis and the Eagles beat Miller's Colleton Prep squad twice last year, including a 35-20 victory in the state semifinals, and they beat St. Andrew's 33-19 at home.

But Miller has the Saints looking like a region title contender -- they've already beaten Hilton Head Prep -- on the strength of a powerful running game. St. Andrew's has four players with 200 rushing yards or more, led by Taylor Miller with 441 yards on 52 carries. Miller, Ashton Johnson and Ryan Hunt each have four or more rushing touchdowns.

The Eagles feel they can match up well against the Saints' physical style, though, with strong offensive and defensive lines. Running back JaBrook Tucker and quarterback Luke Sirgo have combined for 769 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, and Sirgo has passed for 827 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception.

More important to Lewis, his new starters are beginning to grow into their roles, which he hopes will help the Eagles make a strong run at defending their SCISAA Class 2-A title.

"I think some of our younger and more inexperienced guys are starting to figure it out," Lewis said. "I'm certainly not about to say that we've arrived. We have plenty of room for improvement in all phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- but I like where we are, and I like how we've improved a little bit each week."

Who: Hilton Head Christian (4-1, 1-0 SCISAA Region 2-AA) at St. Andrew's (5-1, 1-0)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: 601 Penn Waller Road, Savannah

Projected starters

Hilton Head Christian

Offense: QB Luke Sirgo, RB JaBrook Tucker, WR Alex Martin, WR Josh Mousseau, WR Eric Farr, TE Ryan Emery, LT Kyle Weaver, LG Cole Malphrus, C Alec Westmark, RG Robert Campos, RT Nick Borghi

Defense: DT Cole Malphrus, NG Kyle Weaver, DT Nick Borghi, OLB Ryan Smith, ILB Tyshawn Walls, ILB Clay Oliver, OLB Zach Reynolds, CB Tyler Chisholm, CB J.D. Reichel, SS Devan Fitzhugh, FS Ryan Emery

Special teams: K Tyler Chisholm, P Luke Sirgo, KR Tyshawn Walls, KR JaBrook Tucker, KR Tyler Chisholm, PR Alex Martin

Wando at Beaufort High

If the opposing offense looks familiar to Beaufort High School coach Mark Clifford when his Eagles play host to Wando tonight, it should.

It's pretty much the same one the Eagles run.

Clifford said he helped Wando coach Jimmy Noonan install the run-heavy offense 11 years ago when Noonan was the head coach at Spring Valley, and like the Eagles, the Warriors are having success with it this season.

"They're real scary because they're playing real confident," Clifford said. "They've always played us tough, they've always had great defenses, and now they've gotten real good on offense."

The Warriors (5-1) are coming off a 36-20 home win against Ashley Ridge in which they racked up 362 rushing yards, led by Dezmon Venning's 212 yards and three touchdowns.

Those kind of rushing numbers have become common for the Eagles, who have averaged 267.7 rushing yards per game so far this year. Beaufort High's ground game will be at full strength tonight, as D'Vonta Cohen returns from a groin injury that kept him out of the past two games. Cohen has rushed for 223 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries, which is third on the team behind Josh McPherson (436 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Alex Simmons (256 yards, four touchdowns).

The Eagles' defense has been dominant lately, as well, allowing only 12 points over the past three games, including consecutive shutouts.

Wando's lone loss was a 26-14 road defeat against James Island, which Beaufort High beat 36-0 last week.

The Eagles have won the last two meetings by a combined seven points, winning 12-6 at Wando last season and 13-12 at home in 2008.

Who: Wando (5-1) at Beaufort High (5-1)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Beaufort High School

Projected starters

Beaufort High

Offense: QB Beau Brown, FB Alex Simmons, TB Demeo Holmes, TE Tyler Cieplowski, RT Cody Beals, RG Jabari Washington, C Rob Dennis, LG Benji Calderon, LT Tyler Walker, SE Jordan Broussard, FL Keith Carpenter

Defense: DE DeEndre Jefferson-Fields, DE Michael Bedwell, DT Dalvin Broussard, DT Detrell Gantt, ILB Kevin Gess, ILB Maliek Maldonado, OLB Malcolm Dantzler, OLB JaClay Mixon, CB Jalin Mack, CB Calvin Atkins, FS Davonte Green

Special teams: P Kyle Clark, K Kyle Clark, K Mitchell Stewart, KR/PR Luke Smith, KR/PR JaClay Mixon, KR D'Vonta Cohen

Bluffton High School at Cane Bay

Bluffton coach Ken Cribb expects Cane Bay to be bigger, stronger and perhaps more physical tonight. He expects his own team to be faster and more athletic.

The contrasting styles will provide an intriguing matchup in a key Region 7-AAA battle that could go a long way toward deciding which team hosts a playoff game in November.

Both teams are hoping to start the region season 2-0. Bluffton opened region play with a 27-12 win against Lake Marion last week, while Cane Bay pounded Battery Creek, 53-0, in its first Class 3-A region came in school history. Cane Bay was a Class 2-A team last season.

The undefeated Bobcats expect their toughest test of the season when they travel to visit the Cobras tonight.

"It's going to be a great measuring stick for us," Cribb said. "This is for a lot -- lead in the region, maybe a chance to have a home playoff game, maybe a chance to play for a region championship down the line. There's a lot at stake in this game."

Bluffton will be fully healthy for tonight's game. Cribb remained tight-lipped on who would start at quarterback, but he hinted Corey Stoner will start for the seventh consecutive week, with C.J. Frazier waiting for an opportunity should he be needed.

"Last week, he played a good game," Cribb said of Stoner. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes. He's performing well."

Who: Bluffton High School (6-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) at Cane Bay (3-3, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Cane Bay High School, 1624 State Road, Summerville, SC

Projected starters

Bluffton

Offense: QB Corey Stoner, WB Desmond Jenkins, WB C.J. Johnson, FB Zachary Scott, WR Eric Boyles, WR Marquis Webber, C Chris Tillotson, RG Andrew Nickerl, RT Michael Sulka, LG Yerko Castedo, RT Austin Chittum.

Defense: DE Alfonza Powell, DE B.J. Kitty, DT Anthony Gardner, DT Ladarius Hughes, ILB Michael Grant, ILB Lewis Black, OLB Taylor McDonnell, OLB Jimmy Tillman, CB Tony Burns, CB Anthony Smith, FS Travis Ramsey.

Special Teams: K/P Mallie Sprouse, KR Eric Boyles.

Hilton Head High at Lake Marion

With the night off last Friday, Hilton Head High's coaching staff had the chance to see this week's opponent -- Lake Marion -- in person for its game at Bluffton High School.

And although the Gators walked away with a 27-12 defeat, the Seahawks' staff was impressed nonetheless.

"They passed the look test," Seahawks coach Tim Singleton said. "They could compete for a state title tomorrow if you just walked up and saw their team. They're physical, they're fast. We got our work cut out for us."

Most impressive was Gators receiver Mike Williams, who caught six passes for 207 yards. Singleton said the Seahawks will keep on eye on Williams, but first they must improve in defending the run.

In a 55-14 loss to region-favorite Berkeley last Thursday to open Region 7-AAA play, the Seahawks struggled to tackle runners.

"Tackling has been our Achilles heel all year long," Singleton said. "... We have to do a better job. We've condensed our gameplan. But we have to tackle."

To avoid an 0-2 start to the region season, Hilton Head High will rely on getting more production from its offense. The Seahawks didn't run many plays until late in the game against the Stags, keeping the offense from gaining any sort of rhythm.

"We'll be on track. We just have to be steady," Singleton said. "We have to make better choices and take care of the football."

Who: Hilton Head High (2-4, 0-1 Region 7-AAA) at Lake Marion (3-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Lake Marion High School, 3656 Tee Vee Road, Santee

Projected starters

Hilton Head High

Offense: QB Michael Julian, RB Matt Bex, FB Mike Fotia, WR Robbie Iulo, WR Adam Orischak, TE/WR Desmond Bush, LT Hunter Anderson, LG Robert Moody, C Jake Morris, RG Cole Catazanzarite, RT Justin Keller.

Defense: DE Luke Barsness, DE George Tesonario, DT Melvin Fields, DT Raheem Williams, OLB Taylor Place, OLB Jacob Lewis, MLB Tim Rivers, CB Shakane Simmons, CB Tony Clark, SS Lamond Wililams, FS Kevin Champen.

Special Teams: K Weston Mott, P Michael Julian, KR Matt Bex.

Hilton Head Prep at Northwood Academy

The Dolphins know what they're going to get from their offense, which has put up 140 points over the past two games and averaged 45.7 points through six games, but they know they'll need a better effort on the other side of the ball to beat Northwood Academy in a key SCISAA Region 2-AA matchup in North Charleston tonight.

"They're a pretty good football team," Prep coach Ron Peduzzi said. "We're going to have to play a heck of a lot better than we've played lately on defense."

Versatile quarterback Ty Powell leads the Chargers' balanced offense, and Brendan Gilbert is Northwood Academy's top running back.

The Dolphins are loaded with offensive weapons, but they will be without one of them again tonight, as receiver Patrick Andrews will miss the game because of illness. Andrews has played only one game this season.

Lineman Collins Richardson is also out, but receiver/linebacker Zen Wiggins is expected to return after missing last week's 67-21 win at Cathedral Academy.

Prep hasn't beaten Northwood Academy since 2004.

Who: Hilton Head Prep (4-2, 0-1 SCISAA Region 2-AA) at Northwood Academy (4-2, 1-0)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: 2263 Otranto Road, North Charleston

Projected starters

Hilton Head Prep

Offense: QB Matt Layman, RB Scott D'Amico, WR Dimitri Lowry, WR Alex Orford, WR Danny Maggard, TE Bo Strimpfel, LT Marc Halseth, LG Tommie Peeples, C Devin White, RG Dylan Powell, RT Patrick Briody

Defense: DE Danny Maggard, DE Marc Halseth, DT Kevin Glick, DT Dylan Powell, OLB Bo Strimpfel, OLB Scott D'Amico, MLB Jeremy Haidon, CB Zenon Parker, CB Alex Orford, SS Teron Daley, FS Dimitri Lowry

Special teams: K Colin White, P Matt Layman, KR/PR Dimitri Lowry, KR/PR Scott D'Amico

Bamberg-Ehrhardt at Hardeeville

Hardeeville couldn't have found a better win to open its Region 5-A schedule -- three wins in three weeks while outscoring its opponents 108-50.

The Hurricanes are left with region favorites Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Allendale-Fairfax as the lone remaining undefeated teams in Region 5-A.

But at least one will fall from that list tonight. Hardeeville plays host to the Red Raiders at 7:30 p.m. at Hurricane Stadium.

"It's going to be a battle," Hurricanes coach Blake Raley said. "We're excited to be one of the last teams left undefeated in the region. We have played pretty well the last three weeks and hopefully we can carry some momentum into the game with us. In order to win, we must win all three phases of the game."

It won't come easy against the Red Raiders, a traditional Class 1-A power who have begun the year 6-0. Bamberg-Ehrhardt has found a way to win the close games, earning four of its six wins by seven points or less, including an 18-15 win at Estill last week.

The Hurricanes will again count on their running game to control the clock and the game's tempo. They will also look for an improved defensive front, thanks to the return of Landon Johnson two week sago, to stop the run.

Hardeeville is coming off a 44-18 win at Bethune-Bowman.

Who: Bamberg-Ehrhardt (6-0, 3-0 Region 6-A) at Hardeeville (3-3, 3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Hurricane Stadium

Projected starters

Hardeeville

Offense: QB Donald Scott, RB Michael Kinlaw, RB Jarrell Knighton, WR Brandon Blackshear, TE Dominique Riley, WR Charlie Morrison-Ford, OL Jamal Kinlaw, OL Christopher Campbell, OL Landon Johnson, OL Xavier Gist, OL Demetrius Garvin.

Defense: DL Landon Johnson, DL Demetrius Garvin , DL Gabriel Washington, DL Philip Harris, LB Amar Wilkins, LB Dominique Riley, LB Brandon Blackshear, LB Jarrell Knighton, DB Donald Scott, DB Charlie Morrison-Ford, DB Aaron Grant.

Special teams: P Charlie Morrison-Ford, K Philip Harris

Battery Creek at Berkeley

Berkeley won the Class 4-A Division II state title in 2009. Battery Creek's last victory also came in 2009.

The Dolphins, off to an 0-5 start, face possibly their toughest opponent yet in Berkeley, a team coming off a 55-14 thrashing of Hilton Head High last week.

The Battery Creek defense, led by linebacker Carlton Linnen, will need to contain running backs Lance Simmons and Rahkeem White if the Dolphins are going to compete.

"It's a tough draw for us," Battery Creek coach Carlos Cave said. "We've worked on things we think we can do based on what we've seen on film. It's just a matter of being able to execute. They are a very good team playing at a very high level. It's definitely a David vs. Goliath type of contest."

Who: Battery Creek (0-5, 0-1 Region 7-AAA) at Berkeley (4-2, 1-0 Region 7-AAA)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Berkeley High School; 406 West Main Street, Moncks Corner

Projected starters

Battery Creek

Offense: QB Leroy Jennette, RB Brent Johnson, RB Keenan Wright, WR Jamario Williams, WR Kevin Sanders, WR Ryan Halley, LT Spencer Butler, LG Frank Price, C David Ratliff, RG Ben Lee, RT Bear Childers

Defense: DL O.J. Richardson, DL Daquan Jamison, DL Justin Frazier, LB Javon Livingston, LB Jaylan Briggs, LB Dakody Mersino, LB Carlton Linnen, CB Brent Johnson, CB Kevin Sanders, S Keenan Wright, S Jamario Williams

Special teams: K Matthew Kardohely, K Okasea Blagrov, P Donald Furman, KR Kevin Sanders, KR Brent Johnson

Branchville at Whale Branch

Whale Branch followed up three straight wins to start the season with three straight losses and is at a crossroad heading into tonight's Region 5-A contest against Branchville.

"We've had a tremendous week of practice," Whale Branch coach Rob D'Amato said. "Really, the past three weeks have been pretty solid practice-wise. A couple of shortcomings here and there have led to us not being able to get the win. I look for us to put it all together (tonight)."

If the Warriors are going to get back on the winning track, they'll have to do it without running back Devonte Lykes, who is out nursing an injury.

They may not need him against Branchville though. The Yellow Jackets bring in a record of 1-5 and won just one game last season. The team has not won a region game since the football program was revived two seasons ago.

Who: Branchville (1-5, 0-3 Region 5-A) at Whale Branch (3-3, 0-3 Region 5-A)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Whale Branch stadium; 169 Detour Road, Seabrook

Projected starters

Whale Branch

Offense: QB Stedmon James, RB Joshua Fields, RB Robert Evans, RB Andrew Byam, WR Dee Delaney, WR Frank Washington, LT Howard Allen, LG Donald Middleton, C Max Minter-Ford, RG Matthew McCray, RT Jay Delaney

Defense: LB Trey Nelson, LB Davon Mack, LB Stedmon James, LB Andrew Byam, DE Tyrik Spicer, DE Jay Delaney, DT Mytae Jackson, DT Pop McKee, FS Frank Washington, CB Charles Giles, CB Dee Delaney

Special teams: K Charles Jiles, P Stedmon James, LS Trey Nelson, R Joshua Fields, R John Little

Ridgeland at Allendale-Fairfax

After posting back-to-back wins over Branchville and Whale Branch, Ridgeland has an opportunity for a statement victory tonight against Region 5-A heavyweight Allendale-Fairfax.

The Jaguars have proven they can put points on the board with their triple-threat backfield of Jerry Scott, Torray Amlett and Xavier Capers. Now, the defense has to prove it can shut down a quality offense like the Tigers, who are averaging 36 points per game.

Who: Ridgeland (3-3, 2-1 Region 5-A) at Allendale-Fairfax (4-1, 3-0 Region 5-A)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Allendale-Fairfax High School; 3581 Allendale-Fairfax Highway, Allendale

Projected starters

Ridgeland

Offense: QB Xavier Capers, RB Tyboshie Mikell, RB Jerry Scott, RB Torray Amlett, WR Hamilton Harris, WR Tyron Mikell, OT Jacque Polite, OT Aaron Watson, OG Larry Jackson, OG Wesley Scott, C Damon Jackson

Defense: DT Jaquel Howard, DT Larry Jackson, DE Jacquel Polite, DE Wesley Scott, LB Derrick Solomon, LB Damon Gadson, OLB Jerry Scott, OLB Shaquille Grant, CB Immanual White, CB Xavier Capers, FS Tyron Mikell

Special teams: K Xavier Capers, P Tyron Mikell, R Torray Amlett, R Shaquille Grant

First Baptist at Thomas Heyward

After playing its best game of the season in a 48-6 victory against Robert E. Lee Academy a week ago, Thomas Heyward coach Nic Shuford has a simple objective for his team tonight against winless First Baptist.

"We want to play another good football game like we did last Friday and get our first region win," Shuford said. "That's our goal."

The Rebels rolled up 636 total yards last week, including 518 on the ground. Logan Mock led the way with 220 yards and three touchdowns, and Ryan Day rushed for 131 yards and a score.

Shuford wants to see more of the same tonight.

"I'm hoping our running backs are going to have big days," Shuford said. "We had over 500 rushing yards last week, and I want a repeat of that."

The Hurricanes were shut out 41-0 by Williamsburg Academy last week to drop to 0-7. First Baptist managed only 15 total yards in the loss.

Chad Hunter is the team's leading rusher with 374 yards and three touchdowns; 186 yards and two of the touchdowns came in a 21-14 loss to Cathedral Academy two weeks ago.

Who: First Baptist (0-7, 0-1 SCISAA Region 2-AA) at Thomas Heyward (4-2, 0-1)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harvey-Beach Stadium

Projected starters

Thomas Heyward

Offense: QB JD Tuten, RB Logan Mock, RB Ryan Day, SE James Rumfelt, WR Dylan Crosby, TE Bryan Lee Wade, LT Devon Riley, LG Mercer Clark, C Coulter Bergmann, RG Nick Ashcraft, RT Joe Laycock

Defense: DE Ward Burrus, DT Nick Ashcraft, NG Devon Riley, DT Joe Laycock, DE Jonathan Lilly, LB Bryan Lee Wade, LB Ryan Day, CB Logan Mock, CB Anthony Arcuri, FS JD Tuten, SS Forrest Richardson

Special teams: K Ryan Day, P JD Tuten, KR/PR Logan Mock

Beaufort Academy at James Island Christian

With no state swim meet this weekend, Beaufort Academy is back at full strength for tonight's 8-man football game at James Island Christian.

On paper, it seems like it could be a long night for the Eagles. The two schools share one common opponent in Trinity Collegiate, a team James Island Christian defeated 24-8 and Beaufort Academy lost to 32-8.

Those scores could be deceiving though as Trinity Collegiate lost two key players early in the loss to James Island.

"I'm not sure we're comparing apples to apples," Beaufort Academy coach Wheatley Alford said. "When we played them, they were pretty much at full strength. (James Island Christian) is big up front but I think we have more speed than them. That's what we look to take advantage of."

After opening the season 0-3, Beaufort Academy's offense has shown signs of life the past three weeks, scoring 106 points. The surge has been sparked by the arm of quarterback Gibson Achurch and the legs of running back and return man Nathan Akers.

Who: Beaufort Academy (1-4, 0-1 SCISAA 8-man Region 2) at James Island Christian (3-3, 2-1 SCISAA 8-man Region 2)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: James Island Christian Academy; 15 Crosscreek Dr., Charleston

Projected starters

Beaufort Academy

Offense: Matt Bass, OL; Jordan Littleford, OL; Adam Chahin, OL; Leif Koppernaes, WR; Bennett Fultz, WR; Jack Griffith, WR; Charlie Humphries, WR; Gibson Achurch, QB.

Defense: Leif Koppernaes, DL; Jordan Littleford, DL; Adam Chahin, DL; Ethan Kindwall, DL; Gibson Achurch, DL; Matt Bass, LB; Bennett Fultz, LB; Jack Griffith, S.

Special teams: Gibson Achurch K/P; Nathan Akers, KR; Jack Griffith, PR

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