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Gamecocks prepared for first meeting with Northwestern since 1987

By Jackson Hoshour | Sumter Contributor

Sumter looks to keep their winning streak alive this Friday at Freddie Solomon Memorial Field, as they will take on Northwestern High School. 

The Gamecocks and Trojans haven’t faced each other since 1987, when Sumter shut out Northwestern 30-0. The overall series between the two teams is tied at two wins a piece. 

The Gamecocks are coming off of an annihilation of crosstown rival Lakewood last Friday, as they showed up in every which way they could, winning 61-0. Meanwhile, the Trojans are fresh off of their first win of the season, a 16-14 nail-biter over Ridge View. Northwestern’s overall record now sits at 1-3 on the season. 

“We feel really good going into Friday; excited about the game mostly because we didn’t get to play them last year,” said Senior outside linebacker Kirkland Boone. “They are a throwing team and, defensively [we] have to go out and stop that while putting pressure on the quarterback. They also have a good defensive line and our offensive line is really for the challenge.” 

The Gamecocks defense has been impressive all year long, only giving up an average of 57.6 yards per game and only giving up 7.6 points per game — that’s roughly only one touchdown per game. They will look to keep that same energy Friday against a scrappy Northwestern offense. 

Following back-to-back blowout wins it’s typical for teams to get too comfortable in their own skin. Junior wide receiver Marcus Lane and his teammates are certain that that will not be the case this Friday. “Nothing is different. We prepare every game the same way and continue to grind on the field. We control us, we have the same mindset to go out and win every week.” 

Junior starting quarterback Hayden Vasquez agrees with Lane and believes that proper preparation every week is key to a good performance on Friday nights. “We are putting in a lot of time in the film room this week as well as on the field. We know they are a tough team, and if we want to win, we have to execute to the best of our abilities on our home field.”

Sumter’s offense has been stellar since coughing the ball up eight times in their opening game. Since that game, the Gamecocks have scored 18 touchdowns and only turned the ball over four times. They will look to continue their hot play against an impressive defensive line for Northwestern. Kickoff is slated for 7:30. 

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