Several area teams from classes 3A to A will begin the state playoffs on Friday. Here’s a look at some of the match-ups:
A.C. Flora-Clinton: The Falcons have ignited their offense over the past few weeks and the defense has matured into a typical coach Reggie Shaw unit — physical and unyielding. Clinton, a power team, is 4-6 but battle tested with out-of-region games against Gaffney and Byrnes.
Brookland-Cayce–Crestwood: The Bearcats sneak into the playoffs on a tiebreaker as an at-large team. Crestwood is a physical, top seed. The Knights are big in the trenches, run an effective double-wing offense. Crestwood has struggled against passing teams, which will play to Brookland-Cayce’s advantage.
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Chapin-Chapman: Not a good draw for the host Eagles. Chapman is not a typical at-large team with versatile offensive threat and Shrine Bowl athlete Debo Samuel.
Swansea-Marlboro County: The Tigers are hosting one of the strongest contenders in the Lower State. Marlboro County is tough in the trenches, stingy on defense and explosive on offense.
Westwood -Woodruff: Westwood will face an explosive Woodruff that averaged 40 points per game, yet yields 33.
Columbia-Powdersville: Columbia is Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde team. The Caps can play well some nights, or look capable of losing to anyone on others.
Pelion: The Panthers get a first-round bye and will face the winner of Crescent/Mid-Carolina game. Crescent is favored to advance.
Fairfield Central: The Griffins get a bye in the first round and will host the winner of Keenan and Indian Land. Neither team will be a match for the Griffins.
Newberry-Carolina: The Bulldogs get a home date in the first round. Carolina cannot match Newberry’s depth.
Saluda- Abbeville: Saluda has a massive defensive front that should see it through to the next round.
Batesburg-Leesville: The Panthers get a bye in round one and will get the winner of Landrum-Eau Claire. Landrum and its high-charged offense is favored.
Calhoun County-Andrews: Andrews is heavily favored.
C.A. Johnson–Williston-Elko: C.A. Johnson can match up in skills position, but they lose the battle of the trenches in this game.