By Joshua Ford | Waccamaw Contributor
Waccamaw is looking to get back on schedule in their quest for the region 3A-VII title this week when they travel to Manning. The Monarchs are 4-3 (2-0) after a 27-14 win against Georgetown, 1-5 (0-2), last week. Waccamaw, 5-2 (1-1), is looking to avenge their 33-17 loss against Bishop England, 4-2 (2-0), where they were held to 152 yards of offense.
Both times the Warriors were held under 200 offensive yards, they lost.
“The key right now is we gotta play more than  plays on offense. We’ve got to maintain drives,” Warriors head coach Shane Fidler said. “We’ve got to make sure we can stay on the field a bit longer and execute the little things.”
Waccamaw only ran 40 plays against the Bishops and 46 in their 54-13 week two loss to Aynor. The team has been able to get away with running 38 or even 33 plays in a game but that has been because of their ability to get chunk plays and high yardage in the rushing game.
Running back Kaimon Skinner was held to just 35 yards on 10 carries last week, his lowest total since week one when he had 74. Skinner isn’t letting the performance get to him though.
“That game is in the past,” Skinner said. “I got 35 yards, but this game I’m going to improve and get more than I did last game.”
Skinner still has a very impressive 8.6 yards a carry on his 84 rushes for 725 yards with nine touchdowns.
Along with Skinner, running back Jayvion Simmons and fullback Kaisaun Grate help the team to average around 153 rushing yards a game.
Manning also has a strong rushing attack and they look to attack with a scheme the Warriors haven’t faced since preseason.
“On film, we’re seeing them run the football real effectively right now,” Fidler said. “Some things we haven’t seen since preseason so we’re kind of going back to those game plans and those type of ideas that we ran earlier in the year and bringing that back out.”
Manning likes to operate out of the gun where they can do multiple things. They have tall wide receivers that are threats in the passing and running game with their blocking. Out of the gun, they run a lot of two running back sets, often one will be a H-back, with read option plays and also the backs will often both stay back in pass protection. They have many weapons to utilize.
“The one that stands out to us right now is number seven (Dontavus Hilton),” Fidler said. “He returns kicks, he plays defense at DB and they’ll stick him in there at offense, and when he gets in they try and get him the ball. He’s a good player. He’s definitely on our radar but he’s not the only one.
“We know they got players, but we got players too. So we just gotta take care of ourselves and play our best game.”
“Right now, they’re a tough opponent and we shouldn’t doubt their abilities,” Skinner said. “We’re practicing hard so we can get the victory and win the region title.”
That region title will be on the line this game as this match-up is huge for both squads.
“Every region game is important,” Fidler said. “But now we’re in the position right here with Manning to where if we win this game and we win out, we can host a playoff game. That’s very important, not only for our team but for our school and community as well.”
“This is a very important game. This is like the breaking point to getting our banner up,” Skinner said of the region and state title banners that hang in the gymnasium of Waccamaw High. “They’re a tough, big opponent, but if we do our assignments and work together, we’ll win the game.”
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