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Hartsville High School

Red Foxes turn late season focus to region play

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Hartsville – After finishing the non-region portion of the 2017 schedule with a 5-1 record, the Hartsville High football team turns its late season focus to winning the region 6-AAAA championship.

Hartsville opens region play on October 6th against Lakewood. That game is followed by region contests against Lugoff-Elgin, Crestwood and Darlington. The Red Foxes are the favorites to win the region title but head coach Jeff Calabrese preaches daily improvement and game-to-game focus.

“We still have a lot of room for improvement and hopefully our players understand that time is of the essence,” Calabrese said.

The Red Foxes lone blemish on the non-region slate was a 35-21 loss to AAAAA Conway. Among the victories are wins over Lake City, Marlboro County, Abbeville, South Florence and Camden.

The win over Abbeville on September 28th was perhaps the biggest of the early season. Abbeville was ranked number in Class AA and had won 29 consecutive games, including a win over Hartsville last season.

“We played a tough physical game against a tough physical opponent,” said Calabrese after the victory.

The 28-21 win over Abbeville came on the heels of a 21-14 win over another physical opponent, Marlboro County. Winning close games against quality competition is sure to make the Red Foxes mentally tough down the stretch.

Hartsville continues to do most of their heavy work with the running game. The Red Foxes are averaging nearly eight yards per rushing attempt behind an ever-improving offensive line.

The lone senior up front is left guard Tical McFarland. Junior Lee Prescott works at left tackle and junior Mac Cranford is at center. The right side consists of sophomore guard Justin Abraham and junior tackle Montana Walker.

“All of our offensive linemen have played pretty well,” Calabrese said. “They are undersized but they really try to get after you.”

Junior Tiyon Evans leads the Red Fox ground game with 653 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 10.2 yards per carry. Evans also is the leading receiver with 10 catches for 342 yards and five touchdowns. He also has a kick return for a score this season.

Collins Bishop has rushed for 312 yards in six games while Quisi Huggins and Lacy Josey each have more than 175 yards rushing.

Senior quarterback AJ Joyner has thrown for 613 yards and seven touchdowns.

Hartsville is getting contributions from a host of players defensively. The unit has tallied 10.5 sacks and 35 tackles for loss in six games.

The leading tackler has been Hunter Weeks, who has 43 total hits. Linebacker Kevon Haigler has 39 tackles and three forced fumbles while DeMonte Capehart has 37 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Montrez Williams has been in on 39 tackles. In the secondary, Rod Gattison and Keyshawn McDonald each have two interceptions.

Punter Mike Norris is averaging 41.8 yards per punt and Caleb Caldwell has converted on 10 of 11 extra-point kicks.

Hartsville’s girls’ tennis team also is contending for a region title this fall. The team will be headed for the lower state playoffs in a few weeks.

Larissa Berger plays number one singles this season, with Chasity Robinson playing number two singles. Keisler Cottingham plays three singles, followed by Emily Hudson at number four and Ina Marie Sullivan at number five.

 

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