BATESBURG-LEESVILLE vs. COLUMBIA
Site: Memorial Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Storyline: The championship showdown in Region 3-2A pits the Panthers and host Capitals in a regular-season clash for the first time since 1999. The winner puts a virtual lock on the region’s No. 1 playoff seed, if not the outright conference title.
Batesburg-Leesville notes: Despite quarterback issues, the Panthers (5-2, 2-0) are on a rolling – winning five in a row since getting off to a 0-2 start Veteran K.J. Johnson was back under center last week and was 7-for-13 passing for 81 yards and 53 yards and one touchdown in a 38-18 win over Eau Claire Tyrelle Leaphart and Ricky Adams, who has subbed at quarterback for Johnson in three games, both finished with 100+ yard rushing games. Leaphart was 19 for 116 yards and one TD, while Adams darted for 101 and one score on 11 totes Defensively, B-L limited EC to 184 total offensive yards For the season, Leaphart has run for 687 yards and eight TDs, Adams for 448 yards and five TDs. The Panthers defensive leaders include Rivers Bedenbaugh 84 tackles, 5 TFL), Tiris Coates (65 tackles, 7 TF, 2 sacks) and Antonio (40 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 sacks).
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Columbia notes: The Capitals (5-2, 2-0) rolled Gilbert 36-3 a week ago. The defense has allowed just 16 points in the two region outings to date Ky Tyler had a rather productive outings vs. Gilbert. The junior quarterback was 8-for-13 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 147 yards on 18 carries. Lineman Joel Moore was solid up front – grading out to 93% with five pancake blocks. The defensive star was linebacker Justin Muller, who was in on 21 tackles On the season, Tyler has 1,165 yards passing and 15 scoring tosses. Casey Gladney (30-548-5), Brandon Shaw (16-371-8) and Justin Metze (17-320-5) share the receiving load. The running game is in the hands of DeErik Bradley (124-698-9). Defensively, Muller leads the team in tackles (77), McArtha Thompson in sacks (4) and Dimante Cunningham in interceptions (4).
Series history: Batesburg-Leesville’s stunning playoff win a year ago, ended a three-game losing streak (all playoff games) against Columbia, and upped the Panthers overall series edge to 7-3.