Site: Memorial Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Storyline: Sumter (11-2) is the only Midlands team still active during Thanksgiving week. The Gamecocks are looking to rate their first Class 4A Division I title shot since 2003, and thus keep alive the quest for the program’s first state title since 1990. Rock Hill (11-2) has made it past the third round for the first time since winning it all in 2004.
Rock Hill notes: The Bearcats dominated host Irmo on both sides of the ball last week in a 26-3 win ... Jatavius Stewart and 19-125, Jerante Hood 20-142 accounted for the bulk of Rock Hill’s 275 rushing yards (286 overall). Hood was the headliner while rolled for 142 yards and three touchdowns, while Stewart ran for 125 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries. The passing game netted one completion for 11 yard from eight attempts … But the defense was the real story. The Bearcats limited the Yellow Jackets to a meager 180 total yards, only 89 of which came by land. RH did a number of Irmo star junior running back Mustafa Greene, who gained 53 yards on his first four carries of the night, but managed just 56 yards on 14 attempts the rest of the night.
Sumter notes: The Gamecocks came up big with the game on the line last week at home against Gaffney – converting a fourth-and-eight play on the way to a game-tying score last in the fourth quarter and going on to win 34-31 in overtimes … Trailing 28-21 at the time, Sumter gambled to go for the first down from their own 28-yard line and converted on an 11-yard pass from Stephen Curtis to Travis Fredimon. Eventually, Roderick McDowell scored on a 5-yard run with 1:09 to go in regulation, and Ross Watson’s PAT kick sent the game into overtime … After Gaffney was forced to settle for a field goal, Curtis’ 1-yard dive on fourth down was the winner … McDowell finished with 193 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 23 carries and caught three passes for 38 yards. Curtis didn’t have great stats (148 yards passing, 24 rushing), but had a scoring pass to Shawn Armstrong and took care of the winning score himself … Quinn McClendon (15 tackles), Timmy Rogers (13), James Sanders (11) and Ricardo Mullins (11) led the Gamecocks’ defensive effort. Fredimon had two interceptions … The Sumter defense was hit for 304 yards in the first half, but just 148 the rest of the way … For the season, McDowell has 1607 yards on 206 carries, 21 catches for 300 yards, 26 touchdowns and 158 points on the books. Curtis is 117-for-225 passing for 1927 yards and 22 touchdowns … McClendon and Rogers top the season hit list with 137 and 120 tackles, respectively. Fredimon’s two picks last week allowed him to tie Kevin Sinkler for the team lead with four interceptions.
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Series history: The teams will be meeting for only the fourth time, and all of the games have been playoff affairs. Sumter won the first two encounters with the Bearcats – prevailing 17-7 in Big 16 championship game in 1990 and scoring a 27-21 triumph in the first round in 1998. Rock Hill’s lone success was a 24-21 first-round win in 1999.