Local rivals will square off this week while Latta will get their season underway in Week 1 of varsity football action.
The Dillon Wildcats are set to face the Lake View Wild Gators this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Lake View. Both teams are coming off big wins in Week Zero, with Dillon downing North Myrtle Beach 54-14 and Lake View earning a 32-12 win over Scott’s Branch.
Both teams had big seasons last year as well, with the Wildcats claiming their third straight Class 2A Division I title and Lake View taking a trip to the Class A Division II state championship, finishing as the state runner-up. Dillon was ranked as the number one school in Class 2A in the preseason polls, while Lake View was ranked seventh.
Since 1929, the Wildcats have earned a 53-32-1 record over the Gators. Dillon has won every encounter between the county rivals in the last decade, and held the Wild Gators scoreless in every game from 2009 to 2013. But Lake View broke the scoring streak last season, earning 14 points but still falling 49-14. Both of last year’s scorers for Lake View, running backs Reco Brown and Christian McDaniel, graduated in the spring, but most of Dillon’s leading scorers from last year’s game, including quarterback Avery McCall and running back Johnny Allen, are returning, along with scoring threats Dae’Shawn Davis, Jamison Chapman, and DeKendric Graves.
In Week Zero, Dillon earned 421 yards in total offense and 539 overall yards. Chapman carried 14 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the opener and Allen had 92 yards on seven carries, while McCall rushed nine times for 71 yards and two touchdowns in addition to completing 6 of 11 passing attempts for 55 yards. Davis scored twice, earning 17 yards on three carries and 26 on two receptions, and Austin Moody completed one pass to Davis for 12 of those yards and a touchdown in the third quarter.
The Wildcat defense gave up 182 yards. Jermaine McDaniel led the team defensively, making 10 tackles and two and half quarterback sacks. Quamel Laurenceau made nine tackles and a sack and a half, and Zareon Hayes also made a sack early in the first quarter.
In Lake View’s opener, the Wild Gators picked up 223 yards on 36 carries. After trailing 6-0 in the first, De’Ante Bridgett scored on a 36-yard run to tie the game in the first half. Bridgett led a rally for the Gators in the third quarter, returning the opening kickoff for an 83-yard touchdown, and he struck again in the fourth on a 39-yard run. Duane Nichols added a touchdown on an 11-yard quarterback keeper in the third, and Tyshawn McDaniel scored on a 37-yard interception return.
The Wild Gator defense held the Eagles to just 54 yards on 38 carries and two of 10 passes for 36 yards in the air. But the Gators fumbled the ball four times, which led to both of the Eagle touchdowns.
Over in Latta, the Vikings will be opening their regular season on the road against Mullins this Friday.
The Vikings are in their first year under Head Coach Brandon Iseman and are coming off a 4-8 season, but feature several key returning players, including Colby Lee, Davonte Porter, Tyreik McAllister, and Kartilus McFadden. In their preseason outings, Latta earned an 8-7 win over East Bladen, NC, at the Battle of the Carolinas in Lumberton, and after trailing 21-7 against Chesterfield at the Founders Federal Credit Union Jamboree, Latta rallied in the second but fell short at 24-19.
The Class 2A Mullins Auctioneers started their season last Friday with a 69-14 loss to Lamar. The Silver Foxes dominated early on, running up 36 points on five touchdowns in the first quarter and adding another in the second to lead 42-8 at the half. Lamar added 27 points in the second half, earning a total of 518 rushing yards.
Mullins was led by Riyan Gore and Javarius Smith. Gore earned 121 yards passing, connecting with Smith twice for both Auctioneer touchdowns.
The Auctioneers are coming off a 4-6 season, which included a 46-34 win over Latta. Neither team was ranked in the preseason polls.
In SCISA action, Dillon Christian School will be heading to Myrtle Beach this Friday to take on Christian Academy. Last season, the Warriors downed the Saints 40-0 on their way to a 9-3 season and a trip to the Class A Lower State title game. The Warriors lost six seniors since then, but have strong returners in Michael Minges, Te’Shaun Lane, and Anthony Williams, among others.
In their season opener, the Warriors trailed Florence Christian 21-7 at the half, but rallied for two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. The Warriors went for a two-point conversion that would’ve given them the win, but an Eagle defender knocked the ball out of the receiver’s hands to end the game with the Warriors falling 21-20.
Minges led at quarterback, running for 150 yards and two touchdowns and completing seven of 14 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also made four tackles on defense. Lane had 65 yards rushing on seven carries and caught four passes for 53 yards and a touchdown, and Kelvin Stackhouse and Tyreke Toomer each added good yardage for the Warriors.
Jake Boykin and Ethan Shackelford led the Warrior defense, and David Williams made some hard hits for the Warriors. Boykin had nine tackles, two assists, and Shackelford made eight tackles, three assists. David Williams had six tackles, three assists; Stackhouse made eight tackles, three assists; and Anthony Williams made four tackles, four assists, and a fumble recovery.
The Christian Academy Saints will be opening their regular season this Friday. The Saints have a young program and will be entering just their third season since starting their program in 2013. The Saints finished 2-4 in their first season playing 8-man football and went 1-9 in 2014 in their first year in 11-man.
The Saints return six starters and will be under a new head coach, Matt Adams, who served as an assistant coach in 2014. Freshman Braden McCauley will be taking over quarterback duties and sophomore Christian Gaskins will be a key running back for the Saints. Sophomores Tyler Underwood and Jeremiah Royall are expected to lead the defense. Royall made 76 tackles in his freshman season.
Friday night action starts at 7:30 p.m. for all our local teams, so make plans to attend! And be sure to visit us online at thedillonherald.com on Friday night for the latest varsity football updates!