Baxter’s Blitz

State’s best squads must put up or go home

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comNovember 8, 2012 

Jim Baxter

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com Buy Photo

HERE’S WHAT you can expect from Friday’s big ticket playoff games:

4A BRACKETS

Stratford

at Dorman

This will be a great battle between two coaches who are very familiar with each other. Stratford is led by junior Jacob Park at quarterback while Dorman is led by senior quarterback Trey Robinson. The winner will face top-seeded Gaffney in the second round.

Spring Valley

at Byrnes

If you think this is a mismatch, Spring Valley played a great game last week and its defense has the potential with its front seven to pressure Byrnes quarterback Shuler Bentley.

Easley

at Northwestern

This will feature two contrasting styles of offense — a power run game from Easley and a high-octane passing attack from Northwestern. The Greenwave ground game could cause problems for the Trojans.

3A BRACKETS

Belton-Horena Path at A.C. Flora

The Bears of Belton-Honea Path enter with one of the more talented rosters in the Upstate, strong in skills players such as Keinan Lewis. The Falcons are on a roll as quarterback Jake Lewis commands a high-scoring offense.

Union

at Greer

It’s the Jacket Bowl II. The first match up in Week 3 was won by Greer 28-14. But Union is improved and its air attack could make for a more competitive game the second time around.

Marlboro County

at Strom Thurmond

The Bulldogs are loaded with skills players and are strong in the trenches. But Strom Thurmond has a two-headed monster with the Hammonds (Javier and Darius) at quarterback and running back and will be tough to beat at home.

Swansea

at Hartsville

The Tigers are strong but will face the Lower State’s best team. It will take a consistent passing game to beat Hartsville and Swansea may not be able to provide that. Its strong defense will be challenged by an offense that averages more than 500 yards on the ground weekly.

2A BRACKETS

Crescent at Fairfield Central

The Griffins are strong on offense and will take on a Crescent team that has had success against a lighter schedule. Look for the Griffins to take control and move on.

Woodland at Bamberg-Ehrhardt

The Wolverines are potent with a ground attack that averages more than 40 points per game but the Red Raiders are loaded on both sides of the ball. The defense, anchored by Kevin Crosby at linebacker, will be a huge test for Woodland.

1A BRACKETS

Hemingway

at Johnsonville

The Tigers are finally playing defense like they have the past two seasons but they will get a huge test from the Johnsonville offense and a team that may be the best in the bracket.

Blackville Hilda

at McCormick

The Hawks made a strong comeback in 2012 and are facing perhaps the most improved team in the state. The Chiefs run a winged attack and are powerful with a strong set of skill players.

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