Cooler temperatures, heated games.
These are among the two surest signs of fall making its seasonal return. As the high school prep football season reaches the midway point, nearly all of The T&D Region teams are now engaged in full-fledged, all-important region play.
The lone exception at least for one more week is Orangeburg-Wilkinson, one of three remaining local undefeated teams. A victory Friday over visiting Richland Northeast would match the Bruins’ last 5-0 start in 2003 and provide momentum heading into Region 8-AAA play starting next week against Hanahan.
The Hawks made an immediate impression locally with their 45-7 rout of Edisto. The good news for the Cougars is they are one of four T&D Region teams with an extra week to regroup from tough losses this past Friday.
Local teams were 6-11 last week with four teams held under seven points. Meanwhile, fellow co-unbeatens Orangeburg Prep and Woodland lit up their respective scoreboards by surpassing 50 points in double-digit victories.
A win this Friday over Academic Magnet would give the Wolverines their first 5-0 start in school history, a mark the Indians accomplished last week for the first time since 1996 when they started the season 7-0.
OPS can match its previous best start at Indian Field this Friday for “Homecoming” against Heathwood Hall and a potential first-place showdown of unbeatens next week against Wilson Hall.
On the flip side are the T&D Region’s lone winless teams. A loss Friday by Denmark-Olar to Allendale-Fairfax sets up a “winner take all” matchup on Oct. 4 against idle fellow 0-5 Bethune-Bowman in Rowesville.
The loser will own The T&D Region’s longest losing streak at eight games, a distinction neither the Mohawks nor Vikings would prefer to see highlighted in “Thursday Morning Quarterback.”
TMQ TEAMS OF THE WEEK
S.C. HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE — Lake Marion
The graduation of wide receiver Mike Williams (now at Clemson) has not slowed down the Gators’ offense. Averaging 45.6 points per game during a three-game winning streak, Lake Marion is matching last year’s pace in which it set a school record for victories.
SCISA — Dorchester Academy
It took nearly 11 months for Raiders’ head coach Stanley Gruber to extend his all-time SCISA win total to 322 games. Sparked by a season-high 440 yards of offense, Dorchester Academy stunned defending SCISA Class A champion Bible Baptist 51-28 at home.
TMQ PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S.C. HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE — Michael Edwards (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler)
Without top offensive weapon Jarius Jenkins due to injury, the Trojans relied upon their defense to pull through against Ridge Spring-Monetta. Leading the way was the junior linebacker with 11 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups in the 20-13 win.
SCISA — Jordan Weathers (Dorchester Academy)
Defeating the defending state champions is a big any year, but doing it with 51 points of offense is special. Weathers led the attack with 22 carries for 115 yards and two receptions for 115 more yards.
WEEK 4 GRIDIRON GIANTS
Christian Lee (Andrew Jackson Academy) — 10 tackles
Griffin Creekmore (Calhoun Academy) — 24 carries, 157 yards, 4 TDs
Hunter Kennedy (Dorchester Academy) — 10 tackles, 3 assists
Tyren Brooks (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) — 15 tackles, 3 sacks
Khaliq Anthony (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) — 20 carries, 154 yards
Darius Hammonds (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) — 6 catches, 122 yards, TD; one rushing TD
Marion McCurry (Orangeburg Prep) — 9-18 passing, 141 yards, 2 TDs; 87 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Michael Pascoe (Orangeburg Prep) — 25 carries, 146 yards, 2 TDs
Will Reynolds (Orangeburg Prep) — 17 tackles
Chris Argrow (Orangeburg-Wilkinson) — 2 interceptions
Drake Knight (Woodland) — 9-14 passing, 105 yards, 3 TDs; 85 rushing yards, three TDs
Brandon Smith (Woodland) — 10 carries, 104 yards, TD
Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Edisto, Bethune-Bowman and Holly Hill Academy have a bye this Friday.
BY THE NUMBERS
Bethune-Bowman has been outscored 247-28 this season, compared to 223-48 for Denmark-Olar ... Orangeburg Prep is 5-13 all-time against Friday’s opponent Heathwood Hall. Indian linebacker Reeves Connelly has 70 tackles on the season. ... Orangeburg-Wilkinson has allowed just three touchdowns all season and is holding opponents to 7.6 points per game ... Edisto is 0-2 this season against Region 8-AAA opponents (O-W and Hanahan) ... Blackville-Hilda’s David Berry is The T&D Region’s winningest SCHSL head coach with 242 victories (not including his win total at Jefferson Davis Academy).
We are asking for the coaches and their statisticians to please report the varsity football game results on Fridays as soon as possile. The options are telephone at 877-534-1060, e-mail at email@example.com or Twitter@TandDSports. Please provide full names, their statistics and records for both teams.
“I’m not doing real good.” — Edisto head coach Andy Palmer following the 45-7 home loss to Hanahan.
S.C. HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE
5. Lake Marion
1. Orangeburg Prep
2. Calhoun Academy
3. Holly Hill Academy
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-533-5547. Follow Grant on Twitter@TandDSports.