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Willie Jefferies Classic gets high school football season kicked off

Orangeburg – On a typical South Carolina August evening with temperatures hovering close to 100 degrees 10 teams got their first taste of hitting someone besides their teammates and as all the coaches said “we did some good things, a lot of bad things and we still have a lot of work today before the season starts but it was good to get in some live action.”

            The Willie Jefferies Classic was started by former Orangeburg- Wilkinson head coach Tommy Brown in honor of his former head coach and South Carolina State legend Willie Jefferies. Coach Jefferies compiled a 128-77-4 with 6 MEAC championships in 19 seasons with the Bulldogs. He also coached at Wichita State and Howard with an overall record of 179-132-4.

            In the night’s first game between Estill and Scott’s Branch. The Gators scored almost every way possible on their way to a 28-0 win. Jerry Ingles rushed for a touchdown while quarterback Chris Hopkin’s ran and threw a touchdown. Earl Busby had the TD reception and Jeremiah Taylor returned a fumble 50 yards for a score.

            Head Coach Marcus Livingston said after the game, “We came out excited, focused and ready to play which was good to see.”

            Game two featured Bethune-Bowman versus Lake Marion. The Gators sophomore running back Hamari Cuyler scored the games lone TD in Lake Marion’s 6-0 win.

            Game Three saw Blackville -Hilda jump out to a 14-0 lead and then Battery Creek scored twice in the final five minutes but could not get a conversion and the Hawks defeated the Dolphins 14-12. The Dolphins first score came on the Classic’s most exciting play when Quarterback Jacovi Singleton rolled right saw he was cut off, then went left and saw a crease to run through then cut back right and out ran everyone down the right sideline for a 57 yard touchdown.

            “It was good test and an opportunity to get the kids on tape to see where we need to improve,” said Hawks head coach Brandon Isaac.

            In the night’s fourth match up Bamberg-Erhardt got a 22-yard field goal by Hunter Bridges to come out on top 3-0 over Manning. Game saw both defenses control the line of scrimmage.

            “We played hard and physical especially on defense, but we had issues in the red zone. But for the first time out I’m pleased with how we played,” said Bamberg head coach Robert Williams.

            Manning head coach Reggie Kennedy played linebacker for coach Jefferies at South Carolina was happy with the effort. “This was a typical first scrimmage so we will go back and evaluate the tape and get better.”

            The night’s final match-up was between the evert host the Bruins of OW and the defending AA lower state champions Barnwell Warhorses. The Warhorse offense looked in mid-season form on their first possession as they went 56 yards in six plays when Craig Pender hit Dayllon Creech with a 10-yard touchdown strike and a quick 6-0 Barnwell lead.

            OW unveiled freshman quarterback Anthony Mack.  Despite not getting the Bruins in the end zone he showed off a strong arm and quick release and looked like former Macedonia great and Heisman runner-up at Georgia Tech Joe Hamilton.

The nights final score came courtesy of Barnwell’s’ Jamari Chisolm when he ran it in from 25-yards out as Barnwell defeat OW 13-0.

            “This was day 6 so we knew there was somethings we wouldn’t do right but all in all it was a pretty decent night,” said Warhorse head coach Dwayne Garrick.

            Coach Kevin Crosby of OW on his team’s play, “Effort was good, but we have a lot of work to do. We had a freshman quarterback who was a little wide-eyed out there and defensively we are switching to a 4-3 front and we missed some assignments.”

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