The initial report of a dislocated shoulder for quarterback Keenan Grissett was the lone dark cloud over a 7-0 win against Washington County Friday.
"I spoke with his dad after the game," Cross Creek coach Scott Tate said. "What was thought to be a dislocation was just a bad sprain. He should be out two weeks."
That puts the offense in the hands of senior receiver Emory Wilson against winless Butler and slumping Glenn Hills.
Wilson rushed for almost 100 yards in the second half against Washington County. He was the starting quarterback last year. Tate said they dusted off the plays Wilson was comfortable with from last year to muster up an offense.
It was as good a Plan B as any team could hope to have.
"Emory's going to come out and do a good job for us at quarterback," Tate said. "There's no doubt in my mind about that."
HEAVEN IN EVANS: It was a Friday to remember in Columbia County. Evans managed a 10-7 homecoming win against Class AAAA No. 4 Statesboro. Greenbrier trailed Brunswick 19-0, but rallied for a 22-19 victory.
Both were statement games for the northern part of Region 3-AAAA that's often chided for its weak teams. For at least one week, the north belonged on top.
"I know they joke on those Internet message boards about football around here," Greenbrier coach Scott Chadwick said. "Well, for one night we played some football in Columbia County. We beat two of those teams from down there. It was a huge win for us, and I know it had to be great for Evans."
The southern schools are now looking up at Evans alone in first place in the region. Ware County and Statesboro, at 4-1 in region play, are tied for second, while Brunswick, Glynn Academy and Greenbrier are vying for the fourth playoff spot with three region wins each.
LACKING: Laney coach Lemuel Lackey has a lot to ponder.
His defense looked more tissue paper than titanium allowing Screven County (4-2) to run for 379 yards in a 21-12 loss in Sylvania. Fullback Travis Coles owned the middle of the line in rolling up 102 yards. Wingbacks Cameron Abraham and Todd Scott ruled the edges. That duo ran outside for 191 yards on 27 carries. Laney could not take either away.
The defensive patch job should be the light lifting. The real head-scratcher is on offense.
The Wildcats (4-1) have a quarterback dilemma. Kwame Cunningham started the year but left in the fourth quarter of the second game with a knee injury. Receiver Cameron Stallings shifted under center and was a capable alternate.
The run-heavy offense could do nothing against Screven County.
Cunningham was cleared to return Friday. He rallied the team for its only offense in the fourth quarter. Stallings is an electric open-field runner, but an ineffective passer. Cunningham may be just the opposite.
"Right now we need a guy in there who has played a lot," Lackey said. "Someone with rapport. That spot is tough for us ever since the injury to Kwame. Both guys are starting over. They don't have enough game experience."
The other quandary will be what to do if South Aiken transfer Calvin Fuller gets clearance to play. Fuller was expected to have his tribunal at the Board of Education on Wednesday. That was pushed back to Friday.
That date was delayed again.
Fuller would likely start for Laney at quarterback or running back. He could have beefed up the perimeter run game defense at cornerback Friday.
"I have no news on Calvin," Lackey said. "I have no idea about what's going on with that."
STINGER: Aiken entered Friday's contest against visiting Irmo on a two-game winning streak that saw the Hornets averaging 36 points in those victories. It had a chance to lead Region 4-AAAA with a win.
The Hornets' three first-half turnovers led to a 17-0 deficit and a 24-6 loss.
"We had some opportunities, got into the red zone or near the red zone and turned the football over," Aiken coach Carey Johnson said. "It seemed like we went backwards tonight. We've got to learn to protect the football. I think that's 17 turnovers for us this year."
Staff writers Billy Byler, Chris Gay and Steve Sanders contributed to this report.
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top individual performances out of reported totals from across the area
Player Com.-Att.-Int. Yards TD Result
Nick Richards, Greenbrier 14-25-0 190 2 W, 22-19
Player, school Att. Yards Avg. TD Result
Tidy Johnson, North Augusta 27 175 6.5 1 W, 26-14
Player, school Rec. Yards Avg. TD Result
Jonathan Nicely, Evans 7 111 15.9 0 W, 10-7