Fairfield Central (7-0, 2-0 Region 3-2A) vs. Keenan (5-2, 2-0)
Site: E.K. McClendon Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The winner has the inside track to the region championship. Keenan has never won an outright region title. The Raiders did share a region prize in 1987 when they finished in a three-way tie for first place with Aiken and South Aiken Keenan tuned up for the showdown with a 28-0 win over Columbia. LB Tarik Williams led the defensive effort with six tackles, three TFL, two sacks, two QB hurries and an interception return touchdown. QB Deion Trezevant was 11-for-15 passing for 115 yards and one touchdown and ran for another score. RB Peter Easaw had 109 yards rushing on 14 carries, but did not find the end zone. Kendrick Gathers ran for 74 yards and one TD on three carries and had four catches for 49 yards. Trezevant is 76-for-112 passing for 1,002 yards and five TDs to date. Easaw has 951 all-purpose yards and 64 points on the books. Gathers has 527 all-purpose yards and 42 points on offense, plus 11 tackles and four interceptions on defense. Williams (48 tackles, 14 TFL, 7 sacks, 10 QB hurries, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception) and Tyreick Davis-Newton (48 tackles, 12 TFL, 4 sacks are the defensive ringleaders Fairfield Central blasted Eau Claire 58-6 with the regulars playing little more than one half. QB DeAndre Belton makes the Griffins go on offense. He is 55-for-93 passing for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions and has run for 381 yards (7.2 per-carry average) and five TDs. Larry G. Bell (80-403-11) and Joseph Young (56-387-10) are capable running backs. Young returned a punt 85 yards for a score last week. Kewaun Squirewell (19-354-3), Javaris Cook (12-228-3), Tyren White (11-218-1) and Tavares Cook (10-110-1) are part of a balanced and productive receiving corps. Larry J. Bell (40 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries), Khalil Keitt (34 tackles, 11 TFL, 12 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), Chanti Jones (16 tackles, 9 TFL, 6 sacks), Dustin Padgett (43 tackles), Byron Sampson (22 tackles, 4 TFL, 5 sacks) and Shadarius Hopkins (5 interceptions) are key defensive components. The Griffins have won 13 straight regular season games and nine straight region games back to 2011.
Series history: Fairfield Central has won all 11 encounters with the Raiders, including six shutouts. The Raiders have scored only 51 points in the series.
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Pelion (4-3, 2-0 Region 3-2A) vs. Columbia (1-6, 0-2)
Site: Pelion Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Pelion stay in the region title hunt with a 22-8 win over North Central. Sophomore Ervin Green had a big game on both sides of the ball. He ran for 138 yards, two touchdowns and two two-point conversions on offense and also has seven tackles and one sack on defense. Tim Kneece graded 93% on the offensive line with three knockdown blocks, three pancakes and two big blocks. Linebacker Tripp Garris (17 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack), safety Freddie Phillips (8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception) and tackle Hunter Duncan (Graded 95%, 11 tackles, 1 sack) were the defensive headliners Columbia took a 28-0 hit by Keenan. The Capitals have yet to score in region play and are averaging a meager 8.0 points per game.
Series history: Columbia has won two in a row to take a 5-4 series lead.
Eau Claire (0-7, 0-2 Region 3-2A) vs. North Central (3-4, 0-2)
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: North Central managed just 181 offensive yards last week in a 22-8 loss to Pelion. The Knights have lost three of their last four. QB Hunter Wyant passed for 115 yards and one touchdown in the loss. Warren Mosley had three catches for 69 yards and one TD on offense, and nine tackles and three tackles for loss on defense Eau Claire suffered its 16th consecutive loss last week – a 58-6 pounding at the hands on undefeated Fairfield Central. The Shamrocks have the longest losing streak in the Midlands now that Lugoff-Elgin voided its 23-game winless slump.
Series history: A 26-14 win last season allowed North Central to take a 2-1 series lead.
Batesburg-Leesville (5-2, 2-0 Region 2-2A) vs. Mid-Carolina (0-7, 0-2)
Site: Panther Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Batesburg-Leesville raced to a 28-0 lead and coasted to a 48-14 win over Ninety Six. The Panthers piled up 386 yards rushing against the Wildcats with Terrance Wilson leading the way with 154 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. Ray Norris and quarterback Jac’Quiel Chandler scored two touchdowns apiece. Rickie Smith did not score but ran for 80 yards on 16 carries. Wilson (57-719-11) and Smith (136-668-6) are the season leaders in rushing yards. Wilson is also a big-play man as a receiver and on special teams. He has seven catches for 162 yards and three TDs in receiving mode and had four kickoff return touchdowns. Chandler has eight scoring runs and five TD passes Mid-Carolina is fresh from a 48-12 loss to Saluda. The Rebels are lost 13 in a row since beating neighboring Chapin in the final non-region round of the 2012 season.
Series history: Batesburg-Leesville ended a two-game losing streak with a 31-24 win last season. The Panthers enjoy a 19-8 series lead.
Lamar (5-2, 1-0 Region 3-1A) vs. C.A. Johnson (3-5, 1-1)
Site: Donald L. Poole Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Senior Mike Knox was in the spotlight again in last week’s 20-14 region win over McBee. On offense, Knox was 6-for-12 passing for 130 yards and ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns on five carries. On defense, he had 14 tackles and a game-saving interception with 30 seconds left in the game. Nate Nelson contributed 88 yards on six runs and 104 yards on two receptions. Charles Mallory (11 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack) and Kendal Benjamin (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 punt block), Heshaki McCoy (13 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 blocked punt, 2 forced fumbles), Wendell Bing (7 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 forced fumbles) and Justin Grooms (9 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks) also made significant defensive contributions Lamar’s only losses to date have been to 3A county rivals Hartsville and Darlington. The Silver Foxes are averaging 41.2 points in their five wins and opened the region campaign with a 50-7 rout of Lewisville.
Series history: Lamar rolled 42-6 last year in the first meeting of the teams.