Goose Creek football coach Chuck Reedy knows his team might not be as fortunate as Summerville was when the Gators play Fort Dorchester in a battle of teams with identical 3-1 records.
Last week, Fort Dorchester self-destructed in a 19-7 loss to rival Summerville. The Patriots fumbled the ball away on the opening kickoff and turned over the ball on their first offensive play from scrimmage. That set the tone for the Green Wave's 17-3 victory over the Patriots. The offensive production was 39 points under their average.
"You can't turn the ball over five or six times and expect to beat a good football team," said Reedy, whose Gators host the Patriots in a 7:30 p.m. showdown. "If you look at the two teams, Fort Dorchester had the better athletes. We can't expect them to turn the ball over like they did against Summerville."
The Gators were picked by many to contend for the state title at the Class AAAA level this year. The Gators dropped a 52-51 double-overtime decision to University School of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) in Week 2, and was lackluster against Summerville a week later, hanging on for a 19-7 win.
"I think we were a little flat against Summerville," Reedy said. "I don't think we've hit our stride yet. The game with University was tough and emotional. We had one day less to prepare for Summerville and one less day to recover since we played University on a Saturday. I think we have a good team, but the verdict is still out."
The game will feature two contrasting offenses. Fort Dorchester throws the football. Quarterback Ethan Long has completed 94 of 154 attempts for 1,173 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Patriots have four receivers with at least 19 catches, including Rodney Gibbs, who leads the team with six touchdowns, and Devron Glenn, who leads the team with 24 catches.
Goose Creek, meanwhile, has passed the ball only 32 times this season. But four Gators have at least 200 yards on the ground, headed by sophomore Caleb Kinlaw, who leads team with 420 yards rushing. Junior Tramel Terry has rushed for 332 yards and has caught nine passes for 136 yards. Virgil Smalls, who scored six touchdowns last week in a blowout win over Colleton County, has 296 yards and 12 scores on the season. Quarterback Jaquan Marsh has rushed for 201 yards.
"Fort Dorchester's offense is similar to the University School," Reedy said. "They have a lot of good skill players. We will have our hands full."