High School Sports

Football: Midlands 2A playoff cast mostly set, but not in messy Region 3

Unlike the tidy situation in Class 3A, the Midlands Class 2A state football playoff situation is not so clear entering the final round of regular season bouts. And all of the confusion is in the tangled mess that is Region 3-2A.

Elsewhere, almost everything is set in terms of playoff invitations or rejections for local teams. Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Region 4-2A: Eau Claire (1-3) and Lee Central (0-4) are out. For the Shamrocks, it is a bitter pill. Even if EC upsets Keenan (3-1) this week and finishes in a tie for fourth-place with Columbia (2-2) and/or Andrew Jackson (2-2), the Shamrocks come up short. Undefeated Central is the No. 1 seed, with Keenan at No. 2. Columbia and AJ will open on the road with the Capitals mostly likely ended up as the No. 4 seed. To be No. 3, the Caps must somehow upset Central this week, and hope AJ stumbles against last-place Lee Central.

Region 5-2A: Pelion is the lone local team in the region that in a general sense runs parallel to the Savannah River, and the Panthers (0-4) have just one chance to make the cut: beating Wade Hampton (1-3) this week. Long-time rivals Silver Bluff (4-0) and Barnwell (4-0) clash Friday with the region title on the line. The loser is the No. 2 seed. Edisto (2-2) and Ridgeland (1-3) are also in the running.

Region 3-2: Here is the only thing we know for sure: Strom Thurmond (4-0) will be the No. 1 seed. Otherwise, the five other teams could all finish with 2-3 records. For that to happen, Saluda (1-3) must beat Batesburg-Leesville (2-2), Newberry (1-3) must topple Mid-Carolina (2-2) and Gilbert (2-2) must fall vs. Strom Thurmond. All of the playoff contenders are facing elimination, depending on the circumstances. Newberry and Saluda must win to make the cut. If not, things become academic (expect for final seeding).