After lighting up the gridiron on Friday nights this fall, five Lowco football stars have earned their spots in South Carolina’s most prestigious in-state all-star game.
Beaufort High’s Kacy Fields and Colton Phares, May River’s Jaiden Jones and Darrion Perry, and Bluffton’s Jaylin Linder were selected Wednesday for the 75th annual Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, showcasing the top senior talent in South Carolina in a North vs. South all-star clash. Hilton Head High coach B.J. Payne will be an assistant for the South team.
The game will be played at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach on Saturday, December 10, and will feature 88 seniors from across the state.
REPPING THE LOWCO IN THE TOUCHSTONE ENERGY COOPERATIVES BOWL
|Kacy Fields||Beaufort||ATH||5-11||195||Could see snaps at WR, RB, and KR/PR|
|Jaiden Jones||May River||DE||5-9||195||Could also see snaps as wildcat QB|
|Jaylin Linder||Bluffton||WR||6-4||195||Has offer from S.C. State|
|Darrion Perry||May River||DB||5-11||170||Has offer from Fort Valley State|
|Colton Phares||Beaufort||DB||6-2||195||Verbally committed to App State|
One of the state’s top breakout stars in 2022, Fields has dominated in his new role at running back for Beaufort High. His incredible quickness and burst off the snap have been a revelation for the Eagles, racking up an eye-popping 899 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns over a three-week span. He was an unstoppable force in a home victory over Bluffton in Week 5, rushing for 341 yards and five scores on 30 carries. A lightning-quick playmaker with the wheels and agility to take it to the house on any touch, Fields has turned into a lethal workhorse on the ground for a high-powered Eagle offense.
Fields will be joined by teammate Colton Phares, who has shown his outstanding leadership and athleticism on both sides of the ball. Primarily a ball hawk in Beaufort’s secondary, Phares has feasted with his quick legs and exceptional open-field tackling. He’s carried a bigger role on offense this season and has thrived as a reliable target downfield, and he’s been a wizard in the return game, using his elusiveness and acceleration to score a highlight-reel punt return touchdown against Battery Creek.
The driving force of May River’s dominating rushing attack, Jaiden Jones will take his talents to Myrtle Beach in December. A terrific two-way player. Jones has elevated his signature hard-nosed mentality during his senior year, rushing for 773 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging nearly six yards per carry. He’s also a tenacious pass rusher on the defensive side with the strength and hustle to finish off tackles.
Jones will get the chance to play one more game alongside sensational defensive back Darrion Perry, who has become the anchor of a gritty May River secondary. Perry has put his quickness and athleticism on display for the Sharks, flying to the football for 41 tackles in his first seven games. He’s also been lethal in the ground game, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns.
After a dynamite start to the season, Linder has earned a spot in the North-South game and will represent the Bluffton Bobcats. The senior wideout has cranked his game up another notch in 2022, using his elite explosiveness to escape tacklers. He’s gotten more work on short passes and screens this year and has improved his hands on deep passes downfield. And he’s been a clutch performer on the defensive side of the ball too, picking off a pass in overtime to help seal a Bridge Bowl at Hilton Head High. He’s been thriving in Hayden Gregory’s first season at the helm, reeling in 44 passes for 842 yards and 10 touchdowns through eight games, even with the Bobcats’ top two quarterbacks recently sidelined by injuries.
Tickets for the 75th annual Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl are now available at TouchstoneEnergyBowl.com/tickets for $25 each or can be purchased for $30 at the gate. The winner of the 2022 Mr. Football award will be announced at halftime. The all-star game has been played since 1948, with the lone cancellation being in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Wes Kerr
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