The early part of a football season is always a time to get the kinks out.
This makes it especially sweet for those teams who post wins despite not putting together a complete game.
Such was the case in Week Zero, as both Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Orangeburg-Wilkinson had to rely on strong defensive efforts to pull out hard-fought wins.
B-E and Woodland played a rare scoreless four quarters of football before the Red Raiders pulled out a 7-0 overtime win.
The Bruins needed two days to defeat Edisto 26-0 after power outages pushed the contest to completion on Saturday morning.
Other teams fared even better in victory.
Team of the week
The Yellow Jackets opened the season with their largest margin of victory in school history in the 62-22 rout of Charleston Math and Science. The 62 points were three shy of the school record for points in a game set on Sept. 21, 2012, in a 65-26 win over Lincoln.
TMQ top player
Bill Metts (Orangeburg Prep)
The Indians had an earlier start than most teams in Week Zero at the lightless Hilton Head facility. Metts was more than ready with 188 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the 46-7 victory.
Week Zero gridiron giants
• Schaffie Rodgers (Branchville) — 90 rushing yards, 2 TDs
• Zach Wiles (Branchville) — 8-11 passing, 96 yards, 2 TDs; 78 rushing yards, 3 TDs
• Lance Brownlee (Dorchester Academy) — 73 rushing yards, 11-20 passing, 97 yards, 2 TDs
• Trace Furtick (Orangeburg Prep) — 5-10 passing, 128 yards, TD
• Wesley Wells and John Henry Reynolds (both of Orangeburg Prep) – 10 tackles each
• Jerrald Manigault (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) – game-winning interception in the end zone in OT, 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups
By the numbers
Andrew Jackson Academy opens the season Friday against Jefferson Davis Academy with the Palmetto State’s longest winning streak at 26 games. Conversely, North opens the season with the state’s longest losing streak at 25 .. .B-E head coach Kevin Crosby is four wins shy of 100 for his career. He has seven 10-win seasons .. .Denmark-Olar has dropped its last six season-openers … Woodland dropped to 0-4 all-time against Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
The Red Raiders were the lone T&D Region team ranked in the South Carolina Prep Football Media poll released on Tuesday. In fact, it is a trifecta of Region 5-2A teams ranked 2-4, respectively in Class 2A, in Batesburg-Leesville, Barnwell and B-E. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler and Blackville-Hilda received votes in Class A in the preseason poll, while Bethune-Bowman received votes in Class A this week.
Berry and McMurray
Longtime Blackville-Hilda head football coach David Berry and Bennie McMurray, a South Carolina State alumnus who led Lewisville to three state titles in football and five in baseball, will be inducted into the S.C. Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December.
The second-winningest high school football coach in The T&D Region behind retired Dorchester Academy coach Stanley Gruber, Berry has won 257 career games and led the Hawks to 24 straight winning seasons.
“It’s going to be a long season; don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of them fighting and staying in there and getting the win. We just can’t play like this. I told them we probably had more turnovers tonight than we had in the last two years here.” — Bamberg-Ehrhardt head coach Kevin Crosby following the 7-0 overtime win over Woodland in Week Zero.
Won and moved on
The last two T&D Region football coaches to win state titles have moved on the following seasons. In 2015, in his only season as head coach, Bill Spiers led Calhoun Academy to a state championship. The next fall he was on the sidelines as an assistant coach for the Clemson Tigers, who won the national title. After leading Andrew Jackson Academy to back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016, Allen Sitterle (with four titles at Daniel High School in the 1990s) has now retired from coaching for a second time, with plans to watch Friday night football from the stands for a change.
S.C. Prep Media Football Poll, Aug. 22
5A – 1. Dutch Fork (14), 2. Fort Dorchester (1), 3. Boiling Springs, 4. Greenwood, 5. Conway, 6. Spartanburg, 7. Spring Valley, 8. Byrnes, 9. Summerville, 10. Sumter. Receiving votes: T.L. Hanna, Gaffney, Dorman, Westside
4A – 1. South Pointe (15), 2. Hartsville, 3. South Aiken, 4. North Myrtle Beach, 5. Greer, 6. Belton-Honea Path, 7. Daniel, 8. North Augusta, 9. Chapin, 10. Ridge View. Receiving Votes: Berkeley, Union County, York, Greenville, Westwood, Wren, Myrtle Beach
3A – 1. Chapman (14), 2. Dillon (1), 3. Fairfield Central, 4. Newberry, 5. Brookland-Cayce, 6. Strom Thurmond, 7. Seneca, 8. Timberland, 9. Chester, 10. Powdersville. Receiving Votes: Bluffton, Manning, Woodruff, Gilbert, Pendleton, Bishop England, Palmetto, Broome
2A – 1. Abbeville (15), 2. Batesburg-Leesville, 3. Barnwell, 4. Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 5. Cheraw, 6. Carvers Bay, 7. Blacksburg, 8. Lee Central, 9. Chesterfield and Latta (tie). Receiving votes: Andrews, Central, Woodland, Saluda, Southside Christian, Mullins
1A – 1. Lamar (10), 2. Lewisville (4), 3. Hemingway (1), 4. Cross, 5. St. John’s, 6. C.E. Murray, 7. Lake View, 8. Williston-Elko, 9. Wagener-Salley, 10. McBee Receiving votes: Dixie, Baptist Hill, Bethune-Bowman, Green Sea Floyds, Hannah-Pamplico
S.C. Prep Media Football Poll voters: Chris Dearing, The State; Bret McCormick, The Herald; Lou Bezjak, The State; Joe Hughes, The Sun News; Tyler Cupp, WPUB radio; Travis Jenkins, Chester News Reporter; Jed Blackwell, Spartanburg Herald-Journal; Bob Castello, Greenville News; Chris Burgin, 100.1 The Fan; Eric Russell, Aiken Standard; Scott Chancey, Florence Morning News; Chris Clark, The Times and Democrat; Dennis Brunson, Sumter Item; David Roberts, Greenwood Index-Journal; David Shelton, Charleston Post and Courier; Lake Morris, Anderson Independent Mail.
Thomas Grant Jr. reported on The T&D Region sports scene for two decades as a Times and Democrat staffer. In 2014, he became sports editor of The Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News in Lexington.