A fictional character who passed through the Lowcountry famously likened life to a box of chocolates, and we can do the same for a high school football season.
Some of the games are sweet and delicious, some are disappointing, and some throw you for a loop.
We had a good mix of the three in Week 7, with a couple tasty caramel-filled treats, a handful of mediocre milk chocolates, and a couple bites of “what the heck was that?!?”
It’s all part of the puzzle that eventually leads to the postseason, and it takes a little more shape each week. Here are Five Things I Think I Know after Week 7 of the high school football season.
• We watched Beaufort High’s season turn around in real time Friday.
The Eagles were a mess in the first half Friday against Bluffton, unable to field a kickoff or punt and showing a propensity for committing penalties at the most inopportune times. Coach Bryce Lybrand insists he didn’t say much at halftime, but something flipped a switch, because Beaufort plowed down the field in its first series of the second half and never let up. Backup quarterback Daniel Phares ran the option beautifully and the offensive line opened up big holes for James Dagin and Amariee Morris, and the Eagles’ defense kept a dangerous Bluffton offense on its heels all night. When the Eagles were stuffed on fourth-and-2 at their own 28 in the second quarter, I was sure we had just seen the play that would seal a winless season, but by the end of the game I was convinced the Eagles can win Region 7-4A. Now we wait to see which team shows up Friday against undefeated May River.
• Battery Creek’s ground game is a force to be reckoned with.
The Dolphins’ offense sputtered early on, as they tried to break in a new quarterback after Jordan Gwyn’s graduation and battled injuries to two of their three running backs, but they have it rolling on the ground now. After missing two games due to injury, Tre Booth is back and running hard, with back-to-back games of 150+ rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Jaeon Allen and Jacove Anderson each have posted 100-yard games in the past two weeks. Granted, it has been against weaker competition, but we’ll see if the Dolphins can keep chewing up the yardage on the ground against Ridgeland-Hardeeville this week and take a three-game winning streak into a home game against powerhouse May River on Oct. 25.
• May River is still really good.
I haven’t forgotten about you, Shark fans, it’s just that the May River Machine is making things pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty boring lately. I mean, the Sharks have outscored their last three opponents 150-0, and almost all of the scoring has been done in the first half. May River gets a confident and capable Beaufort High team this week, but if the Sharks keep doing what they’re doing, they’ll be playing for another perfect regular season when they host Wade Hampton on Nov. 1.
• Negligent landscaping alone cannot stop HHCA.
A little birdie told me Hilton Head Christian Academy might encounter a sloppy track Friday at Orangeburg Prep, and that little birdie was right. But the high, thick grass and soggy turf did not have its desired effect on HHCA’s stable of dynamic offensive players. The Eagles rolled to a 62-33 win — their sixth straight game scoring at least 39 points — to confirm their status as the SCISA Region 2-2A frontrunner.
• THA’s trip to Bethesda on Friday is gonna be fun.
To be perfectly honest, I had penciled in Thomas Heyward for an easy run through SCISA Region 2-1A after the Rebels absolutely dismantled Pee Dee Academy in the first half on Sept. 20. But the Rebels have turned out to be 15- to 18-year-old young men, after all, and those of us who once met that description know it’s not the most reliable demographic. They’re capable of a bad day, is what I’m trying to say, and the Blazers are quite capable of kicking someone while they’re down. Both teams will be determined to make a statement. THA is the better team, but if the Rebels don’t bring their best stuff, Bethesda will make them pay.