Week 0: five midlands football games to watch

August 22, 2013 

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FILE PHOTO — the state Buy Photo

  • FRIDAY’S GAMES All games at 7:30 p.m.

    A.C. Flora at White Knoll

    C.A. Johnson at Brookland-Cayce

    Calhoun County at Swansea

    Cheraw at Camden

    Columbia at Wilson

    Fox Creek at Dreher

    Gilbert at Saluda

    Hartsville at Mid-Carolina

    Hilton Head Christian at Hammond

    Keenan at Eau Claire

    Lower Richland at Spring Valley

    North Central at Cardinal Newman

    Richland NE at South Aiken

    Ridge Spring-Monetta at Pelion

    South Pointe at Irmo

    Westside at Airport

INSIDE

The top games from Week 0 on Friday night:

A.C. FLORA AT WHITE KNOLL, 7:30 P.M.

Talk about an interesting opener. A.C. Flora opens a new era under coach Reggie Shaw after winning 33 games over the past three seasons under Dean Howell. Howell makes his debut at White Knoll, which is coming off a 10-4 season — the best in program history.

Howell’s Falcons scored a 34-20 win against White Knoll in the first meeting of the teams a year ago.

SOUTH POINTE AT IRMO, 7:30 P.M.

South Pointe is an elite program, going 76-21 with two state championships since opening in 2006. The Stallions from Rock Hill are coming off a 12-2 season — the fifth consecutive year with double-digit wins. Irmo has gone 12-13 over the past two seasons.

Series history: South Pointe took a 2-1 series lead with last season’s 17-10 win.

LOWER RICHLAND AT SPRING VALLEY, 7:30 P.M.

Lower Richland came on late in Darryl Page’s first season, and has the look of a dark horse team. Spring Valley enjoyed its first taste of significant success in six years, and has designs on improving more in 2013.

Series history: Friday marks the 44th meeting of the teams. Spring Valley ruined Page’s LR debut with a 27-6 win last season to up its series lead to 33-10.

CALHOUN COUNTY AT SWANSEA, 7:30 P.M.

Longtime Midlands coach Bill Kimrey returns as a head coach with the Saints from St. Matthews — a program featuring blue-chip talent that produced 77 wins over eight seasons before the bottom fell out a year ago (1-10). Swansea is 24-11 since Chad Leaphart took over in 2010, and is 19-5 over the past two seasons.

Series history: Swansea, a 38-13 winner last season, won 12 of the first 13 meetings and leads the series by an 18-9 margin.

C.A. JOHNSON AT BROOKLAND-CAYCE, 7:30 P.M.

Here are two teams looking for a fresh start after combining for a 3-18 record in 2012. CAJ hopes to put its new emphasis on the running game. Brookland-Cayce hopes to keep its key players healthy, most importantly quarterback Zeke Walker.

Series history: B-C was a 48-12 winner in the first meeting of the teams last year.

John Devlin

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