Knights seeking revenge, respect in next round
Stratford’s first encounter with South Florence this month didn’t go so well.
But the Knights get a second chance at the unbeaten Bruins on Friday in the second round of the Class AAAA Div. II playoffs. Stratford earned its shot at revenge with a 41-6 victory over Nation Ford last Friday.
“Although it’s a huge challenge to travel there and be successful, we are excited to have a second chance to prove ourselves and earn their respect,” said SHS coach Ray Stackley, whose team is 10-2.
The Bruins are 12-0 after hammering Easley 48-14 in the opening round. Two weeks earlier, they handed Stratford a 26-14 loss, the Knights’ first of the season.
“South Florence is a very talented team but we performed poorly the last time we played them,” Stackley said. “That’s certainly not a knock on them because they were deserving of the previous win.”
Stratford played without two starters in the first meeting, including defensive ringleader Michael Simmons.
The winner of the Stratford-South Florence game will take on either Goose Creek or South Pointe in the state semifinals on Nov. 29.
Stratford’s first playoff contest was predictably easy. The Knights raced out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and coasted by Nation Ford.
Quarterback Jacob Park was on his game after two off weeks. The Georgia commitment was 15 of 24 for 267 yards and three touchdowns through the air and also ran for 77 yards on 14 carries.
His scoring connections went to Chris Allen, Tyree Scroggins and Thad Thompson.
Scroggins led all receivers with five catches for 82 yards, including the 22-yard TD reception. Thompson had three grabs for 61 yards, highlighted by his 42-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
Allen’s scoring catch was a 22-yarder in the first quarter.
On the ground, Jameak Jones rushed for 59 yards and scored on a 7-yard run. Jordan Johnson added 25 yards rushing and 41 yards receiving, scoring on a 3-yard run too.
Kicker Tyler Tekac aided in the hot start with a pair of first-quarter field goals from 34 and 37 yards.
Nation Ford avoided the shutout with a fourth-quarter touchdown.