Southeastern preview: Patriots looks to extend success against region foe

Sonny Kennedy

Troup (Ga.) at Sandy Creek (Ga.) CSS WEB GAME

Sandy Creek has lost just one game since 2009, and handed region-rival Troup a 48-10 thrashing last season. The same cast of play makers that led the Patriots past Troup and to the 2012 Class AAAA state title are back this season and stronger than ever. In last week’s 54-19 win over Fayette County, Sandy Creek quarterback Cole Garvin (Marshall commit) threw first-quarter touchdown passes to Jeremiah Relaford and Demarre Kitt (Clemson commit).

3-star Delvin Weems scored on runs of 40 and two yards in the opening half and 4-star Eric Swinney added a late 47-yard touchdown run. Garvin is completing 70 percent of his passes this season and the backfield is averaging 261 rushing yards per game.

Troup’s playmaker to watch is linebacker and running back Daryl Dunlap. The physical San Diego State commit stands 6-foot-2, 215-pounds and excels on both sides of the football.


Olive Branch (Miss.) at South Panola (Miss.) CSS WEB GAME

The Olive Branch Conquistadors and the South Panola Tigers have identical records at 5-1, and this matchup could eventually decide the 2013 Region 1-6A title. South Panola’s loss came in a 26-9 rout by Memphis University (Tenn.), but the Tigers responded with a 42-13 road win over Horn Lake (Miss.) on Friday. Olive Branch suffered its lone loss to an out-of-state opponent as well, falling to Longview, Texas 27-26.

The Conquistadors are led by quarterback Ross Trail who has thrown for 1,010 yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season. On the ground, eight different ball carriers have found the end zone, including junior Dontavis Bruce who has averaged 12.11 yards-per carry and scored five touchdowns this season.

South Panola is relentless in its running attack and averages 250 rushing yards per game. Junior running back Darrell Henderson has 261 carries for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.


Auburn (Ala.) at Carver-Montgomery (Ala.) CSS TV GAME OF THE WEEK

Carver topped Auburn 46-20 when the schools squared off last season, handing the Tigers their only region-loss of the season. Each program found postseason success after grabbing the top two seeds out of Region 3, but would fall short in postseason rematches with Region 3’s Opelika. Auburn fell in the quarterfinals to the Bulldogs and Carver was eliminated in the semis.

This year plenty of talent dots each roster, and the teams come in with identical 4-1 records each wearing a region loss. The 2013 race in Region 3 appears much tighter this season and this matchup sets up playoff and seeding implications.

Leading the Carver offense is junior quarterback Mike McKenny, who is fresh off his best performance of the season. McKenny completed 19 of 33 passes for 271 yards and six touchdowns in a 50-21 win over Tri-Cities (Ga.) Friday. Tight end Charles Standberry is committed to Ole Miss and has hauled in five touchdowns this season. Standberry is joined by 3-star wideout Landy Capetillo, who has also caught five scores.

Defensively, Shaun Hamilton is a monster who has posted 31 solo tackles on the season. The Carver linebacker is committed to Alabama and stands 6-foot, 240 pounds.  John Michael Edwards, a Southern Miss commitment, adds to Carver’s wealth of defensive size at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds. Safety Draequon Murphy is an Arkansas State-commit and has one of eight interceptions this season in a talented Wolverines secondary.

Auburn can match the talent at linebacker with Rashaan Evans and Darian Yancey anchoring the unit. Yancey is a Southern Miss-commit and Evans is the No. 6-ranked prospect in the state of Alabama. Cornerback Antreal Allen will challenge the Carver wideouts and has already hauled in a pair of interceptions this season.

Offensively, quarterback Bradley Northcutt and a list of playmakers pace the Tigers. Wideout Kyle Sikes is averaging close to 100 receiving yards per game, and Evans, James Askew and Tyus O’Neal El have all registered receiving touchdowns this season. The Tigers have plenty of ground game to work with and are averaging 214.2 rushing yards per game this season. In Auburn’s 16-13 win over Gadsden City (Ala.) last Friday, Tyus Flakes had 136 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown to pace the Tigers.

Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.) at Ensworth (Tenn.)

Ensworth topped McCallie (Tenn.) 28-14 on Friday and moved to 5-0 on the season. The Tigers took a 14-7 lead at halftime after quarterback P.J. Settles connected with Jake Estes on a touchdown strike. They extended their advantage to the final winning margin thanks to a fourth-quarter scoring run by D’Andre Ferby. Ferby rushed 32 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns as Ensworth gained 305 rushing yards on the night.

Matching Ensworth’s size and physicality is something each opponent has failed to do this season. Undefeated Montgomery Bell Academy will rely on its solid defensive unit that has surrendered just 9.0 points per game. The Big Red have a pair of two-way stars who can help them battle in the trenches. OT/DE Alex Bars stands 6-foot-6, 286 pounds and OG/DT Jashon Robertson is 6-foot-3, 280 pounds.


Wakulla (Fla.) at Godby (Fla.)

Godby’s only loss last season during its route to the 2012 Class 5A state title came in a 23-12 defeat to Wakulla. In the second round of the state playoffs Godby and the War Eagles were matched up again, and Godby took care of business 14-7 to end Wakulla’s season.

When these two familiar rivals square off on Friday, we can expect another intense battle. The Cougars come off a bye week that followed a 50-9 win over Leon (Fla.). Godby quarterback J.T. Bradwell tossed four touchdowns in the win to four different receivers. Wakulla has an aerial attack of its own that features wideout Jordan Franks. The senior wideout has hauled in 37 catches for 1,075 yards and six touchdowns this season.


Northwestern (S.C.) at South Pointe (S.C.)

Northwestern is ranked No. 4 in the Southeast and the 5-0 Tigers are battle-tested and in midseason form. In last week’s 34-0 region win over Lancaster (S.C.), Dupree Hart rushed for a 5-yard touchdown and caught a 38-yard score in the opening half. Hart continued his productive night and returned the opening kickoff of the second half 85-yards for the touchdown.

South Pointe comes in with a 4-1 record and cruised past Fort Mill (S.C.) 52-14 on Friday. Senior running backs Josh Brice and Davonta Blake each added a pair of rushing scores in the win. In a very tight game last season, Northwestern took this matchup 28-25.


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One Response to “Southeastern preview: Patriots looks to extend success against region foe”

  1. T-Money
    October 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Awesome Article !!

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