The Scott's Branch High School varsity football team will hit the road to take on Hemingway in the first round of the 1A state playoffs on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Scott's Branch finished the season at 1-3 in Region V-1A and in fourth place and is 3-7 …
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Scott's Branch finished the season at 1-3 in Region V-1A and in fourth place and is 3-7 overall after defeating Military Magnet Academy 42-20 last week.
"I feel pretty good," Eagles head coach Brian Smith said of the Hemingway game. "The team is getting better and better each week. I look forward to giving it our best shot on Friday and trying to advance to the second round."
However, Scott's Branch will have to try to advance without some of its key players.
"We have three or four significant injuries to starters, so someone else has to step up and take their place," Smith said.
The Eagles have alternated several players at quarterback, but their best one so far this year has been senior Sean Swaringer. He has completed eight of his 15 pass attempts for 250 yards, five touchdowns against three picks. He's also ran the ball 150 times for 1,104 yards and seven scores.
Senior fullback Kendrick Lesesne has also contributed to the offense with 385 yards and four touchdowns on 61 carries, and so has senior wide receiver Treyshawn Moore, who has recorded 10 receptions for 337 yards and five scores.
Hemingway will be a challenge for Scott's Branch. The Tigers finished third in Region VI and are 4-5 overall after falling at Lake View 39-21 back on Oct. 25.
"They're a physical football team," Smith said. "(Senior) Darius Williams, who's a running back and a linebacker, is a handful and has several (NCAA0 Division I offers. We'll have to block him (when they're) on defense and get him on the ground (when they're) on offense. I've coached against him several times.
"(Senior quarterback and defensive back) Darius Taylor has been a main addition for a while," he said. "He's a great, phenomenal athlete. They're (Williams and Taylor) two of the better athletes in the state."
Smith also knows Tigers head coach Al Calcutt quite well.
"Coach Calcutt used to coach at Hannah-Pamplico," Smith said. "I'm familiar with him, and he's familiar with me."
Smith seems optimistic about the challenge ahead.
"We look forward to having a good game," he said.
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