Wolverines look for balance against Whirlwinds


By all accounts, the East Clarendon High School football team had its best passing game of the year last week.

Quarterback Lorell Fleming was 6 of 8 for more than 200 yards in the Wolverines' 44-14 victory over Scott's Branch that gave EC its third straight win.

"I thought he had good reads last Friday," Wolverines head coach Dwayne Howell said of Fleming. "There wasn't a lot of long passes, but he made the short reads. I think both Marquice (Elmore) and Jearl (Harrison) had over 100 yards receiving, so they were able to make some things happen after the catch."

Howell was glad to see a more balanced attack out of the EC offense, something that will likely be critical this Friday when the Wolverines travel to Timmonsville for a Region VII-1A matchup against the Whirlwinds.

EC is 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the region while Timmonsville is 5-1 overall and 1-0 in region play thanks to a big 28-22 victory over Hemingway last week.

"They're a very good team and (longtime) Coach (Bill) Tate is back on the sideline this year, so that's good for at least 3-4 wins right there," Howell said.

With the return of Tate comes the return of Timmonsville's power wishbone running attack. Brandon Hampton and Franklin King have combined for 1,056 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns this season. King has also thrown for 379 yards and two scores.

The Whirlwinds are averaging just over 44 points a game this season and have scored at least 22 in every contest.

"They do so many different things," Howell said. "You have to prepare for about four different offensive looks, with wishbone being the biggest. But we're going to have to try to get a couple of stops and give the ball back to our offense and hopefully score when we have the chance."

Timmonsville's defense has held opponents to eight points or less three times this season and the Whirlwinds provide the same multiple looks on defense that they do on offense, Howell said.

"Our offensive line is going to have to recognize how many men they have in the box," Howell said. "That's going to be key. We also might actually slow down our tempo a little bit and try to make them play at a pace that we're comfortable with."

EC has averaged 29 points a game this season, but 35 in its last five games.

"We're going to have to throw the ball," Howell said. "Hemingway had a little bit of success throwing the ball and hopefully we can get some guys in front of people and open up some lanes for our receivers and our running backs."