When it comes to the T&D Region, three is the magic number.
After 12 weeks of prep football, only Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Edisto and Hunter-Kinard-Tyler remain in the hunt for state championships.
For the Trojans, a post-Thanksgiving Day trip to Charlie W. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Benedict College in Columbia is only a victory away in the Class A Division II playoffs. To reach that goal for the first time in school history, H-K-T (8-4) must win at top-seed McCormick (10-2), winners of six straight and a team whose lone loss in the Palmetto State (it was shut out 24-0 by Lincoln County, Ga., in Week Two) came at the hands of defending Class A Division I champion Christ Church.
The road to Columbia for the Class 2-A Division I and II title games also has the Red Raiders and Cougars on the move. Standing in the way for B-E (10-1) in Division II is a familiar foe in Region 5-AA champion Silver Bluff (10-1), which handed the Red Raiders their lone loss six weeks ago at Petticoat Junction, 31-29.
As for Edisto (6-6), it heads to St. Stephen for a first-ever match-up against state perennial power Timberland. Coached by Art Craig, who previously worked at Blackville-Hilda under David Berry and was the head coach at Cross, the Wolves’ (10-1) lone loss came by one point at the hands of county rival Berkeley of Region 7-AAA. Timberland has posted four shutouts this season.
All three teams face tough challenges on the road, but as B-E demonstrated last week in rallying from an 18-0 deficit against Woodland, anything is possible this time of year.
TMQ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
S.C. HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE
Sumner Cooler (Bamberg-Ehrhardt)
The junior quarterback scored all three fourth-quarter touchdowns in the final 8:49 to lift the Red Raiders to an improbable 21-18 win over the Wolverines. He rushed for one score and threw two TDs to finish 12-20 for 305 yards.
WEEK 12 GRIDIRON GIANTS
Mark Moody (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) - 11 tackles, 2 sacks
Marcus Moody (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) - 10 tackles
Favion Davis (Blackville-Hilda) - 34 carries, 157 yards, 2 TDs
Keyonte Furtick (Edisto) - 12 carries, 104 yards
Dalton Murphy (Edisto) - 13 tackles
Donnie Edwards (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) - 109 passing yards, TD
Darius Hammonds (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) - 3 punt returns, 117 yards, TD
Brandon Hart (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler) - 14 carries, 102 yards, TD
Marion McMurray (Orangeburg Prep) - 12-19 passing, 213 yards, 4 TDs
Derek Andrews (Orangeburg Prep) - 8 receptions, 162 yards, 3 TDs
ELITE 11 UPDATES
Nick Halmon (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) - 14 tackles
K.C. Crosby (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) - 8 catches, 215 yards, TD
Tyrell Maxwell (Edisto) - 9-17 passing, 93 yards, TD; 23 carries, 175 yards, 4 TDs
Edisto quarterback Tyrell Maxwell needs 67 passing yards to achieve a feat first accomplished 11 years ago on the college level at Clemson University by former Orangeburg-Wilkinson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler – rushing for 1,000 yards and passing for 2,000 yards in a single season. Maxwell has already rushed for 1,177 yards on 175 carries and 16 touchdowns and is 109-197 passing for 1,933 yards and 16 TDs.
BY THE NUMBERS
Last Friday’s win clinched a fourth straight season of 10 of more victories by B-E. The Red Raiders also own the T&D Region’s longest active winning streak at five but have lost the last 15 meetings to Silver Bluff. The last win occurred, ironically, in the third round of the 1989 Class 2-A playoffs by a 14-13 score ... H-K-T’s five-game winning streak matches its longest since 2009 ... With 65 career wins, Edisto’s Andy Palmer is the second winningest coach in school history behind John Weathers and is the second-longest tenured coach at the same S.C. High School League school behind Blackville-Hilda’s David Berry ... The Cougars are seeking to win seven games for the first time since 2005 ... Edisto’s Quadrey Simmons has 54 receptions for 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Close behind was Orangeburg Prep’s Derek Andrews with 53 receptions for 1,001 yards and 12 TDs .... The Indians had five players (Reeves Connelly, Dakota Way, Matthew Berry, Charlie Sutcliffe and Will Frierson) finish with over 100 tackles.
“When we were down 18-0 with seven minutes to go, all I was thinking was get the ball down the field. Don’t make any mistakes. Get your offense up. I had a speech for every player. Every time I got in the huddle, I had a speech. I knew my offensive line had faith in me. I just knew that, if it came down to it, I had to get the ball to my boy K.C. (Crosby). He’s a playmaker.” – Bamberg-Ehrhardt quarterback Sumner Cooler whose 40-yard touchdown pass to Crosby with 44 seconds left was the game-winner over Woodland in the second-round of the Class 2-A Division II playoffs.
“We played well. We behaved well. We represented our school and our community and our district well. Now we’re got to get ready to move to McCormick.” – Hunter-Kinard-Tyler head football coach Dann Holland in response to the early ending of last week’s 40-8 playoff win over Calhoun Falls.
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