THE BRACKETS ARE set for the Class 4A playoffs and the Midlands area has four teams playing in two divisions.
Before we get to the games, let’s discuss the ridiculous points system.
Lexington (9-2) is seeded at No. 9 and traveling to take on Dorman (7-4).
Because there was a three-way tie for first in Region V, the tiebreaker (points allowed between the teams) named North Augusta the winner.
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After the winner was decided, the criteria reverted back head-to-head , which gave Dutch Fork second and Lexington third. Because the Wildcats are third, they are seeded lower than Gaffney and Sumter, who have fewer points in the system but finished second.
I propose “The Simple Plan” of five classifications, region winners and runners-up only in the playoffs, and the extension of regular season by one game to make up for that lost first-round revenue.
Let’s look at the Midlands’ draw for the first round of the 4A playoffs:
Spring Valley is the highest-seeded team in the Midlands with a No. 4 4 seed and they will be home against a No. 13 seed Spartanburg. The Vikings will get a test from one of the state’s top underclassmen running backs, Tavien Feaster, but they should win.
Dutch Fork gets the No. 5 seed and will play host to Fort Dorchester (7-4). The Patriots will be large in the trenches and have good speed, but should be no match for the Foxes, who do the fundamental blocking and tackling as good as anyone in the state.
A Dutch Fork win would set up a Foxes-Spring Valley clash in round two.
Lexington and Dorman have a common opponent in Dutch Fork, that beat the Cavaliers by 3 in Week 4. They have quality wins over Hillcrest (No. 2 seed), Mauldin, and Spartanburg. This should be a great game and the winner gets the prize of traveling to Byrnes in the second round.
In 4A Division II, Irmo travels to South Pointe (9-2). The Jackets lost to the Stallions 21-17 in Week 0, but Irmo is much improved.
With losses to Spartanburg and No. 1 Northwestern, Irmo is potent on offense and strong on defense. A big challenge awaits the winner, who will travel to Goose Creek.
The state playoffs are underway in the lower divisions. Midlands’ teams went 5-7 last week in A, 2A, and 3A.
Batesburg-Leesville and Fairfield Central had byes.
In 2A Division I, Columbia travels to Cheraw, Pelion hosts Crescent, and Keenan travels to Fairfield-
Central. Of those games, I believe Fairfield-Central and possibly Pelion advance.
In the 2A Division II, Batesburg-Leesville will host Landrum, that beat Eau Claire in the first round, 45-18. Hannah Phillips became the first female scorer for Landrum, kicking the PATs.