Fort Dorchester football coach Steve LaPrad says his team hasn't played "a really good game yet." That could mean trouble for the remaining teams on the Patriots' schedule.
Fort Dorchester is 3-0 and averaging 42 points per game behind a quarterback who has already passsed for more than 1,000 yards.
"We're getting good efforts out of the kids," said LaPrad, whose team hosts Summerville at 7:30 p.m. today in a Region 8-AAAA showdown. "We still haven't played a really good game yet. We haven't clicked for an entire 48 minutes. Maybe that means we haven't peaked. The effort is there. They are doing everything we ask of them. But we've made some mistakes and have had 10 or 11 touchdowns called back."
The Patriots took a big step toward the Region 8-AAAA title last week with a 49-45 victory at Beaufort. The Fort rallied for its second road win of the season as quarterback Ethan Long threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Smith with 8 seconds left in the game to cap an 80-yard drive.
Long threw for 433 yards on 31-of-42 passing and had three receivers with more than 100 yards in receptions. Chris Rouse had eight catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns, Devron Glenn caught seven passes for 105 yards and a score, and Smith had seven grabs for 103 yards.
Long has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the state. The 6-4 senior has completed 71 of 113 passes for 1,058 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Glenn has caught 15 passes for 190 yards and has also been an effective ball carrier. He's so athletic that he split time with Long as quarterback last year.
The Patriots were unheralded at the beginning of the season, even though LaPrad said this squad has as many as eight players who can play at the major college or FCS levels. The Patriots weren't ranked in the state's top 10 until their impressive win at Beaufort.
"The kids felt snubbed, but I told them in life, you have to earn respect," LaPrad said.
The Patriots play a Summerville team that is coming off a 19-7 loss to Goose Creek.
Summerville (2-1) leads the series 17-2. Fort Dorchester's only victories were back-to-back in 2000 and '01.
Last year, Fort Dorchester ran 76 plays to Summerville's 39, but the Green Wave had more big plays in a 28-21 victory.
The Wave used three big plays by quarterback Dalton Saunders, receiver Cody Reese and running back De'angelo Henderson, covering 172 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.
Reese and Henderson graduated, and the Green Wave hasn't been able to come up with the firepower so far this season. Summerville topped Conway 34-19 in the season opener but has scored only 20 points the last two games.