Three questions answered; three things we don't know; three top performers; and the top games for next week.
Three Questions Answered
Airport can adapt - The No. 6-ranked Eagles love to run with running back Ryan Smith and quarterback W.T. Murden. But Battery Creek's large front line forced Airport to the air. So, Murden completed 13 of 23 passes with two touchdowns in a 31-9 win.
C.A. Johnson has toughness - The Green Hornets fell behind 14-0 at winless Ridge Spring-Monetta but scored 20 unanswered points to win. C.A. Johnson is 4-1 and 2-0 in Region 4-A. Beating league powers Williston-Elko and Blackville-Hilda is unlikely, but the Hornets have an excellent chance at third place and a playoff berth.
Hammond is primed for revenge - The top-ranked Skyhawks (5-0) prepared for Friday's game with Ben Lippen by blasting Porter-Gaud 45-7 at Charleston. Ben Lippen handed Hammond its lone defeat last season. The loss did little to slow Hammond as it won the SCISA 3A title for a third consecutive year, but 13-0 looks better than12-1.
Three Things We Don't Know
How will Chapin deal with speedy, athletic teams in Region 4-3A play? The Eagles (5-0) under first-year coach Scott Earley have impressive victories against Class 2A teams Strom Thurmond, Mid-Carolina and Newberry. But in the Region 4-3A opener, Lugoff-Elgin will be the best team Chapin has played this season, and top-ranked Chester looms two weeks later.
Can Spring Valley's young team handle a tough schedule? The Vikings are improved from the past two seasons, when they went 1-21. But Spring Valley (2-3) is in the middle of a murderous stretch. The Vikings lost to Irmo 49-15 on Sept. 18 and 21-17 to Hartsville on Friday. Next up is a game at Sumter (3-2). Region 4-4A games with second-ranked Rock Hill (5-0), defending Class 4A Division II champion South Pointe (3-2) and Blythewood (4-1) await.
What will happen with the SCHSL reviews film of Summerville and Stratford's fight? There is a chance both teams will be banned from the Class 4A playoffs this season, which has been the punishment in the past for on-field fights. These teams mixed it up during postgame handshakes Friday night, causing police to break up the fracas and clear the stadium.
Three Top Performers
Nolan Dorton, Irmo - The junior linebacker had four sacks in a 56-20 victory against Orangeburg-Wilkinson. He helped the Yelow Jackets hold the Bruins to seven first-half rushing yards.
Brandon Wilds, Blythewood - The Bengals junior running back rushed for 199 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a 41-12 victory against Lower Richland. Wilds has 895 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mustfa Greene, Irmo - The senior running back gained 243 yards and scored three touchdowns against Orangeburg-Wilkinson, giving him 983 yards and 14 touchdowns in five games.
Three Top Games for Next Week
Lugoff-Elgin (4-1) at Chapin (5-0) - Two of the state's top-10 Class 3A teams meet in a game that will have a major impact on the Region 4 race. The loser of this game will have no shot at the region title unless top-ranked Chester (5-0) falls apart.
Midland Valley (4-1) at Airport (5-0) - The Region 5-3A race will be decided in this game between the onlyteams in the region with winning records.
Central (3-2) at Keenan (4-1)- They'll get the weekend started early in a key Region 4-2A game on Thursday night at Bolden Stadium. Last season, Central won Region 4-3A and played in the Class 2A final (losing to Dillon). The Eagles were ranked No. 1 a few weeks ago before consecutive losses to Cheraw and Chesterfield. This is another measuring stick for Keenan's progress.
Three Sound Bytes
"It wasn't pretty and we've got to be a better football team that that to be successfull in the region. We got lucky to hold them off," Chapin coach Scott Earley, whose Eagles edged rival Mid-Carolina 31-28.
"The one thing I do know is that this team doesn't panic when things don't go right. I may panic, but they don't. We eventually got things together." Airport coach Kirk Burnett, after the unbeaten Eagles fell behind by nine points before winning 31-9.
"Tempers were flying. I don't know what happened. I hate to disagree with the High School League, but you shouldn't have players shake hands in a rivalry game like this. Let the coahes shake hands and put the players on the bus." Summerville coach John McKissick, after players from his team and Stratford fought following the Green Wave's 38-19 victory.