High school football recap, by Tyler Cupp

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The Demons finally played four full quarters on offense, but Irmo was just too fast and talented for LE. It was a real treat to see Wake Forest commit Kendrell Flowers in person. I have written about him all season and finally got to see the stud tailback up close. He was every bit as advertised. He is big, physical, and has that game breaking speed when he gets the chance in the open field. He used a lot of stiff arms and did his best to go head on, running over defenders. Flowers finished with 169 yards on 18 carries and scored three times. Irmo will have to clean up the penalties before playoff time, they had some crucial flags that stalled drives. The Yellow Jackets are now 2-1 and have a huge game with Sumter coming up. For Lugoff-Elgin it was the first time all season that both RJ Brown and Tyler Dixon eclipsed 100 yards rushing. Dixon had 144 and a couple of touchdowns. LE used a three back set putting tight end Caleb Wise as a blocking full back. Their O-line, which is quite young, might have played its best game too. Remember the name Parker Clements. Some opposing coaches have told me he could be a name to watch at tackle next year.

Normally the headline of a Gray Collegiate win is the quarterback, Hunter Helms. This time it was actually Kazarius Adams. The freshman had just under 300 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. The War Eagles are on track to take the region. They play Eau Claire up next. It would be their first region title in school history.

Braden Walker continues to shine as one of the breakout players in the state. In a gritty win over Chapin, Walker ran for over 340 yards and four touchdowns. He eclipsed 1000 yards on the year with that game. Chapin fought hard in this one, and they did it without two of their best defenders and offensive linemen. Chapin’s playoff hopes might have been dashed as I think they still might have an outside shot with a win over Lexington. River Bluff is trying to keep pace and compete for second place.

No problem here for the Silver Foxes as they extend their winning streak to 19 games. Dutch Fork had over 600 yards with Ty Olenchuck accounting for over 300 of those, and three scores. Jalin Hyatt had nine catches for 125 and two touchdowns. Lexington will bounce back. They get Chapin this week in what should be a huge game for both pride and playoff implications. I expect a huge gate. Keep an eye out for our preview Friday as there are a lot of cool story lines about that game, including Coach Perry Woolbright playing in a stadium where a huge portion of his family attributed to Chapin becoming a successful program. Also teams following a loss to Dutch Fork are all 7-0. Only other thing that jumped out to me in this game was that Dutch Fork turned it over a few times plus they were penalized 11 times. Tom Knotts will correct that come November. Believe that.

Coach of the year in 4A might just go to Colin Drafts. At least in the Midlands, he certainly is. He went winless in his first year at the helm last season but has now won five in a row, and is firmly in the driver’s seat to compete for the region title. They are playing solid on both sides of the ball, while also getting huge plays in special teams. Quincy Riley returned his fifth kick for a touchdown in the win. He also intercepted two passes, too. Seems to me these kids and coaches are believing Drafts and what he’s preaching. Speaking of the region title, Lower Richland squeaked by Lakewood 22-14. The Diamond Hornets and Falcons are now set for a win and take the championship setting. That should be a fun one.

One of my favorite athletes in the Midlands shined Friday. Walyn Napper is an outstanding multi-sport star and put on a heck of performance vs Westwood. Facing Gamecock commit Cam Smith at DB, with Will Muschamp looking on, Napper won a couple of battles while scoring three touchdowns. He passed, rushed and caught a TD pass in the win. He had around 175 all purpose yards. Napper has gotten looks for basketball and will no doubt receive some interest after this performance in football. As for the Redhawks, I am really not sure what to make of them right now. They started out so strong at 4-0 but have really hit some tough times. They are so talented but have not shown it in the win column. They are in danger of missing the playoffs at 0-3 in region play. If they can defeat both Lancaster and RNE, they give themselves a chance.

The Bengals gave the Fighting Gamecocks a fight but fell just short. Blythewood actually led 17-14 in the third but Sumter pulled away late. Sumter held Jaylon Boyd in check with just 32 yards rushing. And the QB for Blythewood, King Ford, only completed 10 passes out of attempts. Sumter is the class of this division. There is no doubt about that. Blythewood can still shoot for second place and possibly a home playoff game. They play Lugoff-Elgin next week and will no doubt be favored to get back on track.

The top five clash lived up to the billing and all the hype. A very tight game all throughout had some crazy plays and sequences. Chester had a ton of penalties which has v unfortunately been commonplace for them. But Camden scored to tie it with just over a minute to go. However, they missed the extra point, which would have given them a one-point lead. In overtime, Chester scored first then instead of kicking the field goal, went for two and got it, which put all the pressure on Camden. The Bulldogs scored but went with what they call a “Rhino” package, which is similar to a Wildcat with a defensive lineman lined up in shotgun. Chester sniffed it out and stopped them at the one yard line, preserving the win. Camden will no doubt finish at worst second place and host a playoff game. They still have a very good chance to win a postseason game for the first time since 2010.

Categories: Blythewood, Chapin, Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, Lexington County, Richland County, Sports, West Columbia