VIC’S VIEW: At the banquet table, time to feast.
Bigger. Stronger. Faster.
Anyone who has watched high school football likely has seen this principle in action. Nearly every team - except for the bigger, stronger, faster ones - has run up against a team that was just better. Clinton saw it at Camden two years ago. Clinton has seen the Chapman wide receivers run past the secondary - “basketball on turf,” as one former coach called it. Union County generally has that swagger. During its run of region and state championships, the Red Devils themselves probably could have been classified as BSF against most opponents. In South Carolina high school football, 5A teams generally are BSF against 1A teams - the possible exception being Abbeville and its seemingly endless tradition of “always being good.”
So it’s no surprise that Presbyterian College was Bigger, Stronger, Faster than St. Andrews. Look at the Sports Center clip that’s on The Chronicle’s Facebook page - you will see BSF in action.
For a team that for the last 10 years generally has been starved for points, the Blue Hose were more than willing to sit at the banquet table - and feast.
Watch the body language of the St. Andrews players - it is a study in a team totally beaten. I’ve seen that “whatever” attitude only one other time on a football field.
Now, PC Football Head Coach Kevin Kelley knows what can happen when his offensive schemes are extended from high school minutes-per-quarter to college minutes-per-quarter. Against an undermanned opponent, it’s like basketball with the 24 second clock and the 3-point line. Used to be, the only “advantage” an undersized opponent could have was playing at a deliberate pace - that’s gone when a shot, even a bad one, must be hoisted just before the shot clock buzzer. The other team - the bigger one - grabs the rebound, rushes down court, hits a 3.
A 1 point lead becomes a 30 point lead in no time at all.
Throwing and catching wasn’t the only deciding factor in PC’s season-opening win, of course. St. Andrews provided no pressure on the quarterback - and Ren Hefley who could have had a shot at playing under center at Michigan if things had fallen his way certainly took advantage, as he should - as he has been trained to do.
This column was written before PC played Fort Lauderdale, a National Christian Conference member - and we would suspect the Blue Hose would have a similar game to that which they played against St. Andrews, a NAIA member. Lost in it all, of course, was the fact that St. Andrews last season had the 8th BEST Offense in NAIA nationally - that’s one of the reasons they topped 40 points on Sept. 4 at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
We don’t want to join the chorus of “but wait until-s” about PC football - wait until Campbell, and Davidson and San Diego. The Blue Hose are perfectly capable of beating those teams - they were absolutely competitive last year.
And it is, finally, good to see that the NCAA Transfer Portal runs the opposite way for a change. PC Football has been looked on by other programs as a “fire sale” in recent years through coaching changes and elimination of athletic scholarships. As a San Diego coach said, it’s still football, you’re just coaching a different kind of athlete. You motivate them in different ways.
For PC, on Sept. 4, that different way was sitting at the banquet table.
(Vic MacDonald is editor of The Clinton Chronicle. He has covered PC football the past 10 years, and covered Newberry College football the 20 years before that. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. MacDonald can be reached at 833-1900.)