Knights, Hawks make it to Air it Out semis
The fourth annual Air it Out tournament at Fort Dorchester High School nearly saw an all-Berkeley County final come to pass.
Both Stratford and Hanahan high schools were undefeated in pool play and won quarterfinal games before losing in the semifinals on Saturday. Each squad finished 4-1.
Sumter defeated Fort Dorchester Blue for the title.
The Knights were without one of the area’s premier players and triggerman Jacob Park.
Park was in Beaverton, Ore. participating in the Elite 11 quarterback competition. Backups Jamison Mobbs and J.D. Davis orchestrated Stratford’s run to the semis.
“We went deep in this thing without our starting quarterback because those two young guys competed hard,” Stratford coach Ray Stackley said. “We got knocked out because we didn’t play well in the secondary at the end.”
Before losing to Fort Dorchester Blue, the Knights knocked off Georgetown (22-15), James Island (35-16), Fort Dorchester Black (35-9) and Bluffton (41-32).
Stratford offensive coordinator Dennie McDaniel feels Mobbs is as adequate a No. 2 quarterback as a team could ask for. Mobbs isn’t as tall or as filled out as his Division I teammate but he’s got a strong arm and can make the plays.
“We feel like we’ve got two starting quarterbacks at Stratford,” McDaniel said. “If Jacob was to get hurt, Jamison could step in and do the job. He can make all the right reads and right throws for us. We have all the confidence in the world in Jamison.”
Hanahan’s loss to Sumter was in overtime. The Hawks had their No. 1 quarterback, first-year starter Mason Schwerzler, but were missing a number of other key components.
“We didn’t have at least four of our starters - three on defense and one on offense - for various reasons,” HHS coach Charlie Patterson said. “Some other kids got some reps in there and I think we did well. We competed … I’m proud of the way they played.”
Before the loss to Sumter, Hanahan defeated Porter-Gaud (28-11), Ashley Ridge White (17-6), Bluffton (21-18) and Berkeley (39-2).
Schwerzler benefits from the extra repetitions too, Patterson said. Last season, the Hawks had one of the state’s better triggermen in Anthony Smalls, now at South Carolina State.
“I think he did an excellent job,” Patterson said of his new quarterback. “You throw so many in these things, there’s always three or four you’d like to have back of course… Everybody is going to make some mistakes. He made a few but not a ton.”
There will be another 7 on 7 passing tournament in the area from July 16-18 at Stratford High School. Stratford, Goose Creek, Hanahan, Berkeley, Timberland, West Ashley, Stall and Bishop England are set to compete for that title.
“These are great training opportunities for your kids but it’s not a really indicator of how your season is going to go,” Stackley said. “We’ve come out here and lost every game and then won a state championship, then come out here and won them all and just won nine or 10 games.”