Beaufort High School football coaches spent the better part of this past Friday watching film of what went wrong during the Eagles' loss at Goose Creek the previous night.
The staff might go over the game with its players for a short time today, head coach Mark Clifford said, but would otherwise shift the focus to Easley, which visits Friday to open the Class 4-A Division II playoffs. Forgetting Goose Creek might be easier said than done, though, because a possible rematch looms in the second round.
"We all want another chance at them and our kids are going to want another chance at them," Clifford said. "It's going to be tough to get it out of their minds. As soon as we start working on Easley, that will be their focus."
Beaufort High earned the No. 8 seed in Division II after finishing 8-2 during the regular season and winning the Region 8-AAAA title. The region crown was in debate until recently. Beaufort High owned a better winning percentage than Fort Dorchester and owned the head-to-head edge on Summerville -- both criteria outlined in the region handbook for breaking ties.
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Easley is the No. 3 seed from Region 1 after finishing 8-3. Clifford and his staff spent Sunday breaking down film of the Green Wave, who run a double-wing offense Clifford likened to the Clover team the Eagles faced in 2007.
"They're a good football team, but we feel we have a good chance of winning," Clifford said. "Possibly have a chance to go back to Goose Creek."
MIKELL BIDES HIS TIME
At 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, Ridgeland receiver Tyron Mikell has enjoyed a size advantage over most defensive backs he has faced this season.
Correction: "All of them," Mikell said. "I've got a size advantage on, I think, every cornerback in our region."
But it's not often he gets to show it. The Jaguars, who play at Bamberg-Ehrhardt this week in the second round of the Class 1-A Division I playoffs, boast the most productive running game in the area.
Coach Richard Kirkland has said often he was going to go with what works. This season, that has meant few pass attempts, though Mikell has shown how effective he can be when the Jaguars offense throws a change-up. The junior has only four receptions for the season, but they have gone for an average of 58 yards, with two catches for touchdowns. The latest score came Friday during the Jags' 27-15 victory over Johnsonville in the first round.
Mikell ran a simple go route and got behind the defense for an easy 75-yard touchdown. A second touchdown catch, a pop-up toss which Mikell outleaped two defenders for in the end zone, was called back due to a holding penalty.
Mikell also has shown off his hands on defense, where he plays safety. His interception last week was his fifth of the season.
EAGLES ANSWER THE SHOFAR
Many coaches have a difficult time motivating players when their team is faced with an inferior opponent. Hilton Head Christian's football team seemed to be a candidate for a such a letdown in Friday's game against Florence Christian, a team the Eagles dominated at the start of the season.
Hilton Head Christian coach Tommy Lewis got his team fired up for the mismatch in pregame festivities, pulling a shofar horn from a bag on the sideline and blowing it to signal for his team to break through the paper banner in the end zone.
"We always blow the shofar," Lewis said. "In Old Testament times, it was a call to worship or a call to battle. We like to think we do both when we take the football field. That's really what the shofar is all about."
Whether it was the shofar or not, Hilton Head Christian certainly came ready to play, scoring touchdowns on its first two offensive plays en route to a 48-28 victory.
The Eagles will get at least one more opportunity to blow the horn this Friday against Hilton Head Prep in the semifinal round of the SCISAA Class 2-A playoffs. The two teams played on Oct. 30. Hilton Head Christian won the game 49-28 and claimed its second straight Region 2-AA title. This time around, the winner gets a trip to the state championship game.
"We're familiar with them, they're familiar with us," Lewis said. "We'll just strap it up and play again here next Friday. We're looking forward to it, and I'm sure they are too. We'll have some fun."
WEBBER'S TIME TO SHINE
For the most part, Marquis Webber's role in Bluffton High School's offense isn't glamorous. The sophomore wide receiver is mostly called upon to seal blocks on the edges for the Bobcats' bevy of talented running backs.
With Lakewood focused on slowing down Bluffton's running game, though, Webber had a chance to show off his receiving skills in Friday's 24-21 win in the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs, and he took advantage. Webber caught a pair of touchdown passes from C.J. Frazier, hauling in a one-handed grab for a 32-yard score to open the scoring and snagging a 17-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
"I just block and do my assignment," said Webber, who had five catches for 106 yards and no touchdowns entering the game. "But when it's my time and they call my number, I've just got to show up and do what I came to do."
Ridgeland running backs Torray Amlett and Jerry Scott were expected to attend Saturday's South Carolina-Arkansas football game in Columbia on a recruiting visit...With temperatures in the low 50s, many fans attending Friday's Hilton Head Christian game elected to wear jackets and gloves. Eagles coach Tommy Lewis and several members of his staff wore shorts. ... Ridgeland coach Richard Kirkland also wore shorts, but by the end of the game sported gloves and purple lips. ... Bluffton senior Travis Ramsey credited a strong scouting report for his interception in the first half against Lakewood, his third interception of the season. "We worked on that all week," he said. "Coach said when they roll out they like to throw that flat, so he had me just roll over there, and he said I would have a pick if they threw it. I got it."