Thursday Night Lights in Richland 1 is the theme this week with early games on the schedule at the district’s two city stadiums.
LOWER RICHLAND vs. DREHER
Site: Memorial Stadium. Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The game is the Region 5-3A opener for both teams, and marks the first region meeting of the Diamond Hornets and Blue Devils since 1981 when both schools were still at the 4A level LR (1-4) got its first under new coach Wayne Farmer on Sept. 18 – a 21-7 decision over Eau Clare. The Diamond Hornets were idle last week Dreher is off to an 0-5 start under new coach Josh Stepp. The Blue Devils have been outscored 233-40 to date after last week’s 63-0 setback against Fairfield Central.
Series history: Lower Richland has been dominant in the series, winning 20 of 26 meetings. The Diamond Hornets have won three in a row since Dreher scored back-to-backs wins (2005-06).
STROM THURMOND vs. COLUMBIA
Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The Rebels from Edgefield County suffered a 24-21 loss to Silver Bluff last week in final non-region testing. Running back Darius Hammond (52-389-5) and quarterback Raleigh Yeldell (53-290-3 rushing, 40-for-69 passing for 593 yards, 3 TDs) are the offensive leaders The Capitals (3-2) have lost two close offensive shootouts by a combined margin of 14 points. Last week, Columbia’s first-ever game against Wade Hampton in Greenville resulted in a 50-37 loss The Caps are averaging 37.4 points and 405.4 yards a game. The standouts are RB DeErik Bradley (97-541-7), QB Ky Tyler (45-for-76, 829 yards, 10 TDs) and WR Casey Gladney (21-368-5) On defense, Justin Muller has 45 tackles, and McArtha Thompson is among the state leaders in sacks with six In Greenville last week, receiver Justin Metze had five catches for 101 yards and three touchdowns and Dimante Cunningham had 18 tackles and two pass break-ups.
Series history: The Region 3-2A opener will also serve as a reunion of sorts. The teams were region rivals on the 3A level for 10 seasons (1982-91), but have clashed just one more time in the interim – a second-round 2A state playoff game in 2008. Strom Thurmond has won 10 times in 11 tries against the Capitals. The only Columbia success was a 33-14 win in 1991.