The Hanahan football team had a tune-up game last week and walked away with a 67-14 victory over Military Magnet. This week, the Hawks will be tested.
Timberland, the No. 4 team in the latest statewide poll of Class AA teams, travels to Hanahan, which is No. 7 in Class AAA. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“This is going to show us where we really are at this stage of the season.” Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson said. “I think this week will be a genuine measuring stick.”
The high school football season shifts into full gear this week, and there’s two big battles involving Berkeley County schools. Timberland vs. Hanahan and Berkeley at Goose Creek.
Timberland is 62-4 over the past five years, including 11-2 last fall.
“This is the youngest team I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Timberland coach Art Craig said. “While we’re young, there are some positives. We are extremely athletic and fast.”
The Wolves start four seniors, 11 juniors, six sophomores and a freshman.
“As always, they have very good athletes,” Patterson said of Timberland. “Their guys upfront on their defensive line are very disruptive. The linebackers and secondary are solid, too.”
Hanahan was 11-2 last fall but lost some key players to graduation. Mason Schwerzler is the new quarterback and Quan Wade is a big, powerful back with good speed.
Patterson said they keys to victory are avoiding big plays and winning the turnover battle. That’s something the Hawks didn’t do in last year’s game.
Timberland’s Rod McCray scooped up a fumble with just over a minute remaining and returned it 30 yards for a score in the Wolves’ 25-21 victory. It gave the Wolves their 10th straight victory over the Hawks.
Berkeley, meanwhile, will try to end its skid against Stratford when the Stags travel to Stackley Field.
Berkeley will have to stop Stratford quarterback Jacob Park, who has committed to play at Georgia.
Park completed 5 of 5 passes for 271 yards and three TDs in two quarters of play last week in the Sertoma Classic. He also had another 70-yard completion wiped out because of a penalty.
“He’s one of the top four quarterbacks in the country and competed in the Elite 11 camp,” Berkeley coach Jeff Cruce said. “He’s a great quarterback who is going to play in the SEC. He deserves all the accolades. But Stratford is more than Jacob Park. Their defense is very, very good and their coach, Ray Stackley, is one of the best. You don’t win more than 200 games and have a field named after you for nothing.”
Cruce is in his third year at the school and has yet to have a winning season in Moncks Corner. The Stags were 4-7 in Cruce’s first year and went 6-7 last fall.
“Basically, we started 14 sophomores my first year here,” Cruce said. “This team has had two years together. We are ready.”
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