Three things we know
Vikings are for real
Coach Miles Aldridge joined the Spring Valley program after a 2-9 season and slowly began the work of reshaping the Vikings into a winning team. Now, in his fourth season, it seems his mission is accomplished.
The Vikings are 7-0, their best start since 1994, ranked fifth in the state, and opened the Region 4-4A season with their first win against Blythewood in six seasons. Spring Valley is 23-18 under Aldridge.
The Eagles keep plugging away
It’s been rough going for the Airport Eagles, who have not won since Aug. 23. But it’s not for lack of effort or talent.
The Eagles’ schedule, especially this Region 5-3A slate, is not favorable for a team going through a rebuilding period.
Gilbert, Midland Valley and Brookland-Cayce round out the Eagles’ schedule as they look to snap their losing skid.
Fairfield Central’s offense not a mirage
The 7-0 Fairfield Central Griffins have a wrecking ball offense, posting an average of 444 yards and 41.5 points per game.
Led by senior quarterback DeAndre Belton, the Griffins lead Region 3-2A as they try to make a run back to the Class 2A championships.
Three things we don’t know
Will Lugoff-Elgin win again?
The Demons garnered their first win in their region opener, against Richland Northeast on Friday. With four games left, the Demons encounter undefeated Spring Valley; 4-3 Blythewood; Irmo, which has won three in a row; and Ridge View, which has lost four in a row.
Lugoff-Elgin, led by quarterback Shon Belton, will look for its second win against Ridge View on Oct. 18.
How history will remember the first River Bluff Gators squad
River Bluff notched the program’s first varsity football victory on Friday, defeating Great Falls 41-21 at home. Will it be their only win of the season or will the Gators post another victory in their remaining two games. The Gators go up against Charlotte’s Hickory Grove Christian next, and close their inaugural season with Class A Estill on Nov. 1.
Is Byrnes headed back to championship game?
Now 6-1 and on a four-win streak, the Byrnes Rebels test themselves against Gaffney and Dorman in the coming weeks. Whether they can run the table to close the regular season, Byrnes has solid momentum as the Class 4A playoffs approach.
The Rebels won the Division 2 title in 2011, but lost to Gaffney in last year’s third round.
Three top performers
Will Hunter, Lexington
Totaled 199 yards on 11-of-28 passing
Travis Loadholt, Swansea
Rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries
Derek Olenchuk, Dutch Fork
Completed 19 of 22 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns
Three to watch
Keenan at Fairfield Central
The Griffins and their big offense host the rolling Raiders. Keenan has won its past two games and has averaged 26 points this season. Peter Easaw and the Raiders’ offense will be tested by a Griffins defense that has allowed 11.7 points per game.
Spring Valley at Irmo
Irmo has won three in a row heading into this region match with the undefeated Vikings. The Yellow Jackets (3-4) need a near-perfect, turnover-free performance to slow Spring Valley, which averages 449 yards — nearly all of it rushing. Irmo has averaged 31.3 points on its streak, compared to the Vikings’ 38.6.
Chapin at Lower Richland
The host Diamond Hornets (4-3, 1-1) take on a Chapin team that has won three in a row. Lower Richland needs this win to improve its standing in Region 4-3A, where Chapin (4-3, 2-0) is solidly in the lead. The Eagles are led by quarterback Matt Charpia, and average 25 points per game. With Lower Richland putting up an average of 18 points, this could turn out to be a one-possession game in which defense is key.
What they’re saying
“I’d like to think our offense can’t be stopped.”
Spring Valley coach Miles Aldridge, whose team posted 563 yards against Blythewood
“We kind of had this thing coming into the season called ‘Revenge Tour.’ ”
Westwood running back Christian Brown, on the Redhawks’ motivation in their 38-3 win over Dreher
“That’s just one play. There’s a whole game, and it’s a battle. We didn’t let that one play bother us.”
Socastee fullback Kyle Smith on giving up an 80-yard touchdown pass before defeating Myrtle Beach