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Class A Football Feature

By Billy G. Baker


Moncks Corner — With Class A only comprised of 32 football playing schools, with 23 teams making the playoffs this year, byes are used by all the number one seeds in the first round of the playoffs (Nov. 9th) so the top seeded teams have an advantage of an extra week to rest up and nurse some injuries.

Lamar (8-1) was the wire- to- wire top ranked team in Class A all season by the HSSR, The Silver Foxes did have one slip up losing to Gray Collegiate 38-12 at home on September 28th. Lamar comes into the playoffs having won 43 of the last 45 games they have played.  Should they advance to the finals, as expected this season, it would be their 10th appearance in the gold medal round since 2000 with five state titles in the trophy case. I guess you could say that at Lamar tradition never graduates and truly mean it.

The Silver Foxes are led on offense by quarterback Cameron Galloway who has completed 8 passes for 255 yards and four scores while rushing for 240 yards on 43 carries and three touchdowns. The best athlete on the team is senior running back Jae’Quez Lucas who has gained 696 yards on 105 carries.   

In the month of October Lamar beat Timmonsville 42-8, Great Falls 53-0, and closed out the regular season on October 26th with a 47-7 win over McBee. With a first round bye the Silver Foxes are awaiting the winner of McCormick/Williston-Elko winner from the first round.

Lake View is always a threat to win a state title as they did in 2016. Lake View closed the regular season with a 39-21 win over Hemingway. The game was tied at 21 at halftime but the defense clamped down and the offense made big plays.

Sophomore quarterback Adarrion Dawkins continues to make progress this season. Dawkins has completed 36-of-58 passes for 555 yards this season. His primary targets have been Dionte Roberts and Fred Reaves.

Dawkins also contributes in the running game, rushing for 836 yards on 94 carries. Senior running back Benjy Kelley has rushed for 856 yards.

Leaders along the offensive front have been Elijah Fleming, Nick Evans and Alex Huggins. King says junior Malik McDuffie has worked himself into a starting position at guard.

“He’s worked hard, and he earned a shot a few weeks ago,” King said. “He went from standing on the sideline with me to be a starter and he’s doing well.”

Defensively, one of the more consistent players has been senior free safety Tahja Nesmith, who had a pick six in a win against Green Sea-Floyds to seal a hard-fought region win.

Senior linebacker Tieray Blue has missed several games with an injured shoulder. The team leader on defense is questionable for the state playoffs.

 Coach King puts the playoffs into perspective with these words, “It’s do or die now, plain and simple,” the coach said. “You can’t lose now, wake up the next day and say we’ll get them this week. You have to be ready to perform.

“We are as healthy as we’ve been since week two. There are no excuses for us not to be at 100 percent. We don’t have any sprains or pulls. Other than two guys we lost earlier this season to broken legs, we should be good to go.”

Top seeds drawing first round byes were Dixie, Lamar, Wagener-Salley, Baptist Hill, Bethune- Bowman and Lake View. Two seeds Blackville-Hilda and C.E. Murray also drew first round byes.

First round Class A lower state games has Branchville visits Military Magnet. Branchville is led by junior quarterback Zachary Wiles (6-3, 190).     Hemingway is a at home against Brian Smith’s Scott’s Branch Eagles. The other lower state first round game involves St. Johns hosting Charleston Science & Math.

First round upper state games have Timmonsville hosting Ridge Spring-Moneta while McAbee is home to Ware Shoals. McCormick will host Williston Elko and in the final upper state game Whitmire is home to Estill.

In second round action Dixie will host the Timmonsville/RSM winner with Blackville-Hilda awaiting the McAbee/Ware Shoals winner. Wagener-Salley will play the winner of Whitmire/Estill in week two.  

In the Lower State Lake View hosts the winner of the St. Johns/Charleston Science & Math contest while Bethune- Bowman, led by talented North-South quarterback Braxton Wedgeworth awaits the Hemingway/Scotts Branch winner. Green-Sea Floyds got a first round bye and they advance to the second round with a road game at C.E. Murray.  The Military Magnet/Branchville winner will travel to Baptist Hill in round two.      

When the dust settles and there are only two teams left standing for the gold medal round at Benedict College on December 7th the HSSR feels like those final two teams are likely to be Lamar versus Lake View in a rematch of the 2016 title game dominated by the Wild Gators on a cold night.     


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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