Things we know
Two local teams knocked off undefeated squads on Friday night.
White Knoll used a 42-yard field goal from Daniel Fulmer to get past previously undefeated North Augusta on the road. And after winning seven in a row, A.C. Flora fell to previously winless Richland Northeast. The Cavaliers, who improved to 1-7, 1-2, led throughout in their 17-14 win.
Westwood is the only remaining unbeaten team in Class 4A. Hartsville, Greer, Myrtle Beach, Wren, Loris, Timberland, Woodruff, Dillon, Hemingway, Allendale-Fairfax, Christ Church and Hammond also remain in the unbeaten club. To remain there, they have to recognize and prepare for every opponent as a threat, regardless of the record.
The first installment of the Lexington-River Bluff rivalry is in the books, and it was a doozie.
The Wildcats were determined to best River Bluff, the Class 4A newcomer that drew much of its talent from the Lexington ranks. It took a fourth-quarter rallying drive from the Wildcats, capped by a 24-yard Donny Baker to Tyler Schadewald scoring connection to put Lexington out front 16-15.
With Richland Northeast’s win over A.C. Flora, there is no clear leader in Region 4-3A. With two region games remaining, four teams have a 2-1 record. A.C. Flora, Chapin, and Dreher have the best overall records, and the Falcons have a leg up as they have defeated Chapin. With Camden’s defeat of Dreher, the Bulldogs could climb into the playoff picture, too, despite their 4-5 record.
Things we don’t know
On Oct. 10, the Highlanders edged Augusta Christian 14-13 to improve to 3-4. But will they be fresh coming out of their bye week as they prepare to face Wilson Hall (6-2)? The Barons have won two in a row and average 31 points per game to Heathwood Hall’s 12.
With their 35-13 win at Florence Christian, the Hammond Skyhawks return to Edens Stadium for the final two games of the season. Undefeated Hammond, alone in the SCISA 3A lead, hosts Augusta Christian (4-5) this week, and tackle rival Heathwood Hall in the regular season finale.
Three top performers
Three to watch
The Keenan Raiders (6-2) averaged 358 yards and 32 points before their bye week. Now, quarterback D’Marco Zeigler leads the Raiders against Fairfield Central (7-1, 4-0). The Griffins are quarterbacked by DJ Padgett and led in scoring by senior running back Joseph Young. They average 263 yards per game but have outscored opponents 334-73 on their seven-game win streak.
Coming off a 54-13 win, Newberry looks strong as it prepares to face the Panthers (5-3, 2-2). Pelion averages 25 points while Newberry posts 35 points per game. But if Freddie Phillips and the Pelion defense can find a way to slow Yafari Werts and Omar Sims, the Panthers can overtake the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1).
The undefeated Redhawks have never beaten Blythewood. But Westwood is clicking along with a defense that allows fewer than nine points per game and an offense that drives 385 yards per game led by quarterback Nick Leveretter and running back Andrew Plante. Blythewood’s offense, spearheaded by strong-armed quarterback David Israel, could do damage, but first its defense must find a way to stop the surging Redhawks.
What they said
“We were here to win.”
“We were terrible. But we were terrible because they had a lot to do with it. They just handed it to us.”
“The day that I got here, my teammates told me we had to beat River Bluff.”