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Only one team remains after Friday’s round 2 of the playoffs. 

The Powdersville Patriots outlasted every team in Anderson County. Now the test turns to whether they’ll outlast every team remaining in the 3A playoffs. 

This past Friday was the final time Monte Dutton and I (and the rich assortment of our stringers) will stay up to the wee hours of the night to provide in-depth (at the very least, semi-in-depth) coverage of all the Anderson County matchups. With only one team remaining, we all might make it to bed before 5. 

Enough of our problems… to the games…

Powdersville 21, Wren 17

Somehow, some way, these two powerful offenses combined for 10-9 and 21-17 finals this season. The Patriots scored their least amount of points, in the season, in the two wins versus Wren. 

A 1-yard touchdown from Malachi Hill and a 72-yard Gavin Owens-to-Kaden Hutto connection gave the Hurricanes a 14-0 lead at halftime. Wren was primed for an upset. 

But the Patriots came out firing in the 2nd half. Thomas Williams hit the corner and outran the ‘Canes defenders for a 28-yard touchdown opening the half. 

Wren answered back with a field goal from Lucas Reid, and after three, the Hurricanes still led 17-6. 

Williams was injured on the 1st play of the 4th quarter. After about 10 minutes on the field, Williams was carried off to a silent crowd. I’m sure worry swept through Powdersville’s stadium with the absolute best player on the field injured and a deficit on the scoreboard. 

That worry didn’t sweep through the Powdersville sideline, though. Later than drive, Eli Hudgins found Drake Sloan for a 26-yard touchdown, and after the 2-point conversion succeeded, the Patriots only trailed 17-14. 

Wren answered with a drive all the way down to the Patriot 3-yard line but fumbled on essentially the 1-foot line. Powdersville mustered a 99-yard drive and took the lead with a Jalen Rambert 2-yard touchdown. Twice on that drive, the Patriots had to convert a 4th down. First, the Patriots rolled up a fake punt and Clay Davis found Rambert for the 1st down. Later in the drive, a roughing the passer on a 4th-and-7 kept the drive alive. 

The Patriots finally led 21-17 and the rest was history. 

Wren’s season comes to an end at 6-6. The Hurricanes battled all season and it shouldn’t be seen as a disappointment. Its first three games were outrageously tough, but they came back. The team is extremely young and Hurricane fans should be very excited for next season. 

As for the Patriots, they’ll host Chester this Friday. Chester just knocked off Chapman and look a bit more dangerous than first anticipated. 

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Jalen Rambert

Gaffney 34, T.L. Hanna 26

Monte Dutton mentioned in his weekly predictions that Hanna couldn’t fall behind Gaffney. They did just that and never led in this game. Hanna’s style of offense cannot perform to its full potential when trailing; it just can’t.

Hanna trailed 21-14 at halftime. The Indians opened the 2nd half with another score as Tyler Smith outran the Yellow Jacket defenders for a 43-yard touchdown. Hanna’s next drive resulted in a failed 4th-and-5 from Gaffney’s 12-yard line. Hindsight is always 20/20, but a field goal might’ve better served the Jackets. 

The Jackets did force an interception, Kamren Johnson snagged it, on Gaffney’s next drive. Using the momentum shift, Hanna scored on the 1st play of the 4th quarter, a 36-yard touchdown from Walt Smith. But Logan McConnell slipped on the PAT and the score was left at 28-20, Gaffney. 

Hanna then forced Gaffney to punt on its next drive, and eventually deposited another touchdown in the end zone, a Kabrail Morrison 2-yarder. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful so Hanna still trailed 28-26. 

Gaffney’s Smith added an 18-yard touchdown, his 3rd, to put the Indians up 34-26 before the PAT. Big emphasis on before the PAT. Hanna’s Johnson blocked the PAT and left the Jacket deficit at just one possession with 1:22 left in the ballgame.

Hanna just couldn’t put the 2-minute drive together, though, and its season came to an end. 

Hanna finishes its season at 10-2. I’m sure for many Hanna fans, this season was a state championship or bust season. Unfortunately, this was a bust for many. 

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Kamren Johnson stiff-arms a Gaffney defender

Irmo 42, Westside 20

The rollercoaster of a season for the Rams has finally made it to the platform for departure. The Rams leave a bit woozy, though. 

Irmo’s DeAree Rogers scored all of the Yellow Jackets’ points. Rogers caught 3 touchdown passes from Izyah Whiteside, ran for 2 more, and had a pick-6. 

Rogers and the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead and never looked back. 

The Rams had multiple opportunities to make this one closer in the 2nd half but mistakes plagued Westside. After opening the 2nd half with a score and 2-point conversion, the Rams only trailed 28-14. They forced a quick 3-and-out from Irmo but muffed the punt. The muffed punt led to another Irmo score making it 35-14. 

Again, later in the 4th quarter trailing 35-20, the Rams were moving into Yellow Jacket territory but a costly fumble halted the Rams’ drive. That was as close as they got and the Yellow Jackets tacked on another for the final. 

Westside finishes its season at 6-5. This season shouldn’t serve as a disappointment for Ram fans as Westside won its region and rebounded from a 1-4 start. 

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Scott Earley and Pete Zamora embrace after Westside's victory over Byrnes earlier this season

Gray Collegiate 58, Crescent 0

Shockingly, I got nothing on this one from the Tigers. Fittingly, we’ll call it even.  

General Manager

Caleb is from Clinton but has family ties in Anderson. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in May with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he's not on the sidelines, Caleb enjoys watching sports, playing video games and basketball.