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It was not a pretty start to the football season for Crestwood High School. The Knights opened the year with a 23-0 loss to 5A West Florence, and it was followed up by a 63-2 shellacking at the hands of 5A Sumter. However, as 4A CHS prepares to open its Region IV-4A schedule on the road against defending region champion A.C. Flora on Oct. 4, it will do so as a .500 squad. Crestwood followed a 43-20 victory over Richland Northeast with a 24-8 victory over Darlington.Knights head coach Roosevelt Nelson said he and his team are just moving from one game to the next.
"We just try to take it one game at a time, one play at a time," Nelson said when asked what was the attitude of his team after being outscored 84-2 in its first two games. "We're trying to improve each time we get out on the field. We wanted to get better from Week 0 to Week 1 to where we are now."
CHS had a tremendous defensive game against the Falcons, limiting them to just 80 yards of total offense. Brent Hillard had an interception to lead the way.
Offensively, tight end Desmond McMillan had four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Jaice Calderon picked up 88 yards and another score on 11 carries.
Nelson believes his team has improved in many phases as the season has progressed.
"To me, our offensive line has improved tremendously from Game 1 to now," Nelson said. "I feel like we're being able to run the football better. Our quarterback play (Clayton Feagin has started three of the four games) has improved even though it's still a work in progress."
Nelson is much happier with the play of his defense as well.
"Defensively, we have not given up the big play like we did earlier," said Nelson, whose squad allowed four touchdowns of 40 yards or more against Sumter, as only one of the nine Gamecock scores came on a play of less than 20 yards. "We've still got a long ways to go, but we're making progress."
And Nelson is hoping to see a lot more progress take place in the Knights' off week of practice.
"All of our focus is going to be on Crestwood this week," he said. "We want to improve at what we try to do and be ready to go when we begin region play."
Along with being the defending region champion, A.C. Flora is off to a 4-0 start and is ranked seventh among 4A schools in the latest S.C. Prep Media Football Poll. The rest of the CHS schedule includes playing host to 1-4 Lower Richland on Oct. 11, traveling to Columbia to face 1-4 Dreher on Oct. 18, playing at 4-1 Orangeburg-Wilkinson on Oct. 25 and playing host to Sumter School District rival and 2-3 Lakewood on Nov. 2.
Nelson said the win over Darlington certainly left his team in a good position entering region play.
"Any time you win a game it's a good thing," he said. "That sets you up to go and have a good week of practice. It certainly wasn't a clean game; defensively we played well, but I felt like we left some points out on the field. We also had way too many penalties, but that's something we feel like we can get better at."
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