The Gray Collegiate Academy football team sent another strong message on the field Friday.
The War Eagles dominated the second half in defeating Hammond, 52-14, at the Skyhawks’ Edens Stadium.
After the game, Gray coach Adam Holmes also had a message regarding his team’s uncertain future headed into Region 4-2A play in two weeks.
The six teams in Gray’s region — Keenan, Columbia, Eau Claire, Newberry, Mid-Carolina and Fairfield Central — have said they plan to forfeit their games against the War Eagles. The schools view the forfeitures against Gray as their way of taking a stand on fair play and competitive balance concerns regarding charter and private schools that are SCHSL members and have dominated the 1A and 2A state championships in recent years.
“We can’t control that. If teams don’t want to play us, so be it,” Holmes said. “I’m tired of people out there talking about us. Our guys work hard. They work extremely dadgum hard. For this to be taken away from us from guys in our own region, it’s really ridiculous to me. If you want to give us a region championship, give us a region championship and a No. 1 seed in the dadgum playoffs. If they want to do that, we will find games. I already have two lined up and we will find some more.
“So if teams don’t want to play us, give us the region title and make it an easier run for a state championship, then so be it. … It’s not going to hinder us. If we take six weeks off, we will go in fresh for the playoffs.”
Gray has one non-region game left at home against Camden next week before region play is scheduled to begin against Eau Claire on Sept. 15. Holmes is in the process of adding makeup games to fill out the regular season schedule in place of the expected cancellations.
Gray Collegiate won its first state championship two years ago by defeating Silver Bluff and is ranked No. 2 in the latest Class 2A poll.
“To me, it is really an injustice to our guys, to our team, our school. Because of our success and how hard we work, we are being punished for it — I just don’t agree with it,” Holmes said.
The uncertainty has been tough on the players, senior receiver Jamarious Lockett said.
“We will just have a chip on our shoulder that nobody wants to play us,” Lockett said. “It’s not fair to us, but we just got to go out and regain our title.”
Lockett had another big night Friday with five catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tyler Waller threw for 139 yards and three TDs. Dre’Von Dopson added 109 yards and a score.
Running back BJ Montgomery caught a TD and rushed for one.
The War Eagles’ defense forced four turnovers, including Kaine Willams’ interception and return for TD to end Hammond’s scoring attempt to give the War Eagles a 31-14 at halftime.
High school football: Final scores from Midlands and South Carolina games
Photos: Gray Collegiate vs. Hammond 2023 footballThe Hammond Skyhawks host the Gray Collegiate War Eagles on Friday, Sept. 1 in high school football action.
Dutch Fork slide continues
Dutch Fork isn’t used to losing football games. The Silver Foxes lost their third straight game with a 20-17 defeat Friday against Hough (NC). It is Dutch Fork’s first three-game game losing streak since 2009, a year before Tom Knotts took over the program.
Clemson commit Nolan Hauser kicked two field goals, including a 34-yarder with 1:18 left in the third quarter to give the Huskies a 20-17 lead. The game-winner tied a national career record for made field goals at 56, and it set a new North Carolina record.
Dutch Fork was shut out in the fourth quarter and managed just three points in the second half after leading 14-3. The Silver Foxes outgained Hough, 313-217. Quarterback Ethan Offing threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns for Dutch Fork. Running back Trent Lodge had six catches for 100 yards and a TD.
Will Jones rushed for 107 yards and Sean Brady had a kickoff return for Hough.
Milestone win for Gilbert coach
Gilbert’s Chad Leaphart became the school’s all-time winningest coach with the Indians’ 49-35 win over South Aiken. Leaphart has 69 victories since taking over the program in 2016, passing Marty Woolbright’s 68. Leaphart has 110 victories combined at Gilbert and Swansea.
Quarterback Drake Braddock threw five touchdown passes and Jaylen Jay rushed for 144 yards and a TD. Chance Guthrie had 5 catches for 132 yards and a TD.
Lexington wins thriller
Lexington rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit to defeat Stratford, 25-24, on the road. Tyler Chavis hit the game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired to move Lexington to 3-0.
Quarterback Taiden Mines threw for 203 yards, a TD and also rushed for a score. Running back Cam Morris rushed for 107 yards and a TD.
Irmo impressive again
Irmo moved to 3-0 with a 42-0 win over River Bluff.
Quarterback AJ Brand threw four touchdown passes and ran for one. Running back Jaden Allen-Hendrix rushed for 218 yards. Donovan Murph and Caleb Alexander each caught two TD passes.
Irmo has outscored its opponents, 146-15, in the first three weeks.
Will Wilson, QB, Richland Northeast: North Carolina State commit rushed for five TDs and threw one in a 44-43 win over Keenan on Thursday. Wilson carried it 16 times for 279 yards and was 7-of-14 passing for 69 yards.
Brady Albro, QB, Chapin: Junior threw four touchdown passes and rushed for a score as Chapin defeated Spring Valley, 38-7, for its second straight win.
Drake Braddock, QB, Gilbert: Braddock was 15-of-21 passing for 328 yards and five TDs in Gilbert’s 49-35 win over South Aiken.
KenMane Brunson, RB, Saluda: Brunson rushed for 187 yards and three TDs in a 25-0 win over Ninety-Six.
Around the Midlands
White Knoll 42, Colleton County 15: Freshman Tiyon Fanning rushed for three touchdowns as the Timberwolves moved to 2-0 on the season with a win Saturday.
Blythewood 30, Westwood 20: Quarterback Harrison Collins threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Bengals won the Battle of the Axe. Collins finished with 252 yards passing. Kanye Reed caught eight passes for 111 yards. Carrington Carter threw two TDs for Westwood, which led 7-2 at halftime.
Ben Lippen 28, Pinewood Prep 21: Blake Bost scored on a 10-yard touchdown with 1:36 left and the Falcons had a goal line stand to win on the road. Bost also returned a blocked field goal for a TD.
Airport 10, Lamar 2: The Eagles didn’t allow a TD for the second time in three games. Shilo Perry had four catches for 85 yards and a TD.
Ridge View 47, Lower Richland 6: The Blazers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a blowout win over the Diamond Hornets.
Hartsville 55, Camden 21: Carmello McDaniel rushed for five touchdowns as Hartsville handed Camden its first loss of the season. Max Ford had two TD catches for Camden.
Pelion 35, Eau Claire 28: The Panthers scored the go-ahead TD with 58 seconds left. After stopping Eau Claire on the 8-yard line, Pelion drove it 92 yards in 3:58 to take the lead. Quarterback Luke New threw two TDs and ran for one. Michael Cottrell rushed for 131 yards and two TDs and Julian Tyler had seven catches for 144 yards.
Richard Winn 57, Wardlaw 34: QB Charlie Bonds threw for 255 yards, 5 TDs and rushed for 109 yards, a TD for Richard Winn. Drew Spires had 11 catches for 242 yards, five TDs and returned a 93-yard punt return for a TD.
Chester 24, Fairfield Central 0: Demais Witherspoon and Elijah Coleman had TD runs in the Cyclones’ win over the Griffins, who were shut out for the first time since 2021.
Whitmire 8, Mid-Carolina 7: The Wolverines won their second straight game and defeated M-C for the first time since 2001.
Lugoff-Elgin 7, Darlington 0: Myles Hamilton scored the game’s only touchdown in the third quarter as the Demons won their first game of the year.
CA Johnson 24, North Central 20: The Hornets moved to 2-1 with a win over the Knights.
Bethlehem Christian 42, Heathwood Hall 6: Joshua Adams rushed for 293 yards in the win over the Heathwood. The Highlanders played without QB Patrick Belk, who suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury last week.
Dreher 35, Lakewood 8: The Blue Devils improved to 2-1 on the season with a win over the Gators.
Richland Northeast 44, Keenan 43: The Cavs stopped a go-ahead two-point try with 1:08 to seal their first win of the year on Thursday. RNE quarterback Will Wilson ran for five TDs, including the go-ahead score with 4:05 left. Keenan answered with Desmond Washington’s TD pass to Tyheim McNeil but was stuffed on the two-point try.
September 2, 2023 | State, The: Web Edition Articles (Columbia, SC)
Author/Byline: Lou Bezjak, The State | Section: prep_football
1447 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1220, grade level(s): 11-12