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Category Archives: Sports

Lions remain hot with big win over archrival Seneca

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — Following big wins against county foes Easley and Liberty, the Daniel Lions entered Friday’s contest against the archrival Seneca Bobcats hoping to stay on the right track.

The Lions did that and much more, blowing out the Bobcats at Singleton Field and adding to a string of domination that has seen Daniel outscore its first three opponents 151-26 as it tries to stave off complacency.

“We’re going to continue to focus on us,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said. “That’s been our plan the whole time, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

“We’re going to stay hard at work,” senior wide receiver Hack Hamilton added. “We can’t slow down.”

The Lions got off to yet another hot start Friday night, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter to seemingly put the game away before Seneca could even gasp for air.

“My team continues to impress me with the way they come out strong,” Fruster said. “They knew how big of a game this was and what kind of energy Seneca would come out

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No. 1 Tigers earn big win over A&M

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal

alex@upstatetoday.com

CLEMSON — When Clemson visited College Station last year, the Tigers’ victory over Texas A&M came down to the game’s final seconds.

On Saturday afternoon, No. 1 Clemson won the rematch in much more dominant fashion.

The top-ranked Tigers beat No. 12 Texas A&M 24-10 in front of 81,500 on a hot day at Memorial Stadium.

Clemson (2-0) started slow, but its offense found its rhythm in the second quarter, and its defense vindicated itself

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Lady Blue Flame varsity wins first three regular-season matches

PICKENS — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame won its first three matches of the regular season last week, including a home match against crosstown archrival Easley High School.

Lady Blue Flame middle hitter Caroline Lucas (left) and setter Lauren Dow await a serve during the recent match against Easley High School, won by Pickens in three sets. Lyndsay Earnhardt/photo

The Lady Blue Flame downed Easley in three sets in a home

Jessie Lee Gilstrap (left) of Pickens High and Gabby Warren of Easley High display snacks that were set out for the Easley players by the Lady Blue Flame in a spirit of sportsmanship before the volleyball match.

match Aug. 28: 25-16, 25-19, 25-18.

In the match against Easley, senior right-side hitter Olivia Dow led in kills with 15, followed by senior outside hitter Brooklyn Johnson with five. Senior setter Kaylee Gillespie led in assists with 22, while freshman setter Lauren Dow had 11. Sophomore libero Bailee Earnhardt led in digs with 15, followed by sophomore defensive specialist Maggie Sizemore with 10. Olivia Dow had four blocks in the match, and sophomore middle hitter Caroline Lucas had three.

In a tri-match Aug. 26 at Pickens, the Lady Blue Flame defeated Southside Christian in two sets, 25-8, 25-11, and downed Greenville High School in three sets, 25-2, 25-27, 25-13. In the first set against Greenville, Sizemore served 15 straight times with five aces.

During the matches against Southside Christian and Greenville, the Dow sisters achieved the “Double Dow,” as Lauren led in kills with 13, followed by Olivia with 10. Gillespie led in assists with 27, and Lauren Dow had 14. The Dow sisters also led in blocks, with each having two. Sizemore had 26 digs, and sophomore defensive specialist Ali Pace had 18

The Lady Blue Flame plays a non-region match Thursday night at Eastside High School. The region schedule begins Sept. 16 against Wren at Pickens High School in the Peggy Harden Anthony Gymnasium.

 

Etienne, Clemson dominate Yellow Jackets to open season

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal

alex@upstatetoday.com

CLEMSON — Travis Etienne set a career high in rushing yards, quarterback Trevor Lawrence made up for a less-than-stellar start, and Clemson’s new-look defense made a statement debut Thursday night as the top-ranked Tigers dominated in their season opener.

Clemson beat Georgia Tech 52-14 on Thursday night in Memorial Stadium to begin its title defense on a high note with its 11th straight 20-point victory.

“It’s great to get the win,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “I told the players in the locker room how blessed we are to have a fan base that shows up and gives us a great environment. Our guys were ready and excited to show

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Missed opportunities doom Blue Flame in shutout loss

By John Robert Ayers
Courier Sports

news@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — After allowing rival Easley to reel off 31 unanswered points to close out a Week 0 loss, the Pickens Blue Flame were looking for a more resilient effort in Friday night’s home opener against Pendleton.

However, turnovers, failed fourth-down conversions and big plays by the Bulldogs kept the Blue Flame off the scoreboard in a 22-0 loss.

“I think we did have some hangover for this week,” Pickens coach Chad Smith said. “But that does not excuse the way we performed tonight. That was not the same Pickens football team that performed well last week.”

Pickens’ efforts on the night were marred by drive-ending fumbles and an overall failure to convert on fourth down. All told, eight of the Blue Flame’s drives ended on fumbles

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Liberty bounces back from opening loss to beat Bulldogs

By Rocky Nimmons
Publisher

rnimmons@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — The Liberty Red Devils were ready to get the taste of a Week 0 defeat out of their mouths last week, and the Berea Bulldogs just happened to be the unlucky foe next on the schedule.

The Bulldogs went into Red Devil Stadium and found themselves in the crosshairs of head coach Kyle Stewart’s tough defense. The unit seemed to have an answer for anything Berea had to throw at them, and the Devils produced a 24-14 victory on a beautiful Friday night in Liberty.

The only points the Bulldog offense put on the board came with just 2:22 to play in the game.

“Defensively, I think we played a pretty good first half,” Stewart said. “Obviously they scored that TD at the end, but other than that, the defense got a shutout for three and half quarters”

Offensively, the Devils sputtered in the first half, but as the game wore on, the unit got going and dominated the Bulldogs on the ground, mounting 323 yards compared to Berea’s 156.

“We just had to settle down,” Stewart added. “We just needed to stop worrying about all the things that are out of our control and focus on the things we do control. Once we did

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Easley gets week off to regroup after big loss to Lions


By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

news@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — A shootout was expected Friday night when the Daniel Lions hosted the Easley Green Wave.

Unfortunately for the Green Wave, they were firing blanks as the Lions built a 44-0 halftime lead and won 51-6.

It was the second consecutive season that the Lions had scored 50-plus against Easley following a 54-28 win in 2018.

“I didn’t do a good job of coaching them up tonight,” first-year Easley coach Caleb King said. “That loss, it’s all on me. We’ll work and get better next week and get ready for a really good team.”

Easley could have staked a claim as the Pickens County champion with the win. Instead, the Lions are two-thirds of the way there after opening with a 44-0 win at Liberty, with only Pickens standing in their way later in the season.

How bad was it for Easley?

• Negative 33 yards of offense in the first quarter thanks to two bad snaps from center, with the second resulting in a safety.

• The Green Wave offense was woeful on first-down plays. Easley ran 19 plays on first

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Daniel dominates Green Wave to stay undefeated

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — The Daniel Lions entered Friday’s home opener against the Easley Green Wave expecting a solid test from an in-county foe.

The Lions aced that test, dominating the Green Wave in a 51-6 contest that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

“We did a very good job offensively and defensively,” Daniel quarterback Tyler Venables said. “We came out strong on offense, and I was happy to move down the field and score.”

Venables was the ring leader of the Daniel offense, accounting for six touchdowns in the first half, including four passing scores in the second quarter.

“Tyler is everything we expect him to be,” Daniel coach Jeff Fruster said. “He’s been challenged to be the leader of the team, and he‘s continually showed why.”

The Lion defense also had a stellar showing on the night, holding the Green Wave to six points and flying all over the field against Easley’s own fast-paced offense. The effort was especially impressive considering Easley coach Caleb King had averaged more than 50 points a game last season as the head coach of Havelock High School in North Carolina.

“Kudos to my defensive staff,” Fruster said. “Those guys work tirelessly and put together a solid game plan for us.”

Fruster was happy with the overall team effort, but stressed that the team needed to be more disciplined following a night filled with penalties.

“We gave great effort tonight,” Fruster said. “We played hard tonight, but the one thing

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Pickens girls take second in Nation Ford tourney

FORT MILL — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame were the runner-up in the 16-team Nation Ford Volleyball Invitational held Saturday in Fort Mill.

The Lady Blue Flame will square off against archrival Easley High School in a non-region volleyball match set for tonight (Wednesday) at the Peggy Harden Anthony Gymnasium at Pickens High School. The junior varsity match will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity.

Pickens High won five matches in the 16-team Nation Ford tournament before falling to Class 5A Rock Hill in the

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Pickens falters in second half after

By John Robert Ayers
Courier Sports

EASLEY — It was a tale of two halves on Friday night, as the Easley Green Wave extinguished the Pickens Blue Flame, 31-14, for their first win under new head coach Caleb King.

The Flame jumped out to a 14-0 lead after their first two possessions and took a 14-7 advantage into halftime before giving up 24 unanswered points in the second half.

“We gave out,” Pickens coach Chad Smith said. “I blame myself for that. Our conditioning was not at a level that it needed to be.”

Following a late kickoff due to the game’s inclusion in the Great America Rivalry Series, Pickens won the opening toss and elected to receive.

Jamorea Keith fielded the ball at the 13-yard line, bringing it out to the 26 to start the first possession of the season. Keith and Brennan Perkins split the majority of the carries on the opening drive as Pickens marched the ball downfield. The biggest play of the drive was a 30-yard run by bruising fullback Zach Hollman all the way down to the Easley 23-yard line. Keith finished the drive with a six-yard touchdown, and Mason LaMance’s PAT made it 7-0 Blue Flame with 8:05 left in the first.

The Blue Flame defense took the field after LaMance’s kickoff was returned to the 35. Easley junior quarterback Kasten Harvey opened his season with a six-yard pass to

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