Even as local high school varsity football teams recognize their top players from last week’s games, they prepare for some tough contests ahead this Friday night. Two local varsity teams will be on the road in gridiron action, but the other had a cancellation.
The Patrick Henry Academy Patriots were scheduled to travel to Charleston to play Cathedral Academy in its first region game of the year, but this game has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The 1-1 Estill High School Gators will be at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School for a 7:30 p.m. match-up.
The 2-0 Wade Hampton High School Red Devils will kick off at May River High at 7:30 p.m.
LAST WEEK’S RECAP
PHA kicks off 50th season with overwhelming win
By Jeffrey Strickland
BATESBURG — After waiting two weeks to play a game because other schools cancelled due to COVID protocols, Patrick Henry Academy kicked off its 50th season in style, overwhelming the WW King Academy Knights 60-14.
King was unable to stop the Patriot rushing attack anchored by the blocking of ends Tillman Padgett and Liam Peeples and interior linemen Carter Rivers, Walton DeLoach, and Cohen Freeman, giving up 356 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns.
The Patriot defense was stout all night, allowing King only two touchdowns, one in the first quarter and another in the fourth. Andy Searles and J.G. Griner led the defense with seven and six tackles, respectively, and the entire defense combined for seven tackles for loss and one interception.
King started off the game with the ball and methodically drove down the field, capping a 62-yard drive with a quarterback keeper by Collin Woodward and a conversion by Ben Sauls. Patrick Henry quickly answered back on a four-play drive with quarterback Zack Mathis running 42 yards for the score. The Patriot defense stymied King’s efforts to get deep into PHA territory, and the Patriot offense quickly got rolling with touchdown runs by running backs Austin Cone (4 yds, 6 yds) and J. G. Griner (13 yds, 11 yds) and successful conversions by Griner, Tillman Padgett, and Asher Moore. By the end of the first half, Patrick Henry led 38-8.
With sophomore Hugh Fairey under center in the second half, the Patriot offense didn’t miss a beat, quickly scoring on a 4-yard run by Fairey with Cone adding the conversion. King continued to stall out and was unable to getting anything going offensively, and the Knight defense allowed another 1-yard touchdown by William Hazel who also added the conversion. With the fourth quarter almost over, King’s running back Ben Sauls got in the end zone for King’s last score of the game. PHA answered right back with an 86-yard return by Fairey on the following kickoff. With a running clock for much of the second half, the game soon ended with the final score PHA 60, King 14.
After a dominating performance, Coach Greg Moore had this to say:
“At first we looked a little rusty having not played a game yet, but we shook off the jitters and took it to them. Everybody got to play, and we were all excited to finally be playing a game. Now we’ll be getting ready for our first region game next Friday.”