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Gamecocks avenge last season’s heartbreak

Whether it came from the French novelist Pierre Choderlos de Laclos or from a Klingon novelist on Kronos, someone once said -- and I have written this in here before -- that revenge is a dish best served cold. 

Revenge is just as good when served hot. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

It was definitely hot on Saturday evening in Georgia Southern’s Paulson Stadium and the 45-20 Screven County Gamecock win over the Bluffton, S.C., Bobcats would have felt no better had it come in a driving snowstorm.

Khan Noonien Singh’s thoughts notwithstanding, scoreboard revenge is great in all climates. This time a year ago following that infamous 32-25 come-from-ahead-loss to the same Bobcats we just wanted another shot at them whatever the climate. The Gamecocks got it and made the most of it.

Whatever the case the Roosters looked good on Saturday night. The crowd on the home side looked remarkable. Not all of the tickets sold by the SCHS and the SCHS Athletic Booster Club were sold to Gamecock fans but the huge, huge majority of them were.

How many you ask? One thousand three hundred and thirty-eight I am told. That is 1,138 tickets sold and that is $9,366 into the coffers of the athletic department.

Needless to say, the Gamecocks have been invited back for another two years. All Screven County fans did was to furnish the largest crowd of all participating schools. That includes both Effinghams.

What happened with this season’s future SCHS opponents last week? 

Well Wade Hampton, our next opponent, fell to Manning 39-33 in two overtime possessions.

When it came to region foes, Butler was 18-0 over AAAA Cross Creek; Jefferson County was 37-13 over Class A Savannah Christian; and Laney fell 50-0 to AAAA Thomson.  

This week every member of 4AA save us will be in action. None of the games are of particular interest as no one is playing a ranked or even a high quality opponent.

AAAAA Statesboro opens its season this week by hosting AAAA Burke County. It will be the team’s first game under new coach Jeff Kaiser. 

A really big game in AA last week featured Hapeville Charter at Fitzgerald in a rematch of one of the two semifinal contests (the other being Callaway at Benedictine) in Class AA a year ago. In the AJC polls, which continued to have the Gamecocks ranked fourth Monday morning, the teams were Hapeville Charter two and Fitzgerald three, respectively. 

No. 2 beat No. 3 by three 25-22, avenging a 41-21 loss to Fitzgerald in that December game last year. Both are favored to win their respective regions -- Fitzgerald Region 1 and Hapeville Charter Region 6AA.

The Fitzgerald loss did not drop the Hurricane below the Gamecocks in the rankings. Jefferson County did drop from ninth to 10th.

I still have a question. 

How does a charter school with basically the same enrollment as SCHS come up with this type of football team? A Google search of the Hapeville Charter Career Academy website is of no help. It is a part of the Fulton County School system. Only 57 of its 147 graduates last spring qualified for HOPE. Whatever the merits of Hapeville, one of Benedictine’s best players from the state title team of last year transferred and is playing for Hornets this year.

An equally quick Google search of some of the other football-playing charter schools in Region 6AA and you can learn all about their academics and their purpose, etc.  

Schools like B.E.S.T. (Business, Engineering, Science, and Technology) Academy and KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Atlanta Collegiate have a lot to say about the school itself.  

Just some thoughts.

There is so much good stuff in the Georgia High School Football Daily including the Maxwell Ratings. These ratings are “compiled by mathematician and Georgia High School Football Historians Association founder Loren Maxwell.” It employs computers and all sorts of things -- a la Maxpreps and Calpreps and utilizes strength of schedule and the like to rank schools and make predictions.            

By the slimmest of margins, the system picks Jefferson County to win the region this year. Part of the reason -- and I have thrown this out before -- is that out of state teams do not count in the formula. Bluffton and Wade Hampton, outside of Jeffco, are (or were last year) the two best teams we play. Laney third and Josey fourth are the other projections. 

Of course, we will follow how this plays out.

The Gamecocks were great Saturday night. One game does not a season make. For this season to go according to the script that many folks seem to have already written, the schedule has to be played one game at a time.

Literally.

There are eight more football games between now and Senior Night on Nov. 3. 

The next opponent is the Wade Hampton Red Devils. Only they matter right now.