The Daily Gamecock

Week 2 high school football primer

After a week of games, it’s clear that there is a favorite in North Carolina and that every division in South Carolina is wide open. Week Two contains a number of big matchups in both states, and there are quite a few teams looking to prove themselves.

So without much fanfare, let’s get to this week’s picks.

Week One Record: 2-1

A second half Byrnes comeback doomed my perfect picks last week as Charlotte Catholic edged Charlotte Christian 5-0 and Mallard Creek blew out Independence 58-6. Byrnes defeated Northwestern 40-31 in a game full of mistakes by both squads.

Overall Record: 2-1

Week 2 Picks:

North Carolina

Vance (14) @ Providence (9)

Perennial powerhouses Butler and Mallard Creek also play Friday, but since it looks as if no one in the state of North Carolina can stop Mallard Creek, I’ll choose the other big game.

Providence came out of relative obscurity to beat Summerville (South Carolina) last week. The Panthers return eight defensive starters and six starters on offense, though the entire offensive line graduated.

Last week’s win was a 10-9 contest in which Providence struggled to move the ball, but stifled Summerville’s offense. The Panthers are looking for junior wide receiver Blake Proehl to step into the playmaking role that his older brother, North Carolina Tar Heel receiver Austin, held during his time at Providence. Blake is the youngest son of Super Bowl winning wide receiver and current Carolina Panthers receivers coach Ricky Proehl.

Vance has arisen as a trendy 4A state champion pick. The Cougars dominated in all phases of a 56-12 win over West Meck last week. Vance is one of the more balanced teams in the Charlotte area, boasting a fundamentally sound defense and balanced offensive attack.

On the cusp for a few years, this could be the year Vance breaks out. The Cougars have enough offensive firepower to score on the tough Providence defense, though not enough to make this a blowout.

Prediction: Vance 21 Providence 13

South Carolina

Spartanburg (1) @ Wakulla (Fl.)

Finally, an easy choice for the week’s top game as even “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” agrees. Spartanburg (No. 17 nationally) will travel to the Florida panhandle to face Wakulla High School. The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

This game is a matchup between the nation’s top running back in Spartanburg senior Tavien Feaster and top dual-threat quarterback, Wakulla senior Feleipe Franks. Franks is a LSU commit while Foster is committed to the other Death Valley in Clemson.

Feaster racked up over 1000 receiving yards and 1000 rushing yards a season ago in Spartanburg’s state championship season. The Vikings started 2014 with a 3-3 record, but rattled off nine straight victories to cruise to the Class 4A/II state championship.

In the Vikings’ spread attack, quarterback Austin Scott tends to put up huge numbers. The senior threw for 4401 yards a year ago to go along with 28 touchdowns.

Wakulla has one of the country’s most potent offenses, with playmakers such as four-star wide receiver and Florida State commit, Keith Gavin, all over the field. The War Eagles have not played a game yet this season.

Expect a high-scoring, exciting game, but ultimately, Spartanburg’s experienced defense will be the deciding factor.

Prediction: Spartanburg 40 Wakulla 35

Recruit Watch

Conway wide receiver and Gamecock commit Bryan Edwards was in action last night as the Tigers cruised to a 55-0 blowout of South Brunswick (N.C.). Edwards didn’t play the second half of the shutout but still racked up 100 yards on four receptions and a two-point conversion.

The Tigers moved to 2-0 on the season, matching their win total from all of last season.

Four-star Gamecock recruit Brandon Mcllwain was supposed to be in action last weekend, but Council Rock North’s (Pa.) scrimmage against Pennridge was cancelled at the last minute. Mcllwain will be in action for the season opener against Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Defending state champion Northern Guilford and Gamecock running back commit C.J. Freeman open their season with a game at Greensboro Page Friday. Freeman will look to build on last year’s 1908 yard, 27 touchdown season.