Swamp Foxes and Patriots save their best for last
Coaches on both sides of this Friday’s rivalry game between Ashley Ridge and Fort Dorchester anticipate a spirited battle.
The Swamp Foxes (4-6, 2-2 in Region 8-AAAA) end the regular season by hosting the Patriots (6-4, 2-2) at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a big game for both teams and playoff implications are on the line for both,” Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. “We will get their best effort and they will get ours.”
The Swamp Foxes entered the game last season as the underdog as far as records go but scored 21 unanswered points in the final quarter to upset the Patriots so Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad is not underestimating them. With that win, Ashley Ridge took a 2-1 lead in the young series between the two Dorchester Two programs.
“We will see their best game, but we plan to give them our best game,” LaPrad said. “They usually change a lot of what they do when they play us so watching film on them probably won’t help that much. To their credit, they have done a good job with that.”
After losing their first four games, Ashley Ridge has won four of its last six contests. The team has always had dynamic athletes, but lately everything seems to be coming together for the Swamp Foxes.
“Ashley Ridge is a big-play team that is definetly better than its record indicates,” Laprad said. “In watching film, one thing that stands out is they have had a lot of touchdowns called back on penalties. They are a good team so it will be a challenge.”
As the season progressed, Tyler Garland emerged as a strong rushing threat for the Swamp Foxes. He enters this week’s game with 866 rushing yards and eight TDs. Ashley Ridge also likes to get receiver Sean White involved in its running attack. He has 306 rushing yards and four TDs on the ground.
However, the thing that makes the Swamp Fox offense dangerous is its deep and talented group of receivers. White, DaShaun Santiago and Donavan Thompson all have more than 300 receiving yards on the season and have eight TD catches combined. Matt Linton has also factored into the mix the past few games and now has 102 receiving yards.
Thompson also has three kick returns for a touchdown, including a 99-yard return he ran into the end zone against Summerville last week.
But the Swamp Fox offense faces a stiff test this week.
“Defensively Fort Dorchester is big and athletic up front and all 11 players swarm to the football,” Walker said. “They are well coached and they will be in position to make plays.”
With Eurndraus Bryant (6-2, 340) and Myles White (6-5, 230) anchoring the Patriot line and David Govan and Kevyne Flores roaming the second level of the Fort defense, plays up the middle might be hard to come by for the Swamp Foxes.
“Linebacker David Govan has been playing great the last few weeks and Eurndraus just continues to baffle me,” LaPrad said. “Teams continue to double and even triple team Eurndraus yet he continues to make plays for us.”
White and Govan led the Patriots in tackles this season with 47.5 and 37.5, respectively, in the first nine games. White has 34 unassisted tackles.
The Patriots have 10 sacks on the season and 47 total tackles for a loss. The Fort has forced 15 fumbles and made eight interceptions.
The Fort Dorchester offense has scored a lot of points this season and has plenty of explosive players of its own.
“Offensively they are one of the best lines we will see all year,” Walker said. “Their quarterback is a dual threat and their running backs are very fast and make a lot of defenders miss. We will have to do better on our third-down defense.”
Fort QB Kobe Garrett has surpassed both the 1,000-yard passing and 1,000-yard rushing bench marks for the season and has six TD passes and 8 rushing TDs.
Matt Murray has more than 800 rushing yards and 14 rushing TDs and Nahshon Cyrus has more than 750 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs.
Corey Rawlings has 360 receiving yards for the Patriots and four TD receptions. Demonte Bailey and Rashad Palmer have combined for another 485 Patriot receiving yards and three more TD catches.
The game, which was originally scheduled for a Thursday evening but rescheduled, will be televised on MyTV Charleston.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com