Hammond vs. Hilton Head Christian
Site: Edens Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The Skyhawks begin their quest to return to the SCISA Class 3A throne after losing to Augusta Christian in last year’s title game. Still, Hammond went 12-2 with the only two stumbles coming against the Lions from Georgia. The season opener will put the spotlight on the quarterback rotation featuring senior Davis King and junior Nick Garrett, but Clemson-bound tight end Cannon Smith is the Hammond player to watch.
Series history: Hammond has won all three previous meetings with the Eagles, including last season’s 37-0 success.
Cardinal Newman vs. North Central
Site: George Watson Stadium. Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The former High School League region rivals revived the series last season. Cardinal Newman scored a 49-14 win that signaled the start of something good for the program under new coach Brannon Tidwell. The Cards won four games last season – the most in seven years. And with 10 starters returning, CN just might have a shot at posting a winning record for the first time since 1997. Running back Zakki Parker is back and will operate behind a veteran offensive line. Transfer Cole Halverson takes over at quarterback. North Central is another team that turned things around in 2012 with a 5-6 record, which was the best showing for the Kershaw County Knights since 2006.
Series history: The Cardinals were winners in the first meeting and the most recent game of the series. In between North Central won four in a row.