Maybe Berkeley High needed that slice of humble pie last week to refocus the football team as it prepares for region play.
That’s what head coach Randy Robinson is hoping as the Stags host Summerville on Friday in their final warmup before beginning their quest for a fourth consecutive Region 7-AAAAA title.
“We haven’t been beat like that in a while,” Robinson said about last week’s 44-0 loss to Fort Dorchester. “It’s about preparation. And I think we’re going to learn a lot about our seniors and this entire team.”
The blowout loss was surprising, considering how well the Stags played in their first two games. Berkeley was riding high after a 56-12 victory over Stall and 40-0 win against Ashley Ridge.
But all of that is in the past, Robinson said. Fort Dorchester brought Berkeley back down to earth.
“I think it got our attention,” he said after a Wednesday night practice. “It’s just about getting our rhythm back and executing on both sides of the ball.”
Though he is leaning on his veteran players, Robinson acknowledged before the season that he had to replace more star players this year than he did in the previous three. So he knew there could be some growing pains after going 11-2 in 2018.
But his team still has plenty of athleticism, from quarterback Tre Minor to receivers Solomon Butler and Hakeem Meggett. On defense, linebacker Jake Dunn has led the team in tackles two years in a row.
And for what it’s worth, the loss to Fort Dorchester doesn’t tell the whole story. Going into halftime, the score was 6-0.
“Our defense is tough and knows how to play,” Robinson said. “They held their own in that first half and just got winded.”
The Stags boast a 2-1 record heading into Friday's game. After this week, their remaining five regular-season games are all region contests.
“I told them we only had two more chances heading into regional play,” Robinson said. “Fort D was first. Now we have to get it right against Summerville.”
FRIDAY'S KEY MATCHUPS
Summerville (3-1) at Berkeley (2-1)
Coaches: Joe Call, Summerville; Randy Robinson, Berkeley
Key players: LB Luke Taylor, Summerville; WR Brody Hopkins, Summerville; WR Hakeem Meggett, Berkeley; LB Jake Dunn, Berkeley
Notes: Summerville and Berkeley have one of the longest rivalries in state history dating back to 1923 ... This will be the 82nd meeting ... Berkeley has won the last two regular-season meetings but Summerville won last year’s third-round playoff game, 21-19 … The last three meetings have been decided by a total of nine points.
David Shelton's prediction: Berkeley 28, Summerville 27
First Baptist (5-0) at Hammond (3-2)
Coaches: Johnny Waters, First Baptist; Erik Kimrey, Hammond
Key players: QB Will Daniel, First Baptist; WR Sincere Brown, First Baptist; QB Jackson Muschamp, Hammond; LB Saul Diaz, Hammond
Notes: Hammond won both meetings last season, including the SCISA Class AAA state championship game … Hammond’s two losses came to out-of-state teams … Hammond is ranked No. 1 in SCISA Class AAA while First Baptist is ranked second.
Shelton's prediction: Hammond 27, First Baptist 23
Goose Creek (2-1) at Fort Dorchester (4-0)
Coaches: Jason Winstead, Goose Creek; Steve LaPrad, Summerville
Key players: DB Melvin Ravenel, Goose Creek; QB Manny Mukaumu, Goose Creek; WR Qway Simmons, Fort Dorchester; LB Darryle Ware, Fort Dorchester
Notes: Fort Dorchester has won five straight in the series … Fort Dorchester has outscored Goose Creek, 138-40, in the last three meetings … The Patriots have allowed one touchdown in four games this seasoan … Goose Creek’s only loss was a one-point decision to Ashley Ridge in the season opener.
Shelton's prediction: Fort Dorchester 35, Goose Creek 7
Summerville at Berkeley
Goose Creek at Fort Dorchester
Wando at Ashley Ridge
Woodland at Bishop England
Cane Bay at Stall
West Ashley at Stratford
Ridgeland-Hardeeville at Colleton County
Georgetown at Socastee
Timberland at Hanahan
St. John's at Waccamaw
North Charleston at Baptist Hill
Legion Collegiate at Oceanside Collegiate
Philip Simmons at Whale Branch
Military Magnet at Branchville
Lake Marion at Cross
First Baptist at Hammond
Orangeburg Prep at Porter-Gaud
Pinewood Prep at Wilson Hall
Hilton Head Christian at Dorchester Academy
Spartanburg Christian at Colleton Prep
Thomas Heyward at Northwood Academy
Faith/Ridge Christian at Beaufort Academy
Cathedral at Holly Hill Academy
St. John's Christian at Holly Hill Academy