By Thomas Grant Jr.
Don’t tell Irmo head coach Aaron Brand that Friday’s Top 10 showdown in Kellytown with Hartsville is a Class 4A championship preview.
“It’s only the fourth game,” he said. “Nobody has ever won a title after 4 or 5 weeks.”
The sixth-ranked Yellow Jackets refuse to get caught up in the hype entering the matchup with the second-ranked Red Foxes. Both teams are undefeated and are coming off their strongest victories of the season.
Hartsville defeated previous Class 3A number-one Dillon 51-34 in a game in which it rallied from a 28-14 halftime deficit. Hakeem Waters rushed for four touchdowns and Carmello McDaniel added two.
Irmo is coming off a bye week following a 42-0 shutout of River Bluff. Quarterback A.J. Brand accounted for five touchdowns, four passing, running back Jaden Allen-Hendrix rushed for 209 yards and the defense collected four turnovers.
“The bye allowed us to heal up a bit and just analyze our season to this point,” Brand said.
“We were able to watch Hartsville on film and get a feel for what they are trying to do. Hartsville has plenty of speed in the backfield. That is always an issue.”
Brand is hoping for another big game from his offensive playmakers, which also includes wide receiver Donovan Murph. The key will be doing so as part of the “team” gameplan.
S.C. Prep Football Media Poll
1. South Florence (10) (4-0)
2. Hartsville (8) (4-0)
3. Northwestern (1) (2-1)
4. South Pointe (1) (3-1)
5. James Island (4-0)
6. Irmo (3-0)
7. West Florence (3-1)
8. Westside (2-1)
9. AC Flora (2-1)
10. Midland Valley (4-0)
Others receiving votes: Greenville, Greenwood, Lucy Beckham, North Augusta, Ridge View, Airport