Keenan (3-2) vs. North Central (3-2)
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: It figures to be a good Region 3-2A opener with the winner emerging as perhaps to top threat to Fairfield Central’s championship drive Keenan has shown plenty of offense in non-region games. The Raiders scored 18 touchdowns and averaged 180.2 yards by air, 175.4 yards by air. Peter Easaw is the prime mover with 784 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. QB Deion Trezevant is 61-for-88 passing for 843 yards and four TDs. Kendrick Gathers has 13 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns on offense and three interceptions on defense. Tarik Williams (37 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 sacks), Richard Lawhorn (28 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks) Tyreick Davis-Newton (32 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks) and Johnathan Cato (24 tackles, 3 TFL) are the top hit men on defense North Central finished non-region testing with a positive grade thanks to a last-second 20-19 win over neighboring Andrew Jackson last week. The Knights scored the winning points with 30 seconds remaining. Hunter Wyant hit Mike Ostas with a 9-yard scoring pass to cut the AJ lead to 19-18, and then found Warren Mosley with the decisive two-point conversion pass. Wyant overcame three interceptions by throwing three touchdown passes. To date, Wyant is 37-for-70 passing for 403 yards and five TDs. With 23 catches for 237 yards and three scores, Ostas is Wyant’s obvious favorite target. RB William Jenkins had 715 rushing yards and six TDs on the books. The NC defense has allowed just 65 points to date – the low figure in the region. Mosley (48 tackles, 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 12 QB hurries, two caused fumbles), Tristan McCather (40 tackles), Reggie Outen (36 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception), Omar Johnson (30 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 interceptions) and Willie Taylor (25 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 8 QB hurries) are among the unit leaders.
Series history: Keenan whipped NC 39-0 in the first meeting of the teams last season.
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Fairfield Central (5-0) vs. Columbia (1-4)
Site: E.K. McClendon Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Third-ranked Fairfield Central rolled through Region 3-2A testing with a perfect grade, including a 41-6 rout of Cheraw last week. QB DeAndre Belton is 44-for-76 passing for 785 yards and seven touchdowns to date, as well as running for 316 yards and three scores. RB Larry G. Bell has a team-high 385 rushing yards and nine TDs on the books. Belton has a trio to big-play receivers at his disposal: Kewaun Squirewell (15-270-3), Tyren White 11-218-1) and Javaris Cook (9-156-2). Defensive leaders include Larry J. Bell (35, tackles, 5 TFL), Khalil Keitt (30 tackles, 8 TFL, 10 sacks), Dustin Padgett (31 tackles), Shadarius Hopkins (4 interceptions), Byron Sampson (14 tackles, 5 TFL, 5 sacks), Chanti Jones (14 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks) and Davon Pearson (12 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks) Columbia endured an unsettling non-region phase of the season. The Capitals have had to deal with tough competition, injuries and disciplinary issues.
Series history: FC was a 38-19 last fall winner in the first meeting of the teams in 25 years. The Griffins are 3-0 all-time against the Capitals.
Pelion (2-3) vs. Eau Claire (0-5)
Site: Pelion Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Pelion enters Region 3-2A play off a bye week. The Panthers have a proven running game that produced 305 yards per game and 6.5 yards per attempt in five non-region outings. Ervin Green (68-427-1), Isaiah Jenkins (55-393-3) and quarterback Zach Hawkins (65-451-3) are the prime movers. The defense, however, has had issues. The Panthers are allowing 396.8 yards and 33.8 points a game Eau Claire is mired in a 14-game losing streak and on the verge of being saddled with its 26th consecutive losing season. Takari Robinson ran for 99 yards on 12 carriers last week in a loss to Lewisville and Wallace Green caught five passes for 74 yards and one touchdowns.
Series history: Pelion is 3-0 against the Shamrocks, including a 38-30 win last season in the first region meeting of the teams.
Abbeville (2-3) vs. Batesburg-Leesville (3-2)
Site: Hite Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Batesburg-Leesville enters Region 2-2A play with a potent, run-oriented offense that is averaging 37.4 yards per game. The big-play men are Rickie Smith and Terrance Wilson. Smith has 581 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Wilson has 1,117 all-purpose yards on 66 touchdowns and scored 13 TDs. Last week, Wilson burned Gilbert for 100 yards rushing and two TDs on six carries and returned two kickoffs for 152 yards and two scores Abbeville closed non-region testing with a 34-12 win over 3A Clinton.
Series history: Abbeville has won four in a row, but B-L still enjoys a 19-12 series lead in the modern era.
C.A. Johnson (2-4) vs. Great Falls (2-3)
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: C.A. Johnson enters Region 3-1A with plenty of offensive highlights, but many defensive questions primarily because most of their key players must play both ways. Senior Mike Knox, for instance, has thrown for 1,532 yards and 12 touchdowns, run for 719 yards and three scores, leads the team with 52 tackles on defense and handles the punting chores. The same is true for receivers/defenders Kabaris Daniels, Charles Mallory and Peter Goodman Great Falls is looking to avoid its first back-to-back losing season since 1996-97.
Series history: CAJ scored its first win in three tries against Great Falls last season. The Green Hornets prevailed 38-36.