Dreher (6-3, 2-2 Region 4-3A) vs. A.C. Flora (3-6, 1-3)
Site: Memorial Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: A.C. Flora kept its state playoff hopes alive last week with a 58-8 rout of Lower Richland. The Falcons can clinch third place and an automatic berth in the postseason with a win over Dreher and a Camden loss. Dreher can finish third and make the playoff cut with a win over the Falcons. If not, the Blue Devils could end up missing the playoffs cut for the second year in a row despite posting a winning record – a rare happenstance, indeed, in this era of liberal postseason qualification standards QB Brendan Greene led the way for Flora against LR, connecting on 10 of 15 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with two scoring runs. WR Denzell Johnson caught four passes for 88 yards and two TDs. DB Tyler Gray had two interceptions and two PBUs on defense and recovered an onside kick attempt by the Diamond Hornets Dreher did not take advantage of four first-half Chapin turnovers in a 30-7 loss to Eagles last week that put its season in jeopardy. The Blue Devils managed just 195 offensive yards in the game. QB Avery Armstrong did what he could – going 14-for-24 passing for 126 yards and one touchdown and running for a team high 39 yards.
Series history: Flora has won five in a row to take a 21-20 series lead since 1970.
Lower Richland (4-5, 1-3 Region 4-3A) vs. Westwood (5-4, 3-1)
Site: LR Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Westwood secured a state playoff, a No. 2 postseason seed and a first-round home date in one fell swoop last week in a 27-13 win over Camden. The Redhawks defense had four takeaways and held the Bulldogs scoreless and to just 51 yards in the second half. Stephen Timmons (13 tackles), Jeremy Jenkins (10 tackles, 1 sack) and Tyriek Bell (10 tackles) were the top hit men on defense. QB Chris Patterson had one of his best games of the season – connecting on 12 of 20 passes for 143 yards and one touchdowns with no interceptions and running for 68 yards on 15 carries. WR Vyncint Smith caught six passes for 93 yards and threw a scoring pass to Adonus Lee, who had five grabs for 66 yards and two TDs. RB Christian Brown contributed 104 yards rushing and one TD on 25 carries Things have not gone well for Lower Richland of late. The Diamond Hornets must win to keep alive its state playoff hopes alive. The best LR can hope for is a No. 4 seed and then a favorable points tally to fill one of the two at large berths in the Upper State bracket. A loss means the Diamond Hornets are out and relegate its 21st consecutive season of finishing in the red.
Series history: Lower Richland was a winner on the field in the first meeting of the teams last season, but the verdict eventually was turned into a forfeit win for the Redhawks.
Camden (5-4, 1-3 Region 4-3A) vs. Chapin (6-3, 4-0)
Site: Zemp Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Chapin is looking to assure itself the outright region championship and a perfect region report card with a win over the slumping Bulldogs. The Eagles locked up the region’s No. 1 state playoffs berth with a 30-7 win over Dreher last week in front of the appreciative home fans. Chapin started slow with four turnovers on its first five possessions, but scored on all five of its subsequent possessions. The key tally was a 69-yard scoring run by quarterback Matt Charpia that came two plays after Dreher tied the score at 7-7 with a scoring drive to open the second half. Charpia was the driving force for the Eagles with 192 yards passing and 109 yards on the ground with two scoring runs Camden needs something along the lines of a miracle to avoid missing the state playoff cut for the third years in a row. The Bulldogs turned the ball over five times and produced just 51 yards and no points on the attack in the second half of a 27-13 loss to Westwood. Camden’s slim playoff hopes hinge on a precise number of factors that are unlikely to occur, the most obvious being a win over the region champs. RB Kendrice Slater had 93 yards rushing against Westwood and needs 115 this week to crack the 1,000-yard barrier.
Series history: Chapin was a 28-7 winner last season in the first-ever football meeting of the venerable Midlands schools.