FAIRFIELD CENTRAL vs. BELTON-HONEA PATH
Site: Belton. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Fairfield Central notes: The Griffins improved to 11-1 and advanced to the third round of the Class 3A state playoffs for the first time in seven years thanks to a solid 20-7 road win last weej against Region 3 champion Union County QB Danny Miller was the FC star on offense. Miller was 13-for-19 passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a team high 74 yards and one TD But the real story was the stellar performance by the Griffins defense, which allowed UC meager totals in rushing (85) and passing (50) yards Stan Davis was the headliner with nine tackles and three sacks, while Dana Macklin finished with four tackles and two interceptions Miller broke the 2,000-yard passing last week. The senior veteran is 126-for-202 passing for 2,174 yards and 22 touchdowns with only five interceptions Chris Alston caught his 12th scoring pass of the season last week.
BHP notes: The last time the Bears entered the playoffs with an unblemished regular season record, they went on to win the 2004 state championship ... BHP (12-0) crushed Chester 37-7 last week behind a 434-yard attack with QB Cody Spence in the spotlight. Spence opened the playoffs with a 217-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 42-10 win over Greer. Last week, Spence threw for 241 yards and two TDs, most of which came in the first half before turning the focus over to the running game. The Bears finished with 205 yards on the ground The potent Bears come into the game averaging 41.9 points a game Defensively, the aggressive Bears hounded star Chester quarterback Tony McNeal relentlessly. The Clemson-bound McNeal managed just 121 yards passing in his final game as a Cyclone. Line Darius Williams keyed the BHP pass rush with two sacks Russell Blackstone is in his first season as the head coach after Wayne Green left to take the job at Seneca.
Playoff history: Fairfield Central sports a 28-16 postseason record, and has two state titles on the books (1996-97). But the Griffins have not made it as far as the semifinals since 1998 BHP has a modest 16-16 modern era playoff record with the one state title in 2004.