GREELEYVILLE, S.C. – Brian Smith coached C.E. Murray to the 2015 SCHSL Class A, Division II championship game before losing to Lamar.
After venturing off to coach at Blythewood and then Scott’s Branch, Smith returned to the War Eagles in 2019. This year, he has his program one victory away from returning to a state final after last week’s 47-0 win at Whale Branch.
“This time, it’s extra special,” said Smith, a former football star at The Citadel and 2015 Morning News Football Coach of the Year. “The last time we were in the final, we were in what people referred to as ‘Little A.' We’d always have to hear from people that if we were in ‘Big A,’ we couldn’t do this. Well, here we are in Big A, and we’re on the brink of reaching another final. Nobody really gave us a chance, so this is special to accomplish what we’ve accomplished.”
Bamberg-Ehrhardt stands in the way, and will host Friday’s game.
“The mood of our team right now is resilient, tough,” said Smith, whose team is 7-1. “We’re very talented, as well, make no mistake about that. But they’re ready to see what Bamberg has and are ready to give it their best shot.”
Quarterback Tyree Prunes has led the way for C.E. Murray with 942 passing yards and eight touchdowns. On top of that, he has 689 rushing yards along with 10 more scores.
“He’s another coach on the field, a general on the field where he can do it all,” Smith said. “He can throw it and run it, and knows what plays to check in and out of. It’s like I’m out there, myself. That’s huge when you have a quarterback like that.”
Running back Quentarius Grant, meanwhile, has rushed for 632 yards and 14 touchdowns. Nicolas Brown has 353 receiving yards and four touchdowns, followed by Amond Myers (336 and three) and Henry Evans III (187, one).
Brown, on defense, has five sacks (61 total tackles), followed by Justin Graham's four sacks (65 total tackles).
"The whole team brings their A-Game every night,” Smith said. “I can’t think of one time they have not. I love how they handled the Whale Branch win. For our guys to stick it to Whale Branch in the way they did, dominating in all three phases, that says a lot about their character and toughness at this time of the year.”