Fairfield Central (10-0) vs. Keenan (7-4)
Site: E.K. McClendon Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Top-ranked, undefeated Fairfield Central sat out the first round of the 2A Division I playoffs and get back into action against the Region 3-2A rival Raiders who edged Powersville 19-15 last week. The Griffins are 34-19 all-time in postseason matters with back-to-back championship runs (1996-97) as the pinnacle of success. FC is 8-3 in the playoffs since a rare first-round exit in 2009. Last year, the Griffins made it to the Division I finale, losing to mighty Dillon. The goal this season is obvious – take the next step. QB DeAndre Belton is 80-for-132 passing for 1,354 yards and 11 touchdowns, and has run for 542 yards and seven TDs. RBs Larry G. Bell (126-721-13) and Joseph Young (90-685-13 and WR Kewaun Squirewell (23-407-4) are other key offensive components. Khalil Keitt (48 tackles, 17 TFL, 15 sacks), Byron Sampson (41 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks), Davon Pearson (33 tackles, 10 TFL, 7 sacks), Chanti Jones (28 tackles, 13 TFL, 8 sacks), Shadarius Hopkins (5 interceptions) and Larry J. Bell (59 tackles) are stalwarts on defense Keenan is 8-18 in postseason play, and has made it past the second round just one time (1992). The Raiders will need excellent performances on both sides of the ball to pull off an upset. QB Deion Trezevant is 107-for-163 passing for 1,472 yards and nine touchdowns. RB Peter Easaw has 1,207 yards rushing and nine TDs and caught 22 passes for 342 yards and two scores. WR Kendrick Gathers has 30 catches for 597 yards and six TDs and is a scoring threat on defense and special teams, as well. Gathers had 40 tackles, 10 interceptions (two returns for touchdowns) and 13 PBUs on defense. Tarik Williams is the defensive star with 80 tackles, 19 TFL and 18 sacks to date.
Series history: FC is 12-0 against Keenan, including a 38-0 win a few weeks ago. This game marks the first postseason meeting of the teams.
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Batesburg-Leesville (8-2) vs. Landrum (6-5)
Site: Panther Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Batesburg-Leesville stands seventh on the playoff win list in the modern era (since 1970) with 62 triumphs. The Panthers have four state championships in nine title-game appearances during the span. But B-L is 0-3 in playoff matters since 2010. The outlook for a long run in 2013 is promising. The triple-option offense installed by coach Jerry Brown features fleet sophomore Terrance Wilson, fullback Rickie Smith and quarterback Jac’Quiel Chandler. Wilson has tallied 28 touchdowns to date – 20 by land, four by air and four on kickoff returns. He has 973 yards rushing and is averaging 11.3 yards per carry. He has 237 receiving yards and is averaging 23.7 yards per catch. He is averaging 33.9 yards on 19 kickoff returns and 8.9 yards on eight punt returns. In other words, Wilson averages 15.8 yards every time his touches the ball. Smith has powered for 1,013 yards and eight TDs on 203 carries. Chandler has run for 412 yards and 10 TDs and thrown for 541 yards and six scores Landrum’s playmaker is senior quarterback Aaron Bryant who is 122-for-227 passing for 1,542 yards and 12 TDs. Bryant also leads the Cardinals is rushing with 1,641 yards and 26 TDs on 245 carries. WR Jacob Lanning has 76 catches for 996 yards and eight TDs.
Series history: The teams are meeting for the first time.
Pelion (6-4) vs. Crescent (8-3)
Site: Pelion Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Pelion is 4-10 all-time in the state playoffs, and hasn’t had a postseason win since 2005. The Panthers, who finished in second place in Region 3-2A, earned a first-round bye in the 2A Division I bracket. Pelion’s calling card on offense is a Wing-T power running game featuring quarterback Zach Hawkins (128-784-13), Ervin Green (124-960-100 and Isaiah Jenkins (81-613-7). Green is also a standout on defense with 44 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble-return touchdown. Octavious Green is the team’s leading hit man with 59 tackles Crescent has posted back-to-back eight-win seasons under coach Jeff Murdock, which is the best showing by the program in more than 20 years. The Tigers totaled 20 win in 1990-91. Last year’s revival featured the first playoff win in nine years. Crescent’s goal is to score advance past the second round for the second time in modern era. The Tigers only previous run to the third round was in 1990.
Series history: There is an obvious revenge angle at play. Crescent ended Pelion’s season with a 35-13 first-round win last season.
Cheraw (6-4) vs. Columbia (4-7)
Site: Cheraw Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Columbia rallied in the second half behind senior quarterback William Gossett to pull out an 18-5 win over Indian Land in last week’s 2A Division I opener. Gossett was 4-for-8 passing for 128 yards and one touchdown after Columbia failed to score in the first half with freshman Mike Williams under center. The defense blanked IL in the second half. Quinn Carolina (104 yards rushing on 12 carries) and Kimanie Shaw had touchdown runs. Gossett hit Darrius Richardson with an 85-yard scoring strike. Lineman E.J. Henley was the star on defense with 10 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Julius Mack had a 42-yard punt return that set up one Capitals touchdown, added a 51-yard kickoff return and chipped in five tackles and one interception on defense Cheraw is 53-22 in postseason play in the modern era with four state championships. The Braves sports a 31-10 postseason report card with two title and four appearances in the finals since 2001 under coach Johnny White.
Series history: Cheraw has won two of three games against Columbia, but the Capitals prevailed 27-14 in the only previous playoff encounter in 2003.