Site: Hagood Stadium. Time: 8 p.m.
Richland NE notes: The Cavaliers (7-4) closed out the regular season with a wild 35-34 Region 5-4A win over Orangeburg-Wilkinson that cost the Bruins a playoff invitation … Kersean Wilson’s 58-yard scoring pass from Kenny Upshaw and Daniel Passment’s subsequent PAT kick with 21 second left in the third quarter proved to be the winning points … Gee Gee Greene and Wilson were the offensive architects of victory. Greene darted for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, while Wilson ran for 113 yards and two TDs and was 2-for-6 passing for 71 yards. In all, RNE racked up 369 yards by land, 430 in all … The Cavaliers have made the playoff cut 27 times in 31 tries since its inaugural campaign in 1978. RNE stands at 22-24 in the playoff matters, and has advanced to two state title bouts – winning the Class 4A Division II championship with a 30-24 win over Hartsville in 1993, and falling 51-8 to Byrnes in the 2005 Division II finale.
Aiken notes: The Hornets (9-2) finished in a three-way tie for second place in Region 5-4A, but is the only team to tame champion Irmo. Turnovers doomed Aiken its it region loss to RNE … Aiken is still a ground-oriented team, and relies on the balanced efforts of Aubrey Johnson, Marquiez Garvin and Jeremy Robinson, as well as quarterback Kessler Scott … Aiken has made the state playoff cut for the 12th time in coach Carey Johnson’s 14-year tenure. The Hornets, who sport a 26-20 playoff record since 1977, have played in four state championship games through the years. Aiken lost 13-7 to Greer in the 3A title bout in 1989, won the 4A-II championship three years later under Doug Painter with a 21-14 triumph against Hartsville, and dropped consecutive 4A-II championship decisions to Greenwood under Johnson in 1999 and 2000.
Series history: Friday will be the third Class 4A Division II playoff meeting of the Region 5-4A rivals. RNE is 2-0 vs. the Green Hornets in postseason action – prevailing 14-12 in the 1993 quarterfinals and 28-12 in a first-round outing in 2003. The Cavaliers are 4-1 overall against Aiken, including a 24-14 region triumph in Week 7.
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