Thursday, September 4, 2014
Bishop England travels to Hanahan Friday with both teams searching for their first win of the season.
Defending Class AAA Region VIII champion Hanahan (0-2) has been close, following a 29-27 season-opening loss to James Island with a 25-14 loss at Timberland last season.
Bishop England (0-1) fell 55-14 to West Ashley last week, but head coach John Cantey says the challenge of playing bigger schools early is part of the development process for his team.
“We're gaining a lot of experience in the fire,” Cantey said. “We didn't execute well last week, but it was a huge learning experience that, hopefully, we can take advantage of.”
Hanahan brings a more dangerous ground game than it has in years past with running backs Vontre Howard and Deandrea Smalls and four returning starters on the line.
Senior quarterback Walt Fagan has passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns through two games. The first-year starter has connected with Saaehim Brooks nine times for 109 yards and a score, and top AAA prospect Sam Denmark six times for 79 yards and a touchdown.
“They'll put their receivers out wide one-on-one and let them go after the ball,” Cantey said. “They may try to pick on our DBs, but we need to be able to stop the run. They'll run the ball right up the middle all night if we let them.”
Defensive end Corbin Heyward is ranked as a top 50 prospect in South Carolina and lines up in the Hawks' 4-3 sets alongside Jacob Garibay, who put together five sacks in nine games last season.
Thompson was a star in the secondary for the Hawks last season with six interceptions, two fumble recoveries and nine deflections. Leading tackler Tre Smalls returns at linebacker.
“Their fronts look just as good as they did last year,” Cantey said. “We'll have to mix it up against their defense, get on the outside, on the edge and spread it around. We have to sustain drives. That really hurt us last week.”
Palmetto Christian at Lincoln
Palmetto Christian visits Lincoln Friday in a matchup of two teams looking to rebound from tough Week 1 losses.
Palmetto Christian (0-1) was shutout 49-0 at Porter-Gaud, while Lincoln fell 57-20 at Murray.
Lincoln quarterback Eric Manigault passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns against Murray. Running back Irvin Doiley has rushed for 262 yards through two games this season.
“There are no surprises. They're a great run team. Very stout,” Palmetto Christian head coach Chris Shimakonis said. “They can lull you in with the run game and then hurt you with the pass. We'll have our hands full from a physical standpoint.”
Lincoln topped Academic Magnet, 32-26, Week Zero but trailed Murray 51-14 at halftime last week. Palmetto Christian has a more favorable matchup than last week as Lincoln also runs most of its players both ways.
“We're gaining confidence,” Shimakonis said. “Continuously working on improving our tackling, playing with our eyes, staying disciplined and taking what teams give us. Lincoln is very similar to us, so it should be one of those games without a lot of surprises.”
Coastal vs. Cathedral
A pair of teammates-turned-coaches faceoff Friday as Coastal Christian opens its home slate against Cathedral Academy at Moultrie Field.
Coastal head coach J.W. Myers and Cathedral head coach Rick Howell played on the line together at Charleston Southern. Now the two lead their teams against each other with hopes of picking up a first win.
“We're very good friends,” Myers said. “It'll be a fun matchup. We run a similar style offense, size-wise we match up the same. They probably have more numbers and few more seniors, but we feel like we're in pretty good shape.”
Cathedral (0-1) fell, 52-28, to Richard Winn in its season opener last week. Coastal (0-2) showed signs of improvement in a 40-12 loss at Charleston Collegiate.
Cathedral quarterback Christian Rogers is the big-play leader of the Generals offense that can line up in both spread and I-formations.
“They're going to be hungry for a win, but so are we and we need to focus on what we need to do,” Myers said. “We've gotten better week by week. Our kids are excited. We played each other a lot this summer in passing leagues. Our kids know their kids. It's going to be fun to get out there.”
Frankie Mansfield, the Moultrie News sports reporter, can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more, follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.