Border Showcase Jamboree

Boiling Springs, NC – An estimated crowd of over 10,000 people flowed onto the hills to watch the first ever Border Showcase Jamboree at Gardner-Webb University Saturday night.

The fans were able see some of the top players in both states as well as wet their appetites for the coming of football season. The four teams from South Carolina out scored their counterparts from North Carolina 86-20 and won all 4 halves of football Saturday night.

The Jamboree is the brainchild of Bruce Ollis, head football coach at Polk County High, and was originally scheduled to be played at Polk County High's stadium which holds approximately 4,000 fans. But, when you have teams that have 12 state titles over the last five years, one that has a 77 game winning streak, one with the top junior quarterback in the nation, another with one of the top five linebackers in the country and well, you get the picture.

To say this event outgrew Polk County is a major understatement. But Gardner-Webb University stepped in and offered the use of their Stadium. And the recently renovated Spangler Stadium provided the perfect setting for the Border Showcase Jamboree.

In the first match of the night the Landrum Cardinals shutout the Knights of North Henderson 21-0.

The Cardinals took their opening possession 61 yards in 10 plays and a 4-yard pass from Mark Cann to Phillip Bodway put them up 7-0. Mark Rollins added a 2-yard touchdown run and Mark Cann hit Garrison McDowell on 65-yard bomb to finish out the scoring.

One bright spot for the Knights was the play of sophomore Cannan Cox.

The night's second match-up was a much-anticipated battle pitting the defending 3A North Carolina State Champions Crest Chargers against the 13-time South Carolina State Champion Gaffney Indians.

The Chargers have one of the top five linebackers in the country and a four-star recruit in Brandon Spikes. Gaffney is the number one ranked Big 16 team in the state of South Carolina.

The Indians took the opening kick-off and marched 61 yards for the first score on a 3-yard TD pass from Malcolm Long to Cameron Tate. The 12-play drive took 6:08 minutes off the clock.

The Chargers went three and out on their first possession and on fourth down Gaffney blocked the punt.

The Indians took over on the Charger 25 and on the first play hit Tate for a long 25-yard TD pass.

The rest of the half was dominated by both defenses and ended 14-0 Gaffney.

The hosts were up next as the Polk County Wolverines took on the South Carolina 2A State Champion Broome Centurions. Broome showed why they are the favorite to repeat by beating Polk County 27-6.

The Centurions jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first play when quarterback Andrew Weathers hit Markish Jones for a 56-yard touchdown.

After falling behind 14-0, the Wolverines responded on their next possession. Taking over on the 35, quarterback Zack Edney faked the dive to the fullback and kept it on the option and around the left end for a gain of 64 yards down to the one-yard line. On third down fullback Stewart Davis bulled into the end zone for the score.

From that point it was all Broome as they added two more touchdowns and finished their half up 27-6.

The evening's final match up had five-time defending North Carolina 4AA State Champion, and owner of the countries longest winning streak -- 77 games, Independence taking on three-time defending South Carolina 4A State Champion Byrnes. This match up lived up to the hype and started fast and furious.

The Rebels of Brynes took over on their 20-yard line and on the first play quarterback Will Korn missed a wide-open receiver that would have been six. No worries as he drove Brynes 80 yards in nine plays, hitting Matt Quinn on a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Independence came right back. After fielding a pooch kick at their 48-yard line, they went 52 yards in 11 plays and tied the score on a Cameron Hennegan 3 yard touchdown run.

Brynes again took over on its 20-yard line. Will Korn showed why some rate him as the best junior quarterback in the nation, driving the Rebels 80 yards in eight plays for their second score, an 18-yard pass play from Korn to Derrick Young.

Back came the Patriots. Starting from their 26, new quarterback Darryl McFadden hit recent North Carolina commit Hakeem Nicks on a 52-yard pass down to the Rebels 32. A couple of pass interference penalties later McFadden hit Nicks for a 10-yard touchdown.

This series featured a match-up of future UNC wide out Hakeem Nicks battling recent Georgia commit Prince Miller of Byrnes.

Byrnes got the ball back with 1:52 to play in the first quarter and used only 43 seconds to score again. This time Korn hit Austin Sutton for,34 yards and another score.

The first quarter ended Byrnes 21 Independence 14. The only scoring in the second quarter was a 30-yard field goal by the Rebels Cam Miller. The final was Byrnes 24, Independence 14.

Thanks to the hard work of Bruce Ollis, Polk County AD Jeff Wilson, and a huge assist from Gardner – Webb University, the Border Showcase Jamboree was a great success. Let's hope this was not a one-year deal.

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