For many fans, and myself included, Friday was the first time we got to see Lakelands teams line up and play a full football game in 2021. We’ve gotten to see a couple of jamborees and a couple of scrimmages, but there’s nothing like Friday night lights.

In Week 1, the Lakelands teams performed well, finishing 6-4, with all four losses coming to another Lakelands team.

Here are some of my thoughts looking back on a successful week one:

Abbeville and Saluda can take care of businessMonday was my first day working for the Index-Journal, but I knew coming in that Abbeville and Saluda had some serious talent and high expectations. Both started the season with resounding wins, as Abbeville completely shut down McCormick 46-0 and Saluda dominated talented 3A Strom Thurmond 52-20.

In both cases there were some eye-popping numbers. Saluda quarterback Jonah McCary finished with four touchdowns (three passing and one rushing), while Abbeville shut down the explosive McCormick running attack, allowing just 39 total yards of offense.

Emerald can score

in a flashEmerald started its game against Ninety Six slowly, scoring just one touchdown in the first quarter, but the Vikings showed they could hit the home run, scoring four touchdowns on plays longer than 30 yards.

Ean Ryans basically played a quarter and a half and scored three touchdowns and had another punt return called back that was longer than 50 yards. Freshman AJ Anderson showed what he could do, plowing his way through tackles as a freshman.

Greenwood can rely on its defenseThroughout its scrimmages, Greenwood’s defense has shown it can make plays and stop explosive offenses. The Eagles showcased that again Friday.

Greenwood limited Hillcrest star running back Logan Coldren to just 55 yards, 12 of which came on his touchdown run.

The only thing to watch for with Greenwood is its conditioning, but it was Week 1, so teams usually struggle in conditioning early in the season.

“Well we ended up with 19 people on the sideline, and I am not making that up,” coach Chris Liner said on Friday. “I’m not saying that was our biggest issue, but we haven’t been outside much and we haven’t conditioned much. We can run in the gym all we want to, but it’s a little different when you get out here.”

GCS and Dixie made plays when they had toThe Greenwood Christian vs. Dixie game was the closest game of Week 1. Late in the game, GCS scored a touchdown that gave it a chance to tie the game, but Dixie’s defense stopped a two-point conversion. GCS then recovered and onside kick, but the drive ended prematurely as Dixie intercepted the final GCS pass of the game.

The final few plays of the game are the epitome of high school football. You never know what is going to happen. Both teams showed the potential for making made plays down the stretch, either getting a stop or scoring late in games.

Contact sports writer Cody Estremera at 864-943-2530.