Wednesday night football recap, by Tyler Cupp
Wednesday night football does not have a great ring to it. But that’s what we got last night as a handful of teams around the state pushed their games up a few days to evade the impending Hurricane Florence. A majority of the Midlands games have already been cancelled or postponed for a later date. And from what I understand, there will be a handful of games played Thursday in the Upstate. There has been some talk, and a slight chance the season will be extended a week. But that all depends what happens after this weekend. The SCHSL will have to re-evaluate the landscape schools affected and how long they may be out. Let’s hope it’s nothing like the catastrophic floods of 2015 which forced some schools to be shelters for a long period of time. Here is a quick recap with some of my thoughts from the games played last night.
FORT MILL 41
LUGOFF ELGIN 21
I was on hand for this one. I am still trying to figure out how a game tied at 14 in the third quarter became a 20 point deficit so quickly. Lugoff-Elgin tied it up near the end of the first half then scored on its first third quarter drive to take the lead. Both were big plays as Tyler Dixon ran it in from 70 yards and Randall Brown had the go-ahead run from 49 yards out. Fort Mill QB Dylan Helms can sling it, and he did just that getting the ball down the field and moving the chains. He would connect on two big passing touchdowns of 40 and 29 yards making the score 28-14. The Yellow Jackets tailback Sebastian Lach had a career night however, and broke free a few times in the second half. He finished with over 200 yards rushing. The Demon defense seemed to be gassed in the final stanza with the offense sputtering. A fumble on a kickoff return, that was later converted into a score gave Fort Mill a three-touchdown lead.
The Demons have yet to put four full quarters together. In back to back weeks they have led in the third quarter but have breakdowns in coverages, and fatigue in the final stanza. In the end, Fort Mill gets their first win of the season while LE drops to 0-5 for the first time since 2014.
In the loss, both Randall Brown and Tyler Dixon eclipsed 100 yards rushing. On defense, Tahmaz Gilchrist made his varsity debut in style with two interceptions while Ethan Hix also picked off a pass.
What also didnt help Lugoff on this night was penalties. The Demons were flagged 15 times and even had 3 touchdowns called back. Fort Mill was penalized just 4 times.
NORTH CENTRAL 28
ANDREW JACKSON 17
What a wild game this was. North Central defeated their rivals for the first time since 2014.
Got a first hand report from a media colleague of mine and gave me the full run down. First off, the town of Kershaw brought a huge crowd to Boonetown for this one. The contest featured 7 different players taking a snap at quarterback. Two players took s
naps for the Knights while 6 different kids played signal caller for the Volunteers. North Central only trailed once, and that was when AJ blocked a punt and fell on it in the endzone within the first few minutes of the 1st. It was all North Central after that as Tyler Faulkenberry and Austin Bowers had touchdown runs on read option keeps out of the shotgun. Jamel Jones put the game out of reach with a 28 yard run for a score. He finished with 76 yards and actually only played in the fourth quarter. North Central is now 3-2 and 1-0 in the region. They get two weeks off and wait for Central of Pageland.
I said it last year, and I’ll say it every year that I am able to write about it. Newberry vs Fairfield Central is one of the best rivalries in the state. Great coaches, players, tradition and here lately, amazing finishes. The two schools connected by Hwy 34 have played in both regular season and battled in the postseason recently. Six out of the last 10 meetings have been within one possession (seven points or less). This one was no different as the Griffins of Fairfield scored a touchdown with less than a minute, but failed a two point conversion that would have tied the game. Davonta Ruff knocked down a pass in the corner of the endzone to seal the win for the Bulldogs. Newberry led 13-6 at halftime before things really opened up offensively. I have been waiting for this Griffin team to put things together on offense, they always have good speed at skill positions. And their coach, Demetrius Davis, is an offensive-minded guy who knows how to scheme. Griffin tailback Will Barber had a breakout game with three total touchdowns including a kickoff return.
The Newberry running game seems to be getting better each week, just looking at the stats. Kentrell Caldwell and Ahmorae Wilmore had two scores each for the Dogs.
Series notes: Newberry has won 4 of the last 10 meetings. Both of these teams are traditionally pretty good on defense but Wednesday’s total of 66 points were the most in a long time. This was the 26th meeting. Fairifeld still leads the all-time series 15-11.
Around the state
Ninety Six defeats Mid-Carolina 42-13
Nation Ford blanked Indian Land 28-0
Chester gets a big win over Lancaster 41-20. Cyclones are 5-0 for the first time since 2009. Watch out for them in 3A.
South Pointe escaped Greenville 28-27. A failed 2 point conversion on a fake field goal was the difference.