Airport vs. Hartsville
Site: Eagle Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week:Airport scored an impressive 24-21 win at Fairfield Central to improve to 2-0. Kelvin Harris was the Eagles offensive star again – running for 61 yards and two touchdowns, and hitting on 6 of 10 passes for 163 yards and one TD Hartsville destroyed Lee Central 51-14 to improve to 3-0. The Red Foxes are averaging 47.7 points and 417.3 yards per game. Trey Samuel has 344 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries, Tre Rogers has 260 yards and three TDs on 38 carries and quarterback Shaquille Johnson has netted 318 yards and six touchdowns on just 13 pass completions.
Series history: Friday’s game will be only the sixth meeting ofd the teams, but last season’s split should make for an interesting rematch. Airport beat the Red Foxes for the first time in four tries during the regular season, but Hartsville ended the Eagles’ season with a tough 20-17 win in the second round of the state playoffs.
Gilbert vs. Mid-Carolina
Site: Tomahawk Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Gilbert dropped a 38-7 decision to 4A White Knoll after sitting out with a Week 1 bye. The Indians are off to an 0-2 for the third year in a row Mid-Carolina beat Batesburg-Leesville 35-28 to improve to 2-0. The Rebels are coming off a 10-2 season – the best showing in 21 years.
Series history: Mid-Carolina’s 54-0 rout of the Indians produced the largest winning margin in series history and upped the Rebels series advantage to 16-7.
Ridge View vs. Northwestern
Site: Blythewood District Two Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Ridge View (1-1) balanced the books with a 27-7 road win last week against Fort Mill. The game was suspended by bad weather on Friday night, and completed the following day. The Blazers improved in all areas. Offensively, RV had 215 total yards, and the defense offset 275 yards by Fort Mill with eight takeaways – six interceptions, two fumble recoveries. There was also a little special teams magic thanks to Chaunsee Bess’ 85-yard punt return touchdown. The spotlight players: Gary Bradshaw (117 rushing yards and one TD on 19 carries), Bess (one TD run, 123 total return yards, five tackles and two interceptions on defense), Demario Evans (12 tackles, two interceptions) New quarterback Mason Rudolph connted on 26 of 42 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-7 win over York that evened Northwestern’s record at 1-1. B.J. Boyd was the prime target with nine catches for 108 yards and one TD.
Series history: The Trojans from Rock Hill thumped Ridge View 41-2 last year on the way to a 15-0, state championship report card. Northwestern has lost just one time to the Blazers (2005) in seven outings.
Newberry vs. Batesburg-Leesville
Site: Mike Ware Field. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: B-L showed improvement, but fell to 0-2 after dropping a 35-28 decision at Mid-Carolina. The Panthers are 0-2 out of the starting gate for the second year in a row and will be looking to avoid their first 0-3 start in 22 years with a win over the Bulldogs and former coach Phil Strickland Newberry improved to 2-0 with an easy 34-14 win over 3A Brookland-Cayce (another team once coached by Strickland). Martice Floyd had 174 yards rushing on 14 carries and Tyon Williams had 133 yards and two touchdowns on 15 totes. Newberry finished with 435 offensive yards, 387 coming on the ground.
Series history: Friday’s winner takes over the lead in this historically close series. The record stands at 29-29-2 since it all started in 1929. B-L was a 21-0 winner last season in Phil Strickland’s homecoming at Panther Stadium in his first season at Newberry.