The Fort Dorchester-Summerville game Friday should be a slugfest.
The Patriots (4-2) host Summerville (4-2) at 7:30 p.m. Not only do the teams have identical records, the losses for both came to the same opponents, Top 10 teams Goose Creek (6-0) and Stratford (6-0).
“We are two evenly-matched teams so I expect the yearly war we usually have,” Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said. “I’m sure it will come down to one big play. Our teams do different things, but we are both good at what we do.”
Offensively the thing Fort Dorchester does best is rushing the football. The Patriots typically have a rusher surpass the 100-yard benchmark each game and during some games this year they have had multiple 100-yard rushers. Senior running backs Nahshon Cyrus and Matt Murray have both had good starts this season.
While the Fort relies more on the run, junior quarterback Kobe Garrett is a threat whether he is looking to pick up yards on the ground or pass. Garrett has rushed for more than 100 yards in three games this year and passed for more than 100 in two games.
In the Patriots season opener, Fort Dorchester rolled off nearly 700 yards of offense.
“Like us, Fort Dorchester could have won one of those games they lost,” Summerville coach John McKissick said. “Their quarterback and that No. 25 (Cyrus) are really quick and they run a lot of misdirection and finesse plays and those have given us trouble in the past. This game is a toss up. It will probably come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.”
The thing the Green Wave does best, offensively, is move the ball through the air.
Sophomore QB Sawyer Bridges has completed 69 passes this season for 854 yards and seven touchdowns. He has several capable receivers and likes to spread his passes around.
Donnell Bryan currently leads the Summerville receivers with 12 receptions for 191 yards but receivers William Luck and Johnston McCurry, as well as tight end Sean Smith, also have more than 150 receiving yards.
Both teams also have a strong defense this season.
Summerville junior Kawuan Cox managed to keep pressure on Stratford’s QB all night last Friday and finished the game with three sacks. When teams try to run away from him, junior Matt Powell has done a good job on the other edge of the line.
Up the middle isn’t much easier against Summerville. Once a running back does break through to Summerville’s second level they have a very solid Green Wave linebacking corps to deal with. Mac McCurry, the team’s leading tackler, anchors the group but in the last few games other linebackers have also performed well. At Stratford, both Codie Soto and Chad Wood intercepted a pass.
The Patriots’ defensive line is anchored by D-1 prospect Eurndraus Bryant (6-2, 340) who has exceptional quickness for his size. Myles White (6-5, 230) and Eugene March (6-3, 265) are also returning starters on the Patriot defensive line.
The Fort’s second level is also formidable. Linebackers Kevyne Flores, David Govan, Ryan Chaya and Daniel Finley all have ample starting experience.
This season Summerville is averaging 30.8 points per game while giving up an average of only 17.6 points. Fort Dorchester is averaging 34.5 points per game while yielding 22.8 points on average.
History is on Summerville’s side as the Green Wave leads the series 20-2. The Patriots beat Summerville in 2000 and 2001. Including meetings in the playoffs, Summerville has earned 14 straight victories over the Patriots.
However, the series has featured some very tight games. The teams have met four times this decade with Summerville winning 28-21, 17-3, 28-27 and 17-10. Last year’s 17-10 Green Wave victory wasn’t secured until the closing minutes when Summerville mounted an 88-yard scoring drive.
LaPrad suggests that this year fans plan to arrive early.
“It will probably be standing room only,” he said. “There should be a great atmosphere and it should be a great game.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 21 3 or email@example.com