THE CLASS 4A playoffs begin with one game Thursday night and the rest on Friday.
The points system has made for some interesting matchups, as well as good draws and bad draws for some teams.
The Dutch Fork Silver Foxes got the best draw in the Midlands. After knocking off North Augusta for the Region 5 title, the Foxes finish with a No. 2 seed in the Division-I bracket, guaranteeing home games throughout the playoffs.
Three of the other top contenders for Division I — Gaffney, Byrnes, and Dorman — are in the other bracket, so the Foxes would see one of those only in the championship game.
In the Division-II bracket the most intriguing matchup of the first round will be Easley traveling to Northwestern. Both teams are 9-2 and will pit a great ground game against an explosive air attack.
This class saw the biggest upset of the week, with Whale Branch taking out No. 2 seed Allendale-Fairfax, a favorite to get to the championship. This week, that bracket will see Johnsonville, a four seed who should have been the one seed, taking on Hemingway, who knocked off Carvers Bay in an upset win in round one.
In the Division II bracket, McCormick, after several dismal seasons, is 9-2 and two wins from playing for a state title. The Chiefs play Blackville-Hilda this week.
No big surprises here. Fairfield Central is sitting good with Timberalnd and Dillon in the opposite bracket. They will take on a tough Crescent team this week, but the Griffins could be the favorite in their bracket.
Division II saw no real upsets this past weekend and will have no real big match ups in round two. The big story is that Chesterfield knocked off Batesburg-Leesville for their first playoff win under first-year coach Ike Alread.
The bracket was the joke of the playoffs this week while two fifth-place teams — Southside and Seneca — played in the first round while two fourth-place teams — Dreher and St. James — had to explain the system to their players. The punchline was a 28-14 loss by Seneca and a 54-0 blow out of Southside.
The big upset in the bracket was Lower Richland traveling to Blue Ridge and knocking off the Tigers to advance to the second round to face Daniel.
Two huge match ups this week will be Marlboro County traveling to Strom Thurmond and in the Upstate bracket, and A.C. Flora playing host to Belton-Honea Path.