HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - River Bluff's Molnar leads defense into road playoff matchup with Patriots
The play of River Bluff’s defense helped earn it a 3rd consecutive Class 5A playoff appearance.
As a group, they have forced 14 turnovers, have not allowed a 100-yard rusher and have held opponents to 18 points per game.
“We have a lot of experience back from last year,” River Bluff head coach C. Blair Hardin said. “A lot of those guys have played a lot of football, so we’re going to allow those guys to make plays for us and be though and help control the run.”
Another inspiring effort will be key for River Bluff (3-1) to pull off the 1st round playoff upset against 2nd ranked undefeated Fort Dorchester (7-0).
So much so that the team’s motto going into the matchup is “Hit Them In The Mouth with Discipline!” Looking to lead by example is linebacker Adam Molnar.
“I think our defense, we’ve played great all year,” he said. “It’s a really special group of guys. They play fast. We all play together. I think it’ll be a big factor in the game.”
As a MIKE linebacker, Molnar is a “quarterback” on defense. Hardin said Molnar plays a major role in communicating, putting players in position and making calls.
“I think it’s definitely important being known as the leader of the defense,” Molnar said. “Leading the guys I think plays a very important role in the games to get the engine going and just help them get the job done.”
Molnar leads the team in tackles (28). Among his highlights this season was a 14-yard interception return for a touchdown against Dutch Fork.
While the Gators lost 41-7, it was the lowest margin of defeat suffered by a Region 5-5A team to the Silver Foxes. This was also the determining region tiebreaker that earned River Bluff the playoff berth.
Molnar said the 1st half defensive effort against Dutch Fork was a confidence-booster the way River Bluff fared against the 4-time defending state champions. Although the Patriots are averaging 47 points a game, the Gators believe they have to limit the big plays and avoid penalties to get the win.
This is the 1st ever meeting between the Gators and Patriots. The winner will face either Sumter or Berkeley in the 2nd round.