Goose Creek football coach Chuck Reedy has spent the week dissecting epic football battles.
His team is coming off a 52-51 double-overtime loss to University School of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. University School won when Gator fullback Virgil Smalls was stopped short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt. Early in the week, the veteran coach made his final mental notes of the game and then put the film on the shelf.
Then it was time to break down tonight's opponent, Summerville. He watched film of last year's 64-57 triple-overtime victory over the Green Wave.
'I've had a lot of people come up and tell me that's as good a high school game as they've seen,' Reedy said. 'We were up 21 points and they did a great job of coming back. It was a great high school football game.'
The two schools battle at 7:30 p.m. at McKissick Field and it's hard to imagine that tonight's game will come close to last year's excitement.
Approximately 7,000 fans at Gibson Stadium watched the teams combine for 1,232 yards in total offense last year. Summerville gained 646 yards; Goose Creek had 586. Goose Creek's Smalls scored five touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third overtime. Green Wave quarterback Dalton Saunders was 9 of 22 for 297 yards. Both players will have key roles in tonight's game.
Reedy called the game against the University School a great experience. He said it took his team a couple days to bounce back from the loss, but it will be ready tonight.
'The opportunity to play a good team, a very talented team is a plus,' Reedy said. 'We played very hard and had a chance to win. We will be a better team the rest of the season because of that game.'
The Gators enter tonight's game with a 1-1 record while Summerville is 2-0. The Green Wave lost standout running back De'angelo Henderson and a pair of talented receivers (Cody Reese and Chris Williams) from last year's team. But the Wave is developing some new weapons.
'Dalton Saunders is a three-year starter at quarterback,' Reedy said. 'That's a good starting point right there. Nigel Frierson is a quality running back. This is Summerville. They always have talent.'
Goose Creek has beaten Summerville only six times in 43 games. But three of those wins have come during Reedy's 10-year tenure. He has turned Goose Creek into one of the top programs in the state.
The Gators feature four impressive linebackers and some of the best skill position players in the state, including quarterback Daquan Marsh and wide receiver Tramel Terry.
Smalls one of the top fullbacks in the state and Caleb Kinlaw, a sophomore running back, has carried 26 times in two games for 273 yards.
Follow Phil Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil.