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BHS, AJ seek playoff wins

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Class AA Upstate football playoffs

By Robert Howey

 

   

Buford is at home and Andrew Jackson hits the road and both hope to extend their seasons after Friday night in the Class AA Division II Upper State football playoffs.

The Jackets, 5-5, will host Region IV-AA foe Chesterfield, while Andrew Jackson, 5-6, will venture to Chesnee.

Buford High School football coach Mike Wells knows his second-round foe in the Class AA Division II Upstate playoffs.

The Jackets will be facing Chesterfield for the second time this season.

Two weeks ago, the Jackets outlasted Chesterfield, 43-39.

“They are a solid football team and we know them pretty well,” Wells said. “They have a potent offense and can put up numbers in a hurry.

“They key for us is to move the ball and keep it from their big-play people,” Wells noted.

The Rams are led by Kendrick Melton, who has complied 2,000 yards rushing and passing.

“He really makes their offense go,” Wells said. “We have to be able to score some points and keep the ball away from them. On defense, we have to get people to the football and make plays. We can’t allow them second-chance yards.”

Wells said the Jackets have a tough task in trying to notch their second win over the Rams this fall.

“It will be tough to beat them twice,” Wells said. “A big key for us is to continue what we have done in the last few weeks. We have done a good job of limiting our turnovers and penalties. We have to continue to protect the football and keep our penalties down.”

Buford had 15 yards in penalties to 70 for Chesterfield in that first meeting.

Chesterfield, 5-6, is coming off a 44-42 home win over Batesburg-Leesville in the opening round of the playoffs last week.

“They rallied to win and I’m sure they will use that as a shot of momentum,” Wells said.

Buford, in its win over CHS, was bolstered by a monster game from senior running back Josh Mullens as he ran for 259 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Jackets.

“Josh played well and our line did a good job of creating running lanes and our whole offense executed well,” Wells said. “That’s what we have to have – good, solid team play on both sides of the football.”

Vols battle No. 5 Eagles

AJ, 5-6, is looking to build on its first-round win, a 35-14 victory over Kershaw County rival North Central.

The Volunteers defeated the Knights twice to move on.

The Chesnee Eagles, 9-1, captured their league title with an unbeaten mark.

“Chesnee is an outstanding team and they have their share of weapons,” Andrew Jackson  coach David Moore said. “I’d say they are more of a finesse team.”

The Eagles are led by quarterback Darius Proctor, who has posted 2,500 yards throwing and passing.

The Eagles’ top receivers are Markel Hill and Bobby Foos.

“They like to throw the ball,” Moore said. “That means our defense has to keep pressure on and defend the pass well. We have to play tough.

“A big key for us is to continue our strong special teams play,” Moore said. “Last week, North Central rallied to tie the game, but then Quadarius Fair gave us a major boost with his clutch 80-yard kickoff return. That was a major spark and we used that for a strong finish.

“Our defense also was solid,” Moore said. “We had tremendous effort last week when we had some key red zone stands, which was crucial in our win at North Central.

“Kolby Whitley was a little rusty last week from being out with his injury, but I think with a week under his belt, he will be on top of his game.

“We need another solid game from him and we have to have our running game being productive,” Moore said. “The key there is a strong game from our offensive line to keep the chains and our offense moving.”