Complementary football drives early success for Thurmond

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 7:34 PM EDT
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JOHNSTON, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - More often than not, high school football teams schedule tough non-region opponents to make sure they’re hitting their stride when region play rolls around.

Strom Thurmond is one of those teams.

Strom Thurmond’s sitting at 3-1 through their first four games, and during that stretch, the Rebels have been averaging just under 30 points per game.

“It’s kind of like having a get-out-of-jail-free card. Sometimes you get yourself in trouble, and they bail you out, and that’s always nice to have and you don’t always have that. So, you’re very appreciative of it when you do,” said Andrew Webb, head coach.

The combination of having multiple tall and talented wide receivers on the outside, an experienced quarterback, and their ability to dominate the line of scrimmage with their physical running attack makes the Rebels a serious threat heading into region play and beyond.

Braylon Staley, wide receiver, said: “Going into any game, knowing that people are going to scheme for me, I can run just all the decoy routes I can, just to take the defense away.”

The teams left standing at the end of the season are the ones that play complementary football at its finest.

“It gives us confidence, because like, when we get that third and long, we know we’re going after the quarterback,” said Darius Simpkins, defensive end.

HD Yonce, offensive and defensive line, said: “We have a lot of guys always trying to encourage each other and make everyone better. We’re trying to make everyone feel like they’re very important to the team, so we’re always trying to hype each other up and that really helps on both sides of the ball.”

All that offensive firepower is certainly helping their defense keep opposing offenses on their toes.

“Last year, we were never able to, in those big games, put up a lot of points, and our defense had to carry us, week in and week out. Our defense still carries us week in and week out, but we make it so much easier for our defense to go play fast when we start putting points on the board and separating, and it makes somebody in their offensive game plan get uncomfortable,” said Webb.

On Friday, Strom Thurmond will finish their non-region schedule with a fun matchup under the lights against North Augusta.