MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: South Carolina Football



  • It may not have been October 31 on the calendar, but Florence Christian (S.C.) had a Halloween trick for Laurence Manning.

    Florence Christian used a trick play named for the famous fall holiday to come away with an 8-7 win on Friday night.

    A touchdown with eight minutes remaining helped Florence Christian come within a point of Laurence Manning, 7-6.

    That's when Florence Christian head coach Neil Minton called for the Halloween play.

    "We call it Halloween because it is either going to be a trick or a treat," Minton told SCNow after the game. "I was kind of looking for the right spot for it. And with the way our defense was playing, I felt we could get a stop, and our offense would be able to move it down field if we missed."

    Florence Christian lined up for what appeared to be a normal extra point attempt. Holder Austin Drummond received the snap and did a quick toss to Alex James, who was running laterally around toward the opposite sideline.

    James easily found the end zone, to give Florence Christian an 8-7 lead and eventually, a win.
  • Photo by Dennis Lee

    Junior All-American Kahlil McKenzie (left) will lead De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) versus visiting Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) Sept. 12.

    At long last, the contracts have been signed.

    "The I's got dotted and the T's crossed," De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) athletic director Leo Lopoz said. "It's finally official."

    De La Salle will host perennial national football power and South Carolina mainstay Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) Sept. 12 at Owen Owens Field in Concord.

    The two schools have been negotiating for more than a month, but the date, travel costs and television deal were at last finalized.

    "It's a great matchup," Lopoz said. "A lot of things had to happen to make this work, but the stars were aligned."

    Byrnes has won 11 state championship, winning four in five years starting in 2007 when the team went 15-0. Its star running back that season was current San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore.

    Since 2004, Byrnes has won 129 games against 15 defeats. In the same time, De La Salle is 127-12.

    De La Salle returns a number of key players from its state-runner-up 14-1 squad including junior All-American Kahlil Mckenzie and sophomore All-American Boss Tagaloa, both two-way linemen. Byrnes returns its top running back Isaiah Hill and second-leading receiver Tavin Richardson.

    This is De La Salle's first out-of-state opponent since a 30-13 home win over visiting Mullen (Denver, Colo.) in Week 2 of the 2012 season.

    The Spartans had a long history of playing at least one out-of-state opponent, but with the advent of the Bowl Game and eventual 15-game schedule, Lopoz said the program isn't as anxious to travel long distances. Class time and finances are major factors of staying closer to home.

    Byrnes has traveled all over the East Coast over the last five or six years, but has never ventured west of the Mississippi River. This will definitely be new territory.
    Photo by Randy Rimland

    Isaiah Hill (23) will lead Byrnes to California.

  • Photo by Randy Sartin

    Dupree Hart is now the South Carolina receptions king.

    NFL star A.J. Green no longer owns the South Carolina state record for career receptions. That honor now belongs to Dupree Hart of Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.).

    According to heraldonline.com, the 5-foot-6 Hart finished last week's state semifinal against North Augusta with 285, bettering the record of 279 set by the current Cincinnati Bengals receiver who played for Summerville from 2005-08. He set the record on a 3-yard touchdown that gave his team a 21-0 advantage, and he finished with nine catches for 124 yards, three carries for 18 yards and four total touchdowns.

    The junior has this week's Class AAAA, Division II state title game and all of next season to add to that mark.

    “I know A.J. Green was a top-10 draft pick and played at Georgia,” Hart told the newspaper. “I was watching his highlights the other week, and he made some fantastic catches when he was in high school. For me to break that record is an honor.”

    Talk about his chances of setting the national record next season is worth listening to. National record-holder Justin Sawmiller of Kenton (Ohio) finished his career this past weekend at 438.

    “A.J. Green set that record over a four-year span,” coach Kyle Richardson was quoted as saying. “Dupree broke that in three years. Breaking the record is impressive in itself, but for Dupree to do that in three years just shows what kind of player he is."

    Watch more videos of Summerville football
  • Already the holder of the career touchdown passing record, Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) quarterback Shuler Bentley added the single-season touchdown record to his resume in a 63-21 win over Lexington on Friday.

    File photo by Randy Sartin

    Shuler Bentley, Byrnes

    Bentley, who entered the game with a South Carolina career touchdown passes total of 169, needed just two touchdowns to pass Justin Worley's South Carolina record of 64 touchdown passes in a season — he got six.

    Bentley completed 20 of 26 passes for 313 yards and six touchdowns to give him 4,722 yards passing and 69 touchdowns on the season. His touchdown total ranks No. 2 in the nation this year and is tied for seventh all-time. His 175 career touchdowns rank fifth all-time.

    With 12,935 career yards, Bentley is just 450 yards behind the career total of 13,385 yards by Worley. With 4,722 yards on the season, he is 591 yards away from Worley's single-season mark of 5,313 yards.

    Bentley isn't the only record-setter for the Rebels, however, as wide receiver Shaedon Meadors is on the verge of a national record. Already the state single season record holder for touchdown receptions with 32, Meadors needs just two touchdown catches to tie the national mark of 34, held by Kirby Moore of Prosser (Wash.).

    Byrnes plays Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.) in the third round of the South Carolina Class 4A Division I playoffs this week.
  • File photo by Randy Sartin

    Shuler Bentley, Byrnes

    Shuler Bentley of Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) threw for three touchdowns in a 54-14 win over Dorman to break the South Carolina state record for career touchdown passes.

    Bentley, who entered the game with 156 career touchdowns, broke the record of 157, set by Northwestern's Justin Worley. The record-breaker came on a 16-yard pass to Shaedon Meadors.

    According to the Greenville News, Meadors set a record of his own. His 25th touchdown reception is a school record for the Rebels. He caught seven passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

    Bentley, who threw for 250 yards in the win, now has 159 touchdown passes in his career. His total ranks 10th all-time in national history. The all-time national mark is 219 touchdown passes by Maty Mauk of Kenton (Ohio).


  • We've seen plenty of players attempt to hurdle defenders in an effort to score a touchdown. Rock Hill (S.C.) senior Jua'Quan Feaster decided to increase the degree of difficulty.

    In Rock Hill's 29-23 win over host Fort Mill (S.C.) on Friday, the 6-0, 190-pound Feaster took a jump pass from quarterback Brandon Banks, ran it towards the end zone, then did a little jumping of his own.

    Feaster leaped over two Fort Mill defenders while spinning through the air, landing in the end zone for a touchdown.

    The score was worth six, but if we were counting style points it would have been a 10.
  • File photo by Randy Sartin

    Shuler Bentley, Byrnes

    Shuler Bentley of Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) came close to setting a state record for touchdown passes in a season last year, but Friday in an 82-49 win over Woodruff (S.C.) he shattered the record for touchdown passes in a single game.

    Bentley tossed nine touchdown passes in the win, breaking the old record of 8, held by former Byrnes quarterback Anthony Johnson (in 2000) and J.D. Melton of Myrtle Beach (2004). The records are according to the South Carolina High School League.

    Bentley also threw for 530 yards and had a rushing touchdown.

    As a junior, Bentley threw 59 touchdown passes, which fell short of the state record of 64, set by Justin Worley of Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.) in 2010.


  • There are two things that you can throw into a high school football hype video to ensure that it will be awesome: alligators and AC/DC.

    That's what the River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.) Gators used, with the help of iSite Media, to create their official opening video for the 2013 season.

    The addition of coach David Bennett's well-timed and intimidating, "Welcome to the swamp!" is the icing on the cake.

    One loyal Gator fan tweeted the video out on Friday night with a simple challenge. Names have been hidden to protect the innocent, but the sentiment remains the same:
    Well, high school football fans, it's up to you. Can anyone send us a video that tops this one?

    Tweet your responses to @MaxPreps with the tag, #Topthisentrance. We'll see if anyone dares to step into the ring with the Gators.
  • Photo by Marc Estrada

    Zach Darlington left Saturday's game against Byrnes after a powerful hit left him unconscious.

    Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) defeated Apopka (Fla.) in one of the biggest high school football games in the season, but the highly anticipated game was marred by a frightening injury to Apopka star quarterback Zack Darlington.

    Darlington, a Nebraska commit and son of Apopka head coach Rick Darlington, was attempting to continue Apopka's rally in the fourth quarter with Byrnes leading 44-36.

    As he scrambled out of bounds, Darlington was tackled hard, but cleanly by a Byrnes player and immediately hit the ground.

    Darlington lay on the ground motionless for several minutes. Eventually ESPN, which was televising the game nationally, returned to its studio coverage as Darlington was carted off the field on a stretcher and subsequently airlifted via helicopter to a local hospital.

    There were conflicting reports whether Darlington lost consciousness. ESPN announcers stated that when Darlington regained consciousness, he was able to move.

    After play resumed, Byrnes tacked on another touchdown to win 51-36. Since 2004, Byrnes is 14-2 in games against opponents from other states.
  • File photo by Keith Coward

    Dalton Helms, Nation Ford

    Dalton Helms threw for 466 yards and six touchdowns for Nation Ford (Fort Mill, S.C.) on Friday and his team needed every bit of it to defeat Forestview 57-56 in the season opener for both schools.

    Nation Ford held a 49-42 lead when Forestview scored twice in the fourth quarter to take a 56-49 lead.

    Helms was able to lead a gamewinning drive as he hit Brandon Cureton with a 34-yard pass. Andrew Bruce added the crucial two-point conversion to give Nation Ford the win.

    Helms finished with 20 completions in 39 attempts with two interceptions and 466 yards. he had touchdown passes of 21 yards to Colt Taylor, 24 and 5 yards to Riley Hilton, 34 yards to Cureton and 72 and 80 yards to Josh Shade.

    Shade finished with five catches for 224 yards. Nation Ford finished with 640 yards of total offense while Forestview had 347.

    Helms threw for 2,440 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior.