IRMO STUMBLED out of the gates this season, losing its first three and four of the first six games.
The Yellow Jackets have five losses but more importantly they are 2-1 in region play after winning two of their past three games. This is a team that will not make the playoffs if it doesn’t get an automatic bid from its region (top three) — but it is in a position to win their region.
A big matchup with 8-1 Blythewood this week is key. A win over the Bengals followed by a win over Lugoff-Elgin would give the Jackets the Region IV crown because they would finish region play 4-1 and the only team that has beaten them, Spring Valley, has two region losses.
Midland Valley has had a huge turnaround after losing its first four games. The Mustangs have won four of their past five games, including region wins over Gilbert, Airport and Brookland-Cayce.
While they still have to play region champion Strom Thurmond, a loss will not keep the Mustangs from the playoffs, as they will finish third in the Region 5-3A. Not bad for a team that in the preseason was projected to finish last in their region.
Chapin lost four of its first five games before beginning region play, where it has a 3-1 mark. Its only loss has been to Region 4-3A champion A.C. Flora with Camden (2-7) its only remaining game. The Eagles have gone from 1-4 to region runnerup and a home playoff game in the state playoffs.
A.C. Flora has won the Region 4 crown. The Falcons are unbeaten in region play and will face rival Dreher on Friday.
Strom Thurmond has locked down Region 5-3A and will get an at-large bid for a first round opponent. The Rebels will be in the opposite side of the lower state bracket from Hartsville, so if it makes it to Lower State, should get the home-field game.
Hartsville continues to dominate the Lower State and has lock the region crown with a 67-0 blowout of Lakewood on Friday night. The Foxes are 4-0 in region play, 9-0 on the season, and its only remaining game is against Darlington (1-3 in region play). Look for the Red Foxes to have home-field advantage at least until the Lower State title game.
Fairfield Central has clinched the top spot in Region III with their win over Pelion this past week. The Griffs will take on North Central this week and that game will not impact the Griffins position in the region.