LAST WEEKEND was the last week of 4A non-region play, and the first week of 3A region play. I’m getting good feelings about which teams are going to move ahead in the race to the playoffs.
The biggest story of the weekend was in 4A, where Irmo upset previous No. 9 Dutch Fork, giving the Silver Foxes their second consecutive loss. That win fuels Irmo as it heads into Region 4-4A play, where it must finish in the top two to make the playoffs. The loss reveals weaknesses in Dutch Fork’s game that the rest of Region 5-4A teams will study.
In a battle of unbeatens, Spring Valley shut down White Knoll, 42-21. The Vikings defense yielded 151 yards while its offense rolled up 500-plus yards. Spring Valley must improve on ball protection to go deep in the playoffs.
Byrnes continues to roll past Division I challengers, and Gaffney got a shot of adrenaline with Shaq Davidson moving back to quarterback. That will be a great region match up.
In 3A, Brookland-Cayce found a physical Strom Thurmond to be too much in a 42-13 loss. I predicted in the preseason the Rebels would win this region, but there should be a battle for the No. 2 spot, as Midland Valley, Swansea, Gilbert, and Brookland-Cayce battle for three playoff spots.
There are clear favorites in the Upstate and the Lower State. D.W. Daniel and Belton-Honea Path are the top two Upstate. In the Lower State, Hartsville and Marlboro County battled to overtime where the Red Foxes won, 30-27.
In Class 2A, Fairfield Central and Dillon remain the favorites, though Newberry and Batesburg-Leesville will be tough opponents.
In the A, Christ Church has not been threatened all season. They are loaded with talent and I just don’t see anyone competing with it.