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Category Archives: Sports

Easley in must-win mode as end nears

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

ejolley@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — The Easley Green Wave will be in a very familiar situation when they return to action after last week’s open date with a road trip to Woodmont on Friday night.

The Green Wave (3-5, 0-2) need to win the final two games — against the Wildcats on Friday night and at home against J.L. Mann the following Friday to close

out the regular season — to clinch a Class 5A state playoff berth.

“Same situation as last year,” Easley coach John Windham said. “I think Woodmont is much improved, and I know J.L. Mann will be tough. We’re going to regroup and hit it hard these last two weeks. Woodmont is the next one, so they will take all of our energy and all of our focus.”

Easley limped into its open date after three consecutive shutout losses.

The Green Wave’s schedule has had several heavyweights, including unbeaten T.L. Hanna, and once-beaten Greenville and Belton-Honea Path. All three teams are ranked in the top five of their respective classes.

A big key during the open date has been getting healthy. The Wave have been bitten hard by the injury bug this season, especially on offense.

“One of the biggest things is that we’ve just got to get healthy,” Windham said. “We’ve done some good things. We just have to put it together. “

Junior quarterback Weston Black returned to play against Westside the week before the open

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Bears’ run defense too tough for Daniel

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

HONEA PATH — With nothing to lose, the Daniel Lions entered Friday night hoping to play spoiler at Belton-Honea Path and salvage a disappointing season.

But despite one of the season’s best efforts from the one-win Lions, the one-loss Bears stuffed the Daniel rungame and BHP running back R.J. Ellis had a big first

Rocky Nimmons/Courier
Daniel sophomore Brenton Benson goes up to make a catch behind a Belton-Honea Path defender on Friday night.

half on the way to a 21-7 win at home.

The ineffectiveness of the run game was especially costly for Daniel. The Lions were held to just 13 yards on the ground, forcing them to air it out in almost every situation. The one-dimensional nature of the Daniel offense led to only one touchdown on the night.

“My hat’s off to BHP tonight,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said. “(BHP coach Russell) Blackston has four guys that can control the line of scrimmage

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Red Devils fall short against Abbeville

By Jimmy Kirby
Courier Sports

jkirby@thepccourier.com

LIBRETY — The Abbeville Panthers came to Liberty to begin region play and left town with a well-earned 26-13 win to spoil Senior Night in the Red Devils’ last regular-season home game of the 2017 campaign.

The Panthers scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and then tacked on a late fourth-quarter score

Brandy Karr/Courier
Liberty’s Jack Brissey sacks Abbeville quarterback Bryce Jackson during their game Friday night.

for the final margin of victory.

The Panthers are a perennial Class 2A powerhouse and are the defending state champions. They have all the ingredients required to repeat again, with speed, size and athleticism. They may well repeat again this year, but they left town knowing they had earned a hard-fought victory against a region foe.

There are no moral victories in high school football, but the Red Devils played with effort and

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Slow start dooms Blue Flame at Wren

By Cole Little
Courier Sports

news@thepccourier.com

PIEDMONT — A tale of two halves is a phrase that can be used to describe many of the Pickens Blue Flame’s games this season, and the team’s 49-14 loss to the Wren Hurricanes on Friday night was a prime example.

Amassing just 28 yards in the first half while getting outscored 36-0, the Blue Flame found themselves facing a daunting deficit at halftime that proved to be too difficult to overcome, despite a solid effort on both sides

Tommy McGaha/seeyourphotohere.com
Pickens quarterback Cole Beatty hands off to Jarod Barton during the Blue Flame’s loss at Wren on Friday night.

of the ball in the second half.

While the showing in the second half was certainly impressive, a consistent performance from start to finish was absent, something that Pickens head coach Chad Smith addressed following the game.

“We’ve got to start believing,” Smith said. “That team you saw in the second half is the team

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Tigers take first loss of season at Syracuse

By Libby Kehn
Clemson Athletic Comm.

news@thepccourier.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — No. 2 Clemson suffered its first loss of the season on Friday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., a 27-24 upset by Syracuse.

Carl Ackerman/Courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications
Clemson freshman running back Travis Etienne sprints for a 52-yard touchdown during the Tigers’ 27-24 loss at Syracuse on Friday night.

With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 6-1 (4-1 ACC), while the Orange improved to 4-3 (2-1 ACC).

Syracuse scored on the first drive of the game, going 72 yards in 10 plays and 3:16, capped by a 23-yard pass from Eric Dungey to Dontae Strickland. The Tigers answered immediately, as Tavien Feaster scored his fourth touchdown of the season on a 37-yard run to end a 62-yard, three-play drive that lasted 1:07. The Orange regained the lead with 5:13 left in the first quarter on another long reception, this time to Ervin Philips for 66 yards.

The Clemson defense tied the score at 14-14 with 8:31 remaining in the first half when Tanner Muse recovered a fumble forced by Isaiah Simmons and raced 63 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.

Syracuse’s Cole Murphy kicked a 21-yard field goal with 3:49 left in the second quarter to give

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Devils hold on to top Crescent

By Jimmy Kirby
Courier Sports

jkirby@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — The Liberty defense was in dominant mode for 46 minutes and 27 seconds as the Red Devils were able to hang on for a thrilling finish and a 14-7 Homecoming victory over the Crescent Tigers to improve to 5-2 and complete non-region play on Friday night.

The Liberty offense managed to score in the second and third quarter to provide enough offensive spark to gain the win for the Red Devils.

Crescent began a drive with 1:46 left in the game and Liberty leading 14-0 following a 47-yard Austin Kemp punt that bounded into the end zone for a touchback. It gave the ball to the Tigers at their own 20-yard line.

Crescent quarterback Jake Lewis eluded pressure by the Liberty defensive line and found Jarrod Oates behind a Liberty defender around the 45-yard line. Oates twisted and danced his way past a couple of Liberty defenders in hot pursuit and with 1:33 left in the game cut the Liberty lead in half at 14-7, with an ensuing

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Easley losing streak extends to 3 weeks

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

ejolley@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Sometimes when things are going bad, they keep piling up instead of getting better.

Friday night, even the home field magic could not help the Easley Green Wave in a 31-0 loss to Region I-5A rival Westside.

It was the third consecutive shutout loss for Easley, which will have an open date Friday night before closing the regular season with a trip to Woodmont and a home date with J.L. Mann.

The Green Wave had two touchdowns nullified due to mysterious penalties against the Rams. El-Asia Muhammaed had a long interception return nullified late in the first half when a penalty was called 40 yards behind the play. Then, in the second half, a quick screen pass to Deandre Byrd on the left side was called back due to holding on the right side of the line, despite just a two-step dropback.

“It’s frustrating when you call a screen play to the left and they call a holding on your right guard,” Easley coach John Windham said. “The interception we had, they throw a penalty 40 yards behind the ball. Those were tough because they didn’t affect the play. That’s something they felt like they had to call. I’m not an official, but that made it tough. It made it hard, it really did, because that should have made it 21-14 at that point in time, and it wasn’t.”

Easley entered the game undefeated at home. That streak was quickly put to a test as the Rams

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Lions’ woes continue in loss to Ninety Six

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — The Daniel Lions entered Friday night’s homecoming game against the Ninety Six Wildcats badly needing a win.

Sitting at 1-5 and not having won since the season opener Aug. 25 at Berkeley, the Lions were hoping to use the Wildcats to work out all the kinks before their final three region games.

However, 123 yards of penalties and a costly late turnover led to a 23-14 Daniel loss.

“Penalties are obviously an issue,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said following the loss. “We’re trying to improve our technique out there, trying to stay sound, but we’re still not getting the bulk of the calls. We’re just going to have to keep working on it till we get it right”

Turnovers also continued to hamper the Lions, as they coughed up the ball four times, the last

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Pickens shut out by BHP in home finale

By Cole Little
Courier Sports

news@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Taking to the gridiron in front of a faithful home crowd at Bill Isaacs Field for the final time this year, the Pickens Blue Flame could not live up to the excitement surrounding Senior Day on Friday night.

Bringing an inglorious end to the 2017 home slate for Pickens, the Belton-Honea Path Bears shut out the Blue Flame 31-0.

Despite a solid performance on the ground with 164 rushing yards, the Blue Flame were unable to string together any successful drives, failing to reach the red zone all night in the shutout. However, Pickens was the aggressor at the start, producing a seven-minute drive to begin the game that saw the Blue Flame advance as far as the BHP 23-yard line before a sack of quarterback Cole Beatty led to a punt.

That offensive success did not hold up, though, as the Blue Flame did not experience another drive of more than 20 yards until late in the third quarter.

The Pickens defense was a different story in the first half, however, limiting the BHP offensive juggernaut to just 10 points.

“I thought we did well,” Pickens head coach Chad Smith said after the game. “BHP is a great football team. We just didn’t have enough pop at the point of attack.”

Both teams embraced the run game on the evening, with BHP, one of the top-ranked teams in

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Tigers strike early to take down Deacons

By Scott Adamson
Courtesy The Journal

scott@upstatetoday.com

CLEMSON — The Clemson offense did what was necessary and its defense shut down Wake Forest until the outcome was settled as the No. 2 Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) whipped the Demon Deacons (4-2, 1-2) 28-14 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

“I’m happy with the win,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “Wake Forest was a tough team to get ready for because they’re so deep and talented. I just like how we got ready throughout the week’s preparations, and we were locked in today and got off to a good start. One side of the ball was always there to pick the other ones up. We got control of the game early.”

Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant exited the homecoming game with a limp after guiding his

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