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Category Archives: Sports

Pickens shuts out Red Devils to pick up first win

By Rocky Nimmons
Publisher

rnimmons@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — The Pickens Blue Flame were hungry.

Going into the third game of the young season on Friday night, they were the only football team in Pickens County without a victory in 2018.

Pickens head coach Chad Smith knew his young team needed something good to happen, and something did when they traveled to face the always-tough Liberty Red Devils.

The Blue Flame found more offense, and defensive coordinator Eric Houston had his unit ready as Pickens came away with an 18-0 shutout win.

“We have a ton to work on, but you know our kids played hard,” Smith said after the game. “Liberty is a quality program. Kyle Stewart and Jabo Burgess do a fantastic job. You know they have tough kids. We are happy to come in here and get a win. That is a big deal for us.”

The Blue Flame’s methodical style of football dominated the statistics on the night, racking up 326 yards of total offense, while holding the Devils to only 112. The bulk of the Pickens offense came from runner Jarod Barton. Barton seemed to find a new home in the backfield, as Smith and company ran him at fullback most of the night. Barton’s relentless pounding of the rock garnered him 156 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

“That is going to make a big difference for us down the line,” Smith said of switching Barton to fullback. “We have to get some other kids up to speed, because when we move those positions some aren’t used to playing them, and they are going to have to play more now. Those kids did a good job tonight. We will just get better with that lineup in.”

It was classic Smith football from the get-go. Pickens pounded out an 18-play drive that ate 9:33 from the clock to open the game. The combo of Barton and wingback Brady Batson were a 1-2 punch that kept the Liberty defense on its heels. The drive even included a rare pass from Pickens quarterback Cole Beaty to Barton for seven yards. The series started at the Pickens 21-yard line and saw Barton

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Dazzling Debut

Clemson freshmen impress in season-opening victory

By Alex Maminakis
Courtesy The Journal

alex@upstatetoday.com

CLEMSON — The Clemson Tigers got a glimpse of their future during Saturday’s season-opening win over Furman, and the future is bright.

In No. 2 Clemson’s 48-7 win over the Paladins at Memorial Stadium, the Tigers got the chance to play many of their true freshmen for the first time, and the young players made the most of their first collegiate snaps.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence made his highly anticipated Clemson debut and finished 9-for-15 passing for 137 yards and three touchdowns as he shared time with starter Kelly Bryant and Chase Brice at the position.

But Lawrence was only one of a number of freshmen to make an impact in Saturday’s win.

“To see the veterans play well, then also all the young guys play good, too — we’re really meshing and playing really good at the best time, the start of the season, so it’s exciting,” Lawrence said after the game.

On offense, tight end Braden Galloway, a Seneca High School graduate, running back Lyn-J Dixon and wide receivers Justyn Ross and Derion Kendrick all made big plays against

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Devils Dominate

By Clay Counts
Special to The Courier

claycounts21@yahoo.com

GREENVILLE — After a tough loss to county rival Daniel in Week 0, the Liberty Red Devils were in need of some momentum against Berea on Friday night.

They got just that, as the Devils made the needed adjustments and came out on fire en route to a 22-6 road win over the Bulldogs.

Berea has not been a traditional opponent of the Red Devils in recent years, so the team and fans alike were not sure what to expect entering the game.

The Liberty defense absolutely shut down the Bulldogs, holding

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Stadium dedication, Harried’s 3 TDs temper loss for Easley


By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

ejolley@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — The first game in the newly named W.A. “Bill” Carr Stadium didn’t go as the Easley High School football team planned Friday night versus Daniel.

The Lions (2-0) rallied from a 14-7 deficit to take the non-region game 54-28 thanks to three rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns from junior quarterback Tyler Venables.

Venables’ performance overshadowed Easley senior tailback Jeremy Harried, who scored three-first half touchdowns on the ground.

Members of Carr’s family and former assistant coaches were recognized at halftime as the official naming of the stadium took place honoring Carr, who guided the Green Wave to the 1962 Class 2A state championship. He was also named national coach of the year in 1978 while at Spartanburg High School.

The Daniel-Easley series had been even over the last 10 contests, with five wins each. Six of the last seven times Easley won in the

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‘WE ARE ROLLING’

Venables accounts for 6 touchdowns as Lions top Easley

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Offense was the name of the game Friday night as the Daniel Lions went on the road to blow past county rival Easley, 54-28.

The Lions debuted a fast-paced new offense this season under coordinator Paige Wofford, and it has proven successful. Daniel put up 38 points in a Week 0 win over Liberty, and the 54 points against Easley were the most the team has scored in a game under third-year head coach Jeff Fruster.

“I challenged these kids on offense,” Fruster said. “They responded tonight, and as long as they continue to respond to those challenges, we are going to have a really good season.”

“This new offense is working,” added junior quarterback Tyler Venables, who had the best night of his Daniel career under center against Easley. “But we can still be even better. We have some things to work on, and we will strive for perfection.”

Venables was electric for the Lion offense, scoring six touchdowns and making plays all over the field. He finished the game with 211 passing yards and 144 rushing yards while splitting his touchdowns

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PHS volleyball off to great start

PICKENS — The 2018 Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame volleyball team opened scrimmage play on Aug. 3.

The Flame defeated the PHS alumni team, winning all five sets. There was a great crowd to see the present team take on some of the best from the past.

Pickens hosted a scrimmage on Aug. 9, defeating Woodmont, Liberty and Easley, 2-0. On Aug. 13, the Flame traveled to Riverside, where they defeated Riverside and J.L. Mann, 2-0.

The Lady Flame completed scrimmage play at Mauldin on Aug. 15, losing to a tough Mauldin team 21-25, 25-22, 23-25. This was the first set and match they dropped during the scrimmage season. Defending Class 3A state champion St. Joe’s handed the Flame their

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Gillespie records 1,000th assist

PICKENS — Kaylee Gillespie, a junior setter for the Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame volleyball team, recorded career assist No. 1,000 against  Riverside recently.

She accumulated 943 assists during her freshman and sophomore year.

Gillespie had no clue she was close to setting a personal career record, but the coaches, team and many fans knew it. Everyone was holding their breath, hoping each kill would be her 1,000th assist.

Only two points away from ending the match, Gillespie set a perfect ball to the outside hitter, making the score 24-15. It went down for a kill, and the bench exploded. Pickens coach Rikki

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Penalties, turnovers doom Pickens against Green Wave

By Rocky Nimmons
Publisher

rnimmons@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — What better way is there for a high school football team to start its season than by squaring off in mid-August against its biggest traditional rival?

The Pickens Blue Flame may have come up short, 13-7, to the Easley Green Wave on Friday night, but there were many moments in the action that the Flame faithful can look back to with optimism for a good year ahead.

Pickens’ Bill Isaacs Field was electric on Friday night, with the stands full on both sides. Excitement was in the air with the anticipation of seeing what Pickens and Easley had to offer.

Even though the game started sloppy with lots of yellow penalty flags in the air, Pickens head coach Chad Smith was proud of his team. Smith managed to retain his composure as the calls were not going in

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Liberty shows fight in shutout loss at county foe Daniel

By Clay Counts
Special to The Courier

claycounts21@yahoo.com

CENTRAL — The Liberty Red Devils traveled to Daniel’s Singleton Field to kick off the 2018 season on Friday night, but could not match the high-powered Lion offense in a 38-0 loss.

With a smaller roster and less depth, Liberty faced many struggles throughout the game, but the Devils were able to tie together some longer drives as the team developed some rhythm.

Daniel struck early with a seven-yard touchdown pass to cap its opening drive of the season and added another scoring pass on the last

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Easley survives Blue Flame in ugly game to stretch rivalry win streak

By Eugene Jolley
Courier Sports

ejolley@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — The annual county rivalry between Pickens and Easley turned out to be a barn-burner Friday night at Bill Isaacs Field, with the visiting Green Wave holding on for a hard-fought 13-7 win over the Blue Flame.

The win was the eighth in a row for the Green Wave in the series. Late in the game, it looked like that streak may come to an end.

But the Green Wave’s Dylan Lyda and Roderick Isham were able to corral Pickens’ Brady Batson for a two-yard loss on a third-down play with 2:59 left to force a punt.

It was up to the Easley offense to run out the clock, and it did just that as senior tailback Jeremy Harried, who had fumbled twice in the

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