Lou Bezjak

Picking the first week of Midlands football games

Gilbert running back Catriez Cook is upended by Lexington's Drew Richardson during the jamboree at White Knoll High School this past Friday.
Gilbert running back Catriez Cook is upended by Lexington's Drew Richardson during the jamboree at White Knoll High School this past Friday. jblake@thestate.com

Thursday’s game

Heathwood Hall at Oakbrook Prep: Highlanders look to improve on two-win season last year.

PICK: Heathwood Hall

Friday’s games

A.C. Flora at Woodruff: Good road test for Falcons in opener.

PICK: A.C. Flora

Aiken at White Knoll: First meeting between the teams since 2013.

PICK: White Knoll

Battery Creek at Swansea: Debut for Swansea’s Greg Wright.

PICK: Swansea

C.A. Johnson at Lee Central: Both teams coming off 1-9 seasons .

PICK: Lee Central

Camden at Lugoff-Elgin: Bulldogs have won four straight against rivals.

PICK: Camden

Chester at Westwood: Redhawks look to slow down Chester’s Malik Williams.

PICK: Chester

Crestwood at Lower Richland: LR’s Tevaughn Higgins is one of the area’s best QBs.

PICK: Lower Richland

Eau Claire at North Central: NC will look to RB Cedric Cunningham after losing starting QB.

PICK: North Central

Florence Christian at Cardinal Newman: Cardinals struggled after 2-0 start last year.

PICK: Cardinal Newman

Fort Mill at Spring Valley: Vikings hope to throw more but running game gets job done.

PICK: Spring Valley

Gray Collegiate at Gilbert: Catriez Cook, offensive line the difference for Indians.

PICK: Gilbert

Hunter-Kinard-Tyler at Fairfield Central: Veteran offense gets it done for Griffins.

PICK: Fairfield Central

Independence (NC) at Dutch Fork: Tom Knotts hopes for win against former team.

PICK: Dutch Fork

Irmo at Nation Ford: Irmo hopes to snap five-game losing streak in openers.

PICK: Nation Ford

Lake Marion at Brookland-Cayce: Bearcats get first look at Lake Marion’s hammer offense.

PICK: Brookland-Cayce

Lexington at West Florence: Wildcats didn’t lose a true road game last season.

PICK: Lexington

Newberry at Keenan: Phil Strickland gets second crack at win No. 300.

PICK: Newberry

Northwood at Ben Lippen: Ben Lippen will be one of the most improved teams in Midlands

PICK: Ben Lippen

Pelion at Calhoun County: Tough opener for Pelion in second year under Dann Holland.

PICK: Calhoun County

Ridge Spring-Monetta at Batesburg-Leesville: B-L is 18-0 all-time against RSM.

PICK: Batesburg-Leesville

Ridge View at Sumter: Lot of buzz surrounding Blazers and beating Sumter would back it up.

PICK: Ridge View

River Bluff at Chapin: It’s been an emotional week for Gators after loss of teammate.

PICK: Chapin

Rock Hill at Blythewood: Bengals have been as good as advertised in preseason.

PICK: Blythewood

Last Year: 202-64

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