For the second consecutive week, the offensive prospects of the Palmetto state have stolen the limelight, cranking out big-time numbers and overshadowing the defensive showings.
Leading the way were the quarterbacks, a group of athletes that is turning out to look better than we thought in the preseason. Greenwood’s Sam Williams (6-2, 190), SCVarsity’s 1st team All-State QB, had another good week, completing 10 of 21 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, and rushing for 35 more yards. The Eagle chief leads Greenwood to a 2-0 start as they prepare to face Dorman this week. Riverside QB Steven Bright (6-3,210) proved, again, that he is a dual threat as he completed 18 of 37 for 228 yards and rushed 17 times for 151 yards, including an 88 yard touchdown scamper. Union QB Josh Harris (6-3, 180) who is considered a sleeper but is beginning to attract attention, completed 19 of 32 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns in Union’s 27-9 win over Laurens. Stratford QB Dwayne Lynah completed 11 of 15 for 210 yards. One quarterback who has raised some eyebrows in his first two starts is Dorman QB Andrew Hewitt. Hewitt (6-3,195) picked apart the Lexington Wildcat defense last week and this week he completed 17 of 24 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown as the Cavs go 2-0 with a 32-7 win over Daniel. One of the best kept secrets in the state is James Island’s Twain McDougal. The 6-1, 175lbs senior was 13 of 21 for 138 yards and a 15 yard touchdown pass and a one yard rushing touchdown as James Island shocks the low country for the second straight week by beating Fort Dorchester 13-8. A couple of juniors to keep your eyes on are Marlboro County’s Syvelle Newton (6-2, 205) and Orangeburg Wilkinson’s Russell Hemby (6-1, 185). Newton scored three times, two passing and one rushing as the Bullgogs defeated North Carolina’s Scotland County. Hemby completed 12 passes for 296 yards, 3 touchdowns and rushed for a 4th touchdown in the Bruins win over Richland Northeast.
The Runningbacks are flat covering some real estate this season. Conway runningback Melvin Singleton rushed 28 for 282 yards and four touchdowns. This little pack of dynamite could be one of the best prospects from the Pee Dee area. Cheraw runningback Alex Gaston (5-9, 175) is in the news again with a 26/256 yards performance with four touchdowns as well. A junior to watch is Crestwood’s Demetrius Morant (6-0, 230) who rushed 33 times for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
Greenwood’s Dvon Hill is closing in on the top of the class of the state’s wide receiver prospects quickly. The 6-4, 206lbs two-way player had nine receptions for 198 yards in the Eagles big win over AA power Abbeville. Silver Bluff’s Troy Williamson (6-2,195) is a go-to guy at any position. This week, the senior speedster had three reception for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Stratford tight end Mo Thompson, one of the top tight ends in the South East, caught five passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns as the Knights diplayed their strength in their whupping of Hilton Head.
In the trenches, the spotlight goes to another Crestwood Knight, Marcus Brisbone (6-1,260). Marcus graded out 87% with 10 pancake blocks, helping his offense amass 401 yards of rushing offense. Marcus is an excellent pulling lineman with 4.9 speed at 260lbs.
Some of the top defensive prospects who tried to not get outshined by offenses, were Byrnes’ Lance Frye, who had five quarterback sacks in the Rebels’ 24-7 win over Greer. Orangeburg Wilkinson defensive back Tim Jennings showed his stuff on special teams, returning two kicks the distance (90, 95 yards). Unfortunately, the 90 yards return was called back, but he Bruins still defeated Richland Northeast. Holly Hill Roberts defensive back Derek Brown snagged two interceptions as they shut down Eau Claire to 25 yards of total offense.
As the season continues to progress, the defenses will get tighter and we’ll see a balance shift in the performances on both sides of the ball. As that happens, look for big numbers from the defensive side of the ball, and the prospect report to be filled with as many defenders names as we are seeing now with offense.
Jim Baxter is the publisher of the SCVarsity Sports Journal and SCVarsity.com, the leader in South Carolina high school sports news.