Three questions answered; three things we don't know; three top performers; next week's top games.
THREE QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Chapin isn't ready to run with the state's best
The Eagles' 7-0 start included impressive victories against Strom Thurmond and Lugoff-Elgin. But Chester, a team picked by many to win the Class 3A championship , ruined that start with a 34-14 win Friday. If the Eagles want to go deep into the Class 3A playoffs, they have two weeks to heal up and get tougher.
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Heathwood, Hammond in unbeaten showdown
Once Heathwood Hall beat Ben Lippen last month, it appeared the Highlanders would be unbeaten when they traveled over to rival Hammond. On Friday, both teams posted easy wins to remain perfect. Let the hype begin.
Spring Valley has progressed
Spring Valley (2-6) won one game in Quay Farr's first two seasons and take a five-game losing streak into Friday's game at Ridge View. But three of those five losses have come by five points or less, including Friday's 34-29 defeat at a Rock Hill team that blasted Ridge View 63-0 one week earlier.
THREE THINGS WE DON'T KNOW
Will Richland Northeast keep rolling?
The Cavaliers started 0-4 but have reeled off four consecutive wins in Region 5-4A. The next two games will be the toughest as they play North Augusta (7-1) at Harry Parone Stadium before traveling to Irmo (7-1). A sweep would give Richland Northeast the region lead.
How will C.A. Johnson respond?
The Green Hornets had won four in a row to clinch the school's first winning season since 1986. But No. 3-ranked Williston-Elko did not care as they bludgeoned C.A. Johnson 66-18 Friday night. The Green Hornets play Blackville-Hilda at Bolden Stadium Thursday.
Can Batesburg-Leesville recover for the playoffs?
The Panthers were ranked among the top 10 teams in Class 2A at the start of October. Now the Panthers (4-4) are in fourth place in the region hoping to make the playoffs. They need a strong finish agains Mid-Carolina and Saluda to regain their confidence.
THREE TOP PERFORMERS
W.T. Murden, Airport
Rushed for 209 yards and five touchdowns on 14 carries. Also completed 10-of-14 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown in a 56-24 victory against South Aiken.
Dave Nidiffer and Aaron Walters, Hammond
They go together because Nidiffer threw six touchdown passes, with four of them to Walters. The senior receiver had 247 receiving yards, nearly all of Nidiffer's passing total (319).
Dawan Scott, Irmo
Playing in place of the injured Mustafa Greene for the second consecutive game, Scott gained 199 yards and scored three touchdowns leading a 31-10 Irmo victory against Lexington.
THREE TOP GAMES FOR NEXT WEEK
Heathwood Hall at Hammond
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
This game will decide the SCISA Region 1-3A championship and playoff seeding. But there is a good chance they will meet again in the postseason.
South Pointe at Blythewood
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
South Pointe went 15-0 and won the Class 4A Division II state championship in 2008 while Blythewood was 5-5 and missed the playoffs. Both will be postseason-bound this season and this game will tell us about how far each may advance.
Columbia at Keenan
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
These city rivals play at Bolden Stadium in a game that will impact the Region 4-2A race. Columbia (7-1, 3-0 in region) is tied with Central (6-2, 3-0) for first place. Keenan (6-2, 2-1) is one game back, having lost to Central. Columbia plays Central on Oct. 29 in the regular-season finale.
THREE SOUND BYTES
"It's a gut check for them. We've still got two games ahead of us, and we're not going to stop coaching them. We didn't have some kids show up to play tonight. That's not the same team I've been coaching for the last seven and a half weeks."
- A.C. Flora coach Dean Howell, after his Falcons (4-4) lost 35-0 at home to Fairfield Central Thursday.
"Dawan's not Mustafa, but he's good enough. He knows how to play this game and we trust him."
- Irmo coach Bob Hanna on Dawan Scott, who rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns in place of the injured Mustafa Greene.
"We've gotten every break in the world. All year long we have been the luckiest team in the state. I told them sooner or later that is going to run out. This will do us good. We will bounce back from this."
- Chapin coach Scott Earley, after his Eagles fell from the unbeaten ranks with 34-14 loss to Chester.