We are heading down the home stretch in the high school football season.
Next week is the last full week of games for Midlands teams, with a handful of teams playing make-up games Nov. 11.
Here’s a look at possible playoff scenarios going into next week (region records in parenthesis):
Region 5-5A: Dutch Fork, Spring Valley and Blythewood have clinched playoff spots.
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Dutch Fork (5-0) is the region champion and will be home for the first round. Spring Valley (3-2) clinches second and a home game with a win over Irmo. Blythewood (4-2) would get the No. 2 spot and home playoff game if Spring Valley loses.
The final two guaranteed spots will be between White Knoll (2-3), Lexington (2-3) and Irmo (2-3). White Knoll gets in with a win over River Bluff next week. If that happens, Lexington gets in with a win over Dutch Fork or an Irmo loss to Spring Valley. Irmo is in with a win and Lexington loss.
The sixth-place team in the region will have a chance at the at-large spot between Region 6-5A and Region 7-5A.
Region 3-4A: Ridge View (3-1) has clinched a playoff spot and can earn a home playoff game with a win over York. If York wins, it would be No. 2 and Ridge View will begin the playoffs on the road.
Richland Northeast and Lancaster (1-3) are tied for the fourth and final spot and play Thursday at Harry Parone Stadium. The winner is headed to playoffs, while the loser’s season is done.
Region 4-4A: Airport (2-1) has clinched a playoff spot and can earn a home game with a win against North Augusta. An Eagles loss means NA gets the No. 2 spot.
Region 5-4A: Chapin (3-0) and A.C. Flora (3-0) are tied for the region lead and will decide the championship this week at Spirit Communications Park.
The winner of the Dreher (0-2) and Lower Richland game clinches a playoff spot. The Blue Devils can finish third in the region with wins over LR and Orangeburg-Wilkinson the following week.
Region 6-4A: Lugoff-Elgin (2-1) has earned a playoff spot and would be the No. 2 seed and open playoffs at home if it defeats Crestwood.
Region 3-3A: Newberry has clinched the region title and will be at home for a first-round playoff game.
Region 4-3A: Fairfield Central (3-0) wins the region title if it wins at Camden. If Camden (2-1) wins and Chester defeats Columbia, there will be a three-way tie decided by a tiebreaker. A Camden loss and the Bulldogs finish third in the region.
Region 5-3A: Gilbert (4-0) and Brookland-Cayce (3-0) clinched the top spots and will meet for the region title Friday at B-C. Swansea has clinched a playoff spot, and finishes third in region if it defeats Strom Thurmond.
Region 3-2A: Gray Collegiate has wrapped up a playoff spot and travels to region-leading Saluda this week. If Gray wins and Fox Creek defeats Eau Claire, there will be a three-way tie for the region lead and it will be decided by tiebreaker. If Gray loses and Fox Creek wins, the War Eagles open the playoffs on the road.
Keenan can wrap up the No. 4 spot in region with win over C.A. Johnson.
Region 5-2A: This has to be the tightest region in the state with Batesburg-Leesville, Barnwell, Calhoun County and Bamberg-Ehrhardt all tied at 3-1, and all four teams play each other this week. If B-L defeats Barnwell and B-E defeats Calhoun, the Panthers are region champions. B-L can finish second if it wins and Calhoun wins.
B-L could finish as low as fourth with a loss and a B-E victory.
SCISA playoff matchups set
Four Midlands teams are headed to the SCISA playoffs, which begin next week.
In 3A, defending state champion Hammond has clinched one of two byes and will get the winner of Ben Lippen-Wilson Hall on Nov. 11. Ben Lippen defeated Wilson Hall 41-8 on Oct. 21. If BL wins, it would set up a rematch with the Skyhawks. Ben Lippen ended Hammond’s 27-game winning streak with a 31-21 win on Sept. 9.
In 8-man Division II, unbeaten WW King has earned a bye in the playoffs, while Richard Winn hosts Clarendon Hall.
While most of the Midlands teams will be in action next week, Blythewood and Newberry will wait two weeks before their next games.
Both don’t have any games to make up because of Hurricane Matthew and will rest before the postseason. Newberry will be at home for a first-round game in the 3A playoffs, while Blythewood must wait the result of next week’s Irmo-Spring Valley game to see if it’ll be at home or not for a first-round 5A matchup.
▪ Case Barber, Chapin – Scored four TDs in win over Airport.
▪ Brett Burnett, Airport – The senior threw for 407 yards and four TDs in loss to Chapin.
▪ Devin Beckley, Camden – Threw for 276 yards and three TDs, and also ran for a score in Thursday’s win over Columbia.
▪ Bryce Fields, Gray Collegiate – Threw for 250 yards and five TDs Thursday against C.A. Johnson.
▪ Corbett Glick, Hammond – Midlands’ leading passer was 13 of 17 for 317 yards and three TDs, all in the first half, in a win over Heathwood Hall.
▪ Patrick McClure and Bryce Thompson, Ben Lippen – McClure threw for 139 yards and rushed for 93 with five total TDs against Cardinal Newman. Thompson rushed for 136 yards, caught five passes for 102 yards with two TDs and had a 75-yard interception return for TD.
▪ Reese Nichols, Dutch Fork – The senior rushed for 151 yards and threw for 111 with two TDs in win over Irmo.
▪ Josh Strickland, Gilbert – The freshman was 17 of 23 for 354 yards and two TDs in win over Pelion.
▪ Tyreek Tolen, Batesburg-Leesville – The running back rushed for 239 yards and two scores in losing effort against Calhoun County.
Ones to watch
A look at next week’s top matchups in the Midlands:
▪ Lancaster at Richland Northeast (Thursday) – Winner at Harry Parone Stadium is in playoffs, and the loser is out.
▪ Batesburg-Leesville at Barnwell – Winner clinches share of Region 4-2A title.
▪ Chapin at A.C. Flora (Spirit Communications Park) – Home of Columbia Fireflies will be site of Region 5-4A title game.
▪ Dutch Fork at Lexington – Silver Foxes go for first 10-0 regular season in school history.
▪ Gilbert at Brookland-Cayce – Two of this year’s surprises meet for Region 5-3A title.
▪ Lugoff-Elgin at Crestwood – Winner finishes second in Region 6-4A and gets a home playoff game.
▪ North Augusta at Airport – Winner earns No. 2 seed and a home playoff game from Region 4-4A.
▪ Spring Valley at Irmo – Playoff implications at stake for both teams.
▪ York at Ridge View – Winner finishes second in Region 3-4A and gets a home playoff game. Ridge View going for first nine-win season since 2006.