This week the Swamp Fox football team takes a long trip to face a dangerous team.
Ashley Ridge (3-4, 1-0 in Region 8-AAAA) travels to Bluffton (4-3, 0-1), a team that has had a lot of success the past few seasons but is coming off its second consecutive loss.
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, prevailing over Whale Branch, AC Flora, Ridgeland and James Island. Then the Bobcats lost close games to Hilton Head (33-32) and Beaufort (35-27).
“Offensively Bluffton has a lot of speed and they use a lot of motions to try and get you out of position,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “Defensively they are big and athletic up front and they have two solid linebackers in the middle. If we are able to pick their stunts up we may have a chance for some big plays. We will have our work cut out for us but I think our players will be ready for the challenge.”
Bobcats quarterback Alex Davis has passed for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Bluffton also has a number of players who can run the ball well. Last week fullback B.J. Hill rushed for nearly 170 yards and a TD.
The Bobcat defense is led by USC commit Shameik Blackshear (6-4, 235) who plays defensive end. Bluffton had 18 sacks in its first six games and five interceptions. Defensive back Herbert Daise had six of the sacks.
“The two-hour trip and maintaining our focus throughout the trip and the game will also be a challenge,” Walker said. “At least we’ve faced that challenge before when we traveled to West Florence.”
The Swamp Foxes are coming off their third consecutive victory. Last week they defeated Colleton County 44-25. Prior to that they won over West Florence (20-0) and Cane Bay (27-20).
Ashley Ridge quarterback Chandler Avenel has also surpassed the 1,000 yards passing benchmark and has thrown five TD passes. Sean White is leading a talented group of AR receivers with 322 receiving yards on the year and a TD catch. Donavan Thompson has 316 receiving yards and two TD catches. DaShaun Santiago has 276 receiving yards and three TD catches.
The Swamp Foxes have also had some success rushing the football. Tyler Garland has been a big part of the three-game winning streak and now has 685 rushing yards and six TD carries. White has rushed for 273 yards and three TDs. Last week, White finished with 112 receiving yards and 108 rushing yards.
On average, the Swamp Fox D has only yielded 15 points per game the last three weeks.
Last week linebacker Tyquan Tucker had an interception he returned for a TD. Defensive back Kendall Felder made another interception for Ashley Ridge. Damon Smalls recovered a fumble for the Swamp Foxes.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org