It’s a week later, so Southside Christian School football coach Jason Kaiser isn’t surprised to expect a better version of his team’s previous opponent.
The Sabres will host McBee at 7:30 p.m. Friday, a pair of 11-1 teams competing for the Class A Division I Upper State championship.
Southside Christian already has a school record for victories. McBee tied its school record when it beat Christ Church 31-21 last week, ending the Cavaliers’ four-year run as state champions.
Neither Southside Christian, which advanced by beating Williston-Elko 56-32 last week, nor McBee has ever been to the state final.
“Obviously it’s a very similar offense to Williston-Elko,” Kaiser said of McBee, which also features a powerful ground attack. “I just think they’ve got a little bit more skill than Williston-Elko had. So we’re up against a good team. They’re good enough to be where we’re at, so obviously it’s a good team.”
McBee can be a grind-it-out team, but the Panthers scored four touchdowns against Christ Church on plays of at least 39 yards.
Quarterback Shane Hammonds scored on a 68-yard run, running backs Dashonnell Wright and Jordan Fair (a Shrine Bowl selection) scored on runs of 46 and 39 yards, respectively, and McBee had a 51-yard touchdown pass.
“It wasn’t as much methodical,” Kaiser said. “That’s the thing that’s scary about them. They can both run and pass. We were a little less concerned with the pass against Williston-Elko. I think you’ve got to be concerned with their ability to pass and the depth of their skill.
“They’ll run some wildcat-type stuff. They’re very diverse in who’s getting the snap, who’s handing off and who’s throwing, so you’ve kind of got to prepare for quite a few things.”
Meanwhile, McBee has to prepare for Sabres quarterback Clayton Coulter (2,290 yards passing, 25 touchdowns), running back Quintyn Reeder (1,654 yards rushing) and wide receiver Connnor Holden (50 catches, 989 yards), among others.
Southside Christian has scored 119 points in its first two playoff games.
“We both have an opportunity to go to the state championship,” Kaiser said. “I’m expecting some big plays from both sides, and we’re hoping our guys will continue to be disciplined on defense like they have been, understand that there are four quarters to the game and just stay involved.”