The high school football playoffs began with 14 Lowco squads aiming for state titles, but only half marched on into the second round. We’ll have six must-win games, including a Lowco-on-Lowco clash, on tap from Wednesday through Saturday thanks to Tropical Storm Nicole. Before they get started, here’s everything you need to know from round 1.
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Bluffton 49, Westwood 20: Max Vonhohenstraeten passed for 401 yards with five TD passes, including two more to Jaylin Linder, and JaQuinn Williams scored twice on the ground as the Bobcats pulled away in the second half on the road. Vonhohenstraeten also threw TD passes to Eitan Golfphin and Camauri Simmons and had an 84-yard scoring connection with Brandon Bryant in the first half. The Redhawks pulled even at 20 late in the second quarter, but the first of Linder’s two touchdowns put the Bobcats up 27-20 at halftime and they shut out Westwood in the second half. Bluffton (5-6) travels to top-ranked South Florence on Wednesday.
Myrtle Beach 24, May River 21: Jaiden Jones rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries and Garrett Diemel added a rushing score, but the visiting Seahawks put together a pair of second-half scoring drives and stopped the Sharks’ go-ahead bid with a forced fumble. Jones scored twice in the first half and Diemel punched it in from the 2 for a 21-10 lead, but Malachi Washington finished off a 12-play drive to cut the lead to four, and Tristan McGee connected with Jake Doty for the go-ahead score with three minutes to play. May River finishes 5-6 after a 1-4 start.
Beaufort 52, Orangeburg-Wilkinson 0: Samari Bonds threw three TD passes and rushed for another score, and Kacy Fields added two more TDs to power the Eagles to a blowout win at home. Bonds hit Colton Phares for a pair of scores and connected with McLeod Reichel for another, and Caleb Ulmer capped the scoring with a TD run. Jack Troutman booted a 38-yard field goal to open the scoring. Beaufort (9-1) hosts Crestwood at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Gilbert 49, Battery Creek 0: The Dolphins had no answer for the Indians, who rolled to their sixth consecutive win. Battery Creek finishes with a 3-8 mark.
Andrew Jackson 66, Ridgeland 26: Maurice Brown rushed for 70 yards and three TDs on 17 carries and added 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception through the air, but the Jaguars couldn’t keep pace with the Volunteers, who have won nine straight since an 0-2 start. Jaquise Johnson caught two passes for 110 yards with an 80-yard TD grab, and Xavier Plowdeniz rushed 12 times for 76 yards for the Jags. Wesley Jones had seven tackles, and Hamid Brown recovered a fumble for Ridgeland, which finishes 1-10.
Wade Hampton 14, Central 7: The Red Devils used a dominant defensive effort and a pounding run game to grind out a tough road win and advance. Zion Dobson rushed 29 times for 85 yards and a TD, and Chris Terry was 3-for-4 for 69 yards with a 34-yard TD strike to Alijah Gordon and added 36 yards on 10 carries. Mandrell Sanders and Austin McQuire each had two tackles for loss, and Hezekiah Abram and Nigel Solomon recorded interceptions to anchor a strong Wade Hampton defense. The Red Devils (7-4) travel to top-ranked Oceanside Collegiate on Friday.
Estill 60, Hannah-Pamplico 56: JaMaris Miller took a kickoff 75 yards to the house after the Gators had surrendered the lead in the final minute as a flu-ravaged Estill team survived a first-round scare. Miller hauled in a 50-yard TD pass from Xaviar Garvin to give the Gators a 52-50 lead, but the Raiders responded for what looked like a clinching score before Miller’s heroics on the ensuing kick return. Garvin rushed for 218 yards and a TD on 21 carries and was 7-for-13 for 225 yards passing with TDs to Jeremiah Taylor (two catches for 90 yards) and Miller (two catches for 88 yards). Angelo Lewis added 63 yards and a TD on 10 carries, and Jaron Brown scored twice for the Gators (10-1), who host Carvers Bay at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Lake View 43, Whale Branch 21: Keith Chisholm scored a pair of second-half touchdowns and Austin Stephens had a rushing score, but the Warriors couldn’t get enough stops on defense to keep pace with the Wild Gators. Whale Branch took an early 7-0 lead before Lake View responded with 36 consecutive points, though it was 20-7 at halftime. The Warriors finish their injury-ravaged season with a 6-5 record.
Florence Christian 43, HHCA 36: Dylan Clark passed for 453 yards with two TDs and two interceptions and added 47 yards and three TDs on the ground, but HHCA couldn’t stop the visiting Eagles’ powerful ground game led by Juels Huntley, who rolled up 286 yards and five TDs. Morgan Bedenbaugh caught nine passes for 182 yards and a TD, and Isaiah Anderson had five catches for 149 yards and a TD for the Eagles, while Zane Wilson had 19 tackles (13 solo) and a tackle for loss. HHCA finishes with a 7-4 record.
Wilson Hall 35, John Paul II 8: Christian Tilton rushed for a touchdown before leaving at halftime with a broken hand suffered on the first series, leaving the Golden Warriors without the firepower to keep pace with the Barons in the rematch despite an improved defensive effort since last week’s 49-14 loss at home. Bryant Jolley rushed for 130 yards on 17 carries for JPII, while Sebastian Slusne added 11 tackles with a tackle for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble, and Sam Rembold had seven tackles. JPII finishes with a 4-7 record.
BA 36, Orangeburg Prep 23: Devonte Green led the way with 221 rushing yards and three TDs as the Eagles rolled up more than 500 yards of total offense and cruised to a comfortable win to open the postsesaon. Jaxen Porter added 65 yards and a TD on the ground, and Zeke Gonzalez had 122 yards from scrimmage and two two-point conversions and went 2-for-2 on PATs and 2-for-2 on field goals for BA. Braydon Dineen rushed for 74 yards on five carries, completed 6 of 10 passes for 126 yards, and collected a team-high 11 tackles (two for loss). BA (8-2) hosts Colleton Prep in Friday’s semifinal.
Colleton Prep 27, Northside Christian 7: Cole Davis led an unstoppable ground game with 189 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns to power the War Hawks to a stress-free first-round win at home. Walker Bryan rushed for 102 yards on nine carries with a TD, and Caleb Davis added 86 yards on 12 carries, while Noah Catterton (11 tackles) and Raleigh Obenaus (9.5 tackles) led the CPA defense. The War Hawks (10-1) return to BA for a rematch of their region-title clash at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
THA 42, Dorchester Academy 13: Dietrich Shuford passed for 167 yards and three TDs and added 86 rushing yards on four carries, and Tony O’Banner racked up 118 yards on just four carries with two TDs and caught a touchdown pass to lead the Rebels to a first-round rout. Shuford was 6-for-8 with a 40-yard TD pass to Josh Gibson and a 60-yard scoring strike to Tyshon Mansell along with the TD toss to O’Banner. Anthony Fripp also added a rushing touchdown for the Rebels (7-3), who host Calhoun Academy at 7 p.m. Saturday.
St. John’s Christian 42, Patrick Henry 6: The Cavaliers avenged a shutout loss in Week 1 with a dominant performance for their sixth straight win. SJCA held PHA’s powerful ground game to 2.6 yards per carry with quarterback Hugh Fairey leading the way with 43 yards on 10 carries. Fairey completed 11 of 25 passes for 90 yards with a TD pass to Liam Peeples to prevent the shutout. The Patriots end their first season of 11-man football since 1998 with a 6-4 record.
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