THREE THINGS WE KNOW
The Cavaliers deserved a win
After nine weeks of misfortune and disappointment, the Richland Northeast Cavaliers notched their first win of the season with a 13-7 decision over Ridge View.
Having avoided a winless season, the Cavaliers (1-9, 1-3) take on undefeated Spring Valley at Harry Parone Stadium in their season finale.
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Blythewood can recover
At 2-2 in Region 4-4A, the Bengals are in third place. But they can take some momentum, and confidence, into the postseason with a win over rival Ridge View. The Blazers (3-7, 1-3) have not defeated Blythewood since 2006.
Socastee is riding high
With their victory over St. James on Friday, the Socastee Braves completed their second consecutive undefeated regular season.
The Braves this year are 10-0 under first-year coach Doug Illing. Last year, coach Tim Renfrow led the Braves as they went 12-1, ending their season in the third round of the playoffs.
Motivation is high for the Braves as they look to improve on that result.
Three things we don’t know
How Chapin will fare against the Upper State powers
With the Region 4-3A title, the Chapin Eagles (7-3, 5-0) earned home-field advantage through the third round of the playoffs. But getting there will be tough.
In Friday’s first round, the Eagles will get a visit from Chapman (7-3) , a treacherous No. 4 seed coming off a competitive region season.
After Chapman, the Eagles would see traditionally strong programs from Greenville and Broome.
Who will finish undefeated
With one week remaining on the Class 4A regular-season schedule, four undefeated teams remain: South Florence,
Spring Valley, Goose Creek and Northwestern.
South Florence closes with West Florence (6-4); Spring Valley must get past Richland Northeast; Goose Creek will have its hands full with a Stratford team looking to rebound from its only loss — which was at the hands of South Florence — and top-ranked Northwestern must hold off Rock Hill.
All the teams must avoid overconfidence.
If J.T. Waters is bionic…
In Palmetto Christian’s win against Thomas Heyward on Friday, quarterback J.T. Waters appeared to have an unstoppable motor. The senior rushed for 493 yards — with touchdowns of 58, 72, 86, 72, 52, 5, and 59 yards — and added 158 passing yards.
Heyward had a passing touchdown, a two-point conversion pass and also ran for four two-point conversions.
And he did that in a driving rain on a muddy field.
Palmetto Christian needs Waters to have a similarly performance next week when it goes on the road to Calhoun Academy in the first round of the SCISA 2A playoffs.
Three top performers
Kahlil Hopkins, Ridge View
Made 14 tackles and recovered a fumble.
Tyler Gray, AC Flora
Made an interception and returned a blocked kick for a touchdown
Matt Colburn, Dutch Fork
Rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns
Three to watch
Porter Gaud at Hammond
The Skyhawks begin their road back to the SCISA Class 3A championship against the Cyclones, whom they defeated by 13 points on Oct. 4. Hammond takes a six-game win streak into the postseason.
Porter Gaud averages 29 points per game and is led by quarterback Steven Duncan.
Woodruff at Westwood
Averaging 334.8 yards per game, the No. 2 seed Redhawks host Woodruff (5-5, 3-2) in the program’s first playoff game.
For Westwood, senior quarterback Chris Patterson has averaged nearly 100 yards passing per game, while running back Christian Brown’s 129 yards per game add balance.
Lexington at White Knoll
This region rivalry matchup pits Lexington quarterback Will Hunter and the Wildcats’ receiving corps against a White Knoll squad that has given up 127 points in its three-loss streak.
White Knoll’s offense, led by quarterback Craig Blakey, has scored two touchdowns in each of its past two games. Lexington averages four touchdowns per game.
What they’re saying
“We have a bunch of Hobbits, a bunch of Smurfs, but they play hard and get after it.”
Irmo coach Bob Hanna
“The last three years, when we walked into the locker room at this time, we’re taking up equipment. Now, we’re putting the equipment in the lockers, going home and letting this one hurt tonight. But we’ve got to be ready to go to war next week.”
North Myrtle Beach coach Perry Woolbright, whose team will be in the playoffs next week despite its loss to Myrtle Beach
“It’s the little things. We were doing the little things the first seven weeks.”
Hilton Head coach BJ Payne, on getting a third-straight loss in the region finale and falling to 7-3, 2-3.
Akilah Imani Nelson