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Crestwood's Feagin shines in victory, earns Offensive Player of Week honor

By DENNIS BRUNSON dennis@theitem.com
Posted 9/11/19

After struggling in Crestwood High School's 23-0 loss to West Florence to open the football season, quarterback Clayton Feagin found himself on the bench in the Knights' second game against Sumter.

CHS didn't fare any better, falling to the …

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Crestwood's Feagin shines in victory, earns Offensive Player of Week honor

PHOTO BY MARK MORGAN / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM Laurence Manning's Wyatt Rowland, right, runs down the sideline during the Swampcats' 41-20 victory over Florence Christian on Friday in Manning. Rowland was selected as The Sumter Item Special Teams Player of the Week.
PHOTO BY MARK MORGAN / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM
Laurence Manning's Wyatt Rowland, right, runs down the sideline during the Swampcats' 41-20 victory over Florence Christian on Friday in Manning. Rowland was selected as The Sumter Item Special Teams Player of the Week.
Posted

After struggling in Crestwood High School's 23-0 loss to West Florence to open the football season, quarterback Clayton Feagin found himself on the bench in the Knights' second game against Sumter.

CHS didn't fare any better, falling to the Gamecocks' 63-2. So Feagin found out over the weekend that he would be back taking snaps against Richland Northeast, and he readied himself for the second chance.

"When I found out that I would be starting, I came in ready that Monday," Feagin said. "I was ready to practice."

And he was ready to play on Friday against RNE. Feagin tossed three touchdown passes in helping jumpstart the CHS offense in a 43-20 victory.

For his efforts, Feagin has been selected as The Sumter Item Offensive Player of the Week.

Joining Feagin as players of the week are Lakewood's Kyliek Baxter as the Offensive Lineman, Laurence Manning Academy's Wyatt Rowland as the Special Teams Player, and his teammate, Bennett Stephens, as the Defensive Player.

Players are selected based on nominations from local high school coaches. Selections are made by The Sumter Item.

The quartet will be honored at the weekly breakfast meeting of the Sumter Touchdown Club presented by FTC on Friday beginning at 7:15 a.m. The meeting takes place at the University of South Carolina Sumter's Arts & Letters Building.

Penn Wagers, an ESPN replay official, will be the guest speaker.

OFFENSE CLAYTON FEAGIN CRESTWOOD

Feagin completed 16 of 25 passes for 197 yards to go with the three touchdowns against just one interception. He helped rally the Knights from an early 13-0 deficit.

Crestwood head coach Roosevelt Nelson said Feagin took advantage of what was given to him.

"Clayton played a good game," said Nelson, whose team improved to 1-2 on the season. "It took what the defense was giving him. He didn't force things, and he ran the offense with efficiency."

Feagin credited his teammates along the offensive line for his success.

"They did a good job blocking for me," he said. "I think that got my confidence up."

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - KYLIEK BAXTER LAKEWOOD

Baxter, a massive 6-foot-4-inch, 340-pound right guard, graded out a 83 percent and had four knockdown blocks in the Gators' 33-14 win over Manning.

In picking up its first win in three games as well, LHS had 394 yards of total offense.

"I think we just did a good job of executing," Baxter said. "We knew we had to do the little things, and we were able to execute the little things.

Lakewood head coach Larry Cornelius said that Baxter not only takes every snap on offense, but is on about half the snaps on the defensive line.

"He's just a tremendous athlete," Cornelius said of Baxter. "He's very quick for his size. He's one of those quick-twitch athletes."

SPECIAL TEAMS - WYATT ROWLAND LAURENCE MANNING

Rowland had a 78-yard kickoff return for the Swampcats in their 41-20 victory over Florence Christian School. He also returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, but to no avail as it was called back due to a holding penalty.

And those weren't the only big plays for him. He carried the ball eight times for 155 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 63 yards.

"We were actually lined up in onside," Rowland said on his kickoff return. "They said they were going to kick it deep, and they did. I got some good blocks, and I broke free. I just wasn't quite able to get in the end zone."

Rowland credited the offensive line for his success running the ball.

DEFENSE - BENNETT STEPHENS LAURENCE MANNING

Stephens had a big performance from his inside linebacker position against FCS. He had 11 solo tackles as the Swampcats improved to 2-0.

It was the second straight 11-tackle game for the junior.

"I was just reading the offensive line keys," Stephens said when asked about his success. "If the linemen step forward, I know they're going to run the ball, so I look for the holes I need to get to. if they step back, I know they're going to pass, and so I drop back in coverage."

Stephens also ran for a touchdown.