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Week 1 A-Town @ Woodruff

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Woodruff was, at one time, the thorn in the playoff side of the Panthers for years. In 1972,73,76,78,79, and 1980 the Wolverines bounced the Panthers from the playoffs. In those six games, the Wolverines never gave up more than 15 points and pitched two shutWoodruff outs. Woodruff is long removed from the Willie Varner days now, but there is still a little something special in the air when Woodruff comes to town. Or in this case, when A-Town rolls into Woodruff. Which they will do this Friday with kickoff slated for 7:30. Over the last ten years, the Panthers and Wolverines have played six times. The record, 3-3. Doesn’t get much more even than that. Well, maybe it does. The average score of the last six meetings: 27-26 in favor of Woodruff. Are we in for another nail biting shootout? Or will the Panthers roll like they did last year 28-0? Only time will tell.

What we do know is that Woodruff has a heck of a quarterback. #11 Keegan Halloran scorched 4A AC Flora last Friday night. The Wolverines trailed 26-7 before Halloran and wide receiver #7 Austin Parks began their onslaught. Halloran threw for 5 touchdowns, three of those caught by Parks, and ran for two more as Woodruff beat AC Flora 53-45. Woodruff head coach Trey Elder likes the spread offense. They will throw the ball 80% of the time. Elder was a quarterback at Byrnes High School before playing college football at App State.

What we also know is that, after one game, it appears that the strength of the Abbeville defense lies within their secondary. Tyrese Paul had and interception versus Ninety Six, and Gabe Calhoun picked up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown as well. When hammer meets nail at Woodruff High School Friday night, the matchup to watch is the Wolverine wide receivers versus the Panther defensive backs. Another glaring stat is that the Woodruff defense gave up 45 points to an AC Flora team that could be described as mediocre in their region. They were bounced from the playoffs last season by Hartsville by a 48-10 score. Abbeville quarterback Bryce Jackson only threw four passes last Friday night, three of them complete, one for a score. The one incompletion was a fingernail away from being a touchdown toss as well. How can we not mention the Panther rushing attack. A four headed monster in Bryce Jackson, Courtney Jackson, Junior Rapley and Jermaine Blackwell produced over 300 yards rushing, and they are ready to make another statement this coming Friday.

Can Abbeville produce a pass rush to make Halloran uncomfortable in the pocket? Can they contain the fleet footed quarterback? Will we see nearly 100 combined points in Woodruff Friday night? Only time will tell. The odds makers like A-town as they are a 16 point favorite heading into the match-up.

If you can’t make the game, you can listen to all of the action on WZLA 92.9fm or on the free app for your smartphone, tablet or computer. The app is called STREEMA – Simple Radio. Just search WZLA once inside the app. Coverage beings at 6:30pm with the WCTEL Panther Tailgate Show. God Bless and Go Panthers!