Just three games on the SCISA slate this week, as we have two Lowco-on-Lowco matchups, including one that shapes up to be pivotal to the playoff picture with Hilton Head Prep visiting Beaufort Academy.
Thomas Heyward and John Paul II will get it started with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Hardeeville’s municipal stadium, so read up on the matchups and get ready for the Friday Night Lights with our SCISA Week 6 primer.
Hilton Head Christian (4-0) at Pinewood Prep (1-3), 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles are on a mission here in 2020. They’ve dominated the first four games of the season, averaging 40 points and allowing less than 12. Now, they’ll look to keep the train rolling on the road against a Pinewood Prep squad with some momentum of their own.
After coming back from behind against John Paul II, the Panthers will look to continue the offensive barrage they started last week against the Golden Warriors. They may be 1-3, but they’ve fought hard this year, nearly upsetting Trinity Collegiate. But after Jeremiah Young was able to run and throw all over the Panthers last week, this one should be easy pickings for the Eagles’ unstoppable arsenal of weapons.
JP Peduzzi has etched his name in the record books after becoming the program’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions (35) and points (333). He’s scored a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown in three straight games, and should put up another monster outing Friday night.
The defense will look to take advantage of a turnover-prone Panther squad after the Junkyard Dogs forced five a week ago. If the Eagles keep up their full-throttle intensity we’ve seen in this first month of the season, they should roll over Pinewood and set their sights on Beaufort Academy next week. — Wes Kerr
JJ: Hilton Head Christian 42, Pinewood Prep 14
WK: Hilton Head Christian 38, Pinewood Prep 14
Hilton Head Prep (1-2-1) at Beaufort Academy (3-2), 7:30 p.m.
Two teams trending in opposite directions hook up for a key region matchup, as upstart Beaufort Academy aims for a playoff spot in its first year in 11-man football, while the slumping Dolphins hope to turn their season around.
BA is looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking 16-14 loss to Thomas Heyward Academy in which the Eagles held the lead for much of the second half before surrendering the go-ahead score with just over a minute left. Coordinator Mike Roark’s defense continues to impress and is well-equipped to slow down a Hilton Head Prep offense that has struggled in recent games. BA’s offense has been able to move the ball effectively on the ground with the duo of Ja’Sean Lawson and Carlos Jones, and the Dolphins have been gashed by the ground game this season.
HHP has the weapons to compete with the Eagles, but the Dolphins will have to play better than they have during two consecutive losses to Thomas Heyward and Bethesda Academy. The Dolphins will need to pull out all the stops on offense to have success against a BA defense that will be well-prepared with a gameplan to slow down Carson King’s inside runs and Tommy Stauffer’s speed on the outside, so Harrison Green will likely need to do work scrambling and passing to put points on the board, and HHP’s defense will need to play sound, assignment football to have a chance at picking up a big road win. — Justin Jarrett
JJ: Beaufort Academy 33, Hilton Head Prep 14
WK: Beaufort Academy 28, Hilton Head Prep 14
Thomas Heyward (4-1) at John Paul II (1-3)
Don’t let the records fool you here. This certainly has the potential to be a close affair. Despite a tough loss to Pinewood Prep, John Paul II has to be thrilled by the way Jeremiah Young is performing. He’s coming off maybe the game of his career, rushing for 163 yards and passing for 217, adding a score on the ground and a trio of TDs through the air. He’ll get his toughest test yet against an elite Thomas Heyward defense.
After a rough first outing against First Baptist, the Rebels have allowed 14 points or less in every game, including against defending state champions Trinity Collegiate. The Golden Warriors have really started to find their offense with a dual-threat quarterback and a solid pair of receivers, but the Heyward defensive line will make it very difficult for Young to operate this emerging unit.
The Rebels will want to bounce back from a disappointing offensive showing against Beaufort Academy where they were held to just 16 points by a surprisingly strong Eagle defense. They’ll go up against a dangerous pair of linemen in Austin McIntosh and Hayden Jennings, who combined for eighteen tackles against Pinewood Prep, including five tackles for loss. If Therion Cannon and the Rebels can win the battles at the line, Heyward should have no trouble moving the ball with Bruzza Pusha and JR Patterson. We could see a lot more of Pusha at wildcat, but Peyton Bennett will get the opportunity to make some throws against a John Paul II defense that can be beaten. They have been known to suffer lapses on defense, and if the Rebels can push some points across early, that should be enough to get by the Golden Warriors. — Wes Kerr
JJ: Thomas Heyward 41, John Paul II 21
WK: Thomas Heyward 38, John Paul II 20
JJ: 3-1 last week, 16-3-1 overall
WK: 3-1 last week, 16-3-1 overall
Photo by Brooke Simons