PINEWOOD PREP vs. HAMMOND
Site: Edens Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: Hammond’s “Drive for 5” officially starts on Friday at home against the visiting Panthers from Summerville. The Skyhawks won the SCISA Class 3A regular season championship with a perfect 9-0 record, and they carry two significant winning streaks into the playoffs. Hammond has won 14 games in a row and 12 straight postseason affairs Quarterback Dave Nidiffer has been outstanding – completing 112 of 162 throws for 2,131 yards and 21 touchdowns. Joey DeAngelis and B.J. Bennett are double-threat men. DeAngelis has 935 yards rushing on 95 carries, 405 yards receiving on 23 catches and scored 20 touchdowns. Bennett has 711 yards rushing on 82 carries, 666 yards receiving on 42 receptions and tallied 18 TDs. The rest of the receiving corps features Beach Corontzes (24-657-9), Jake Ayers (22-286-2) and tight end Luke Chappell (18-232-2) Les Cotter (89 tackles, 6 TFL), Joseph McDougal (82 tackles, 6 TFL, 2.5 sacks), Weston Verner (73 tackles), Jon Allen Babson (44 tackles, 2 interceptions) and Brandon Shockley (3 interceptions) are among the defensive leaders Hammond opened the season with a win over Pinewood, and launched its fourth title run with a first-round win at home over the Panthers last season.
AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN vs. BEN LIPPEN
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Site: Hathaway-Weeber Stadium. Time: 7:30 p.m.
Game notes: The Falcons (7-3) get to host a first-round game for the first time in nearly 10 years on Friday thanks to a fourth-place, 6-3 finish in SCISA Class 3A play. Ben Lippen defeated once-mighty Augusta Christian 40-34 back in Week 3. It was Lippen’s second straight win over the Lions, who won the first five meetings of the teams The good news for BL is workhorse running back Tyler Renew should be back to full strength after missing some time down the stretch due to an ankle sprain. Renew has 1,097 yards rushing on 192 carries and scored 12 touchdowns Quarterback Austin Irish has made nice progress this season, and is 88-for-138 passing for 1,079 yards and 13 TDs Valuable Taylor Wilson is another key operative. Wilson has 47 catches for 651 yards and eight scores at wide receiver, is among the top punters in South Carolina with a 45.0 yard average, leads the team in scoring with 77 points, returns punts and kickoffs and has 66 tackles and three interceptions on defense Tuck Benefield is the top hit man on defense with 73 tackles and he is a reliable place kicker with 26 PATs and two field goals.