LOWCO GAMEDAY ’23: Week 2 HSFB Primer

Welcome to #ChaosWeek. Two days of virtual classes and no practice. Who chose the pain of discipline, and who will experience the pain of regret?

The storm that hardly was still managed to wipe out Bluffton’s game against Woodland and bump Colleton County’s home game with White Knoll to Saturday, further thinning an already short slate to nine games on #LowcoFridayNight.

Here’s a closer look.

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We’ll post what we can (where the cell signal allows) on Twitter and Instagram and meet up to round up all the scores, stats, and highlights we can scrape together at 11:30 p.m. on Lowco Pigskin Live, streaming live on the LowcoSports social media platforms and the Lowco Media YouTube channel.

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LowcoSports Week 2 HSFB Primer

Beaufort (0-2) at Hilton Head (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday (TV: CW, WHHI)

Raise your hand if you’re panicked about Beaufort or hyped about Hilton Head. If you raised your hand, take a few deep breaths and check back with us on Saturday. By that time, if you’re still freaking out about the Eagles and/or hyperventilating with joy about the ‘Hawks, you’ll have good reason. Beaufort might be the best 0-2 team in the state — OK, second-best … we see you, Dutch Fork — and the Seahawks’ two wins to open the season have come against teams who are looking for their first win. It should be a competitive game, though, because BJ Payne’s defense has some playmakers, but Beaufort’s offensive line held its own against a strong Fort D front last week and several dangerous backs are emerging to form a committee to be reckoned with. This might be the week the Eagles put it all together, because the game is going to slow down after seeing two Class 5A powers. HHIHS QB Jackson Bibee has been terrific through two games, but Beaufort’s defense will by far represent the toughest test he has faced thus far. You can catch this one live on the WSAV Blitz Game of the Week (on CW) or on replay Sunday night and throughout the week on WHHI, and Beaufort’s Own will certainly be on the case, as well. Good times. — Justin Jarrett

Whale Branch (1-0) at Ridgeland (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Talk about two teams coming in hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot. The Warriors are fired up after routing North Charleston 46-6 on the road to open their season Thursday, after Jerry Hatcher made the late decision to move senior star KJ Chisholm to quarterback and let him run the show, which often involved handing it to Darrell Cummings, who is every bit the bruiser Hatcher promised us but has more breakaway speed than the ol’ ball coach let on at media day. Then you have the Jags, who are 2-0 for the first time since 2018 after a thrilling overtime win at Battery Creek in a game they absolutely had every chance to lose. Ridgeland’s offense is dangerous with three runners capable of putting up big numbers every week and some weapons on the outside, and the defense flies to the ball, hits hard, and loves to create turnovers. The Jags’ weakness has been on special teams — they allowed Derrick Smalls to take two kickoffs to the apartments last week — and that could be the difference with Chisholm roaming back there all night. — Justin Jarrett

Battery Creek (0-2) at Calhoun Co. (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

The Dolphins did enough to deserve a dub last week, but it wasn’t in the cards thanks to a relentless Ridgeland team, and it doesn’t get much easier with a trip to St. Matthews to face the Saints, who beat a good Cross team in their opener and clobbered Lake Marion last week. Creek’s offense was effective on Friday, with Nyc Underwood leading the way with 153 yards on 13 carries and Chase Olsen and Juju Gordon hooking up for two TDs, but the Dolphins can’t count on Derrick Smalls to take two kickoffs back for TDs every week (though that would be very cool). Battery Creek either needs to cash in more often in the red zone or find ways to force more turnovers to get in the win column. — Justin Jarrett

Emerald (1-0) at Hampton Co. (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

The wait is over: the Hampton County Hurricanes are coming home for the first time. They’ll look to stay perfect against a sneaky Emerald side that’s had two weeks to prepare after a heartbreaking season-opening loss. The emotions should be high from the start for the Hurricanes, who have hit the ground running on defense allowing just eight points in their first two games combined. Thanks to physical play from Mandrell Sanders, the 300-pound-plus presence up front in senior Daniel Anderson, and the always lethal Ka’Von Chisolm, Hampton County has asserted its will up front early on this year. Another successful night on the line could spell a big game for electric running back Zion Dobson and utility playmaker Chris Terry with a bit of Xaviar Garvin potentially sprinkled in. Emerald should be refreshed and motivated to go after a couple weeks off, but the excitement and talent on the Hampton County sideline should push the ‘Canes to a 3-0 start in their inaugural season. — Wes Kerr

Colleton Prep (1-1) at Branchville (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

After a promising opening win, the Colleton Prep War Hawks met their match against a surprisingly stellar Northwood Academy squad. This week, it’ll be a SCISA-SCHSL crossover matchup on the road at Branchville. Despite losing a good amount on the offensive line, Cole Davis and the War Hawks are still putting points up on the board, averaging 36 points per game in their first two outings. The fireworks on offense should continue from Davis and company against a Yellowjackets side that struggled to consistently stop the ground game last year. A couple early stops on defense would be huge for the War Hawks, but their work will be cut out for them against bruising 200-pound running back Philijuan Saldano. Greg Langdale will need a gritty performance from Raleigh Obenaus and his hard-working defense in order to come out of Branchville with a victory. — Wes Kerr

Lee Academy (1-0) at Patrick Henry (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

The conventional wisdom among those in the know is probably that this is a matchup of the top two title contenders in SCISA 1A. Lee is the reigning champ, and it’s yet to be seen whether Thomas Heyward will be able to maintain its status as a contender, but the Patriots are ready to step up. PHA’s defense has outscored the opposing offense through two games, but the competition level steps up a few notches tonight. The Patriots will have to play disciplined defense and display sound tackling to take down the champs. — Justin Jarrett

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May River (0-1) at Waccamaw (1-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

The Sharks were outworked by a strong West Ashley team to open the season, but Richard Bonneville knows that it takes a process to get his new team to where he wants to be. He’ll have a great opportunity to keep building- and maybe pick up that elusive first win – this week at Waccamaw. Both teams like to run the football, with the Warriors relying on the ground game of Andre Grate that helped them edge Carvers Bay last week. The Sharks are still searching for their identity on offense with a budding Tanner Macy at quarterback who has begun to show some good signs in the passing game. If Macy manages things well under center and the line picks up some blocks, the Sharks should come to life offensively. Whichever team controls the football the best should finish the night on top, which would bring a massive jolt to Bonneville’s club heading into some Lowco-on-Lowco matchups ahead. 

White Knoll (1-0) at Colleton Co. (0-1)
2 p.m. Saturday

After both taking the last week off, Colleton County and White Knoll will have to wait one more day due to the incoming effects of Hurricane Idalia. It may be an uphill battle for Adam Kinloch’s squad against a White Knoll squad that dominated Orangeburg-Wilkinson 49-0. But the Cougars held Hampton County’s offense to just 10 points through four quarters in week zero, and should be refreshed and ready for a monster challenge on their home field. Landon Sharpe carved up the Bruins’ defense two weeks ago for 287 yards and three touchdowns and has standout freshman Tiyon Fanning by his side. An early breakthrough on offense could do wonders for Colleton County, but it could be a long night otherwise if things start to sputter. — Wes Kerr

John Paul II (1-1) at St. Andrew’s (1-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

The biggest if in the Lowco this week is surrounding JPII star Christian Tilton’s status. If Tilton can return from the injury that sidelined him in the first half last week — and coach Shayne Milligan listed him as “questionable” Tuesday night — the Golden Warriors have a real chance to knock off the Lions on the road. But if Tilton can’t go, JPII is probably in trouble. Dynamic quarterback Zayden Edwards and the Lions will find a way to put up points, so the Golden Warriors’ best chance is Tilton doing his best Willis Reed at the Garden (look it up, kids) and willing JPII through in a slugfest. As of Tuesday, the if wasn’t falling in JPII’s favor, but Tuesday is a long way from Friday for a gamer like CT4. — Justin Jarrett

Northwood (2-0) at Thomas Heyward (0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

One of the biggest early stories of the SCISA high school football season is about to clash with what’s been a perennial 1A powerhouse. The challenge will be steep for Thomas Heyward against a Chargers team that has won two straight games, which also happen to be their first two wins since 2019. And it’s no fluke: the Chargers have shown their high-octane offense with a gritty defensive core that gets stops when they need to. The Rebels may be much thinner on both sides then what we saw a year ago, but Tony O’ Banner presents big-play potential on every snap if he finds a lane. Then again, the Chargers are deeper and have a strong rushing attack in Jeremiah Singleton and a breakout star at quarterback in Austyn Grady. The Rebels should be able to pound the ball and convert high-percentage plays on offense, but can the defense make enough stops to keep up with quite possibly the hottest – and most confident – team playing in SCISA right now? It’s a big ask from Tony McGeary’s squad. 

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