THREE QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Irmo can play without Mustafa Greene
The Yellow Jackets thrived with their star running back sidelined by a high ankle sprain. No. 7 Irmo won 31-24 at No. 8 North Augusta as quarterback David Olson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to put Irmo (6-1, 3-0) is in position to win Region 5-4A.
C.A. Johnson will have a winning season
The Green Hornets slammed North 40-6 to reach 6-1 and assure themselves of a finish above .500 for the first time since1986. It is C.A. Johnson's best start since joining the High School League in 1970.
Blythewood is tough minded
The Bengals are displaying the winning atttiude the program burst on the scene with in the 2006 Class 3A state championship season. Blythewood trailed Spring Valley 17-7 in the fourth quarter before Daniel Young's two touchdown passes keyed a 21-17 comeback win. At 6-1, the Bengals are in the hunt for a home game in the Class 4A playoffs.
THREE THINGS WE DON'T KNOW
How long will Irmo be without Greene?
High ankle sprains are notoriously difficult to shake. Even the toughest players struggle because the damaged ankle can't function correctly with all the cutting, stopping and starting necessary to be an effective running back. Dawan Scott gained 125 yards in Greene's stead Friday night at North Augusta.
Is Columbia worthy of a top-10 ranking?
The Capitals (6-1) keep winning and moving up the Class 2A rankings. Columbia is No. 6 and will likely stay there because all five teams above it won. Coach Kemper Amick admits surprise with his team's success. But stars on offense like running back De'Erik Bradley and quarterback Kevin Davis will make the Caps a tough out come playoff time.
Who will lead the Midlands in rushing?
The simple answer is Greene, who has 1,169 yards over six games. But his injury clouds the picture. Pelion's Jamar Pontoon had already passed the 1,000-yard mark prior to Friday, entering play with 1,002. Blythewood's Brandon Wilds (1,016) and Swansea's Jae'quan Sutton (1,053) passed the 1,000-yard mark Friday.
THREE TOP PERFORMERS
Tuck Benefield, Ben Lippen - Benefield caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Joey Carter to force overtime against Porter-Gaud. Once there, he intercepted a pass to end Porter-Gaud's possession. Minuters later, he kicked a field goal giving Ben Lippen a 24-21.
David Frazier, Irmo - Junior wide receiver caught touchdown passes covering 83 and 33 yards in the Yellow Jackets' win. Frazier had five catches for 159 yards, giving him 530 yards on 29 catches (18.3 average) this season.
Josh Sanga, Chapin - Ran for 150 yards and scored four touchdowns as the No. 6-ranked Eagles topped A.C. Flora 44-21.
THREE TOP GAMES FOR NEXT WEEK
Chester at Chapin, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Proving time arrives again for the Eagles (7-0, 2-0) who continue to surprise even first-year coach Scott Earley with their uncanny success. Chapin will be a rowdy place Friday night when Chester (6-1, 1-1) comes to town. The Cyclones have played - and lost - in the past two Class 3A championship games. Before his move to Chapin last spring, Earley's Myrtle Beach team beat Chester in last season's title game.
Irmo at Lexington, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Lexington (3-4, 2-1) may have a pedestrian record, but the Wildcats know how to find the end zone. They have scored 49 points in each of their past two games. The problem is they are 1-1 in those games because their defense has allowed 81 points. Irmo averages 40.1 points per game.
C.A. Johnson at Willston-Elko, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Green Hornets' ride appears ready to hit some bumps. Up next is Williston-Elko (7-0, 4-0 in Region 4-A), the state's No. 3-ranked Class A team that averages 56.1 points per game. C.A. Johnson (6-1, 4-0) shares the league lead with the Blue Devils.
THREE SOUND BYTES
"I'm not sure where we stand for the playoffs, to tell you the truth. I haven't looked up the bylaws to see what it will take because we haven't been in this position lately. I've just been telling the kids the same thing I told them back in the summer: We'll try and win one game at a time. By winning, the playoff situation takes care of itself." - C.A. Johnson coach Jerry Jackson, after his team improved to 6-1 with a 40-6 victory against North.
"Our players have great character as well. They kept battling, they kept fighting, they kept plugging away when things weren't going our way. This shows a lot about the character of our players. We're very proud of them." - Blythewood coach Geremey Saitz, after his Bengals scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat Spring Valley 21-17.
"We're a good football team, and they're a good football team, and we realized they weren't going to quit just like we weren't going to quit." Irmo coach Bob Hanna, after his seventh-ranked team won at No. 8 North Augusta 31-24.