Site: Panthers Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Newberry notes: The Bulldogs (5-2, 2-0) have rebounded nicely from last season’s disappointing 3-7 showing. It was the worst season in Newberry since 1989 … Things did not look good at the outset when the Bulldogs dropped a 28-0 decision to neighboring Clinton in a big rivalry game. Since then, however, NHS is 5-1, losing only to unbeaten Chapin … The difference? Better blocking and better play on defense. The Bulldogs still prefer to run the ball, and employ a bevy of backs. The key operatives in the backfield include Tyrone Neal, Montagus Caldwell and Marcus McMorris.
Batesburg-Leesville notes: The Panthers (4-3, 1-1) are coming off a costly 24-17 loss to Strom Thurmond. The loss likely takes away any chance of B-L winning the Region 3-2A championship. Moreover, quarterback K.J. Johnson and receiver Antonio Butler were on the sidelines in the fourth quarter with injuries … It was a 17-9 game with the Panthers on the move under replacement quarterback Jamal Bryant. But as the time slipped under the 3:00 mark, Strom Thurmond’s Marquise Lomax swiped a Bryant pass and returned it 31 yards for a game-clinching touchdown … Johnson was in the midst of a big game when he left to field. The junior quarterback was 14-for-19 passing for 205 yards and ran for 47 yards and the lone B-L touchdown to that point. Bryant was 4-for-10 for 64 yards, hitting Taquan West with a 12-yard scoring pass with 32 seconds to go … The Panthers must win to stay in the running for a first-round home game in the playoffs
Series history: It has been a give-and-take affair over the years since the Panthers and Bulldogs first clashed in 1929. In fact, after 58 games the series is a dead heat – 28-28-2. B-L pulled even with a 28-17 win last season.