LOWCO GAMEDAY ’23: Week 3 HSFB Primer

If last week was #ChaosWeek, what do you call a week that begins with a holiday and includes two games on Thursday, one of which was only added to the schedule a week ago? Certainly not routine.

It’s an odd slate, too, with only one Lowco-on-Lowco matchup (May River at Battery Creek on Thursday) that could be competitive. Bluffton also picked up a game Thursday, and we have 10 more contests coming 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. Friday on Lowco Pigskin Live, streaming live on the LowcoSports social media platforms and the Lowco Media YouTube channel.

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LowcoSports Week 3 HSFB Primer

Frederica Academy (2-0) at Bluffton (1-1)
6:30 p.m. Thursday

With Woodland making a last minute cancellation last week due to Hurricane Idalia, Hayden Gregory had to scramble and find a new opponent to avoid missing two straight weeks. Enter Frederica Academy to the Den on Thursday night. It’ll be the first action for the Bobcats after coming short to Jenkins at home, and Gregory expects a better effort defensively this time around. Jeremiah Curry and a promising run defense  will have to raise their game to hold down senior quarterback Jordan Triplett, who went for a cool 342 rushing yards and five scores a week ago. Look for Gregory’s defense to create havoc up front and focus on containing Frederica’s lethal quarterback. It’s been a great start for Owen Bayes and Bluffton’s new-look offense that has not missed much of a beat since a season ago. If Bayes flexes his muscles again in the run game and continues his excellent downfield connection with Carnell Warren, we could have a fun one on our hands on Thursday night to kick off Week 3. — Wes Kerr

May River (1-1) at Battery Creek (1-2) 
7:30 p.m. Thursday 

The Dolphins have led in the second half of two of their first three games, but they’re still seeking their first win under new head coach Ed Susi, and it could be difficult to come by against a May River team that seemed to find something in Friday’s 45-6 win at Waccamaw. Stopping the run has been an issue for Battery Creek, and May River quarterback Tanner Macy and running back Jordan Williams combined for 248 yards and four TDs on the ground a week ago. The Sharks’ defense was gashed on the ground by West Ashley in its opener, but May River shut down Waccamaw’s wishbone attack. The Dolphins were down their top three running backs in last week’s 41-26 loss at Calhoun County, but they hope to have at least one of Nyc Underwood and Damien Freeman back for Friday. — Justin Jarrett

Beaufort (1-2) at Goose Creek (0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday

After starting the season by going toe-to-toe with two Class 5A foes for three quarters before fading in the fourth, the defending state champion Eagles finally have a win under their belts after a fight to the finish against Hilton Head, and they’ll take another shot at a big boy when they travel to Goose Creek. The biggest question looming for Beaufort surrounds the left ankle of quarterback Samari Bonds, who left for one series Friday before hobbling through the Eagles’ final offensive possession. If Bonds is sidelined, it dramatically alters the Eagles’ offensive plans, but Beaufort’s defense is good enough to hold the Gators at bay and give the offense a chance regardless of who is under center. Jadyn Andrews emerged as a potential workhorse back against Hilton Head, allowing Isaac Smalls to focus on locking down wideouts along with Dom Camacho, and Chaz Brown broke out as a potential force on the defensive line, giving Rob Gorrell’s defense a more cohesive look going forward. — Justin Jarrett

Wilson (1-2) at Hilton Head (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Preview coming soon!

C.A. Johnson (2-1) at Hampton Co. (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

With the emotion of their first-ever home game and first-ever home win behind them, the Hampton County Hurricanes will welcome Columbia foe C.A. Johnson on Friday night. And it’s a matchup the ‘Canes shouldn’t take lightly. The Hornets have a tough and disciplined defense led by junior Keivonte Bates who racked up an impressive 14 total tackles to complement Jeremiah Miller’s big game at linebacker. But the Hurricanes have Zion Dobson. The electric senior back was the difference with a whopping 290 rushing yards and three touchdowns last week against Emerald. He’ll be a menacing task for the Hornets to contain, especially if Hampton can find more ways to get him out in open space. Mandrell Sanders and Kavon Chisolm lead a strong and athletic defense that has allowed just over 10 points per game in its first three contests, and will be tested against a two-headed running back monster of Bates and Caleb Pearson. A quick start at home for the ‘Canes will be critical to gain some separation over a C.A. Johnson team with talent and grit on both sides. — Wes Kerr

HHCA (0-2) at Ben Lippen (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday

It’s gut-check time for the Hilton Head Christian Academy Eagles at 0-2. With their next three games against Ben Lippen, Northwood, and Beaufort Academy, the road isn’t going to get any easier. There’s reason to believe the script could change this week, but it’s going to have to take a special effort against a rolling Falcons team. Jayvon Gilmore leads a balanced Ben Lippen offense that can do damage on the ground with Taevian Copney and in the passing game with two-way standout Blake Bost. The Eagles could use a big night from defensive veterans in explosive linebacker Zane Wilson and senior James Crosby setting the edge to force some key stops and turnovers. We know Dylan Clark has talent under center, and some early-season adversity could be just what he needs to rediscover his dominant form at the end of last year. Getting the ball out quickly to speedy and athletic wideouts Tyshon Mansell and Qayden Turner could be huge to kickstart the offense. It’s another challenge on the road, but a massive opportunity for this team to turn the corner before some huge region games ahead. — Wes Kerr

Cross (0-3) at Colleton Prep (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Preview coming soon!

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Beaufort Academy (3-0) at Greenwood Christian (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday

After starting the season a week earlier than the rest of the state, the Eagles enjoyed a week off to recover from a three-game stretch and should be fresh for a road trip to take on a Greenwood Christian team that is deceptively dangerous. After losing to Northwood Academy by two points and Northside Christian by one in overtime, Greenwood Christian routed Spartanburg Christian 51-28 last week by displaying a dynamic passing game led by junior quarterback Kade Heaton (340 yards, 6 TDs). Heaton’s favorite receiver is senior Owen Whittington, so look for BA to put its best corner opposite him and try to make someone else beat them. Stopping the run has not been a strength for Greenwood Christian, and that figures to be a major concern with the trio of Jaxen Porter, Devonte Green, and quarterback Dietrich Shuford running behind a strong offensive line with fresh legs. — Justin Jarrett

Hilton Head Prep (0-2) at St. Andrew’s (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Dustin Etheridge’s Dolphins showed a tremendous fight last time out at Beaufort Academy, and pushed the Eagles to a tight game until late in the second half. The Dolphins will need that same mentality this week against a red-hot St.Andrew’s squad. The Lions dominated John Paul II 36-7 last Friday, albeit without star quarterback Christian Tilton. But the Lions are dangerous whenever the ball gets in the hands of Zayden Edwards. With breakout sophomore Amari Cook added to the list, the Lions have a strong run game that will be another tough challenge for Etheridge’s defense. The Dolphin offense will need to step up as well, and it starts up front to help kickstart the run game and give time for emerging quarterback Wyatt Harmer to make his reads. If Harmer and company can pick up some first downs and avoid negative plays, they can put some pressure on the other side as the game rolls along. Hilton Head Prep’s gritty defense will help them battle on the road, but the talent of Edwards should be enough to lift the Lions over the top in Savannah. — Wes Kerr

Memorial Day (2-0) at John Paul II (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday

It’s another week of the “if” game for the Golden Warriors, who are hopeful that star quarterback and three-way contributor Christian Tilton will return from injury and give them a shot at handing the Matadors their first loss. Tilton went off in a 42-7 win over Memorial Day on the road last season, and JPII would love nothing more than to see him do the same after missing last week’s game and most of the previous contest due to injury. The offense has faltered without him at the helm, which is to be expected, and the Golden Warriors’ defense will need the offense to hang onto the ball and pick up first downs to prevent fatigue from setting in against a Matadors attack that likes to sling it. — Justin Jarrett

Patrick Henry (3-0) at Calhoun Academy (1-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Preview coming soon!

Thomas Heyward (0-2) at St. John’s Christian (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday

Preview coming soon!

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