Playoff storyline for Midlands teams

November 16, 2012 

Hammond's quarterback, Jake Nidiffer, warms up before the Skyhawk's game against the undefeated Augusta Christian Lions Friday night.

C MICHAEL BERGEN — mbergen@thestate.com Buy Photo

BOILING SPRINGS AT DUTCH FORK

Today, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: Coach Tom Knotts arrived at Dutch Fork in 2010, believing he could lead the Silver Foxes to a state championship. In the three seasons since, the Silver Foxes are 29-9, but have not made it beyond the second round of the Class 4A, Division 1 playoffs. Against Boiling Springs (8-5), the Silver Foxes look for their first semifinal bid since 2006 and a chance to continue their pursuit of a state title.

Key players: Dutch Fork is led by quarterback Derek Olenchuck, running back Matt Colburn and receiver Jordan Berry.

WHITE KNOLL AT IRMO

Today, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: In 2010, the Timberwolves had their first winning season, finishing 7-5 in a season that ended with a first-round playoff loss. Now that the Timberwolves have secured the program’s first playoff victory — with an upset of Wando on the road — they are in history-making territory. They take on an Irmo team that has not missed the playoffs since 2004, and last reached the third round of the Class 4A, Division 1 playoffs in 2010.

Key players: White Knoll running backs Lamar Ray and Quin Jones have both rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Quarterback Grant Davitte, running back Shyheim Copeland and kicker Ben Hinson account for much of the Irmo offense.

UNION AT A.C. FLORA

Today, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: The Falcons have won nine games in a row heading into their Class 3A playoff game with the 7-5 Union YellowJackets. It is not the team’s longest streak -- they notched 11 consecutive wins in 2011. But to reach their goal of the championship, the Falcons will have to push their streak to 12 consecutive wins. With a win, the Falcons would earn the team’s first semifinal appearance.

Key players: Quarterback Jake Lewis and receiver Shelton Whitaker lead the Flora offense.

FAIRFIELD CENTRAL AT CHERAW

Today, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: It has been 14 seasons since the Griffins last reached the Class 3A state finals, but the team has always been in playoff contention. Now in Class 2A, the Griffins face a Cheraw squad that found great success since moving into the division. While the Braves are four seasons removed from their back-to-back Class 2A titles, Fairfield Central is looking to establish dominance in its new division.

Key players: Fairfield Central quarterback DeAndre Belton is a dual threat as a runner and passer.

NEWBERRY AT CENTRAL

Today, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: As the season goes on, the Newberry Bulldogs have continued their big offensive production, averaging 32 points per game. With Central’s squad averaging 28 points and producing big gains as well, this Class 2A, Division 1 matchup could be a shoot-out.

Key players: The Newberry rushing attack is led by Tyon Williams.

AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN VS. HAMMOND

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

What to watch: Two familiar opponents meet in the SCISA Class 3A championship game. Hammond’s string of six consecutive titles began with a 28-17 win against Augusta Christian in 2006. The Skyhawks also defeated Augusta Christian in the 2007 title game. The Lions are 12-0 as they return to the title game for the first time since.

Key players: Hammond is led by steady quarterback Jake Nidiffer and running back Quayshon Myers. Nidiffer has passed for more than 2,000 yards.

Akilah Imani Nelson

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