Columbia Star

Brookland-Cayce hosts Hartsville for a chance at revenge



Brookland-Cayce’s Peyton Whitten and Will Way lead the Bearcats against the Hartsville Red Foxes.

Brookland-Cayce’s Peyton Whitten and Will Way lead the Bearcats against the Hartsville Red Foxes.

The Brookland- Cayce Bearcats (8-3) are headed to the 4A quarterfinals, after defeating the Wilson Tigers 40-6 in the second round.

“ This is special to them because many people didn’t expect us to win in 4A,” Brookland-Cayce head coach Rusty Charpia said. “We started out 1-3, and we’ve won seven straight games and the region championship since. Our players are definitely excited, but at the same time restrained because they know they’re going to have to stay focused to get back to the title game. There are still a few seniors on the team who experienced playing in that title game a couple of years ago. We’ve got a mature group of unselfish players. We’re feeling good about having a shot at getting back to the title game.”

As the Bearcats prepare for their deepest playoff run since 2016, when they went to the 3A semifinals, they gear up for a familiar opponent in the Hartsville Red Foxes (9-3).

Last year, Brookland Cayce traveled to Hartsville and lost 68-35. This time the two teams square off at Brookland- Cayce High School Friday, November 22.

Brookland-Cayce’s Hampton Stutler will have to help the Bearcats defense stop the Hartsville rushing attack.

Brookland-Cayce’s Hampton Stutler will have to help the Bearcats defense stop the Hartsville rushing attack.

While some players are different for both teams, Charpia believes there are still some lessons to be learned from last year’s game.

“ We know that no lead is safe,” Charpia said. “In last year’s game, we were actually up on them two or three times, but they beat us in the fourth quarter. To win, our kids are going to have to play hard all the way to the end.”

This year the two teams enter the quarterfinal round on similar paths. Just like Brookland- Cayce, Hartsville is on a long winning streak. The Red Foxes have won six in a row and have outscored those opponents by an average of 36.8-10.7. By comparison, Brookland- Cayce has outscored their last six opponents by an average of 37.0-12.3.

Charpia has plenty to be concerned about.

“They’re a big strong team with several Division I players, two Shrine Bowl players, and they’re one of the largest 4A schools in the state, so they have a lot of numbers,” Charpia said. “That gives them a big advantage. They are steeped in the tradition of winning, so they’re experienced in the big games.”

According to Charpia, Hartsville’s strength is its rushing attack. That places extra emphasis on the performance of the Bearcats’ defensive line and linebackers.

On offense, Brookland Cayce quarterback Peyton Whitten and running back Will Way will have to continue to perform at a high level for the Bearcats.

“Whoever turns the ball over the fewest number of times will have the best chance to win,” Charpia said. “And again, whoever gives up the fewest home runs will be in a good position to win. We need to continue to make first downs early in the game and be able to stay in the game until the fourth quarter to have a good shot.”

The winner will face the winner of Airport/ Myrtle Beach in the 4A semifinals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.