Jamboree: A Glimpse of Friday Night Lights

Fairfield Central QB Stanley McManus (10) unloads ahead of pressure from the RNE defense. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Fairfield Central QB Stanley McManus (10) unloads ahead of pressure from the RNE defense. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

IRMO (Aug. 17, 2016) – The Redhawks, Griffins and Bengals all got their first taste of live Friday night football last week as all three took to the field for two quarters of action apiece in the Irmo Jamboree.

Westwood easily handled the Swansea Tigers, 21-0, in the opener on Aug. 12, showcasing their new pistol offensive look. Joshua Heyward opened the scoring for the Redhawks with an 11-yard TD run at the 9:21 mark of the first quarter. D.J. Fields added the kick to put Westwood up 7-0.

The defenses held each other in check for the remainder of the period, but the Redhawks opened things up to begin the second when Kaden Briggs hauled in a 58-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Heatley with 10:46 left in the contest. Fields’ kick was again true, giving Westwood a 14-0 advantage.

Heatley, in the new-look, more passing friendly offense, was 8-of-9 on the night for 139 yards and two TDs.

Heatley tossed his second touchdown strike with 5:55 left in the game, this one a 22-yarder to Lee Goings. Goings made a circus catch in the left corner of the end zone and held on in spite of a pass interference call against the Tigers. Fields’ kick was the final tally for the Redhawks, making it 21-0.

The Redhawks open the regular season at home this Friday vs. the Chester Cyclones.

The Bengals, in game two, put on an offensive showcase, hammering Lower Richland 42-6.

Leading the charge for Blythewood was junior Jordyn Adams. Adams had the unusual distinction of throwing a touchdown pass, catching a touchdown pass and returning a punt for a TD.

After the Blythewood defense held the Diamond Hornets to a three-and-out on their opening possession, Adams returned the ensuing punt from the Bengal 46 to the Lower Richland 28. A pair of penalties appeared to have the drive stalled out at the Hornets’ 18, but on third-and-12, Adams found Dalen Mickle in the end zone for 6. Ben Kline booted in the PAT to give the Bengals a 7-0 lead with 9:49 on the first quarter clock.

Lower Richland’s next possession was cut short when, on a second-and-9 at the L-R 26, Corey Williams picked off a Tevaughn Higgins pass at the Hornets’ 32 and returned it to the 10-yard line. A penalty pushed the Bengals back to the 20, but Adams hit Kameron Riley at the L-R 5-yard line to set up Jaylon Boyd’s 5-yard TD run on third-and-goal with 2:59 to play in the first. Kline’s kick gave the Bengals a 14-0 lead.

The Diamond Hornets got on the board with 2:11 left in the frame when Higgins darted into the end zone from 7 yards out. The kick failed, but Lower Richland had cut the lead to 14-6.

Blythewood would get that back and more in the second period. Boyd’s 13-yard TD run with 9:54 to go capped a six-play, 45-yard drive. Kline again added the point after to make it 21-6 Blythewood.

The Bengal defense forced another L-R three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and the Hornets punted the ball away from their own 28. Adams, back deep to receive, fielded the punt on the run near the Bengal 45, found the blocking wall down the near sideline, cut back across the middle of the field and raced into the left corner of the end zone. This time Miles Heitman added the point after, putting the Bengals ahead 28-6 with 8:01 to play.

The L-R offense continued to struggle against the Bengal defense, and after another Diamond Hornets punt, Blythewood took over on the L-R 30 with 6:00 to go. The Bengals trotted out Quentin Singleton at quarterback, splitting Adams out wide.

It paid off.

On second-and-10, Singleton hit Adams down the right sideline and much like the Westwood catch by Goings, Adams fought off a pass interference call, hauled the ball into his arms and stepped into the end zone. Kline’s point after made it 35-6 with 5:33 left.

Blythewood’s defense was rewarded at last for their hard-nosed play all evening, putting the final points on the board for the Bengals. On a fourth-and-3 and punting from their own 19, the snap sailed over the head of Lower Richland punter Karl Scott. Outside linebacker Antonio Goins recovered the ball in the end zone for the Bengals and Heitman’s PAT secured the 42-6 final.

The Bengals host Rock Hill Friday in their season opener.

The Griffins, meanwhile, showed the most room for improvement as they struggled against Richland Northeast. The Cavaliers toppled Fairfield Central 21-6 in game three.

The Griffin offense was beleaguered with preseason injuries that sidelined starting running backs Jerrell Suber-O’Neal and Tony Ruff. Still, there were glimpses of potential. The Griffins drove the ball deep into RNE territory twice in the second quarter. The first foray into Cavalier territory ended with a Stanley McManus interception at the RNE 21, while the second stalled out on downs at the RNE 23.

The Griffin defense was stretched to the limit by a Cavalier offense that rushed for 199 yards while throwing only two passes for 52 yards. One of those passes, however, was picked out of the air by Dorian Glenn at the RNE 27 and returned for a touchdown with 7:01 to go in the first. The kick was blocked, but at the time the Griffins were in the game, down just 7-6.

They would never get any closer.

The Griffins open with Hunter Kinard Tyler at home Friday. All three games kick at 7:30 p.m.

For a complete rundown of all our area teams, see our 2016 Fall Sports Preview inside this edition.