Blue Devils prepare for first big test
By Billy Byler | Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Williston-Elko rolled unchallenged through its first five games. The undefeated Blue Devils enter the weekend averaging 57.8 points per game, second in the state behind Byrnes, and allowing only 8.4 points per game.

They might finally face a worthy opponent Friday night.

Williston-Elko will travel to Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, where the Trojans (4-1) are averaging a 25-point winning margin each week during a much-improved 2009 season. They're one victory away from matching last year's total and appear to be Region 4-A's best chance of knocking off the Blue Devils.

"They've got all those seniors," Blackville-Hilda coach David Berry said of Hunter-Kinard-Tyler. "People aren't listening, but that's a good team they've got over there."

Berry's Fighting Hawks are also undefeated in Region 4-A and will get their shot at the Trojans next week. Both Blackville-Hilda and Hunter-Kinard-Tyler have lost only to Class A nonregion opponent Allendale-Fairfax.

C.A. Johnson also enters the weekend undefeated in Region 4-A, while the other four teams in the region -- Fox Creek, Wagener-Salley, Ridge Spring-Monetta and North -- are 0-2. The region's top four teams advance to the postseason, and the four 2-0 teams appear to be the front-runners.

"I really think Williston is No. 1 and the rest is wide open," Fox Creek coach Russ Schneider said. "We can definitely compete with the teams we've got coming up."

CONFUSING ENDING: Midland Valley fans were left scratching their heads at the end of Friday night's 14-8 victory over Batesburg-Leesville.

Leading 14-6, the Mustangs punted late in the game, and the football appeared to hit a Batesburg-Leesville player. No one moved to pick up the ball, and an official blew his whistle to signal the play dead. After a lengthy discussion, the officials penalized Midland Valley 15 yards and the down was replayed. Midland Valley's punter took a knee in the end zone, and the Mustangs held on to win.

"It was an inadvertent whistle and they say the ball hit us and we interfered with their fair catch," Midland Valley coach Rick Knigh t said. "We argued. The ref even thought it hit the B-L guy. That was the explanation."

"How else can they end?" said Knight, who also had to sweat out the ending of the Mid-Carolina game this year. "Wildest stuff you've ever seen."

Sports editor John Boyette contributed to this story.

From the Wednesday, September 30, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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