This week, the schedule really gets rolling with everyone in action. A pair of Top-10 5A matchups highlight the slate.
5A No. 2 Byrnes (1-0) at 3A No. 10 Chapman (1-0)
Series Record: Byrnes leads the overall series 21-2.
Last Meeting: Byrnes won 54-7 last season.
Last Week: Byrnes beat Hough 24-9; Chapman beat Woodruff 57-34
Radio/TV/Internet: The Fan Upstate 97.1/97.7 FM (Byrnes); upstateprep-cast.net (Chapman)
Location: Panther Stadium, 1420 Compton Bridge Rd., Inman
Who to watch for Byrnes: Dynamic ATH Chamarryus Bomar is going to have an impact no matter where he lines up. Last week, he had just one offensive touch, but he got on the scoreboard with an acrobatic pick-6.
Who to watch for Chapman: QB Coleman Gray took over the game with Woodruff in the second half last week. Gray threw for 200 yards, but it was his physical, between-the-tackles running that helped power the Panthers.
About the Rebels: Byrnes is the only team from Region II-5A to record a win last week, and they did it at a neutral site against a tough, out-of-state opponent. The Rebels’ saw flashes of the future in freshman RB Tre Segarra, and Andrew Stevens is getting more comfortable at QB.
About the Panthers: Chapman had a rollercoaster of a first week: They led by 14, they trailed by one, and they used a crucial couple of plays in the second quarter to take control for good. Along the way, Shawn Cunningham looked special and two new starters on the offensive line, Clay Justus and Johnny Poland, were more than solid.
5A No. 10 Spartanburg at 5A No. 3 Dutch Fork
Series Record: Dutch Fork leads the all-time series 4-0.
Last Meeting: Dutch Fork won 63-14 in last year’s 5A playoffs.
Last Week: Spartanburg lost to South Pointe 16-14; Dutch Fork lost to Colquitt County (GA) 48-17
Radio/TV/Internet: Fox 1400 AM/98.3 FM
Location: 1400 Old Tamah Rd., Irmo
Who to watch for Spartanburg: TJ Johnson showed his potential as a dual-threat guy at QB last week. He threw for 100 yards and a score, rushing for 128 more and a 10.7 yards per carry average.
Who to watch for Dutch Fork: DL Dakota Jordan isn’t the biggest guy you’ll see on the defensive line this year, but he bench-presses 405 pounds and is a tough, physical player for the Foxes.
About the Vikings: Spartanburg has to replace a ton of talent on offense, and there’s going to be some growing pains. The Vikings also play an incredibly tough out-of-region schedule. But the defense is outstanding, the offense is growing, and Spartanburg has a great chance of peaking at just the right time.
About the Silver Foxes: Dutch Fork was in an unfamiliar position last week – the short end of the scoreboard. Colquitt County is a national power and showed it. But Dutch Fork is still huge, still physical, and still the defending 5A champs.
Union County (0-1) at 5A No. 4 Gaffney (0-1)
Series Record: Gaffney leads the series 12-1.
Last Meeting: Last year’s game was cancelled due to weather with Gaffney leading 7-6.
Last Week: Union County lost to Newberry 47-20; Gaffney lost to Cres (N.C.) 44-38
Radio/TV/Internet: WZZQ 104.3 FM (Gaffney); WBCU 1440 AM (Union County)
Location: The Reservation, 149 Twin Lake Rd., Gaffney
Who to watch for Union County: Keyshon Harden showed some flashes last week at QB, including a 51-yard TD pass. He’ll continue to grow into the role.
Who to watch for Gaffney: Jaiden McDowell makes it go. The sophomore RB is quick enough to slice up defenses, but tough enough to play single-back QB in the Indians’ heavy package.
About the Yellow Jackets: Union County is young, and will do some different things offensively. The Yellow Jackets will rely on players maturing into their roles as the season progresses.
About the Indians: Gaffney looked balanced in Week Zero despite the loss, with a strong running game, a pair of 100-yard receivers, and a solid night from QB Riley Staton.
Boiling Springs (0-1) at Mauldin (0-0)
Series record: Boiling Springs leads 27-17, but Mauldin has won each of the last three meetings including a 20-7 win last year.
Last week: Boiling Springs lost to Hanna 36-29; Mauldin did not play
Radio/TV/Internet: Boiling Springs – upstateprepcast.net/boiling-springs
Location: Freeman Field, 701 E Butler Rd, Mauldin, SC 29662
Who to watch for Boiling Springs: RB Javen Chhim, WR Kyle Patterson, QB Lincoln Huskey
Who to watch for Mauldin: RB/LB Devan Ortega, DL DeMario Moore
About the Bulldogs: After falling 43-0 at Hanna to open the 2022 season, it was a much better showing for Boiling Springs in this season’s opener. Chhim had 116 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while Patterson had five catches for 95 yards and two scores. Huskey completed 11-of-22 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 45 yards.
About the Mavericks: After going 2-9 last season, Mauldin has a new head coach in former Airport head coach Andre Cook. Ortega led the Mavericks with 836 yards rushing and three touchdowns in 2022. Moore is a 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior, who’s already been recruited by Ohio State, Auburn, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech and others.
North Augusta (1-0) at Dorman (0-1)
Series Record: Dorman leads the all-time series 5-2.
Last Meeting: Dorman won 42-28 last season.
Radio/TV/Internet: WQUL 101.7 FM, dorman.fm
Location: Cavalier Stadium, 1050 Cavalier Way, Roebuck
Who to watch for North Augusta: RB Beans Hunt is strong enough to run between the tackles, quick enough to get outside, and athletic enough to slide out as a slot receiver. He’s a handful.
Who to watch for Dorman: Kentavion Anderson flies to the ball for the Cavaliers. In Week Zero, he had 11 total tackles and broke up a pass.
About the Yellow Jackets: North Augusta, like Dorman, has its third coach in as many years, and they’ve got a lifer in the job as well, as Richard Bush played and spent some time as an assistant coach at the school. They’ll play a tough, physical brand of football, as Hunt will run behind a veteran OL with all five starters back, led by Roderick Collins.
About the Cavaliers: Dorman very nearly pulled off a comeback win against Greenville in Week Zero. David Sorensen put together a solid game at QB for the Cavaliers, with more than 200 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.
Chesnee (1-0) at 3A No. 9 Broome (1-0)
Series Record: Broome leads the all-time series 20-8-2
Last Meeting: Broome won 54-28 last season.
Last Week: Chesnee beat Blue Ridge 41-30; Broome beat Powdersville 22-21
Radio/TV/Internet: upstateprep-cast.net (Chesnee); coxsportsbroadcasting.com (Broome)
Location: Royal Stadium, 381 Cherry Hill Rd., Spartanburg
Who to watch for Chesnee: Kjay Proctor had an unbelievable night for the Eagles in Week Zero, scoring five total touchdowns – two passing and three rushing.
Who to watch for Broome: Kamajay Brackett-Brannon showed why he’s one of the most dangerous dual-threat QBs in the area. He threw for 125 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 154 and another score in the Centurions’ win over Powdersville.
About the Eagles: The Eagles showed plenty of firepower in their new spread offense on Friday. Along with Proctor’s five scores, Adonis Burgess had two TDs, including a highlight-reel, acrobatic grab. Chesnee got contributions offensively from Noah Lawter and Kaylob Blanton, while the Gerstenacker brothers combined for 14 tackles, and three tackles for loss.
About the Centurions: Broome got a huge win over the defending Upper State champions, defeating Powdersville on a late score. While the Centurions got a typical strong performance offensively from Brackett-Brannon and Jaylen McGill, the defense came up huge. Tyqwon Booker had 12 tackles, Chance Williams added eight, and Broome sacked Powdersville QB Eli Hudgins four times on the night.
Berea (0-0) at Landrum (0-0)
Series Record: The all-time series is tied 2-2.
Last Meeting: Landrum won 34-3 last season.
Last Week: Neither team played a Week Zero contest.
Location: Cardinal Stadium, 18818 Asheville Hwy., Campobello
Who to watch for Berea: Amazay Robinson is a dynamic dual-threat QB for the Bulldogs. He’ll be the key to their offensive success.
Who to watch for Landrum: Colton Link quietly put together one of the best seasons in the area last year, rushing for 1,267 yards, 18 touchdowns, and a 9-yard-per-carry average.
About the Bulldogs: Berea is in its first season under new head coach Drew Chisholm, who has served as the school’s AD since 2020, and was previously head football coach at Blacksburg. The Bulldogs didn’t have much success last season, but have a strong core of returning players to build around.
About the Cardinals: The Cardinals are switching to a spread offense behind new head coach Brent Bridges this season. Most of their success came on the ground last season, with Link leading the way and Braden Mashtare adding more than 800 yards and nine scores. No matter the offense, those two are playmakers.
Fountain Inn (1-0) at Woodruff (0-1)
Series Record: Woodruff won the only previous meeting between the teams 31-0 last season.
Last week: Fountain Inn beat West-Oak 28-0; Woodruff lost to Chapman 57-34
Radio/TV/Internet: Woodruff Wolverine Sports Network (meridix.com)
Location: W.L. Varner Stadium, 710 Cross Anchor Hwy., Woodruff
Who to watch for Fountain Inn: QB Sam Holliday put Fountain Inn on his back last week. He accounted for nearly 250 yards of offense and all four TDs for the Fury, tossing two and running for two more. He also scored a pair of two-point conversions in the win.
Who to watch for Woodruff: QB TJ Morris had an eye-opening varsity debut last week. The junior threw for 268 yards and three TDs for the Wolverines.
About the Fury: Fountain Inn waited an entire season for the program’s first victory, but it didn’t come in dramatic fashion. Instead, the Fury dismantled West-Oak, winning 28-0 and creating some momentum for their second season.
About the Wolverines: Woodruff suffered a loss in the first game under new coach Brett Sloan, but there were plenty of positives. Morris played well at QB, Tre Rodgers provided some punch on the ground, and Kory Scott did Kory Scott things, with more than 130 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Wolverines are young, but there’s a bunch of promise there.
1A No. 5 St. Joseph’s (1-0) at Blacksburg (1-0)
Series Record: St. Joseph’s leads the all-time series 5-1.
Last Meeting: St. Joseph’s won 35-7 last year.
Last Week: Blacksburg beat Buford 42-15; St. Joseph’s beat Fox Creek 42-0.
Location: T.A. Campbell Stadium, 201 W. Ramseur Dr., Blacksburg
Who to watch for St. Joseph’s: Brayden Johnson ran for 164 yards and three touchdowns for the Knights, scoring on runs of 33, 46, and 18 yards.
Who to watch for Blacksburg: WR Ziyon Harris had a huge night in Week Zero, catching three touchdown passes for Blacksburg.
About the Knights: St. Joseph’s football is heavy on the fundamentals, particularly running the ball and stopping the run. Last week, the Knights ground out 349 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, while Johnny Jaraczewski and Joe Patterson led a defensive effort that included 11 tackles for loss and the team’s first shutout since Week 4 last season.
About the Wildcats: Things couldn’t have started much better for the Wildcats in their first game under Josh Batchler with the interim tag removed. Blacksburg picked up a win over Buford with a complete performance, keyed in part by Harris and by RB/LB Zaydron Burris, who led the team in rushing and contributed a 40-yard fumble return for a TD.
Spartanburg Christian (0-0) at Whitmire (0-1)
Series Record: Whitmire won the only previous meeting between the schools 41-21 in Week One last season.
Last Week: Spartanburg Christian was idle; Whitmire lost to Ware Shoals 38-28
Location: Legends Stadium, 2597 SC Hwy. 66, Whitmire
Who to watch for Spartanburg Christian: The Warriors have a ton of players who can reel off big gains, but Asante Jenkins is chief among them. He rushed for more than 1,200 yards last season.
Who to watch for Whitmire: Blake Stribble led the way for the Wolverines in Week Zero, throwing for 125 yards and a TD and rushing for two more scores.
About the Warriors: Spartanburg Christian is going to run it right at you, and then run it some more. The Warriors line up in the Single Wing offense, and the misdirection and motion are geared toward one thing: getting more blockers than defenders at the point of attack.
About the Wolverines: Whitmire is finding some balance on offense, with Stribble leading the way at QB, while Tre Cromer and Kayshaun Schumpert providing plenty of firepower at RB.