Site: Bolden Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Eau Claire notes: The Shamrocks, who have dropped down to Class 2A after years of being overmatched at the higher levels, are on a mission to make the state playoff cut for the first time since 1992 … EC has some proven playmakers in tow, including running back Xavier Murray, receiver Thomas Gillie and linebacker Tracey Houston … Murray became the school’s first 1,000-yard season rusher since 1972 last year with 1,247 yards. Gillie caught 26 passes for 344 yards and five touchdowns. Houston had 96 tackles and five sacks.
C.A. Johnson notes: Like Eau Claire, the Hornets are moving down to a new classification. They are, in fact, the first Richland 1 district team to ever operate at the 1A level … But the move may not be that beneficial, considering the Hornets are in Region 4-A with defending Division II state champion Blackville-Hilda, improving Williston-Elko and Ridge Spring-Monetta, which played for the Division II championship in 2006 and advanced to the semifinals a year ago … Still, having a shot at making the state playoff cut for the first time since 1995 might be a realistic goal for the Hornets.
Series history: Eau Claire has taken a 16-14 lead in the series by beating the Hornets in each of the past two seasons. The Shamrocks romped 50-12 a year ago in the second most lopsided game in the series.
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