With an early start to the high school football week, we’re bringing you the SCISA Week 5 primer a day early.
John Paul II kicks off the local slate at 7 p.m. Thursday against visiting Pinewood Prep, followed by three more games Friday, including a Lowco-on-Lowco battle between Thomas Heyward and Beaufort Academy.
We’ll also have a primer coming out Friday for the public school games firing up tomorrow. Get ready for Friday night with the LowcoSports primer.
Pinewood Prep (0-3) at John Paul II (1-2), 7 p.m. (Thursday)
The Golden Warriors play their third consecutive non-region game as they look to gear up for the stretch run, and they’ll have fresh legs after Cardinal Newman backed out of last week’s game.
That could be good news for JPII’s option attack, which quarterback Jeremiah Young has led very capably thus far. Young went over 140 rushing yards in a 30-20 loss to Bethesda Academy last time out, leading a second-half comeback that made the Blazers sweat before it fell short. Jackson Ogden has added some flash to the backfield to complement Austin McIntosh, and the offensive line is opening holes, so JPII should be able to move the ball against a Panthers team allowing 36 points per game.
Granted, that was against a trio of SCISA 3A opponents, and the Panthers were competitive in two of those games, including a seven-point loss to Trinity Collegiate and a 27-23 defeat to rival Porter-Gaud last week. Turnovers have been a problem for Pinewood, including seven interceptions, so if Hayden Jennings and the JPII front seven can slow down freshman running back TJ Wright and force the Panthers to the air, they’ll have a chance to stay in it.
JJ: John Paul II 26, Pinewood Prep 22
WK: John Paul II 28, Pinewood Prep 26
Bethesda Academy (1-2) at Hilton Head Prep (1-1-1), 5 p.m.
Sometimes you learn the most about your team from taking a beating. After getting blitzed 34-0 by an impressive Thomas Heyward squad, the Hilton Head Prep Dolphins will look to bounce back in a big way on Friday, hosting Bethesda Academy.
To hang with the Blazers, the offense will have to take a major step up. While the run game has been great at times, the consistency has not been there. Speedy running back Tommy Stauffer has been held in check often. Harrison Green has shown some excellence at times, but that has not been sustained nearly enough. If he can put that complete effort together, Beaufort Academy and St. John’s Christian have exposed a defense that can be beaten. The Blazers have given up nearly 28 points per game. They allowed more than that number only twice all last season.
The strength of the Dolphins this year has been by far their defensive front. They’ll have to be at their best if they want to stop quarterback Antjuan McKay, who has torn defenses apart with his legs. Carson King should provide a stiff challenge in McKay’s rushing lanes, and Loncelle Daley has become a breakout star for the Dolphins alongside his brother Ezron.
Unfortunately for Hilton Head Prep, their secondary has been a weak point and was lit up by Peyton Bennett and the Rebels last Friday night. Expect McKay to take shots downfield and across the middle. If they hook up on some big plays quickly, it will be very difficult for Prep to respond. This could end up becoming a shootout, and if it does, the Dolphins will have their work cut out for them in order to hang with a high-speed Blazer attack.
JJ: Bethesda Academy 38, Hilton Head Prep 30
WK: Bethesda Academy 32, Hilton Head Prep 24
Colleton Prep at Hilton Head Christian Academy, 7 p.m.
How good is this Eagle team in 2020? Orangeburg Prep entered last week red-hot on both sides of the ball, scoring 46 points per game and allowing just six points each in their last two contests. Hilton Head Christian came into Orangeburg and tore them apart to the tune of a 34-7 rout. It’s safe to say that the Eagles won’t be tested at all this week.
Ron Peduzzi’s squad comes back home to face a Colleton Prep side still searching for their first win of the season. The War Hawks hit a new low last week, as they became shutout victims to Dorchester Academy. It should be another long night for the visitors, as the quarterbacking duo of Jace Blackshear and JP Peduzzi should feast on a defense that was torched for 264 yards and 4 scores in the air a week ago. Peduzzi has had a knack for everything on the offense, recording a touchdown pass, rush, and reception for the second straight game, along with handling placekicking duties.
Jackson Lanier, Troy Chisolm, and a ferocious Eagle defense will look to continue a near-flawless performance last week against the Indians, with a chance to continue a shutout streak already over 24 minutes long.
JJ: Hilton Head Christian Academy 42, Colleton Prep 6
WK: Hilton Head Christian Academy 48, Colleton Prep 6
Thomas Heyward at Beaufort Academy, 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels are rolling on their three-game winning streak since a season-opening loss to SCISA 3A power First Baptist, but now they have to hit the road for a matchup with another red-hot team.
BA also has won three straight in increasingly convincing fashion, bouncing back after a Week 1 loss to St. John’s Christian to knock off Bethesda Academy, grind out a tough win at Colleton Prep, and blast Northwood Academy 35-0 in last week’s region opener. The Eagles have a strong ground game led by Ja’Sean Lawson and Carlos Jones, but running room has been hard to find against THA, and the Rebels’ secondary is stout.
THA’s offense is in full effect with JR Patterson back in the backfield — he has rushed for 384 yards and three TDs, averaging 9.1 yards per carry — and the duo of Peyton Bennett and Bruzza Pusha in sync. BA was able to frustrate Bethesda quarterback Antjuan McKay, and the Eagles’ coaching staff will have to have an equally impressive game plan to slow down the Rebels and have a shot at another impressive win.
The Rebels should have an edge in the trenches with a big, strong, veteran line, but if they let the Eagles hang around, things could get interesting late.
JJ: Thomas Heyward 32, Beaufort Academy 18
WK: Thomas Heyward 36, Beaufort Academy 20