Baxter's Blitz - Week One

Week one is in the books and what an outstanding week of action it was; battles between top ten teams, upsets, and huge performances by some of the state's top players. Here's a look at the quick take-away's from Week One of South Carolina high school football. 

BACK IN TRUE FORM
We had to wait until Saturday to see it but the Byrnes Rebels proved that they may very well be back to their true form after going just 3-7 in 2016. The Rebels played host to the Myrtle Beach Seahawks and completely annhialated them in a 51-0 performance. In Rgggie Shaw's first official game as the Rebels' HBC, his team showed that discipline is the name of the game, only having four flags against them all day, with only one holding penatly called. It was a clinic put on by the upstate Rebels, who rolled up 451 yards of total offense and held the Seahawks to just 189 yards of total offense.

THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE

The Dutch Fork Silver Foxes went to Independence High School (NC), former stomping ground of DF HBC Tom Knotts and pummelled the Patriots 51-8. The Silver Foxes had two quarterbacks working magic and proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the trenches on both sides of the football. Granted, the Patriots are not a very strong measuring stick but in two weeks we will see a solid test when Fort Dorchester makes their way to Dutch Fork for  a date. 

South Pointe rocked Northwestern exactly in the manner we felt they would. The Stallions hammered the Trojans in a 39-7 game that saw the state's top player, Derion Kendrick rush for 97 yards and go 20-of-27 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown. This Stallions team may be better than last year's team and is going to be tough to beat. They are currently No. 2 in the SC Super 25 Poll and No. 1 in the Class 4A poll. 

PLEASANT SURPRISES

The Spring Valley Vikings had a lot of question marks coming into the season; they did return their all-star quarterback, Quincy Hill, but they lost talent at the running back position, almost an entire veteran offensive line, as well as several key players on the defensive side of the football. But Robin Bacon's Vikings looked good in the preseason and then Friday, they went to Fort Mill and and laid the Viking hammer on the Yellow Jackets in a 42-7 beat down. Viking quarterback Quincy Hill (pictured) lived up to his hype, as he  rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown and completed 5 of 8 passes for 225 yards and two more touchdowns in the win.

The Conway Tigers were a team we were watching heading into this first week; we suspected they would be a much improved team just by what we saw on paper but we needed to see it on the grass. They did not disappoint, as they wen tto Georgetown and beat the Bulldogs 40-8. First year starter Darren Grainger at quarterback did an admirable job leading the Tigers and completed 11 of 18 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. I think this team and Sumter will battle for the top spot in Region 6-5A.

NOT QUITE LIVING UP TO HYPE

The Dorman Cavaliers were expected to be a challenger for the Class 5A but their performance against Fort Dorchester raises some concerns as to whether they are of that caliber...at least for righ tnow. The Cavs gave up 402 yards of offense and for a team with the strengh in offensive line that they have, they only mustared 5 of 13 third down conversions. There is work to be done before region play.

The Spartanburg Vikings travelled to Summerville and left on the bad side of a 41-40 battle. That is not a bad score but all indicators in preseason looked to be Summerville not being a very strong 5A opponent. The fact taht they battled toe-to-toe with the Vikings leaves some questions to be answered for this team, as well, in terms of how competitive they will be down the stretch. it should be noted that they had an opportunity to win it at the end but the failed two-point conversion going for the win rather than the tie to send to OT cost them in the end. On another note, there were at least three Viking players ejected and one Summerville player ejected (according to reports) and we'll see how that plays out in terms of team punisment from the SCHSL.

BEASTMODE PLAYER PERFORMANCES

We can't do a Baxter's Blitz without mentioning some of the Beastmode perfromances. At the top of the list is Bishop England quarterback Leo Albano. The senior signal caller threw for 223 yards and 3 TDs and ran for another 233 with 4 rushing TDs in win.  He is one rushing TD away from the school record for a career!! 

Pelion junior running back Jeremiah Green rushed for 306 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Panthers win over Calhoun County.

To see all of the BEASTMODE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEES CLICK HERE

MORE COVERAGE FROM DEEP SOUTH FOOTBALL/SCVARSITY
SUPER 25 POLLS - ALL CLASS INCLUSIVE
TOP TEN POLLS - WEEK ONE
BEASTMODE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINATIONS
BIG 'UNS: KEEPING AN EYE ON THE MEN IN THE TRENCHES
COMPLETE WEEK ONE SCOREBOARD FINAL SCORES
WEEK TWO GAME SCHEDULE

About Jim Baxter

Jim Baxter is a former coach and nationally published recruiting analyst with more than three decades in the industry. He founded SCVarsity.com as one of the first high school sites on the Rivals.com Network, most recently with Yahoo Sports. He is the author of the best selling "The Book On Evaluating Football Players" and is the host of the South Carolina High School Scoreboard Show on 107.5 The Game. He has operated the oldest independently run combine, coached for the Nike Football Combines and Elite 11 since 1999. He has served in the past on the broadcast crew in both radio and TV for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, as well as the North-South All-Star game. He was a member of the coaching staff for the 2015 Max Emfinger All-American game.