High School Sports

August 23, 2012

This week in Class 3A football

Airport and B-C clash for the 65th time, while Westwood makes its debut in Winnsboro.

Brookland-Cayce vs. Airport

Site: The Cage.

Game notes: B-C whipped C.A. Johnson 48-12 in its first-ever Week Zero opener, and it was the Bearcats’ first season-opening success since 2004 Airport, meanwhile, thumped Westside 38-2 in its first Week Zero outing. Starting the season on the right note is an Eagle tradition. Since 1982, the Blue & Silver have an impressive 25-4 record in season-opening games.

Series history: Friday’s clash marks the 65th meeting of the neighboring archrivals. Airport has dominated of late, winning 10 in a row and 13 of the last 14 encounters to increase its series lead to 41-23.

Chapin vs. Batesburg-Leesville

Site: Cecil Woolbright Field.

Game notes: Dr. Jerry Brown takes over a B-L team that went 1-10 a year ago – the worst showing by a Panthers side in 51 years. Brown came out of retirement to take on the challenge of restoring B-L stature. He is back in the Midlands after beginning his head-coaching career with a five-year stint at Spring Valley (1985-89). Brown has three state championships on the resume – Spring Valley (1988) and Berkeley (1996, 2009) Chapin opens its third season under Justin Gentry. The Eagles had a tough time in 2011 – finishing 4-6 and missing the state playoff cut.

Series history: The teams are squaring off for the first time since 2003. B-L carries an eight-game winning streak against the Eagles and enjoys a commanding 21-8 series edge.

Gilbert vs. A.C. Flora

Site: Tomahawk Stadium.

Game notes: The Falcons rallied from a 20-7 deficit to beat White Knoll last week. Keith Goss’ 1-yard scoring dive with nine minutes to go put the Falcons ahead for good. Quarterback Jake Lewis hit 10 of 18 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown. Newcomer Shelton Whitaker, a transfer from Heathwood Hall, had six catches for 144 yards and one score. Aven Pollard rolled up 115 yards rushing and two TDs on just 11 carries Gilbert, which moves up to the Class 3A for the first time, got off to a rough start in a 26-7 loss to Saluda.

Series history: Flora’s rousing 53-14 win last year cut the Gilbert series lead to 4-2.

West Florence vs. Camden

Site: Florence Memorial Stadium.

Game notes: The Bulldogs took a 51-38 hit last week against Cheraw, surrendering 488 yards to the potent Braves. Camden had plenty of offensive highlights, however. Quarterback Josh Council connected on 16 of 33 passes for 245 yards and two touchdown tosses – both to Cedric Cook. Tailback Brandon Hampton had 88 yards rushing in his varsity debut, 61 coming on a third-quarter scoring run West Florence opens the season with high hopes after posting a 7-5 record a year ago.

Series history: West Florence was a 30-7 winner a year ago. It was the Knights’ ninth win in 16 tries against the Bulldogs.

Fairfield Central vs. Westwood

Site: E.K. McClendon Stadium.

Game notes: Westwood enters its first varsity football game a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The list of “firsts” for the rookie Redhawks is extensive – first offensive play, first defensive series, first gain, first tackle and maybe even a first touchdown or, dare we say it, a first win. Winning is a daunting task. In fact, the only Midlands “expansion” team to win its inaugural outing is Richland Northeast – a 7-0 upset winner over Irmo in 1978. Very other Though Fairfield Central is dropping down to Class 2A for the first time, the Griffins are not lacking in talent. In fact, the Winnsboro team is averaging 8.5 wins over the past nine seasons.

Lower Richland vs. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

Site: Lower Richland Stadium.

Game notes: Lower Richland suffered a 27-6 loss to Spring Valley last week in their first game under veteran coach Darryl Page ... Bamberg-Ehrhardt, which is moving back to Class 2A after eight seasons on the small-school level, blasted Orangeburg-Wilkinson 35-7 last week. Over the past nine seasons, the Red Raiders have done everything but win a state title. Since 2003, B-E is 92-22. Super junior receiver K.C. Crosby burned the Bruins for 148 receiving yards and three touchdowns catches on five catches.

Series history: Friday marks the first meeting of the teams.

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