HSFB: LowcoSports Week 3 primer

Who’s ready to get weird? I mean, it’s a full moon on Friday the 13th, so if ever there were a night for some strange occurrences on the football field, tonight would be the night, right?

Well, maybe not. 

Of the nine local games on the slate tonight, I’ve only picked three of them to be decided by one score, so we’re not exactly ripe with compelling, competitive matchups.

But maybe that’s just paving the way for the weirdness. Perhaps one or more of those underdogs — at least according to me — will flip the script and pull off a big upset.

Of course, what do I know? My prognostications are a mediocre 12-4 through two weeks of the season, so there’s a solid 25 percent chance I’ll be wrong about any given game.

Nonetheless, here’s your Week 3 primer.


Hilton Head High (1-1) at May River (1-0)

May River has been the model of consistency since the start of last season, showing up week after week and getting the job done.

Hilton Head High has been … not that. 

The Seahawks have plenty of talent, including big-time recruits Cole DeMarzo and Christian Miller on defense, but they’ve been derailed the past two seasons by a series of injuries and disciplinary suspensions. So which HHIHS team shows up to “The Tank” tonight? The one that steamrolled Savannah High in its season opener, or the one that fell flat at St. James a week later? 

The Sharks had little trouble shutting down crosstown rival Bluffton in a 54-14 rout in their only action thus far this season. The Seahawks are a little more balanced on offense than the Bobcats, but they still like to spread it out. 

May River’s offense can hurt opponents in multiple ways with dual-threat quarterback Ahmad Green running the show, and John Paul II transfer Melik Frost also put up big numbers in his Sharks debut. Even if they’re at full strength, the Seahawks will have their hands full on the road.

Prediction: May River 41, Hilton Head High 20

Beaufort High (0-1) at Wayne County (1-0)

The Eagles will see their first game action in three weeks when they travel south to face former Bluffton coach Ken Cribb’s team. The Yellow Jackets are also coming off an idle week after smashing Long County 42-0 in their opener Aug. 30. Beaufort High’s offense will need to be in high gear to keep pace with Wayne County, which averaged 30.8 points while going 11-1 last season. 

Prediction: Wayne County 33, Beaufort High 14

Hanahan (0-1) at Bluffton (0-2)

The Bobcats are eager to get back on the field as they search for their first win of the season, and they have a favorable matchup at home. The Hawks’ secondary was suspect in a 52-7 loss to Myrtle Beach in its opener, albeit against highly-touted Seahawks’ quarterback Luke Doty. Bluffton’s Lee Kirkland hasn’t attracted the same hype as Doty, but he’s a capable quarterback with some weapons at his disposal, so look for the Bobcats to put up big numbers through the air. They’ll just need the defense to make a few stops to find the “W” column.

Prediction: Bluffton 35, Hanahan 28

Battery Creek (0-1) at Woodland (1-1)

It also has been an extended layoff for the Dolphins, who haven’t played since their 9-6 loss to Whale Branch on Aug. 23. Battery Creek’s secondary will be challenged by a dangerous Wolverines passing game. Woodland hung tough in a 51-20 loss to Summerville to open the season and pounded Lake Marion 49-14 in Week 2. The Dolphins need to establish the run early and complete a few passes to keep the Wolverines from loading the box.

Prediction: Woodland 23, Battery Creek 12

Whale Branch (2-0) at Ridgeland-Hardeeville (1-1)

The Warriors look for their second road win of the early season when they travel to Ridgeland to face an up-and-coming Jaguars team. Whale Branch got its offense rolling in a 28-0 win over Cross two weeks ago, and the defense has been nasty through two games, allowing a total of six points. The Jaguars have some talent on both sides of the ball, including running back Joseph Robinson and versatile playmakers Ky’Juan Swinton and Brandon Howard. Whale Branch won 37-26 at home last season.

Prediction: Whale Branch 22, Ridgeland-Hardeeville 20

Bethesda Academy (2-0) at Hilton Head Christian Academy (1-1)

The Blazers are a team on the rise and boast a dangerous duo on offense with quarterback Antjuan McKay and versatile back Jaden Wright operating behind a big, physical offensive line. The Eagles will have to be sound on defense to avoid giving up too many big plays, but HHCA’s offense isn’t afraid of engaging in a shootout. Hayden Shinn and his bevy of talented receivers should be able to get it done at home.

Prediction: Hilton Head Christian Academy 40, Bethesda Academy 31

Thomas Heyward (2-0) at Hilton Head Prep (1-1)

The Rebels have rolled to big wins in their first two games, blowing out Hilton Head Christian Academy (46-22) and John Paul II (52-8). They’ll look to complete the sweep of their intra-Lowco rivals against a Hilton Head Prep team that is still without quarterback Stone McDonald. Thomas Heyward is stronger in the trenches and should be able to establish the run with JR Patterson and get pressure on backup quarterback Sam Liberatore. 

Prediction: Thomas Heyward 48, Hilton Head Prep 14

Carolina Academy (2-0) at John Paul II (0-2)

The Bobcats are one of the top teams in SCISA 1A, but they’re still the weakest opponent the Golden Warriors have faced thus far. Carolina has a strong run game anchored by Austin Brown, and quarterback Cade Castles doesn’t throw it much but is capable of burning an overzealous defense. JPII also is developing a solid ground game but hasn’t been able to get much going through the air, and the Bobcats’ defense has been strong.

Prediction: Carolina Academy 30, John Paul II 14

Beaufort Academy (0-1) at Richard Winn (1-0)

Mark Clifford says the Eagles had 132 missed tackles in their season-opening 50-22 loss to Clarendon Hall. They’ll have to be much more sound on defense to avoid an 0-2 start with a road trip to face a solid Richard Winn team that smashed Cathedral Academy 52-0 in its opener. BA was able to run the ball effectively against Clarendon Hall but needs to get more out of the passing game after completing only three passes in the opener.

Prediction: Beaufort Academy 33, Richard Winn 30

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