Week 2 is in the rear-view mirror, and the de facto Rivalry Week was a bit of a letdown for the casual fan.
The B-Town Showdown lived up to the hype with a close game until May River pulled away in the fourth quarter, but the other two big rivalry games fell flat (unless you’re a fan of blowout winners Beaufort High or Thomas Heyward).
In fact, the whole schedule was kind of a bummer, as Hilton Head Prep’s 21-20 loss at Colleton Prep was the only game decided by fewer than 14 points. But we can still glean a few things from what went down, so here are Five Things I Think I Know after Week 2:
1. The River is rising. You could see last season that May River was *so close* to being a contender, repeatedly pushing strong teams to the brink but coming up short. No more. The Sharks put the pedal down and dominated a solid Memorial Day team in Week 1 and took charge in the second half of a 35-21 win at Bluffton on Friday. This team is done counting moral victories and ready to be a factor in the region and the postseason.
2. Mulligan is the man. The reigning RBC Heritage Player of the Week made a strong case for another weekly honor with a dominant performance in a 47-0 win at Cross on Friday. The Wofford commit rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns on SIX CARRIES and added a 63-yard TD reception. He’s averaging 22.6 yards per touch through two games, and six of his 19 touches have gone to the house.
3. Trey Pusha is a game-changer. Thomas Heyward is off to a 3-0 start behind a bevy of talented skill players, but none has made a bigger impact than the senior Ridgeland-Hardeeville transfer. Pusha is toying with SCISA opponents and has scored eight touchdowns in three games, but what is most impressive is the variety of ways in which he has done it. He has scored three different ways in each of the past two games and his totals for the season are three rushing TDs, one receiving TD, two interception return TDs, one kickoff return TD, and one punt return TD. That’s quite a resumé.
4. “Eight-man football is crazy.” That’s an almost direct quote from Beaufort Academy coach Mark Clifford (there might have been an additional colorful word in there) after his first game coaching the Eagles on Friday. Clifford is no stranger to football, having been a standout tight end at Clemson and spending the past 30+ years as a coach, but the 8-man game is new to him, and it’s a brave new world. Clifford marveled at the fact that many of his players went both ways and several played every snap, a rarity during his time coaching at Beaufort High. He’s also impressed with the team’s talent level, especially quarterback Dawson Coleman and running back De’Shaun Epps.
5. The area’s undefeated public schools will be tested in Week 3. Five area public-school teams remain unbeaten through two games, but that number is guaranteed to dwindle by at least one Friday, as Whale Branch and May River square off. The other undefeated squads won’t have it easy, either, as Hilton Head High travels to Battery Creek to face an 0-2 Dolphins team with its back against the wall and Ridgeland-Hardeeville hosts Bluffton, another 0-2 squad hungry for a victory. Beaufort High also faces a tough matchup, hosting an Effingham County team coming off a 77-14 rout of Groves. We’ll have a much clearer picture of which of these teams is the real deal after Week 3.
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