Spring Valley (11-0) vs. Spartanburg (6-5)
Site: Harry Parone Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Spring Valley enters postseason play with an undefeated record for the first time in school history. The winning streak (11 games) is the third longest in program annals. The Vikings triple option attack is producing 41.8 points and 435.7 yards per game to date. QB Chris Adams makes things go. The three-year starter has 1,141 yards rushing and nine touchdowns to go along with 627 yards and eight TDs on 57 completions. RN John Miller has 1,498 yards rushing and 31 tackles on the books. FB Alec Koon has come on late as a dive treat and has 661 yards and two scores on 114 carries. Defensively, Spring Valley relies heavily on senior linebackers Josh Harlan (160 tackles) and Christian Miller (119 tackles, 23 TFL, 22 sacks). SV is 33-28 in postseason play with four state championships on the book – the last coming 25 years ago in 1988. The Vikings last playoff win was in 2005 Spartanburg has had an up-and-down season under former Byrnes head coach and defensive coordinator Chris Miller. Sophomores Austin Scott and Tavien Foster are the offensive players to watch. Scott is 158-for-275 passing for 2,056 yards and 23 touchdowns. Foster is a dual threat with 1,197 yards rushing, 620 yards receiving and 23 overall touchdowns on the books. Spartanburg is 56-34 in postseason play and won four 4A state championships in the modern era (since 1970). But the Vikings are just 5-10 in playoff matters since their last successful title run in 2001.
Series history: The teams last met in 1979. Spring Valley was a 20-13 winner in the 1973 state championship game, but the Upstate Vikings won the next four regular season outings (1976-79).
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Dutch Fork (8-3) vs. Fort Dorchester (7-4)
Site: DF Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Dutch Fork opens the state playoffs with more than two losses for the first time under coach Tom Knotts. Last season, the Silver Foxes emerged as the Class 4A Division I runner-up. According to the Knotts four-year plan, DF should take the next logical step. The Silver Foxes, however, are coming off a 33-24 loss at North Augusta that cost them the Region 5-4A title. DF jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and had a 24-13 advantage after three quarter but was outscored 20-0 in the final 12 minutes by the host Yellow Jackets. QB Derek Olenchuk has been a standout all season. The three-year starter is 190-for-267 passing for 2,643 yards and 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Deion Frasier (62-815-9) and Austin Ruger (41-679-7) are reliable receivers. But a deep playoff run may hinge on the health of game-breaking runner Matt Colburn (209-1497-26) who has been slowed by injuries of late. The Silver Foxes have won 14 of 30 playoff games through the years Fort Dorchester is coach by Steve LaPrad, who is the brother of former DF wrestling coach B.D. LaPrad, made the playoff cut for the first time since 2011. The Patriots are 10-18 in playoffs outings. The Dorchester County school’s first football season was in 1993 – one year after DF debuted. Kobe Garrett made the Pats go on offense. The junior quarterback has 1,126 yards passing, 1,119 yards rushing and accounted for 18 touchdowns. Running backs Matt Murray (131-906-15) and Nahshon Cyrus (132-853-9) are also key offensive cogs.
Series history: Dutch Fork scored a 31-15 win over the Patriots in the only previous meeting in the 2005 state playoffs.
Dorman (7-4) vs. Lexington (9-2)
Site: Cavalier Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: No matter the outcome in the Class 4A Division I opener, Lexington has enjoyed a bounce-back season under first-year coach Josh Stepp. The Wildcats would like nothing better than to bag their first postseason win since 2010. Lexington has plenty of offensive firepower. QB Will Hunter is 171-for-301 passing for 2,424 yards and 25 touchdowns with only six interceptions. The four-year starter needs 128 yards to reach 10,000 for his career and four touchdown passes to reach 100. Lexington’s top receivers include Keelo Norris (67-842-8), Brentle Allen (38-489-6), Jayson Hopper (32-443-6) and Ryan brown (24-581-5). Running back Garvin Jackson gives the Wildcats another prime weapon with 1,183 yards rushing and 12 TDs. Grayson Chumley (100 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks), Cameron Matthews (88 tackles), Trey Mitchell (60 tackles, 15 TFL, 6 sacks) and Jordan Carr (47 tackles, 7 interceptions) are Lexington’s defensive standouts Dorman has some potent offensive players, as well. QB Grayland Fowler is 139-for-248 passing for 2,134 yards and 19 touchdowns. RB Shondrell Keenan has 1,237 yards rushing and 20 TDs. WR JJ Arcega/Whiteside has 70 catches for 1,373 yards and 15 scores. The big-play man on defense is Jonathan Jackson who is credited with 57 tackles, 21 TFL and 14 sacks.
Series history: Dorman is 8-0 against Lexington, including a 31-24 win in the 2000 Big 16 championship game.
South Pointe (9-2) vs. Irmo (6-5)
Site: South Pointe Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Irmo has gone 6-1 (losing only to unbeaten Spring Valley) after getting off to a 0-4 start. QB Demetrius Lewis and wide receiver Manny Banks tuned up for the rematch with South Points with big games in the regular season finale against Lugoff-Elgin. Lewis was 23-for-31 passing for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Banks grabbed seven passes for 111 yards and two TDs. Lewis is 129-for-260 for 2,177 yards and 22 TDs to date. The Yellow Jackets hope RB Shyheim Copeland (168-1245-13) will be available after missing the L-E game South Pointe lost quarterback Davonta Blake in October, but the Stallions still finished the regular season with five straight wins after a loss to Northwestern. In its brief history, South Pointe is 18-4 in postseason play with two state championships. The Stallions have never lost in the first round.
Series history: South Pointe was a 21-17 winner in the first game of the season (Week 0) and is 3-1 all-time against Irmo. This is the first playoff meeting of the teams.
Beaufort (8-3) vs. Blythewood (7-4)
Site: Beaufort Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Blythewood is 7-4 in playoff matters, but the Bengals are 2-4 at the 4A level after their magical 5-0 run to the 3A state title in the inaugural 2006 season. BHS needs to have a more balanced attack to make some noise. The Bengals have 2,323 yards through the air, but average just 94.5 yards rushing per game. QB David Israel is 96-for-183 passing for 1,561 yards and 16 touchdowns since taking over at quarterback midway through the season. Lynard Jamison is the proven big-play man on defense with 65 catches for 993 yards and seven scoring receptions, 12 touchdown runs and one kick return tally. Hassan Belton (124 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 sacks), Josh Wilkes (112 tackles, 6 YFL, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions), Jalen Williams (84 tackles, 10 TFL, 6 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries), Cameron Young (69 tackles, 15 TFL, 5 sacks) and Terrel Vaughn (51 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 sacks) are standouts on an underrated defense Beaufort is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2010 hasn’t won a postseason game since its 4A Division II runner-up performance in 2007.
Series history: The teams are meeting for the first time.