A.C. Flora (8-1, 4-0 Region 4-3A) vs. Dreher (7-2, 2-2)
Site: Memorial Stadium.
Game notes: This was expected to be a showdown for the region championship, but Dreher’s four-quarter collapse last week in a 22-19 loss to Chapin ended that notion. A.C. Flora is the region’s No. 1 seed regardless of this week’s outcome, but winning the 4-3A title outright for the second year in a row would be a unique accomplishment for a program that had done little of note until Dean Howell took over the job in 2009 The Falcons rolled to a 35-0 win over Lower Richland last week with a typically balanced offensive effort. Quarterback Jake Lewis ran for 83 yards and one touchdown and was 6-for-13 passing for 119 yards. Fullback Aven Pollard rumbled for 118 yards on 13 carries and scored three times. The defense limited LR to 182 offensive yards. The fast-improving unit has surrendered only six points in the last three games. Tyan Vereen (97 tackles, 10 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 6 QB pressures), Rion Davis (71 tackles, 3 interceptions, 8 PBU), Keith Goss (65 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 2 fumble recoveries) and Tyrell Goodwin (34 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 6 QB pressures) are among the unit leaders Dreher is in a tough spot, needing a major upset to be sure of a playoff invitation. Hykim Frazier has been the Blue Devils most productive player on offense with 896 yards passing and nine touchdown throws, 548 yards and 11 TDs by land and six catches for 128 yards.
Series history: Flora has won five in a row against the archrival Blue Devils, allowing the Falcons to even the series log (since 1970) at 20-20.
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Westwood (1-8, 1-3 Region 4-3A) vs. Lower Richland (3-6, 2-2)
Site: Westwood District 2 Stadium.
Game notes: Westwood not only bagged its first win of the season last week against Camden, the rookie Redhawks kept their state playoff hopes alive despite a less-than inspiring record. A win over slumping Lower Richland give them an excellent chance to earn a postseason appearance. Christian Brown ran for 133 yards and one touchdown in the historic win. Davis King was 12-for-21 passing for 134 yards and one TD. Vyncint Smith had five catches for 80 yards, and Adonus Lee hauled in the scoring toss from King. Diamond Williams gave Westwood a change of pace at quarterback, averaging 7.0 yards on five carries. The Redhawk defensive player of the week was Raymond Hall, who was credited with eight solo tackles and four assists, two tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and two forced fumbles Lower Richland has dropped two games in a row (to Chapin and A.C. Flora) after opening the region campaign with wins over Camden and Dreher. The man Westwood most contain is Diamond Hornets quarterback Marcus Edmond.
Series history: Friday marks the first meeting of the teams.
Chapin (4-5, 3-1 Region 4-3A) vs. Camden (2-7, 0-4)
Site: Cecil Woolbright Stadium.
Game notes: Chapin is on a huge high after pulling off a miracle rally to victory last week against Dreher. The Eagles’ 22-19 success clinched a home date in the upcoming state playoffs as a No. 2 seed. In the wake of the game, the question facing the coaching staff is what to do with the Charpia brothers, who swapped positions to great advantage in the second half last week. Matt Charpia moved from receiver to quarterback. Barrett Charpis switch from quarterback to his more comfortable position at receiver. Matt had 107 yards passing and one scoring throw to his brother. Barrett had four catches for 100 yards – two went for scores of 30 yards, another 26-yarder set up the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter. The Eagles don’t want to lose focus in the regular-season finale, even though nothing tangible is lost with a stumble Camden is playing out the string. The Bulldogs hit rock bottom last week in a 27-7 loss to first-year Westwood – a team that was winless in its first eight varsity games. Westwood ran the ball effectively and stopped the run on defense – something the Redhawks had never done before. Camden will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. The last time the ‘Dogs failed to make the grade in consecutive season was in 1986-87. Moreover, Camden will set a new single-season record for points all. The Bulldog defense has surrendered 378 points to date.
Series history: Surprisingly, Camden and Chapin, two of the oldest schools in the Midlands, have never met before in football.
Swansea (8-1, 3-1 Region 5-3A) vs. Gilbert (4-5, 2-2)
Site: Doug Bennett Stadium.
Game notes: Swansea rebounded from a loss to Strom Thurmond to whip Brookland-Cayce 41-0. Travis Loadholt ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns and also threw one scoring pass for the Tigers. Jacob Regalis was the defensive headliner with six tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble. Malik Edmond scored a touchdown on a blocked kick recovery. Oddly, five different players threw passes for Swansea Gilbert, assured of a state playoff berth in its first season as a 3A team, is coming off a sobering 58-14 loss to Strom Thurmond. Omar Bethea is the Indians’ go-to man on offense with 1,317 yards rushing, a 6.1 yard-per-carry average and 20 touchdowns. Senior receiver Dylan Amick had a career game against Thurmond with seven catches for 104 yards and one score. The season tackle leader is Zach Their with 102.5 stops.
Series history: Swansea has won two in a row against the Indians and enjoys a 21-10 series lead.
Airport (3-6, 0-4 Region 5-3A) vs. Brookland-Cayce (1-8, 0-4)
Game notes: For the first time since 2001, both teams are playing out the string ... Airport saw its feint playoff hopes go dark in a 15-13 loss to Midland Valley last week. It’s the first time the Eagles failed to make the playoff cut in their ninth season as a 3A team Brookland-Cayce’s goal is to salvage a little pride with a win over their long-time tormentors from across town and to end an eight-game winning streak. The Bearcats have not tasted victory since opening the season with a Week 0 win over C.A. Johnson.
Series history: B-C dominated the early phase of the rivalry, winning 11 of 12 between 1966 and 1977. The Eagles have ruled of late, winning 11 in a row and 14 of the last 15 meetings to increase its overall series advantage to 42-23.