Blythewood 6-1, 1-0 Region 4-4A) vs. Richland NE (5-2, 1-0)
Site: Blythewood District 2 Stadium.
Game notes: Blythewood beat Spring Valley 42-27 it the region opener for its sixth straight win. The Bengals, once more, did not make the cut in the weekly Class 4A media rankings. The Bengals latest win was yet another total team effort. The offensive rang up 299 yards and produced timely big plays. The defense yielded 413 yards, but came up big in the red zone. Special were once again, well, special – blocking one punt and springing Shyheim Brown free for a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown. Brown has two kickoff return scorfes and one punt return tally this season. Blythewood’s season offensive leaders include RB Dean Beckford (57-437-8), QB Kylen Binn (62-105-686-6) and WRs Brown (19-216-2) and Javon Smith (17-197-1). Beckford is the overall scoring leader with 10 TDs and 60 points. Kicker Greg Huegel is 31-for-31 in PATs and 3-for-8 on field goal attempts. Blythewood defensive standouts include Jalen Williams (65 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks, 7 QB hurries), Tony Rebollo (59 tackles., 10 TFL, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception), Terrell Vaughn (39 tackles, 11 TFL, 6 sacks, 7 QB hurries), Joe Kelly (46 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries) and Ervin Hall (32 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 blocked kick. Aaron Peak has four blocked kicks Richland NE revert back to early season form – scoring big early, then holding on to win. This time, the Cavaliers burst to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter, but had to sweat out a 21-14 win over winless Lugoff-Elgin. It was an odd way for RNE to score 21 points – two touchdowns, two PATs, two FGs and one safety. QB A.C. Whaley was 14-for-21 passing for 284 yards, including scoring strikes of 56 and 59 yards to Craishaud Foulks who finished with seven receptions for 194 yards. Whaley is 121-for-225 for 1,685 yards and 16 touchdowns to date. Foulks has 43 catches for 802 yards and 10 TDs. Once more, the Cavalier running game was virtually non-existent. The yield against a suspect defense was 45 yards on 22 attempts. Defensively, Ahmad Dunlap (14 tackles), Marcus Scott (11) and Gerald Brooks (11) led the hit parade, but Railand Quarles was the big-play man with seven tackles and three sacks, one of which resulted in a safety on the last play of the game.
Series history: RNE beat the Bengals for the first time in six meetings last season, prevailed by a 10-0 count.
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Spring Valley (5-2, 0-1 Region 4-4A) vs. Irmo (3-4, 0-1)
Site: Harry Parone Stadium.
Game notes: Irmo is coming off a season-best offensive performance, statistically speaking. Despite rolling up and down the field to the tune of 505 offensive yards, the Yellow Jackets still had to sweat out a 17-14 win over Ridge View. Bryce Fashaw had 109 yards rushing on 20 carries, but the headliner was quarterback Grant Davitte who hit on 18 of 26 throws for 348 yards and one touchdown. Trey Suber led all receivers in the game with nine catches for 163 yards and one TD. The difference proved to be a field goal by Shrine Bowl pick Ben Hinson. Defensively, the Jackets limited RV to just 186 yards and no offensive touchdowns. Both Blazers scores came on Irmo turnovers. William Elm and Matt Jackson had 10 tackles apiece, and Elm also was credited with two tackles for loss and one sack. Cliff Barrett (2 interceptions) and Darius Wright (4 TFL) also made significant contributions Spring Valley dropped its second straight game after opening the season at 5-0. This time, the Vikings fell 42-27 at Blythewood. The Vikings surrendered 248 yards on the ground, 299 overall and had a big special teams breakdown. The good news was a fine offensive performance. Desmond Poole paced a 293-yard ground game with 157 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. QB Christian Miller was 5-for-10 passing for 120 yards, including a 77-yard scoring hookup with John Miller.
Series history: Irmo has dominated this venerable series, which began in 1974 as the original suburban Columbia rivalry. The Yellow Jackets have won five in a row against the Vikings and 12 of 15 since 1997 to assume a 21-19 series lead.
Lugoff-Elgin (0-7, 0-1 Region 4-4A) vs. Ridge View (3-4, 0-1)
Site: Lugoff-Elgin Stadium.
Game notes: Lugoff-Elgin turned in perhaps its best overall performance in the season last week at Harry Parone Stadium, but Demons still came out on the short end of the score. L-E dropped a 21-14 decision to host Richland Northeast and has now lost 13 games in a row. Eli Burroughs had 66 yards rushing and scored both Demon touchdowns in his first start of the season in the offensive backfield. Jalen McCaskill led the ground game with 86 yards on 18 carries. The revamped L-E defense also played well, except for two critical breakdowns in the secondary that led to two long RNE scoring pass plays in the first quarter. There was also one costly mistake on offense – a penalty that wiped out a scoring pass from Shon Belton to Keenan Myers early in the game Slumping Ridge View, which has dropped four of five since opening the season with back-to-back wins, produced a meager net of 10 rushing yards in a 17-14 loss to Irmo. QB Nolan Richardson was 17-for-29 passing for 176 yards. The defense accounted for both Blazers touchdowns – courtesy of Chazz Nevills and Cameron Armstrong. But while the RV defense did some things well, it also allowed the similarly offensively challenge Yellow Jackets to ring up a season-high 505 offensive yards, 348 coming through the air.
Series history: Friday marks the fourth meeting of the teams, but the first as 4A rivals. The Demons and Blazers were region rivals in Ridge View’s first two varsity seasons and the teams also clashed in the 1997 state playoffs. L-E was the winner in the first game (1996), but the Blazers swept the two outings in 1997.
Dutch Fork (4-3, 1-0 Region 5-4A) vs. Aiken (2-5, 0-1)
Site: Silver Foxes Stadium.
Game notes: Dutch Fork smashed South Aiken 56-3 in its region opener. QB Devin Olenchuk burned the Thoroughbreds for 302 yards passing and two scoring throws. Backup Tate Fant also got into the act going 4-for-4 for 100 and one touchdown. As usual, Jordan Berry was the favorite target, finishing with eight catches for 109 yards, but no tallies this time. Daniel Jurgensen caught two of the scoring tosses, Brigman German the other. Trey Gregg did a lot of damage on the ground with 97 yards rushing and three TDs on just 11 carries. Lane Ecton was the defensive standout with six tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception. For the season, Olenchuk is 136-for-210 passing for 1,772 yards and seven TDs. Berry’s eye-opening totals include 66 catches for 998 yards and five TDs. Gregg has a team high 573 yards rushing, 25 catches for 298 yards and 13 total touchdowns. Marcus Taylor leads the defense with 46 tackles, while Ecton is credited with 44 tackles and three interceptions Aiken has dropped three straight decisions to Midlands foes since beating Richland Northeast. The latest was 28-27 overtime disappointment to White Knoll on homecoming.
Series history: Aiken faltered in its first game against Dutch Fork in 1998, but the Hornets have since won five in a row. The most recent success was a 35-20 win in 2009.
North Augusta (5-2, 1-0 Region 5-4A) vs. White Knoll (6-1, 1-0)
Site: Jackets Stadium.
Game notes: White Knoll increased its record winning streak to six game with a dramatic 28-27 overtime win to ruin Aiken’s homecoming festivities. The game was tied 14-14 at the end of regulation. Both teams scored on both OT possessions, but Aiken’s PAT attempt on the second extra tally was waylaid by a bad snap. Diminutive Quinn Jones (5-6, 140) was a very big man for the streaking Timberwolves, ringing up 203 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Jones accounted for both WK touchdowns in regulation. Diondre Hilbaugh had a 10-yard scoring run in the first extra rotation and Zack Weed’s two-yard plunge was the second TY tally. Lucas Bowerman’s 4-for-4 PAT kicking performance ultimately proved decisive. T-wolves defensive standouts included Zac Collins (13 tackles, 1 TFL), Tyler Johnson (12 tackles, 1 TFL), Josh Vincini (9 tackles, 2 TFL), Reggie Gilliam (9 tackles, 1 TFL) and Julian Johnson (8 tackles, 2 TFL). In other program news, tight end Alex Brown was named to the Shrine Bowl team. He is the second WK player to receive the honor. The first was defensive lineman David Williams in 2005 North Augusta put a 44-6 hurting on Lexington in the region opener. Quarterback Trib Reece was 10-for-12 passing for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Devin Grimes’ two receptions went for a total of 50 yards and two scores. Dre Dunbar had three catches for 154 yards and one TD. Versatile DeVonte Pressley had 90 yards rushing and one score on 15 carries.
Series history: North Augusta has won five in a row from the Timberwolves to up its series lead to 8-2.
South Aiken (0-7, 0-1 Region 5-4A) vs. Lexington (2-5, 0-1)
Site: Thoroughbred Stadium.
Game notes: Lexington is looking to bounce back from a 44-6 loss to North Augusta. It was the largest margin of loss by the Wildcats in five years, dating back to a 63-21 setback against Irmo in 2007. Grays Chumley provided a few highlights with his 135-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance. Chumley now has 680 yards and eight TDs on 114 carries. On defense, Jordan Carr boasts 46 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles South Aiken’s miserable season began with an injury to quarterback Bo Baldwin early in the season opener against Richland Northeast at Harry Parone Stadium. Things have not gotten any better, even though Baldwin returned to lineup last week against Dutch Fork. It didn’t matter much as the Thoroughbreds fell 56-3 in the Region 5 opener. It was SA’s 16th consecutive loss and the 12th straight region defeat dating back to 2009.
Series history: Lexington leads the series 13-5, increasing the edge with a 59-15 romp last season.