Site: Strom Thurmond. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Storyline: This Week 9 showdown is billed as the Region 3-2A championship game. Both teams stand at 6-2 overall, 3-0 in region play, but the region title may not officially be decided until the final week of the regular season. The decisive showdown will be in Week 10 if Newberry beats Strom Thurmond and Mid-Carolina defeats Batesburg-Leesville. If that is the case, the outcome of the county rivalry game in the regular season finale will determine whether Newberry emerges as the outright champion.
Newberry notes: The Bulldogs avoided overtime last week by scoring nine points in the final 30 seconds to escape with a 16-7 win at Batesburg-Leesville’s soggy Panthers Stadium … Montagus Caldwell’s four-yard scoring run and Aaron Ransdell’s PAT kick with 28.9 seconds to go the fourth quarter tied the score at 14. The winning points came with 9.1 seconds left when James Tribble sacked B-L quarterback K.J. Johnson in the end zone for a safety … Caldwell finished the evening with 59 yards rushing, and needs 52 more this week to reach the 2,000-yard mark for his career. Marcus McMorris was the game’s offensive star with 129 yards rushing on 14 carries. His 15-yard scoring run late in the third quarter and Ransdell’s PAT boot knotted the score at 7-7.
Strom Thurmond notes: The Rebels (6-2, 3-0) have not lost a region outing since dropping down to 2A for the first time last season. Strom Thurmond went 5-0 on the way to the Region 3-2A championship in its first year of membership. Dominating region play has been a program trait of late. In fact, the Rebels 31-2 in region matters since 2003 … Thurmond opened the region campaign with tight wins over Mid-Carolina (21-20) and Batesburg-Leesville (24-17) before having a laugher last week – a 40-0 conquest of Saluda … Raleigh Yeldell is the Rebels main offensive threat. The sophomore quarterback has 591 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, and is 60-for-116 for 557 yards in the passing game … But the success of the team this season has hinged on the play by is quick, aggressive defensive unit, which is allowing an average of just 182.1 yards and 13.2 points a game. The headliners include Nick Clark (76 tackles) and Alex Clark (4 sacks).
Series history: The Rebels 31-0 win last season in the team’s first region meeting at the Class 2A level allowed them to take a 10-9 lead in the series. The schools were region rivals at 3A level at various times between 1970 and 2001.