The Patriot defense faces a big test in its final home game of the regular season.
Fort Dorchester (5-3, 1-1 in Region 8-AAAA) hosts Bluffton (5-3, 1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Patriot coach Steve LaPrad says the Bobcats are a hard team to prepare for.
“There is nothing they won’t do at any time,” he said. “They run kind of a flex-bone, pistol formation offense and we know they will just have people going everywhere. It’s smart on their part because it takes up a lot of time to prepare for that so you can’t focus on much else. Plus they have some good skills guys.”
After going 12-2 and advancing to the Division II-AAAA semifinals last season, the Bobcats lost 21 seniors. But the team did return seven starters and about 20 seniors who helped the team get out to a fast start this season. Bluffton won four of its first five games.
Bluffton quarterback Alex Davis has pass for more than 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. During a 41-28 win over Ashley Ridge last week, the QB completed 11 of 22 pass attempts for 234 yards and three scores. Receiver Terrance Heyward had 131 of the receiving yards, 98 of which came on one TD play.
Bluffton also has a number of players who can run the ball well. Last week fullback B.J. Hill rushed for 155 of Bluffton’s 253 rushing yards. The week before, he had nearly 170 yards on the ground.
“We will have to play assignment football,” LaPrad said. “I hope we are up to the challenge.”
Bluffton also has some heavy hitters on the defensive side of the ball.
“Their nose guard was selected for the Shrine Bowl and one of their defensive ends has been highly recruited,” LaPrad said.
Bobcat defensive end Shameik Blackshear (6-4, 235) has verbally committed to play for the Gamecocks next season.
Bluffton had 21 sacks entering its game with Ashley Ridge. Defensive backs Herbert Daise and Alex Waddell were responsible for 13 of those sacks. The Bobcats also have 10 interceptions on the year.
Last week, Bluffton forced three interceptions and recovered two Ashley Ridge fumbles.
Fort Dorchester is coming off a 56-14 victory over Colleton County. LaPrad says his defense had one of its best games of the season in Walterboro. The Patriots kept the Cougars out of the end zone for two of the four quarters and the defense only surrendered 12 points in the game.
The Fort offense also had a spectacular night. QB Kobe Garrett rushed for more than 100 yards and passed for just under 100 yards in the victory. Matt Murray scored three TDs on runs of 10, 3 and 34 yards.
Nahshon Cyrus is also having a great year out of the Patriots’ backfield and the Fort has multiple receivers capable of producing big plays.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org