St. Frances Academy (Md.) heads into this week undefeated in the 2022 high school football season. The Panthers began the year with a 20-13 victory over East St. Louis (Ill.), followed by a blowout 47-7 win over DeSoto (Texas). Then, last week they defeated Venice (Fla.) by a score of 34-17. Altogether, they’ve outscored their opponents 103-37 and have won 11 in a row under coach Messay Hailemariam.
This weekend they’ll be getting their toughest test yet, though.
On Friday, St. Frances visits Dutch Fork (S.C.), which is 5-0 this year. After surviving a couple of close calls early on against Hough (S.C.) and Spartanburg (S.C.), the Silver Foxes have started pulling away from their competition. Last week was their most-dominant performance yet, putting away North Augusta (S.C.) 49-7.
Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts admits that his team is the underdog for this one, per Lou Bezjak at the State.
“We are the underdogs, but I think we are going to find a way to pull it out. That is what I believe and how I do it. That is what I believe in my heart and soul. We will approach it that way. It is our field, our home opener and I think we will play well.”
Knotts has good reason to feel confident. His team has been 87-2-1 since the 2016 season and has won five state championships.
Defeating No. 3 ranked St. Frances might be enough to catapult the Silver Foxes into our Super 25 rankings—which wouldn’t be a first for the South Carolina power.
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