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August 26, 2013Midlands: Some Questions Answered, Some Not
Many questioned Spring Valley's No. 9 ranking in the SCVarsity Top Ten Polls last week, but after routing a good Lower Richland team on Friday night, it is difficult to argue the Viking's presence in the polls.
The Irmo Yellow Jackets needed to improve on their 19 points per game average from a season ago and only put up 17 against South Pointe. Granted, South Pointe has the top defensive front in the state, but the Jackets have to be more productive to reach their potential as a team this season.
Brookland-Cayce put up the best performance they have in several years. Yes, it was against a weaker CA Johnson team but the production the Bearcats had on offense and the play of their defense marked improvement in their program. Strong performances by sophomore running backs A.J. Brown and Charles Balkcom led the way.
Gilbert may be better than originally thought; they played a very good Saluda team in a losing effort 28-21, but were in the game until the final minute. They must protect the ball better from the quarterback position to be successful.
Richland Northeast was delivered a hammer from South Aiken in the form of a 40-12 thumping. Knowing what we know about South Aiken and their own challenges, this is a concern for the Cavaliers, who could be in for a long season.
Top Teams From Around The State
The Northwestern Trojans pummeled the Gaffney Indians on Friday night behind a 260 yards, five touchdown effort from Oklahoma commitment Mason Rudolph at quarterback. The Indians were without the state's top player, Shaq Davidson, but even his presence would not have made the difference in the 51-19 score.
The Byrnes Rebels are exactly who we thought they were. A 51-36 thumping of Florida's defending 8A champions, Apopka, demonstrated the typical explosive offense of the Rebels but also showed flashes of improvement on a defense that gave up 21 points per game last season.
North Augusta routed T.L. Hanna 45 - 3 and showed why SCVarsity had them ranked inside the Top Ten in preseason. This week, they jump to No. 5 in the SCVarsity.com polls.
The Importance of the Signal Callers
There were a lot of outstanding Friday Night Feats around the state, but a trend I noted that is definitely not a coincidence was the number of quarterbacks who trained with QB1 Training Camps in the off-season and excelled in their first outing this week.
• Let's start with UGA commitment Jacob Park of Stratford. The 6-4, 215lbs quarterback threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in a half of play at the Sertoma Classic.
• Oklahoma State commitment Mason Rudolph of Northwestern led the Trojans to victory over Gaffney with a 260 yards performance and scored five touchdowns. He finished the game 28 of 37 but at one point he was 16 of 16 in completions.
• Hammond's Davis King was 18 of 27 with 293 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.
• North Augusta's Trib Reece completed 15 - 21 for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, in 45 - 3 win over TL Hanna
• Strom Thurmond's Jauveer Hammond was 7 of 8 in passing with 95 yards and rushed 15 times for 116 yards in win over Silver Bluff.
• Marlboro County's London was 11 of 17 for 160 yards and five touchdowns in the first half in the Bulldogs' blowout win over Chesterfield.
• Nation Ford's Dalton Helms was 20 of 39 for 466 yards and six touchdown passes in win over Forestview (NC).
• Irmo's Demetrius Lewis was 13 of 22 in passing for 143 yards in Irmo's 21-17 loss to South Pointe.
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