Gray conquers Camden; Dutch Fork picks up first W

With all the news swirling around the Gray Collegiate football team, nothing has slowed down performance on the field.

The War Eagles used a physical brand of football and an opportunistic defense to defeat Camden, 30-12, on Friday night.

It was Gray’s third straight win over Camden and will likely put the second-ranked War Eagles in the top spot atop the Class 2A polls after No. 1 Abbeville’s loss to Westside.

A lot of the attention has been on the War Eagles’ Region 4-2A opponents not wanting to play them in the final six games, but they are beginning to piece together a schedule for the remainder of the season, starting with next weekend’s trip to play St. John’s (DC), which has several Power 5 prospects on its roster.

On the field, they have wins over quality opponents in defending Class A champion Christ Church, Crestwood, SCISA 4A champ Hammond and the Bulldogs, who were ranked in the top 10 of Class 3A.

“We are just taking our next step,” Gray coach Adam Holmes said. “We had four really good football games and now we will probably play the best team out of all of them. Our guys will be tested, playing a team on a national level. We are excited about it.”

The War Eagles’ two-quarterback system of Tyler Waller and Dre’Von Dopson had some big moments. Dopson threw a TD pass to Blaine Redmond and the two-point conversion gave the War Eagles an 8-6 lead in the second quarter. Dopson also had a TD run in the second half.

Waller then connected with S.C. State commitment Zai Offord to put Gray up 15-6 with 3.4 seconds left in the second quarter.

Gray took the opening kickoff of the second half and took off about eight minutes, capped off by BJ Montgomery’s TD run to make it 22-6.

Camden had a pair of good opportunities in the second half but fumbled twice inside the Gray 5-yard line. The Bulldogs also were intercepted in the end zone to squander an opportunity in the first half.

“I said this is one of the better defenses we’ve had here at Gray,” Holmes said. “When times got tough, defense stepped up and made big plays down by the goal line to cause turnovers.”

QB Grayson White had a TD run and pass for the Bulldogs, who lost their second straight game.

Dutch Fork bounces back

Dutch Fork ended the longest losing streak in the Tom Knotts era by defeating Stratford, 54-7.

The Silver Foxes moved to 1-3 with the victory and will host North Augusta next week.

Running back Maurice Anderson rushed for a score and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. The Silver Foxes scored three special team touchdowns in the game.

Unbeaten battle looming

Gilbert and Lexington enter next week’s rivalry game with unbeaten records.

Lexington defeated Blythewood, 32-7, to move to 4-0 while Gilbert defeated Pelion, 55-9, to go to 3-0. The Lexington County squads meet next Friday at Gilbert.

In Lexington’s win, Taiden Mines had a pair of touchdown passes to South Carolina baseball commit Brandon Cromer and Cam Morris added two TD runs.

In Gilbert’s win, Jaylen Jay ran for three touchdowns and also caught a 44-yard TD pass. QB Drake Braddock threw for 269 yards and two TDs. Krew Morris caught nine passes for 101 yards and a score. The Indians had 547 yards of offense in the game.

Top performers

Roper Wentzky and Kendall Byrd, AC Flora: The Falcons’ QB and receiver hooked up on four TD passes in the Falcons’ 42-35 win over Brookland-Cayce. The fourth touchdown pass put the Falcons up 35-21 in the fourth quarter. Will Young had two TD runs and Brogan Sox had two TD passes for B-C.

Parker Murray and Stephen Collier, River Bluff: Murray was 18-of-23 for 287 yards and three touchdowns in the 63-28 win over South Aiken. Collier finished with seven catches for 164 yards and a TD. The game was tied at 28 with 5:07 left in third before the Gators scored the final 35 points. Darius Cain and Jacob Pinkney combined for five rushing TDs.

Landon Sharpe, QB, White Knoll: Sharpe threw for 263 yards, three scores and rushed for 49 yards, a TD in the 54-7 win over Westwood. CJ Earl led the Wolves with five catches for 130 yards and a TD.

Around the Midlands

Fairfield Central 46, Lancaster 44: Douglas McCloud returned a fumble for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the Griffins a come-from-behind win. Fairfield QB Cam McMillon threw four touchdowns and ran for a score. KJ Golden had two of the TD catches and Ty’Darion Grier returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Chapin 27, Newberry 13: QB Brady Albro threw three TD passes as the Eagles won their third straight game. Albro’s TD pass to Jon Rossi with three seconds left in the second quarter put Chapin up 13-6.

Ridge View 42, Spring Valley 0: Six different Blazers had TDs in the win over the Vikings. Breylon Boyd and Tre Howard had TD passes, Siah Mack and Carter Coleman had TD runs and Myles Brown had a defensive touchdown.

Airport 10, Lugoff-Elgin 7: The Eagles hit a game-winning field with four minutes left and had a late goal-line stand to defeat L-E. Airport is 3-1 for the first time since 2015 and already has the most wins in a season since 2019. Jesse Ray Hoover threw for 194 yards and a TD to Avery Jones, who finished with seven catches for 111 yards. L-E’s Tyquawn Murphy had a punt return for a score to tie it at 7-7 with 10 minutes left.

Hammond 20, Laurence Manning 6: The Skyhawks bounced back from a loss to Gray with a win over the Monarchs.

Cardinal Newman 44, Atlantic Academy 6:Cortez Lane had two TDs as the Cardinals moved to 3-0 for the first time in more than two decades. Darius Bailem returned a punt for a touchdown and three other Cardinals had rushing TDs.

Keenan 22, North Central 8: The Raiders picked up their first win of the season.

Camden Military 6, Northside Christian 0: The Crusaders were stopped near the goal line in the game’s final seconds in the loss to Camden Military.

Saluda 9, Emerald 6: Brayden Williams rushed for 137 yards and a TD and the Tigers got a late safety to hold on against Emerald.

West Florence 44, Dreher 17: Franklin Emerson ran for four touchdowns and threw two TD passes in the Knights’ win over the Blue Devils.

Columbia 47, Great Falls 12: The Caps jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead on their way to their second win of the season.

Whitmire 46, Eau Claire 38: The Wolves scored the go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter to extend the Shamrocks’ losing streak to 28 games.

Wagener-Salley 30, Swansea 13: Kentrell Brown rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns for W-S. Dante Caldwell had two TD runs for Swansea.

Richard Winn 59, Newberry Academy 6: Quarterback Charlie Bonds had 319 all-purpose yards and accounted for six touchdowns in RW’s win. Drew Spires caught six passes for 164 yards and three TDs and Josh Tyndall returned an interception for a TD.

Hampton County 41, CA Johnson 0: Zion Dobson had four touchdowns as Hampton County moved to 4-0.

Lou Bezjak: (803) 771-8419, @LouatTheState


Jeff Blake Jeff Blake Photo

Gray Collegiate War Eagles’ Jamarious Lockett makes a catch as Camden Bulldogs’ Wyatt Thompson defends during their game Friday at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.

Jeff Blake Jeff Blake Photo

Camden Bulldogs’ Jo Jo Crim returns the opening kickoff during their game Friday at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.

Jeff Blake Jeff Blake Photo

Gray Collegiate War Eagles’ Zion Job rushes against the Camden Bulldogs during their game Friday at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.

Jeff Blake Jeff Blake Photo

Gray Collegiate War Eagles quarterback John Tyler Waller passes against the Camden Bulldogs during their game Friday at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia.

September 10, 2023  State, The (Columbia, SC)  Columbia, South Carolina
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