Newberry (6-2, 2-1 Region 2-2A) vs. Batesburg-Leesville (6-2, 3-0)
Site: Mike Ware Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Batesburg-Leesville stayed atop the region standings with a 28-0 win over winless Mid-Carolina. Surprisingly, the Panthers did not post the usual eye-popping offensive numbers. B-L managed a paltry 238 offensive yards. Terrance Wilson had just 34 yards rushing, but scored three touchdowns. The sophomore sensation now has 26 touchdowns, 130 points, 1,526 all-purpose yards and a 15.7-yard average gain per touch on the books. A win gives the Panthers a chance to run the table in region play for the first time since 2007 Newberry doomed itself with penalties and turnovers in a 31-17 loss last week at Ninety Six. QB Yafri Mims ran for 120 yards and one touchdown and had one scoring pass for the Bulldogs. RB Omar Sims has 937 yards rushing to date.
Series history: Newberry has won two in a row, three of the last four and sports an 18-14 series lead.
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Pelion (5-3, 3-0 Region 3-2A) vs. Fairfield Central (8-0, 3-0)
Site: Pelion Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Fairfield Central cruised by Keenan last week in a battle of unbeaten region teams. The Griffins can essentially lock up the region championship again with a win over the Panthers. QB DeAndre Belton is the FC offensive leader. The veteran senior is 66-for-111 passing for 1,172 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 415 yards rushing and six scoring runs. Larry G. Bell (103-572-13) and Joseph Young (64-499-10) are the top running backs. Kewaun Squirewell (22-394-3) is the Griffins primary receiving option. Khalil Keitt (39 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 12.5 sacks) and Shadarius Hopkins (5 interceptions) area among the FC defensive headliners Pelion kept pace with FC with a 39-15 win over Columbia. The Panthers attack is ground oriented with Ervin Green (91-672-5), Zach Hawkins (100-635-11) and Isaiah Jenkins (69-543-6) making things go.
Series history: Fairfield Central was a 56-0 winner in the first meeting of the teams last season.
Keenan (5-3, 2-1 Region 3-2A) vs. Eau Claire (1-7, 1-2)
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Keenan saw its region championship hopes go by the boards in a 38-0 loss to undefeated Fairfield Central last week. The Raiders will go to plan B – securing second place by closing out the season strong. The one highlight last week was the Raiders picked off three DeAndre Belton passes last week. The Fairfield Central senior had thrown just one interception in the previous seven games. Ken Gathers swiped two, giving hin a Midlands-leading seven interceptions to date Eau Claire snapped a 16-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 28-22 overtime win over North Central behind the play of receiver Wallace Green who had scoring passes covering 82 and 75 yards.
Series history: Keenan has won five in a row, eight of the last nine to assume an 18-10 series lead.
Columbia (1-7, 0-3 Region 3-2A) vs. North Central (3-5, 0-3)
Site: Memorial Stadium. Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: North Central hopes its third trip to Columbia turns out a bit better than the last two. Last week the Knights dropped a 28-22 overtime decision to Eau Claire at Bolden Stadium after falling 12-6 in OT at Cardinal Newman early in the season. Maybe the new venue will help. RB William Jenkins ran for 197 yards and one touchdown on 37 carries last week but it was not enough to help NC get its first region win Columbia has lost six games in a row and hasn’t scored more than 15 points in any game this season. The Capitals are averaging a paltry 8.9 points per game to date.
Series history: North Central prevailed 33-28 last season in the first meeting of the teams.
C.A. Johnson (3-6, 1-2 Region 3-1A) vs. Lewisville (4-4, 1-1)
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: It’s the final regular season game for C.A. Johnson, perhaps the final game of the season. The Green Hornets made some significant lineup changes last week against Lamar. Mike Knox moved from quarterback to running back and Peter Goodman shifted from receiver to quarterback. Knox ran for 131 yards and one touchdown. Goodman ran for 96 yards and one TD and had 73 passing yards. Nate Nelson had 70 rushing yards and one TD and also returned a kickoff for another score. No matter, Lamar breezed to a 47-22 win Lewisville is coming off a bye week in the wake of a 50-7 loss to front-running Lamar.
Series history: Lewisville has never faltered in five encounters with the Green Hornets.