It’s hard to compete with Week 0’s anticipated matchup of Irmo and South Pointe, but Week 1 will showcase a few traditional powers trying to return to their winning ways against resilient underdogs. Here are five games to watch:
AT AIRPORT (1-0)
With 20 seniors on the roster, Brookland-Cayce matched its 2012 win total with a 48-0 trouncing of C.A. Johnson in Week 0. Airport also started its season with a win, but with a much narrower 7-6 victory over Westside. The Bearcats have won a total of four games under coach Rusty Charpia in his three seasons there, so can they pull off unexpected back-to-back wins? With Airport coming off a season that left them out of the playoffs for the first time since 2003, a 2-0 start for the Eagles would help them get back on track after a disappointing 2012 campaign. Airport beat Brookland-Cayce 21-3 last season.
AT RIDGE VIEW (0-0)
A season opener for both teams, the Blazers and Wildcats both are in rebuilding mode. Coming off a 6-6 season, Ridge View graduated many of the key players who helped end a streak of four straight losing seasons. For Lexington, who missed the playoffs in 2012, new coach Josh Stepp is working to build the Wildcats back up to the undefeated regular season it experienced two years ago. Offensively, Lexington will have the advantage of a four-year starter at quarterback in senior Will Hunter, while the Blazers have had senior Terrell Fetterson and junior Tyreek Robinson-Bush competing for the starting role with limited experience.
AT A.C. FLORA (0-1)
Both teams are coming off disappointing Week 0 losses. Gilbert was just short of upsetting Saluda; A.C. Flora could have beaten White Knoll in the final seconds, but the Falcons were stopped at the goal line. A.C. Flora’s rushing duo of Aven Pollard and JuWan Simon got most of the touches against White Knoll, and they’ll likely carry the offense again, since quarterback Chris Asbill lacks experience. Sloppy play doomed the Falcons against White Knoll, so if A.C. Flora wants to get in the win column, it must play a clean game.
AT SWANSEA (1-0)
Swansea started its season with a 42-0 win over coach Bill Kimrey’s Calhoun County team. After winning 10 games last season in its first year back in Class 3A, Swansea is ranked No. 10 in the latest S.C. Prep Media Football Poll. The Tigers beat Pelion 44-6 last season, and the result shouldn’t be much different this time around. The Panthers lost their season opener to Ridge Spring-Monetta, 30-18.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL (0-0) AT WESTWOOD (0-0)
Though Westwood is in a higher classification than Fairfield Central, the Griffins are one of the top Class 2A teams in the state. Westwood is coming off a season in which it won one game, and the Griffins will be a challenging opponent to buck the losing trend against. Fairfield Central won the matchup 34-7 last season, and though Westwood hosts this year, it’s unlikely the Red Hawks match their 2012 win total on Friday night.