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Beyond the Scoreboard: MY 40 showdown between S.C. powers this week

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Pregame is set to start at 7pm, kick off is scheduled for 7:30pm, live here:

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How’s this for a league opener in Region II-5A?

Two powerhouse, undefeated programs that are ranked in the top six in the state in the S.C. Media Poll.

That’s the match-up for this week’s Friday Night Rivals battle on MY 40 when Hillcrest travels to Dorman, a game that is misnamed this week because it will be played on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

The game was moved in anticipation of weather issues connected to Hurricane Florence. The telecast begins at 7 p.m., with the kickoff at 7:30.

Under veteran coach David Gutshall (388 career wins, five state titles in N.C. and S.C.), second-ranked Dorman has long been a powerhouse.

The Cavaliers are 177-55 (.762) since 2000 and have been to the state title game seven times, winning twice. Gutshall has won 10 or more games nine times in the past 17 seasons.

This year’s squad has nine offensive starters back from a 12-3 team that played for the state championship, and is paced by a pair of offensive linemen, John Gelotte (a Duke recruit) and Mason Trotter.

Running back Thomas Morgan is also back after rushing for more than 1,400 yards last season.

The Cavaliers have rolled through Wade Hampton, Northwestern and York by a combined score of 125-24, with two shutouts.

While Dorman has long been one of the state’s top programs, Hillcrest is getting there with coach Greg Porter.

Since 2013, the sixth-ranked Rams are 56-15 and have enjoyed four seasons of 10 or more wins.

Quarterback Will Watts has thrown for 567 yards and three touchdowns and Collin Whitfield (275 yards rushing, two scores, 10.2 yards per carry) paces the offense.

Hillcrest had to rally from a 24-20 deficit in its last game, scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat Laurens 42-24. The Rams also own victories over Mauldin (20-14) and Woodmont (27-0).

Dorman won last year’s meeting 35-18.

Care to comment? Contact keithjarrettasheville@gmail.com

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