THREE THINGS WE KNOW
White Knoll can still do damage
After starting the season with a five-win streak, White Knoll are fighting for a playoff spot. At 6-3, the Timberwolves have slipped to 1-2 in Region 5-4A after losing two in a row. Sitting at fourth in the region, White Knoll, led by first-year coach Dean Howell, needs wins over South Aiken (1-8, 0-3) and rival Lexington (8-1, 3-0) in the final weeks to hold its ground. White Knoll will rely on quarterback Craig Blakey to help it earn its fifth consecutive playoff appearance.
Chapin is on the way back
Chapin is squarely in the lead in Region 5-3A.
After winning five in a row — topping Dreher on Friday, 30-7 — the Eagles (6-3, 4-0) are enjoying their best season since 2009, when they finished 7-4 in the first round of the playoffs.
Undefeated at home, Chapin is looking at a region title, with Camden (5-4, 1-3) remaining on its schedule.
In their fourth season under coach Justin Gentry, the Eagles had a rough start but have rebounded well.
Sumter got it right
The field at Sumter’s District 1 Stadium was dedicated as Freddie Solomon Field on Friday during a ceremony before the Gamecocks’ win over Carolina Forest.
Solomon was the Gamecocks’ first star running back after the program was created by the integration of Lincoln and Edmunds high schools. He posted 1,969 yards and 28 touchdowns in his senior season, before moving to play quarterback in college and eventually becoming an NFL wide receiver. Solomon won two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. In addition to carrying his name, the Sumter stadium now also features a monument to Solomon.
Three things we don’t know
If a mama has ever been prouder
After Boiling Springs’ defensive lineman Monteal Lipscomb made the sack that secured the Bulldogs’ win over Dorman, his mother rushed the field.
“My baby did it,” cried his mother, Shannon Glenn, echoing the sentiments of proud mothers everywhere.
Lipscomb’s fourth-down play stopped a Dorman drive at the Boiling Springs 11with less than a minute to play. Boiling Springs (7-2, 4-1) has pushed the Cavaliers (6-3, 3-2) into fourth-place in Region 2-4A.
Keenan’s defense and Kendrick Gathers
Against Eau Claire on Thursday, Keenan’s defense had extra work to do because of several mistakes, including 14 penalties and five turnovers.
Kendrick Gathers made up for those blunders with three interceptions — including a 101-yard touchdown return. His performance in the secondary helped hold off the Shamrocks, who were looking for a second consecutive win. Despite losing 160 yards to penalties, the Raiders outgained Eau Claire 234 yards to 51.
Gathers also had 96 yards and a touchdown receiving.
Will Waccamaw win again?
Since getting off to a 4-1 start, injury and suspension have set the Waccamaw Warriors back to last in the region.
The Warriors (4-5, 0-4) were without seven starters on Friday as they fell to Marion (1-8, 1-3). Now winless in Region 8-2A, the Warriors close the regular season at region leader Dillon on Nov. 1. Regardless of the result, Waccamaw will be in the playoffs.
Three top performers
Matt Charpia, Chapin
Quarterback completed 15 of 31 passes for 171 yards, and rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns
Austin Scott, Spartanburg
Completed 15 passes for 312 yards and six touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown
Will Edmond, Swansea
Returned a punt 42 yards for a touchdown to seal Tigers’ win
Three to watch
Chapin at Camden
The host Bulldogs (5-4, 1-3) started the season hot, but have dropped three games in a row. To snap the streak, they will have to overcome the Eagles’ region-leading offense. Quarterback Denzel Martin leads the Bulldogs, who average 23.2 points per game. Chapin must limit turnovers to match its average 27-point production and maintain its advantage.
Lexington at Dutch Fork
Battling for the region 5-4A title, the host Silver Foxes hold a scoring advantage, with 48 points per game to Lexington’s 32. The Wildcats (8-1, 3-0) are undefeated on the road, and looking to continue their five-win streak. They will need a sturdy defensive line to hold back Dutch Fork running Matt Colburn, who averages nearly 200 yards per game. The Silver Foxes, (7-2, 3-0) have won three straight, but will have to stop Wildcats’ quarterback Will Hunter to continue their run.
Pelion at Keenan
Keenan looks to hold on to second place in Region 3-2A and win its second straight game. This could be a defensive battle, as Keenan has allowed 74 points in region season, and Pelion 64. Pelion is led by quarterback Zack Hawkins, the Raiders by Peter Easaw.
What they’re saying
“He’s a difference-maker. He makes us a great team.”
Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts on running back Matt Colburn
“They’ve been a never-give-up kind of group all along, and that’s been the case this year when we didn’t get off the best of starts.”
Chapin coach Justin Gentry on his team’s late season run
“We were left for dead at the half, but I had confidence in my kids that they were going to come out and battle.”
Swansea coach Chad Leaphart, after the Tigers’ rallied from a 21-7 deficit to defeat Brookland-Cayce
Compiled by Akilah Imani Nelson