Southside Air Attack Holds Off East Burke

Byrnes wasn't the only SC team facing an out of state opponent on Friday night. attended Southside as they hosted East Burke (NC). The offensive show that ensued was a spectacle that you had to see as the Tigers passed for over 400+ yards and 6 touchdowns through the air alone over a powerful East Burke squad featuring the always tough to prepare for Wing-T offense.

Greenville, SC- It didn't take long for the fireworks to begin and July is long gone so you know what we're talking about as the Tigers of Southside High got things rolling early on against the East Burke Cavaliers (NC).

2009 WR Chris Rhodes started things off with a 69 yard touchdown catch after East Burke powered down the field behind their Wing-T offense to score the game's opening touchdown. The Tigers went for the two-point conversion and took a 8-7 lead. QB Justin Goldsmith continues to impress early on after a strong performance last week versus Wren. Oh Mr. Goldsmith just doubled his output this week with passing for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Goldsmith had some antsy moments here and there but once he settled down and found his groove in offensive coordinator Mazzie Drummond's offense things quickly got better for the Tigers. 2009 WR Marlin Butler stole the show making some spectacular catches on the night. Butler's athleticism was unmatched by the Cavaliers as he outjumped and sped past the East Burke squad all night long. When the final horn sounded and the smoke cleared Butler had 4 touchdown catches. (Butler in fact should have had 5 touchdowns but he had one called back due to offensive pass interference in which our cameras showed otherwise.)

Regardless the Tigers offense has been extremely impressive with Goldsmith under center and Butler and Rhodes making big play after big play. WR Kirby Harris also made some nice grabs for the Tigers giving them another solid option when teams are pressing and doubling Rhodes and Butler. RB Jataurus Maddox has provided some strong running out of the backfield to help balance things out.

The Tigers survived a very tough East Burke squad who went 12-2 last season and one of those losses was against national powerhouse Independence High out of Charlotte. East Burke rammed the ball down the Tigers' throat in the early going but some adjustments along with some turnovers helped turn things around for the Southside team. 2009 jumbo athlete Will Hunt made plenty of plays from his defensive end position while 2009 safety Warren Franklin had a nice game snagging an interception and returning a long fumble recovery. The 46-35 score saw the Tigers hold down the home field advantage and represent South Carolina just as well as other teams like Byrnes and Clover did on Friday against out of state teams.

The Tigers will take on Woodmont next Friday. We saw the Wildcats on Thursday and they feature standout brothers Johnnie and Okoye Houston. We won't be attending the game but we will have a game reporter in attendance to keep track of all the outstanding prospects.

Scout's Take:
Marlin Butler: This is what we've been waiting on, Butler has been doing this sort of thing for most of his career but he showed much more aggressiveness and determination than previously which some of the college coaches who've been keeping close tabs have been wondering about. The talent is unquestionable and it appears Butler is ready to assert himself among the state's very best wideouts and the southeast region's very best athletes. We'll have film soon from the first two games, expect more offers to come Butler's way once coaches see it. Don't be surprised if one of the ACC and SEC schools who are snooping closely already start pressing Butler hard to fill a void as an athlete.

Chris Rhodes: I stand by my assessment that Rhodes is one of the best wideouts in the southeast. He doesn't have the big reputation as some others do but he's the kind of player every coach loves to have on their side. In fact he's one of our favorite players to watch due to his great hands and ability to make plays after securing the catch. He won't wow you from a physical standpoint but the guy goes out and makes the tough catches look easy and ends up with 100+ yards and multiple touchdowns each week. Somebody is going to get a real steal with this young man. Nobody in the state is smoother at wideout, like Butler the early film for Rhodes will produce more offers. He just picked up 2 more offers recently but we won't be surprised if some of the big name schools take a long look, he's that good.

Will Hunt: We didn't get a chance to see Hunt make any catches at tight end as he played primarily on defense at defensive end. The jumbo athlete is a legit 6'4 225 pounds. With a handful of offers already Hunt is looking to add more. He'll get more looks and is a sleeper who will surprise many people. NC State has been involved pretty heavily lately but expect more big schools to take a look at Hunt.

Warren Franklin: Franklin is an elite athlete and for the second week in a row he made some plays from his safety position. He had another interception this week and also scooped up a fumble for a long return. One thing that coaches are wanting to see him do is lay the lumber on someone with effectiveness. At times he's a split second away from a monster hit, once he figures out to make that break a tad earlier somebody's going to hear bells. If he continues to improve his reads, makes a few highlight reel tackles, and continues his ballhawking ways on defense then we think he'll start getting some stronger looks and eventually offers.

Justin Goldsmith: I overheard someone say he's a product of the system tonight. I beg to differ. Yes the system implemented by Mazzie Drummond is great but it takes a quarterback who can make the right reads and execution. Justin Goldsmith got it done once again tonight. He's not the biggest guy at QB but he can make he throws necessary to make the Tiger offense roar. He made a few bad reads against East Burke resulting in interceptions but he redeemed himself with the huge game in leading Southside to victory. Definitely a player to keep a close eye on given his early success. Goldsmith is just a junior (2010) so if he can continue his progress and continue to grow he'll have a shot to land somewhere on the next level possibly.

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