Dutch Fork (7-3, 4-0 Region 5-4A) vs. North Augusta (8-2, 4-0)
Site: Dutch Fork Stadium.
Game notes: It’s showdown time in Region 5-4A – winner take all Dutch Fork primed for the title bout by pounding Lexington 55-20 and finding yet another offensive weapon to employ with confidence. Leading rushing Trey Gregg suffered an early injury, but Matt Colburn came off the bench to erupt for 402 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. Colburn had 184 yards rushing on the books in the first nine games of the season. QB Derek Olenchuck was 9-for-12 passing for 165 yards and two scores. WR Jordan Berry had eight grabs for 134 yards and two tallies. On defense, Auntrell Mack had nine tackles and one sack, while Lane Ecton was credited with seven tackles, two sacks, two pass break-ups and one interception North Augusta’s top offensive threat is running back Devonte Pressley, who has gained 1,432 yards and scored 14 touchdowns to date. QB Trib Reese is 64-for-119 for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns. Trey Morgan is the designated scoring man. Morgan has less than 400 combined yards on the books but has scored 11 touchdowns. Chris Howard is a prolific hit man on defense with 135 tackles.
Series history: North Augusta has won four in a row, including a 49-35 non-region triumph last season, to even the series slate at 5-5.
Lexington (3-7, 1-3 Region 5-4A) vs. White Knoll (7-3, 2-2)
Site: WildCat Stadium.
Game notes: White Knoll kept its playoff hopes alive with a 34-24 win over South Aiken. Veteran Lamar Ray returned to the lineup and ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Quinn Jones backed Ray with 184 yards rushing and two TDs on 24 carries. The Timberwolves defensive standouts included Mikeal Green (10 tackles, two interceptions), Julian Johnson (10 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks), Tyler Johnson (10 tackles, 1 sack), Jordan LeMay (3 TFL, 2 sacks) and Reggie Gilliam (8 tackles, 1 interception) Lexington’s playoff drive, however, took a serious hit in a 55-21 loss to Dutch Fork. The Wildcats managed a net of just 34 yards rushing in the game. QB Will Hunter was 20-for-33 passing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Altyre Walker grabbed six passes for 116 yards and one score.
Series history: Lexington has dominated the neighboring Timberwolves, winning five in a row and none of 10 overall since the series debuted in 2002.
Blythewood (8-2, 3-1 Region 4-4A) vs. Ridge View (6-4, 3-1)
Site: Blythewood District 2 Stadium.
Game notes: Blythewood’s eight-game winning streak and the vision of an outright region championship came to a bitter end in a 37-34 overtime loss to Irmo. The final score was misleading; this was a defensive struggle. Blythewood managed 229 yards and limited the Yellow Jackets to 172. Kylen Binn was the most productive Blazer with two scoring runs and two scoring passes. Shyheim Brown had six receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown. Tony Robollo had a big game on defense with 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack Ridge View put itself in excellent position to secure a state playoff berth in a 38-20 win over Richland NE. Gary Bradshaw had 125 yards rushing on 13 carries and one touchdown. QN Nolan Randolph offset three interceptions with three scoring passes. Tre’von Howell had five receptions for 83 yards and two TDs. Obinna Ntiasagwe, Tyler Parks, Tavaris Anderson and Chazz Nevils shared the defensive glory with 10 tackles apiece.
Series history: Ridge View defeated Blythwood in the Bengals’ first varsity game in 2006, but still looking for its second win in the series. Blythewood has won six in a row from the Blazers since that early stumble.
Irmo (5-5, 3-1 Region 4-4A) vs. Lugoff-Elgin (0-10, 0-4)
Site: W.C. Hawkins Stadium.
Game notes: Irmo has the inside track to secure the region’s top playoff seed after scoring a 37-34 overtime win against Blythewood last week. The Yellow Jackets, though, must avoid a stunning upset loss to the wnless Demons this week to make it official. Shyheim Copeland and Greg Hinson accounted for all of Irmo’s points in the OT thiller. Copeland ran for 74 yards and scored four touchdowns, while Shrine Bowl kicker Hinson drilled three field goals, including a 27-yard game winner in the fifth overtime rotation, and four PATs Lugoff-Elgin dropped its 16th straight last week to Spring Valley. QB Shon Belton had two scoring runs and Jacob McCaskill had 77 yards and one TD on 13 carries.
Series history: The teams are meeting for the first time.
Spring Valley (7-3, 2-2 Region 4-4A) vs. Richland NE (5-5, 1-3)
Site: Harry Parone Stadium.
Game notes: Spring Valley kept its playoff hopes alive with a 35-20 win over Lugoff-Elgin behind the running of Desmond Poole and John Miller. Poole rumbled for a career high 171 yards on 15 carries, while Miller darted for 82 yards on 14 totes. Miller had two scoring runs, Poole one. Tre Brunson (12 tackles) and Josh Harlan (10) led the hit parade on defense RNE saw its playoff hopes take a huge hit in a loss to Ridge View. Friday’s game could be the last for the Cavaliers’ pitch-and-catch duo of A.C. Whaley and receiver Craishaud Foulks. Whaley is 176-for-330 passing for 2,213 yards and 19 touchdowns, while Foulks has 61 catches for 969 yards and nine TDs.
Series history: RNE has won 23 of the 36 clashes with the Vikings in the original Greater Northeast rivalry. The Cavaliers prevailed in the first eight confrontations starting in 1978 and have won four of the five most recent contests.