Hammond (8-3) vs. Porter-Gaud (4-7)
Site: Edens Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Hammond is 20-1 in the SCISA playoffs since suffering back-to-back first-round playoff losses to Porter-Gaud in Erik Kimrey’s first two seasons in charge (2004-05). Hammond was a 41-28 winner in the regular season clash with P-G. The Skyhawks have been a work in progress this season, winning its final six games to earn a No. 3 playoff seed. RB T.J. Brady has emerged as the go-to guy on offense. Davis King and Nick Garrett have been splitting time at quarterback. Davis is the passer, Garrett the runner. Cantey Heath and Max Woodburn are the top receivers with tight end Cannon Smith providing excellent blocking and occasional production as a receiver. D’Andre Lee-Smith, Hamilton Rhineheart, Charlie Black and Patrick Kneece are the Skyhawk defensive leaders ... Porter-Gaud was the third-highest scoring team in SCISA, averaging 29.2 points and 281.9 passing yards per game. Sophomore QB Steven Duncan is 201-for-382 passing for 2,811 yards and 26 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. Duncan’s favorite targets include Foster Moe (65-1107-15), Kris Johnson (43-503-2) and Rob Johnson (43-437-5).
Series history: Hammond has won 11 in a row against P-G, including three playoff successes. The Skyhawks boast a 20-8 overall advantage against the Cyclones and a 5-2 postseason lead.
Laurence Manning Academy (7-4) vs. Cardinal Newman (6-4)
Site: Billy Chitwood Field. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Cardinal Newman downed Ben Lippen 21-3 last week to assure itself of a winning record for the first time since 1998. Zakki Parker leads the Cardinals into the postseason in hunt of the program’s first playoff win since, you guessed it, 1998. Parker ran for 162 yards and three touchdowns against Ben Lippen and has 1,337 yards and scored 13 touchdowns to date. Garrett McNerney is 28-for-47 passing for 411 yards and three TDs in three starts at quarterback. McNerney also has 53 tackles, four TFL, three sacks and four interceptions on defense. Evan DuBois is another senior two-way standout with 46 catches for 527 yards and five scores on offense, and a team-high 68 tackles on defense. The much-improved CN defense also features junior Dreighton Tornovish (56 tackles, 24 TFL, 7 sacks) and sophomore Sean Williams (64 tackles, 11 TFL, 1 sack), Seth Ham (67 tackles, 13 TFL, 5 sacks) and DeSean McMillian (61 tackles, 20 TFL, 2 sacks) Laurence Manning Academy is 2-10 in SCISA playoff matters since win the 1997 championship.
Series history: LMA has won six in a row against the Cardinals, including a 21-14 decision in Week 1 that ultimately decided the site of this first-round game.
Wilson Hall (10-0) vs. Heathwood Hall (2-8)
Site: Spencer Field. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Heathwood Hall is 18-16 all-time in playoffs games, but are 0-3 in postseason play since falling to Hammond in the 2009 SCISA championship game. QB Logan McGill is 64-for-125 passing for 663 yards and has 364 yards rushing. RB Brandon Hill has 705 yards rushing on 89 carries. Nelson Weston (32-446-1) and Lewis Austin (25-374-2) are the top receivers. Linebacker Mac Ellen is the Highlanders defensive leader with 95 tackles, 17 TFL, four sacks, two forced fumbles, four PBUs and one interception Regular season champion Wilson Hall is looking to secure its first postseason championship since 2003. The balanced Barons features quarterback William Kinney (97-for-132 passing, 1589 yards, 16 TDs; 81-685-11 rushing), running back Jay Ladson (97-1040-15) and a trio of productive wide receivers – Devin Singleton (20-556-7), Jay Goodson (21-340-5) and Parker McDuffie (18-221-1).
Series history: Wilson Hall’s 28-7 win in the regular season cut Heathwood Hall’s series lead to 14-13. This will be the eighth playoff meeting of the teams, starting with a Palmetto Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) clash in 1986. The postseason series has been just as close with Heathwood holding a 4-3 edge.