This week will take us just past the halfway point in the Region 7-AAA schedule.
Bluffton is exactly where most of us expected them to be — still undefeated, still dominating offensively and still standing tall on defense.
On the other hand, Hilton Head High surprised me last week. The regular readers of my blog know I picked the Seahawks to lose last week, and they built a 21-0 halftime lead before hanging on for a 21-6 victory against Lake Marion. Needless to say, I was wrong.
Read on for my predictions of this week’s game, and again feel free to add your own in the comments section.
Battery Creek (1-6) at Bluffton (7-0)
1. Force turnovers.: Battery Creek has done a lousy job of protecting the football. Bluffton has forced 26 turnovers in seven games. I expect the trend to continue Friday night at Bobcat Stadium.
2. Limit offensive mistakes: ... On the other hand, the Bobcats need to protect the football themselves. I don’t really see many ways this will become a close game, but there is at least one — the Bobcats can hurt themselves with a string of turnovers. If they can minimize offensive mistakes, though, I expect another 60-point output.
3. Make the Dolphins throw it: Battery Creek wants to run the football. The Bobcats can make them throw it — and I suspect they will — by stacking the box with eight or even nine players.
My prediction: Bluffton 63, Battery Creek 0
Hilton Head High (3-4) at Cane Bay (4-3)
1.Play tough: The Cobras made no secret what their winning formula is, and that includes a clock-control running game behind workhorse Anthony Enos. I look for Enos to carry the ball 25-plus times tonight behind a big offensive line. The Seahawks will have to be physically tough up front to keep the Cobras from grinding their way down the field.
2. Make a big play offensively: The Seahawks have big-play potential with Michael Julian’s strong arm and James Sanders’ presence over the middle of the field. Sanders has emerged as a great receiving compliment to starters Adam Orischak and Robbie Iulo. The Seahawks could use a big connection from Julian to the tall receiver Friday night.
3. Get the ground game moving: The Seahawks offense — or any offense, for that matter — is at its best when the defense can’t play for the pass or the run. The running game seen its shares of ups and downs this year, but on the nights it’s working, the passing game opens up and it’s much smoother sailing for the Hilton Head High offense.
My prediction: Cane Bay 28, Hilton Head High 14