Baxter's Blitz

Ben Lippen trending up in SCISA hierarchy

Special to The State

Ben Lippen takes the field
Ben Lippen takes the field online@thestate.com

Here’s my stock report for the Midlands. This takes a look at who’s stock is up and who’s is going down. We’ll also take a look at five impact players for this week in the Midlands.

HOTTEST STOCK

Ben Lippen – The Falcons were already unbeaten, but a 31-21 convincing win over Hammond signifies a possible changing of the guard in SCISA’s Class 3A. We can comfortably move these guys to the No. 1 spot in the SCISA Polls.

Dreher – This team has improved, and while I don’t think their three wins are high-quality opponents, they have still played well against their schedule and deserve the recognition.

Dutch Fork – Three huge wins in three weeks over teams that are either recent state champions or traditional powers.

Ridge View – Another win by the Blazers puts them at 4-0. Three of those wins were high quality, including this past week’s win over a good Fairfield Central team.

Gilbert – They were in last week’s hot stock, and after a big win over Airport, who entered the season as a Class 4A Region IV contender, puts the Indians as a contender in their own region (Class 3A-5).

SLIPPING STOCK

Irmo – A 1-3 start isn’t good for the Yellow Jackets, and this past week’s loss was to a 1-2 team that has its own struggles.

River Bluff – Three consecutive losses by the Gators puts them at 1-3, and it gets no better as region play starts this week and they face the state’s top team, Dutch Fork. I think the Gators could be looking at a 1-9 or 2-8 (at best) season.

FIVE ON THE RISE

Amir Abrams, Athlete, Newberry – Continues to be the offensive power of the Bulldogs, rushing for 190 yards and three scores against Chapin.

Cedrick Cunningham, Running Back, North Central – I mentioned Cunningham in the preseason as one of the top players in the Midlands, and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s a powerful slasher and put up a highlight run Friday night that should be on ESPN.

Bobby Irby, Wide Receiver, Dutch Fork – Irby has taken the lead role as the playmaker for the unbeaten Silver Foxes and their brightest offensive feature.

Josh Strickland, Quarterback, Gilbert – Stepping in last week when the starter went down, Strickland has played outstanding two consecutive weeks to lead the red-hot Indians to wins.

Jay Washington, Running Back, Dreher – Washington is the force of the Blue Devils’ offense and rushed for 191 yards in win over River Bluff this past week.

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