The weekend of Champions will continue with a triple header of action Saturday at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Things get underway at noon with the 4A-Division 2 game between Goose Creek and Greenwood. That game will be followed by the 4A-Division 1 game pitting state powerhouse, the Byrnes Rebels, and one the most heralded teams in the country, the Gaffney Indians. Kickoff for this clash is scheduled for 3;00. The night will conclude with the 3A championship game between South Pointe and Bluffton at 6:30.
Goose Creek (13-1) vs Greenwood (13-1)
Goose Creek has been climbing the ladder of football success for a couple of years now, and have finally knocked down the door to the state championship game. Always potent with their option attack on offense, in 2011 Goose Creek has been able to match their offensive production with a chomp on defense as well. The Gators have intercepted 22 passes and recovered 13 fumbles on the season.
Greenwood is back in the title game for the 2nd year in a row. Head Coach, Gene Cathcart, believes his team, and more importantly, he himself, is better prepared this time around. Greenwood’s only loss this season comes at the hands of Gaffney, a team widely considered to be a top 5 team in the country. Stud running back DJ Goodman has been snake-bitten with injuries as of late, and it is questionable if he will be able to contribute.
Byrnes (12-2) vs Gaffney (14-0)
Something new and different…..Byrnes in a state title game. Since the beginning of the decade, the Rebels have won 7 state titles, including their win in last years game against Dorman. It could be said this Rebels team is different in the path they’ve taken to Saturday’s game. They started out the season 2-2, which is unusual, but rallied to roll of 10 straight W’s. Byrnes is a team that’s hot, and has improved every week, especially the play of Sophomore Quarterback, Shuler Bentley, whose name may sound familiar.
Gaffney is widely considered to be one of the top teams, not only in the state of South Carolina, but in the entire nation. We’ve had countless guests on our High School Scoreboard show dare to utter things such as: “Greatest team I’ve ever seen.” Indian Head Coach, Dan Jones, will be the first to tell you that his team wins with superior defense, but you can’t help but notice the combo of Quarterback, Joey Copeland, and Receiver, Quinshad Davis. Copeland is pushing the 4000 yard passing mark, and has 42 touchdowns compared to 8 int’s. No stats necessary for Davis, just know he’s the Gatorade player of the year in the state of South Carolina.
Bluffton (14-0) vs South Pointe (13-1)
Bluffton has pretty much cruised through the 2011 season. Head Coach, Ken Cribb, has lost just 2 games the past two seasons (by the way they’re undefeated in 2011). Bluffton has been the subject of much speculation that they’re just not as good as their record would indicate, due to a noticeable lack of strength in their non-region schedule. However, doubts started to cease once they knocked off defending state champion Myrtle Beach at home. Now there remains only one more game til an undisputable crown sits atop their heads.
South Pointe has built some very rich tradition at warp speed. It’s inception came in 2006, and already even the high school football novice can roll names of South Pointe fame off the tongue with ease. Funny thing is, the fun hasn’t stopped for the Stallions even after the huge names seemingly ceased. There are no Gilmore’s, Holloman’s, Dixon’s or Clowney’s on this years squad (at least not yet); there’s not even a Bobby Carroll, but this team still finds itself playing in the last game of the season. First year head man, Strait Herron, isn’t doing it with stars, he’s gotten it done with hard work.