Nathan Fry | Eastside Contributor
A battle between two of South Carolina’s top 25 teams according to MaxPreps takes center stage Friday night, as 10th ranked Chapman travels to #23 Eastside’s home turf to try to continue their undefeated start.
After a closer game than they would’ve liked against Woodruff, Chapman is looking for a return to form after only winning their last contest by 14 points, 49-35. The Panthers were able to survive a second half rally from Woodruff as they advanced to 5-0 on the season, staying near the top of the standings for both the whole state and their individual conference.
Eastside is entering this game with a similar track record, as blowouts fill both team’s schedules. After holding onto a 1-point lead at the half against Broome, Eastside made some adjustments at the break, then cruised for the rest of the game and won their fourth game of the season, remaining undefeated in 2019.
A glance at the stats show that the Panthers and Eagles come into this high profile matchup with very explosive offenses. Both schools feature attacks that have scored over 50 points per game, as well as over 275 yards through the air for both sides. Passing the ball is a strength of both teams, and the two defenses will have a tough task on their hands with so much talent on the offensive side of the ball.
With a deadlock between the two teams in passing, the key for success lies in the ground game. This means Eastside’s Max Louris, who averages 8.7 yards per carry and 130 yards per game, will be called upon heavily as the feature back once again. The rushing attack, assisted by quarterback Marshall Skoloff — who the Eagles use as a dual threat– has doubled the amount of yards generated by Chapman’s offense up to this point in the season.
“Chapman’s offense scores a ton of points” said Eastside Head Coach Woolcock. “I know a lot of guys look at the points [when talking about his team’s stats] but our starters have only given up six points in the second half so far this season, and we have 14 turnovers as well. Some teams don’t do that in one full season. We’re feeling really good about our defense.”
If you’ve been keeping up with Eastside football, a big reason for that large number of turnovers is the Eagle’s standout cornerback Jamen Louris. Averaging one interception per game, as well as returning three of them to the house, expect Chapman to throw to the side of the field that junior corner isn’t covering.
“I think it’s gonna be a good football game” said Coach Woolcock. “You have two hungry teams, two teams that have a lot of talent. Chapman has a lot of weapons and we respect who we’re up against, but we’re confident that we’ll have our guys prepared for the battle on Friday.”
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