There’s one player no coach wants to see on Friday night, and that’s Thunderstorm McGee. He can shut down the offense and the defense simultaneously and get you acquainted with his friends Monday Finish and Short Week.
Let’s hope all those guys steer clear of the Lowcountry this Friday.
Week 3 actually got an early start, as Ridgeland-Hardeeville’s game at Allendale-Fairfax was moved up to Thursday, and John Paul II has bumped its kickoff against visiting Palmetto Christian to 6:30 p.m. Friday. Stay tuned to @LowcoSports on Twitter for any other time changes over the next 24 hours.
Let’s check out this week’s matchups, which include three Lowco-on-Lowco clashes:
Ridgeland-Hardeeville (2-0) at Allendale-Fairfax (1-1), 7:30 p.m. (Thursday)
The Jaguars were clicking on all cylinders last week in a 47-0 win over Estill, but the competition level takes a pretty good jump this week. The Tigers also blanked Estill, 22-0 in Week 1, but they took their licks in a 41-24 loss at Wade Hampton a week ago. If the Jaguars can keep passing the ball the way they have – they racked up 412 passing yards last week – they will be a tough matchup for anyone, but the weather could play a factor in this one.
Prediction: Ridgeland-Hardeeville 26, Allendale-Fairfax 22
John Paul II (1-1) at Palmetto Christian (0-2), 6:30 p.m.
It’s hard to characterize a team’s first region game as a must-win, but it kind of feels that way for both of these teams. Both have to consider this their most winnable region contest, so their playoff hopes depend upon a victory Friday. The Golden Warriors couldn’t do much of anything on a sloppy track against a big, physical St. Andrew’s team last week, but they should get the powerful ground game going again this week and add another first to the record book – their first region win as an 11-man program.
Prediction: John Paul II 33, Palmetto Christian 20
Bluffton (1-1) at Beaufort High (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Bobcats’ difficult early-season schedule continues with a trip to Lady’s Island, where the Eagles are looking tough. Bluffton’s run defense has been gashed by its first two opponents, and that does not bode well against Beaufort High’s talented backfield. Kyleik Middleton and quarterback Jeffrey Smyth are a handful, and the Eagles’ defense is pretty nasty, too. The Bobcats have struggled to get the ground game going, and it will be tough sledding again this week, so they’ll need Hunter Eldridge and their speedy wideouts to have a big game to have a chance at winning on the road.
Prediction: Beaufort High 31, Bluffton 20
May River (0-2) at Whale Branch (0-1), 7:30 p.m.
This might be the best matchup of the week, as the Warriors welcome another Beaufort County foe to Seabrook. Both teams are coming off classic moral victories, as Whale Branch suffered a heart-breaking 22-21 loss to Hilton Head Island and May River came up just short in a 24-16 loss to Bluffton. One of them will get a big win this week, and it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top. May River’s defense has been pretty solid against the run but susceptible to the pass, and Whale Branch only completed one pass last week. If the Sharks can contain Irvin Mulligan and keep the ground game going with quarterback Ahmad Green and running back Cam Adams, they’ll get their first win.
Prediction: May River 25, Whale Branch 21
Battery Creek (0-2) at Hilton Head Island (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Another Lowco-on-Lowco matchup, and potentially a good one. The Seahawks made a nice fourth-quarter comeback for a 22-21 win in their opener at Whale Branch last week, as the defense and special teams carried the load. The offense will improve as the season progresses. Battery Creek was roughed up in a 48-13 loss at Beaufort High last week and needs something good to happen. The Dolphins have some offensive playmakers, but they face another strong defense.
Prediction: Hilton Head Island 27, Battery Creek 13
St. Andrews (2-0) at Thomas Heyward (1-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels got the offense rolling in a big way with more than 700 total yards in last week’s 46-29 win at Hilton Head Prep, but they have some concerns on defense. St. Andrew’s is one of the biggest, most physical teams in all of SCISA, and if they’re playing on a sloppy track, they’re hard to handle. If Thomas Heyward is going to win, it will need quarterback Logan Thomas to have success in the passing game early to open up the ground game.
Prediction: St. Andrew’s 27, Thomas Heyward 20
Patrick Henry (2-0) at Beaufort Academy (0-2), 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles finally get a bit of a break after opening the season with two brutal matchups, but their reprieve comes against an undefeated Patriots team. BA showed some offensive promise with DeShawn Epps running the ball and Dawson Coleman throwing it in a 46-28 loss to a strong Clarendon Hall team. They’ll be in this one until the fourth quarter with a chance to win.
Prediction: Patrick Henry 32, Beaufort Academy 26