Finding Mudville: Thou Shalt Not Pass
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, if you have hopes of beating Berkeley this year in football you better not have designs on throwing the football.
Thou shalt not pass against Berkeley.
Defensive backs Dee Harley and Josh Simmons both have a season’s worth of picks all their own. Throw in Branden Williams’ handful and what you have is the Stags’ defensive backfield, where touchdown passes go to die.
The Timberland Wolves turned the ball over six times in their 31-12 loss to the Stags on Friday. That is something a Timberland team does not do. Last year the Wolves turned the ball over 10 times in their 21-20 loss. That’s 16 turnovers in the last two games.
The series now stands at 2-2 since the Un-Civil War of Highway 52 resumed in 2010. Timberland took the first two games and the Stags have taken the last two. The Wolves won the first two games because they were primarily a running offense. The last two seasons Timberland took to the air.
I don’t think you can do that against Berkeley.
Stratford’s Jacob Park, who is Georgia-bound in 2014, had it set in his mind that he could throw the ball over the middle against Berkeley’s defense. The Berkeley DBs picked him off five times. Harley had more receptions than anybody on the field that night with four.
You can’t throw against Berkeley.
Simmons’ Pick Six was his second of the season. Branden Williams has one, too. Dee Harley doesn’t have one yet, but we still have October to go. Harley has seven picks on the year if I’m doing my math right.
The fly in this ointment is that Berkeley is still suspect against the run. Manning did not throw against the Stags and rammed the ball down their throats on the ground, but then the Sept. 19 game in Manning was the Stags first really bad game of the season if you think about it.
Most of the big plays Berkeley has given up have come on the ground. They played well against Stratford and Summerville, the other two losses on the season, and should be sitting at 3-2 right now with the region schedule beginning on Thursday night with the TV game against James Island.
Hanahan and a surprising Orangeburg-Wilkinson team loom ahead in the coming weeks. Both teams are undefeated as Region 8AAA play is set to begin. But the great thing about October is everybody gets to hit the reset button.
All is forgiven in September. Life begins anew in October.
New season, new schedule, and everybody’s vying to see who gets to play football on Thanksgiving.