By Travis Coleman
Twitter – @tcole2025
On Friday, the Newberry Panthers will be traveling to Williston to take on the Red Devils. Williston will try and take revenge for a 41-40 double overtime heartbreaker last year, while Newberry will try and make it seven wins in a row over the Devils.
Both are off to a rough start and will be looking to bounce back from their 0-3 records this year. They are strikingly similar, and it should be a great game for two evenly matched squads.
If you believe that previous games are indicators of how good a team is, and how well a team will match up with another, then this one should be hyper competitive. Williston and Newberry have both played Eastside and Madison County, and both games ended in them losing by a wide margin. Williston lost to Eastside, 42-20, while Newberry lost, 47-15.
Both teams also got struck by the bowling ball that is Madison County, which currently has an 18-game win streak. Williston lost to the Class 1A top-ranked Cowboys, 46-6, while Newberry lost, 54-6. It appears when looking at this, that both teams should be on an equal playing field.
Williston is led by senior quarterback CJ Strange, senior cornerback/running back and Toledo commit Quinyon Mitchell, and senior cornerback/wide receiver Jermon Collins. All four contributed as positively as they could in the game last week against Madison.
Strange did all he could with the time he had in the pocket, but was repeatedly pressured all night. He finally hit Collins for a touchdown on the last play of the game. Mitchell seemed like the only reliable source of offense, picking up a few chunk gains whenever the Madison defense slipped a little bit.
Mitchell can help the team in all three phases of the game. He is the team’s leading rusher, its top cover corner, and its main returner on kickoffs. It’ll be up to him to super charge an offense that was stale (understandably so against Madison), and needs a good shot of confidence before going into the middle part of their schedule.
Newberry will be looking to get something going on both sides of the ball after being outscored 132-34 through their first three games.
If there is anywhere they might want to attack Williston, it’ll be on the ground, where the Devils have allowed an average of 276 yards per game. Look for Newberry to try and get junior quarterback Wyatt Parrish and senior running back Rashad Opato going in the rushing game.
Good luck to both teams on Friday night! The game will be held at Williston Booster Stadium at 7 p.m. Follow me on Twitter @tcole2025 for updates during the game.