In the offseason, Stratford High School’s defensive staff made the decision to move to a 3-5-3 look to get more speed on the field.
Through two preseason scrimmages it would be difficult to say it wasn’t the right move.
The Knights coasted past Hanahan High School, 32-6, in a preseason scrimmage on Aug. 12 at SHS. They blanked Colleton County 24-0 a few days earlier.
“The kids are getting after it,” Stratford coach Dennie McDaniel said. “They’re flying to the football on defense.”
Hanahan’s lone touchdown in the scrimmage came against Stratford’s backups. The Hawks were knocking on the door again on the last play but the Knights swatted away a pass in the end zone to keep it at one score.
“It’s 90 percent attitude,” McDaniel said. “My hat is off to my defensive staff. They’ve done an excellent job teaching these kids to play our style. The kids have done a good job taking the coaching.”
It’s mostly a new defensive unit. The Knights bring back four starters and one was out against Hanahan.
Special teams got into the act for Stratford, blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown. On offense, the Knights ran for two scores and passed for two more.
“They’re getting the ball to the right spots and playing good tempo (on offense),” McDaniel said. “We know it’s going to be different when real games start but we’re happy with where we are right now.”
Damarius Anderson and Jaedon Alston scored on the ground while Jaylin Hayward and Tamir Simons grabbed the scoring receptions. Jaivon Taylor scooped up the blocked punt and scored.
The Knights begin the regular season Friday, Aug. 23 at Timberland.