Northwestern at Spartanburg: TEST FOR ECHO

THIS GAME IS A PART OF THE Touchdowns Against Cancer Series All the info can be found at the above link. It’s worth the click.


If history holds true,which it usually does this Friday Night will most likely be a Battle. The series between Spartanburg and Northwestern dates back to 1972. Even though Spartanburg Leads the series 24-16, Northwestern have won 3 in a row against the Vikings in 2010,2011 and last seasons nail biter at District 3 Stadium 35-31. As a fan it seems like a football injustice that these teams have only played 3 times in the last 7 years, but I’m just a fan. I wanna make the schedule. Selfish Blogger,that’s me.


Northwestern is coming off a loss to Byrnes 48-14 while Spartanburg is Coming off a 41-7 victory over Union County. Northwestern has wins over Dorman and South Mecklenburg and book end losses to South Pointe and Byrnes. Both teams are 2-2. You can see Northwestern season Highlights here.


Northwestern is led by a pass heavy offense throwing for 255 yards against Byrnes but only rushed for 35 yards on 34 attempts. The Trojan defense gave up 269 rushing on 38 attempts to the Rebels, which on paper bodes well for the Vikings but as always..

Different Friday,Different Monster.

trojan(these are all pre Byrnes stats) Northwestern is led by QB Dustin Noller who was 71-103 for 840 yards. He had thrown 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Dequez Harris leads the Rushing Attack with around 300 yards on the season and a 5.5 yard per carry average. Harris who at 6’1 215 pounds could very well pose a problem for the Viking front four and Linebackers. The Spartanburg group doesn’t go unseen by Northwestern Offensive Line Coach Mallard.

He said,”Our unit as a whole has done some things well. We must continue to improve everyday. Spartanburg has a great defense and their Defensive Line and Linebackers are going to be tough as always. We have played some tough teams so far to try to get ready for our region and the playoffs. Spartanburg will be no exception.”

Jordan Starkes, a Furman Baseball Commit, leads the Trojans receiving corps with around a 15 yard per catch average and 130 yards per game. Jordan knows what it takes to win. Starkes echoed,”My goal week is to be better than I was the was the day before, and that ties in with our motto “win today” which can be used in life and off the field too.” He continued,” I also try to win in the class room, and I try to win at every thing I do.” You can watch his highlights here at Hudl.

Northwestern defense is anchored by D’arthur Ratchford a 6-1 junior FS/SS/CB along with his counterpart Ladell Massey a Senior 6’0 180 pound FS/CB who both average 12 tackles a game. John Odom and Caleb Ross are also players to watch at Defensive end and Linebacker. They move to the ball and make tackles. 

Northwestern is on average scoring 27 points per game. Which is exactly what the  Spartanburg Defense is giving up on average through 4 games. which may be a meaningless stat, but it’s still something to think about.


In my opinion Spartanburg has found themselves, they know what kind of team they are gonna be and with some more fine tuning against Northwestern and Westside, win or lose..I believe our region is still up for grabs. In a region where defensive play is so important, Spartanburg Linebacker Connor Shugart said,”Yea I think just us getting more confident in each other is really helping. We are all playing together and everyone getting to the football.”


He went on to speak of his individual play, “Personally for me the first 2 games I was trying to hard to do too much. Instead of just doing what I can do. Now everyone is playing together, Reggie Anderson has had big games, both Josh’s are doing great. Thompson Rudolph and everyone is just getting after it. I think just us getting used to each other as a unit is really helping us as a whole.”

You can check out Shugart Highlights and Recruitment info here

Spartanburg Head Coach Chris Miller echoed Connor’s words. “We didn’t play very well at Summerville and we just ran into a very good team at Hanna, at a very bad time for us.” I asked Coach Miller was there any special “team moment” that took place between the time they got on the buses at Hanna until they walked into Gibbs Stadium to face Etowah. His answer was very simple and to the point. “I explained to the team and coaches that a lot of what is wrong with us is our own fault,there is still lots of football to be played.” He continued,” The seniors had a meeting,they discussed some things, but I left that up to them. We know how good we are and we know how good we can be.” Coach Miller and I went on to discuss everything from days at Broome to Sunday take out orders,”Hang on a second,while I get this food”, he said to me. Meanwhile, I’m almost star-struck as if I was having lunch with The Spartanburg Head Coach.


As our conversation moved on to Northwestern.. Coach Miller said,” They are a very good football team, make no mistake they are fully capable of scoring points. We do our absolute best at non region scheduling,if we go into the region we have to play without being battle tested and having ups and downs, we won’t finish very well.” As I preparing to be responsible and let the conversation end because I know the man had film to watch and all that goes along with being a coach he said,” Thanks for all you do for our kids and gave me a big GO VIKINGS!”

There I was in my living room trying to see if my helmet could fit over my swollen head. I was ready to play. I would’ve been good for at least one pancake block..then I probably would’ve had to make some pancakes. It’s that old saying.. “Once you say Pancake,then eventually you have to eat some.” I totally just made that up. Sometimes you have to fabricate old sayings to get your point across, at least I do. Coach Miller had me Fired Up and I was ready to go…plus pancakes are good.

So this Friday will be another chance for us as Viking Fans to watch history. I have echoed this weekly just about. This may be the last time we see Northwestern vs Spartanburg in the regular season. It is another one of those Friday Night things..two hungry teams,two talented teams..two teams that need another win for reasons that aren’t found in a box score or a radio booth. The reasons are found in the words of the players and coaches.It is found in the hearts of parents. It rests deeply in the eyes of myself when I stand in Gibbs Stadium or any stadium around the state. I try to take it all in. I try to put it all in perspective. With myself being as high-strung as I am, It almost becomes sensory overload. I have to hope my written words find your eyes and ears and in return you bounce something back, not to me..but to the kids.


The reasons are found in this blog.  I send out words, thoughts, and opinions. I hope for my words to some how bounce back.

Verbal Reflection.  IT IS MY TEST FOR ECHO.





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