HERE IS A sample of this week’s high school playoff matchups.
The disqualification of defending Class 4A-Division II champion Goose Creek — after self-reporting an ineligible player as part of their team, and then losing their appeal by a vote of 9-2 from the South Carolina High School League Executive Committee — means that bracket is wide open.
Stratford at Gaffney
It’s an intriguing game because Stratford has the offense to put points on the board with junior quarterback Jacob Park. The Indians’ defense have been the big factor in every win. The Knights need to be prepared on defense for Gaffney RB Hyleek Foster, who put up 300 yards on the ground last week.
Spartanburg at Byrnes
The Rebels’ potent offense will look to put up similar numbers against a Spartanburg team that has a split personality. The Vikings put up 43 points on Summerville last week, but they will find the defense of the Rebels much quicker to the point of attack.
Boiling Springs at Dutch Fork
Boiling Springs has made a switch at quarterback to give itself more versatility. Dutch Fork’s defense could be challenged by the Bulldogs but I don’t think the Silver Foxes’ offense can be slowed.
White Knoll at Irmo
The Timberwolves got a huge win over Wando with a powerful ground attack led by Quin Jones and Lamar Ray. The big battle here will be the Irmo defensive line against the White Knoll offensive front.
Conway at Bluffton
The Conway Tigers are 0-1 in playoffs but still playing because Goose Creek’s victory does not count. Bluffton is the real winner in the Goose Creek situation. Not only does it not have to play the Gators, but it plays at home now. Its potent offense will be too much for Conway to handle.
Northwestern at West Florence
Despite being home, West Florence is the underdog. Its powerful running attack could cause problems for Northwestern’s defense but the Knights’ defense has not seen an offense as high-octane as the Trojans’.
York at South Pointe
The Cougars won in the first match up but the South Pointe Stallions are not planning on turning the ball over as they did in the first game. Look for big play from Stallions quarterback Devin Pearson. The winner of the turnover battle wins this game.
North Augusta at Greenwood
The Eagles of Greenwood are pounding along with a strong ground game. North Augusta’s balanced attack with a slight edge on the ground game and a solid defense could give the Eagles all they want.