Chapin (7-3) vs. Chapman (7-3)
Site: Cecil Woolbright Field. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Chapin ran the table to win its first region championship in 21 years. Now, the Eagles are looking for a long playoff run beginning with their first postseason win since 2007. Three-year starting quarterback Matt Charpia is the key man on the attack. Charpia is 156-for-245 passing for 2,097 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 239 yards and nine scores by land. Eleven different receivers have catches for the Eagles, but the prime targets are Carter White (41-820-6), Brandon Livingston (33-308-1) and Alex Young (17-444-5). Napier Armstrong (89-402-6) has emerged as the No. 1 running back. Safety Nate Blakenship (134 tackles, 2 interceptions), linebackers Tyler Weimer (128 tackles, 15 TFL, 3 sacks) and Chandler Engle (84 tackles, 5 TFL) and linemen Matt George (48 tackles, 12 TFL, 6 sacks), Steven Haralambis (56 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 sacks) and Daniel Piester (55 tackles, 11 TFL, 3 sacks) are among the leaders on the hard-hitting defensive unit Chapman is making its first playoff appearance since moving up to Class 3A in the wake of a 12-3, runner-up season in 2A in 2007.
Series history: Chapin has a 3-1 edge since the first confrontation with Chapman in 2006, but this week marks the first playoff meeting of the teams.
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Westwood (6-4) vs. Woodruff (5-5)
Site: Westwood District 2 Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Westwood has taken a big step forward in 2013. The second-year Redhawks, who won just one game on the field in its inaugural 2012 campaign, produced its first winning record, earned its first state playoff berth and its first playoff home game in Year 2. The Redhawks finished second in Region 4-3A behind Chapin to rate this week’s home date. Westwood’s attack has become more ground oriented since Christian Brown became a full-timer at running back. Brown has 1,335 yards rushing on the books and 16 touchdowns on the books for the season, with 1,143 yards and 13 TDs coming since he because the go-to guy in the fourth game of the season. He is averaging 163.2 yards per game over the last seven games of the season. Senior Chris Patterson is the regular at quarterback, but junior Nick Leveretter has been employ at times to spark the passing game. There are two excellent receivers in play – Adonus Lee (29-442-5) and Vyncint Smith (29-472-3). The Westwood defense also made a big jump this season behind the play of Stephen Timmons (83 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 sacks), Raymond Hall (74 tackles, 13 FL, 3 sacks), Jacob Girdon (48 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 sacks), Bradley Carter (40 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks), Jeremy Jenkins (48 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks) and Deante Drakeford (41 tackles, 3 interceptions) Woodruff is a storied football program, but the bottom line is the Wolverines have not won a state championship since 1984 or even made to the finals since 1993 when legendary coach Willie Varner was still in charge. These days Woodruff throws the ball and scores a lot of points, but the defense is suspect. The Wolverines surrendered an average of 33.9 points a game this season – the worst numbers in Region 3-3A.
Series history: The teams are meeting for the first time.
Swansea (8-2) vs. Marlboro County (8-2)
Site: Doug Bennett Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Swansea gets a tough home draw in the first round against a Marlboro County squad that is considered to be a prime contender for the Lower State championship. The Tigers, who have had to deal with injuries all season, will likely need its best performance of the season to dispatch the talented Bulldogs. Travis Loadholt (186-1136-12) and Chance Walker (76-643-12) handle the running chores. QB Clay Lucas is 95-for-150 for 1,178 yards and 12 TDs with only three interceptions. Receivers Craig Johnson (34-530-6) and Nick Tompkins (27-354-2) are the primary targets. Johnson is also a top hand on defense with 40 tackles, 16 TFL and 6 sacks. Chris Brunswick (84 tackles, 12 FL, 6 sacks), Reggie Hampton (75 tackles), TyQuan Austin (51 tackles, 3 interceptions) and Devin Johnson (54 tackles, 11 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries) are key hands on defense, as well MC is 154-59 overall in 17 seasons under coach Dean Boyd, 22-12 in the state playoffs for two state championship. But the Bulldogs have not won a championship since 2001 and never made to the finals in Class 3A since dropping down in 2006.
Series history: The teams are meeting for the first time.
Clinton (4-6) vs. A.C. Flora (4-6)
Site: Wilder Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: A.C. Flora did what it had to do down the stretch to qualify for the state playoffs for a school-record fourth consecutive season – win its last two games. The Flacons locked down the No. 3 seed in Region 4-3Aand an automatic playoff berth with a 49-18 rout of archrival Dreher last week. Sophomore Brendan Greene completed just four of his nine passes in the rain, but netted 128 yards and three touchdowns. Denzell Johnson had three catches for 84 yards and two TDs. To date, Johnson has 33 receptions for 736 yards and 11 scores. Greene is 55-for-109 passing for 1,136 yards and 17 TDs. Aven Pollard (148-1129-8) abd JuWan Simon (108-539-8) handle the rushing load. Flora’s defensive stalwarts include Rion Davis (75 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 interceptions), Tyler Gray (30 tackles, 10 PBUs, 3 interceptions), James Croffie (67 tackles, 15 TFL, 5 sacks), Dillon Smith (83 tackles, 14 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries) and Tyrell Goodwin (49 tackles, 17 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries) Clinton has one of the glorious football traditions in the state, but the Red Devils have fallen on hard times of late with an 11-20 record and no playoff wins since 2011. This is a program that won 70 of 97 postseason games and bagged seven state championships between 1970 and 2010.
Series history: Clinton was 4-0 against ACF when both schools were members of Region 3-3A (1988-91), and have not played since.
Crestwood (8-2) vs. Brookland-Cayce (6-4)
Site: Dalzell Memorial Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Brookland-Cayce backed into the state playoffs, losing to archrival Airport, 23-20, and finishing in a four-way tie for fourth place and the final postseason invitational to Region 5-3A. On balance, it has been a good season for the Bearcats, who are assured of this first winning season since 2004. Scoring a playoff win for the first time since 2004 would also be nice, but that might be a stretch considering the opponent. B-C’s playoff record is 10-21 in the modern era. QB Zeke Walker is the Bearcats headline on both sides of the ball. He is 67-for-130 passing for 1,232 yards and 11 touchdowns, leads the team in scoring (15 TDs) and anchors the defense at safety. RB Ti Meyers had powered his way to 792 yards rushing and four TDs. Bernard McCall (22-429-7) and DeJon Amaker (21-377-4) are productive receivers. Grant Petrey (58 tackles) and Kyle Stinson (49 tackles, 2 interceptions) play key roles on defense Crestwood finished in a three-way tie for first place in tough Region 6-3A, and rated the No. 1 seed. The Physical Knight still rely on the Wing-T to get things done offensively.
Series history: Crestwood was a 27-14 winner in the second round of the 2004 playoffs in the only previous meeting of the teams.