PREP FOOTBALL

Eagles hope they're back on track for region tilt

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With a Region V-1A road win under its belt, the Scott's Branch High School varsity football team continues its roller coaster of a season as it prepares to host homecoming against 5-1 Bethune-Bowman at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Scott's Branch Stadium.

The Eagles are even at 3-3 after last week's 30-12 win over Branchville, a win that broke a 2-game losing streak that included a narrow loss to then-undefeated Edisto and a lopsided home loss against a surging Timmonsville team.

Scott's Branch head coach Wayne Farmer, in his fourth season at the helm, hopes his team is back on the right track after a promising 3-1 start.

"It was good to open up region with a win," Farmer said. "We've been battling injuries since the (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) game. We've had about six kids out the last two games, and that's kind of hurt us. In Class A, that's 12 positions, so we've been banged up.

"We're getting healthy," Farmer said. "We're not all the way healthy, but that's what's caused some of our inconsistent games."

Farmer said bouncing back from the Timmonsville loss took a half, but he saw signs that his team was coming back to life.

"We started off kind of slow but got back to our form in the second half and started playing," he said. "We did a good job - scored 30 points in the second half. The defense did a good job. Our biggest thing is not turning the ball over. We've had some turnovers lately that we've got to correct. That's probably the biggest thing, but as a whole, we've been playing pretty well."

"We're getting some kids back, which is helping. Pretty much all our kids are playing."

Farmer credited fullback Marquise Thomas with turning in consistently good games, along with junior quarterback Amonte Brown, a 3-year starter, and said linebacker Tyrease Riley and defensive end Joshua Pringle have stepped it up on defense.

Farmer said his team would need all hands on deck with Bethune-Bowman coming in. The Mohawks' only loss came at the hands of Wagener-Salley, 22-0, while their other five games have each ended with a convincing margin of victory. Bethune-Bowman averages close to 250 yards rushing per game, the bulk of it by senior running back Makiah Simmons, who has 611 yards rushing in four games, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry and accounting for nine Mohawk touchdowns.

"We're more than sure they're coming in to play," Farmer said. "They're a good ball club and we know what we're facing. We beat them last year, so I'm sure they've still got that on their minds - beat them for homecoming. This is our homecoming this year, so I guess they're trying to come spoil it. They kind of look a lot like us, so we know they're coming to play football."

Farmer said the two teams are similar in build and style.

"They're kind of built like us - fullback and wide fullback, and their quarterback is probably the best player on their team along with their running back. They're kind of long and lanky like us - not really big guys - on both sides of the ball."

Farmer said he stressed to his team the importance of the region portion of the schedule.

"We have three goals each year. We've already met our immediate goal, and now this is our short-term goal, focusing on the region, so that's what we're doing now," Farmer said. "Those first five games are over, and it's a whole new season for us, and we're 1-0."