High School Football

Hilton Head Prep's playoff opener highlights key games in Week 11

Quarterback Tyler Fox (25) and Hilton Head Prep open the SCISA Class 1-A football playoffs on Friday night against Holly Hill Academy at Hilton Head Christian Academy.
Quarterback Tyler Fox (25) and Hilton Head Prep open the SCISA Class 1-A football playoffs on Friday night against Holly Hill Academy at Hilton Head Christian Academy. jkarr@islandpacket.com

A year ago, Hilton Head Prep finally had its breakthrough season.

The Dolphins followed back-to-back 5-5 seasons with an 8-3 season and a win over rival Hilton Head Christian.

But Prep was forced to open the playoffs on the road and was beat down 41-17 at Holly Hill Academy.

On Friday night, Prep will get its shot at revenge as the Dolphins host the Raiders at 7 p.m. at Hilton Head Christian Academy's field in the first round of the SCISAA Class 1-A playoffs.

Elsewhere, it's a big night for several area teams:

  • Hilton Head Island (9-0, 3-0) will host Hanahan (7-2, 4-0) in a winner-take-all game for the Region 8-AAA title. The Seahawks, off to the second-best start in school history, are looking for their first region title since 2008.
  • Battery Creek (4-5, 3-1) will host Region 6-AA power Bishop England with the region title on the line. The Dolphins have never won a region championship.
  • Beaufort (4-5, 1-3 8-AAA) will play at Berkeley (3-6, 1-3) with the winner going to the playoffs and the loser going home.
  • Thomas Heyward Academy (6-5) will play a tough SCISAA Class 1-A playoff opener at Dillon Christian (8-2).
  • Hilton Head Prep coach Kevin Wald hasn't forgotten last year's meeting with Holly Hill Academy.

    "I hope we're a little bit more ready," Wald said. "Last year, they beat us in Round 1. But we were just excited to be in the playoffs last year. Hopefully this year, we'll be ready.

    "The guys seem excited about a chance to play them again."

    Wald expects a tough challenge from the Raiders.

    "They want to run the ball," Wald said. "They want to be the more physical team. For us, we need to stop the run game and take care of the football."

    Wald isn't exaggerating. In last year's matchup, Holly Hill Academy threw the ball just twice, connecting both times for long touchdowns.

    At the same time, Hilton Head Prep was forced into passing 35 times last year, well out of character for the Dolphins.

    "That's too much for us," Wald said.

    It will be a home game for the Dolphins, but it will be played at Hilton Head Christian, where there are lights.

    Even though it's out of the norm, if there's an advantage, Wald believes it goes to Prep.

    "We played there last week against Hilton Head Christian," Wald said.

    "(We've) played there before. The only difference is we'll be standing on the opposite sideline.

    "The field is still the same. The goalposts are still the same."

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