By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com
Here we are, on the cusp of another high school football season.
Fall is in the air … wait, that’s not right.
It will be a sauna when the season kicks off this evening at Hilton Head Prep, and we have a slate of nine games tonight with one more tomorrow.
None of this week’s contests carry any weight in the region standings, or therefore, the playoff picture, but there are a couple of rivalry games on tap, and some big measuring-stick games for teams with high expectations.
Week 1 (we’ve joined the #NoWeekZero revolution) is always exciting, because no matter how things look on paper, everyone controls their own destiny. The stories haven’t yet begun to be written.
If you don’t agree with our picks, that’s OK. Hopefully your team will prove us wrong. The numbers on the scoreboard are the only ones that matter.
See you under those Friday night lights.
WEEK 1 LOWCOUNTRY HSFB SCHEDULE
BLUFFTON VS. SCREVEN COUNTY (GA.), 8 P.M. SATURDAY
The Bobcats open the season in the Erk Russell Classic at Georgia Southern with a rematch of last year’s opener, in which Bluffton scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 32-25 victory. Both offenses are loaded with talent, so this one could turn into a shootout. Listen live on 106.5 FM or online at easy1065.com.
Prediction: Bluffton 37, Screven County 34
WANDO AT BEAUFORT HIGH, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
The Eagles claimed a 26-17 win at Wando in last year’s opener, and the Warriors are going to be eager to return the favor on Beaufort High’s home field. Wando won its last six regular-season games last year to reach the Class 5A playoffs but graduated 34 seniors.
Prediction: Beaufort High 23, Wando 17
SWANSEA AT BATTERY CREEK, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
The Dolphins hung around for a good bit of last year’s 46-27 loss at Swansea to open the season,
The Tigers have some weapons back on offense, but Battery Creek’s offense has some serious talent, as well, and might be able to expose an inexperienced Swansea defense. I’m expecting a huge jump for the Dolphins under coach Walter Wilson, and it starts now.
Prediction: Battery Creek 33, Swansea 27
CLOSE ’TIL THE 4TH
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN AT JOHN PAUL II, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
Another Week 1 rematch from last year pits local SCISA rivals in the WHHI-TV Game of the Week. The Eagles squeaked out a 26-21 victory last season, as Zach Doe rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Doe will be on the other sideline this time, and that will be the difference.
Prediction: John Paul II 36, Hilton Head Christian 23
HANAHAN AT MAY RIVER, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
Yet another Week 1 rematch, as the Sharks look for a better result than the 47-13 loss they were handed at Hanahan in their first-ever game a year ago. May River will be far more competitive this time, but the Sharks start so many young, inexperienced players in key roles that it might take a few weeks to hit their full potential.
Prediction: Hanahan 34, May River 20
BEAUFORT ACADEMY AT ST. JOHN’S CHRISTIAN, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
The Eagles no doubt are a team on the rise, but they face a Cavaliers team that is probably a year ahead of them on the growth curve. It might be a tad closer than last year’s 48-26 St. John’s Christian victory because of BA’s improved offense, but the Cavaliers will wear down the Eagles in the second half.
Prediction: St. John’s Christian 44, Beaufort Academy 33
BEAT THE TRAFFIC
RIDGELAND-HARDEEVILLE AT THOMAS HEYWARD, 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
There’s an ages-old argument about how well SCISA teams can compete with their public-school counterparts, and with rare exceptions, it’s not much of a contest. Take last year’s season-opening clash between these Jasper County rivals, when a mediocre Ridgeland-Hardeeville team trounced a solid Thomas Heyward squad 35-6. The Rebels will be competitive in SCISA Class 1A this year, but they don’t have the size, depth, or athleticism to play four quarters with the Jaguars.
Prediction: Ridgeland-Hardeeville 33, Thomas Heyward 14
ORANGEBURG PREP AT HILTON HEAD PREP, 5 P.M. FRIDAY
Here’s a staggering set of numbers: Orangeburg Prep boasts 42 players on its roster … Hilton Head Prep has 16. Playing in the heat and humidity of the early afternoon in Sea Pines, that will be a huge factor. Not to mention that the Indians are a team on the rise, while the Dolphins appear to be in rebuilding mode. Better days are ahead for Hilton Head Prep, but this doesn’t look like one of them.
Prediction: Orangeburg Prep 37, Hilton Head Prep 13
Think you can pick ‘em better? Email LowcoSports@gmail.com to become part of our weekly guest picks and show us how much you know about Lowcountry high school football.
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