Final playoff seeding is on the agenda in the two SCISAA Class 3A regions in the final week of the regular season.
The eight-team playoff field is set, but postseason positioning won’t be completely settled until the end of action on Friday.
Heathwood Hall 9-0, 3-0) wrapped up the No. 1 seed with its thrilling 10-7 win last week over three-time defending state champion Hammond. The Highlanders will be looking to close out the regular season with an unblemished record for the third time in school history when its hosts Cardinal Newman (1-7, 0-3) on Friday. HH had back-to-back 10-0 regular-season runs in 2004-05, winning a state title with a perfect 13-0 mark in 2004. The Cardinals will miss the playoff cut for the fourth year in a row even if it manages to pull off a major upset.
Highlanders senior quarterback Mac Whalen is looking to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing and 1,500-yard passing mark in the regular season finale, but probably won’t play a full game. Whalen has 978 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns on the books, and is 111-for-213 passing for 1,465 yards and eight TDs.
Hammond (8-1, 2-1) finds itself needing a win over Augusta Christian (5-4, 1-2) in Martinez, Ga. to rate the region’s No. 2 seed and a home date in the first round of the playoffs. This is the first time the teams started playing in Week 10 that the game has not been the determining factor in the championship race.
Junior quarterback Dave Nidiffer and senior receiver Aaron Walters are the Skyhawks’ offensive standouts. Nidiffer is 111-for-173 passing for 1,575 yards and 25 touchdowns. Walters has 43 catches for 749 yards and 13 TDs.
Ben Lippen (8-2, 2-2) closes out the regular season with a non-region home game against Orangeburg Prep (2-7). The Falcons are set as the No. 3 seed out of Region 1.
In Region 2, Wilson Hall, Laurence Manning Academy, Pinewood Prep and Porter-Gaud all stand at 2-1 in conference matters. Final seeding comes down to the two Friday games – Pinewood Prep at Wilson Hall; Porter-Gaud at LMA.
Wilson Hall (6-3 overall) can emerge as the No. 1 seed if it beats the Panthers, and Laurence Manning defeats P-G. But a loss would relegate the Barons to a No. 3 or No. 4 seed, depending on the result of the other game.
Wilson Hall is a much more wide-open offensive team this season, thanks to the emergence of Josh Glenn as a dual-threat at quarterback. Glenn was 18-for-23 passing for 319 yards and two scores, and also had two running TDs in the Barons wild 34-33 win over LMA. For the season, Glenn has hit on 114 of 200 passes for 2,056 yards and 16 TDs and has 603 yards and 11 scores by land.