The Gators (4-1) will ride a 4-game win streak into Sumter tonight to face the Gamecocks (8-0) in SCHSL AAAAA Round 2 Playoff action. River Bluff outlasted Fort Dorchester in an opening-round heavyweight bout 14-12 last Friday. Sumter walloped Berkeley in their opening round match-up 34-13.
What to look for:
Sumter has a fairly balanced spread attack, averaging nearly 150 receiving yards and 165 rushing yards per game. They put up slightly more than 28 points per game. Similarly, River Bluff is averaging almost 28 points per game. One glaring difference is the style of play. While Sumter’s offensive output of 315 yards per game is split fairly evenly between the rush and the pass, the Gators heavily favor the run game, churning up nearly 210 yards on the ground per game and only 68 yards through the air. Both teams have stifling defenses. Sumter is allowing a little over 10 points per game and River Bluff is giving up just under 17 points per game.
Sumter is led by senior quarterback Hayden Vasquez, senior running back Nathan Harris-Waynick, and senior receiver Marcus Lane on the offensive side of the ball. Senior Miles Capers, junior Malik McKinzie, and junior DJ Jackson lead the team in tackles with Jackson at the top in tackles-for-loss. Senior defensive back Anteon China, III has grabbed four interceptions for the Gamecocks. River Bluff’s offense is steered by senior quarterback Jackson Stone. Senior running back Riley Myers leads the ground attack for the Gators. On defense, Adam Molnar leads in total and solo tackles, followed by Kevin Culcleasure, Uriah West, and Preston Sansone. Jakari Davis leads in tackles for loss. Culcleasure has a couple of interceptions on the year and Sansone has three fumble recoveries.
The Gators will once again face a playoff team with an unblemished record. Sumter went 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in Region 6-AAAAA. Much like the match-up against Fort Dorchester last week, tonight’s contest will feature a Sumter team who hopes to spread the ball around and a Gator squad who wants to grind it out. River Bluff was successful in knocking off the previously unbeaten Patriots by forcing them to play the Gators’ style of football. They will look to do that again tonight at Sumter. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM.