Columbia and Gilbert shared the Region 3-2A championship this season. Fittingly, the Capitals and Indians are the only teams left standing in the Class 2A state playoffs that began on Wednesday.
Columbia (18-6) breezed by region and city rival Eau Claire 45-9, and advance to a second-round match at home on Saturday against Crescent. It was the first-ever playoff win for the Capitals.
Gilbert (15-7) thumped Palmetto 56-18 for its fifth straight playoff-opening win. The Indians have a challenge second round match on tap Saturday at Chesnee, which is the No. 2 seed in the Upper State and drew a first-round bye. A win sends Gilbert on to the third round for the second time in school history.
It other area outcomes, Swansea and Pelion were eliminated in the Lower State. Swansea fell 59-16 at Lake City, while Pelion was dealt a bitter 42-36 loss at Timberland. It was only the second first-round exit in history for Swansea.