Looking at this week’s top high school football games in the Midlands and picking winners for the second week of the playoffs.
Bluffton (7-3) at Gilbert (11-0)
Players to Watch – B: QB Hunter Eldridge, WR Jermaine Patterson; G: WR Manny Bright. QB Josh Strickland
Notes: First meeting between two teams. … Gilbert’s 11 wins are the most in school history. … Gilbert RB Cody Temples went over 1,000 yards rushing last week and has 1,027 yards. … Gilbert QB Josh Strickland needs 181 yards for 2,000 yards passing and Jy Tolen needs 64 passing yards for 1,000. … Indians have gained more than 500 yards of offense in six games this year.
Laurence Manning (9-2) at Ben Lippen (7-2)
Players to Watch – LMA: LMA: WR Taylor Lee, RB Burgess Jordan; BL: QB Trad Beatty, RB Kyle Wright
Notes: Winner advances to SCISA 3A championship. Ben Lippen is looking for its second straight title appearance. … Second meeting of year between two teams. Ben Lippen won, 26-23, on Sept. 29. Kyle Wright rushed for 211 yards in that game. … BL quarterback Trad Beatty threw for 508 yards and four TDs in regular-season finale against Cardinal Newman.
Pick: Ben Lippen
Myrtle Beach (7-4) at Lower Richland (6-5)
Players to Watch – MB: QB Logan Cribb, RB LR: QB Tevaughn Higgins, LB Malich Jacobs
Notes: Second meeting between two teams with the other coming in 1962 and won by Lower Richland, 21-12. … Both teams enter game on four-game winning streaks. … LR quarterback Tevaughn Higgins had 377 yards of total offense and six TDs last week against Darlington. Higgins has 1,129 yards rushing and 1,301 passing this year. … Myrtle Beach is averaging 420 yards of offense per game. … MB starting receiver and backup QB Luke Doty has a South Carolina offer.
Pick: Myrtle Beach
Newberry (10-1) at Fairfield Central (8-3)
Players to Watch – N: RB Amir Abrams, QB Tyriq Goodman; FC: LB Dorian Glenn, RB Tony Ruff.
Notes: Fairfield Central leads the series 14-11 since 1986. … Second meeting of season between two teams. Newberry won 22-21 on a two-point conversion with three seconds left on Sept. 15. … Newberry’s Amir Abrams needs one TD for 100 in his career. … One of these two teams has played for the upper-state championship each year since 2012.
Porter-Gaud (6-5) at Hammond (10-0)
Players to Watch – P-G: QB Andrew Thomas, LB/S Graham Kaplan; H: QB Corbett Glick, DL Jordan Burch
Notes: Winner advances to SCISA 3A title game. … Second meeting of season. Hammond won, 35-0, on Oct. 6. … Hammond QB Corbett Glick needs 269 yards for 3,000 passing on the season. … Skyhawks are averaging 461 yards of offense per game. … Hammond WR Lucas Prickett leads Midlands with 1,247 yards and 15 TDs.
Spring Valley (10-1) at Conway (10-1)
Players to Watch – SV: LB Channing Tindall, RB Jaylon Morris; C: QB Darren Grainger, OL/DL Raiqwon O’Neal
Notes: Second straight year teams have met in playoffs. Conway won 14-0 in Conway last season. … SV leads all-time series, 4-3. … Conway QB Darren Grainger has 2,500 yards of total offense and 21 TDs. … Spring Valley is averaging 305.2 yards per game on the ground. … SV has won at least 10 games in a season for 11th time in school history, first time since 2013.
Pick: Spring Valley
West Florence (5-6) at Dutch Fork (9-1)
Players to Watch – WF: RB Ailym Ford, LB Stephon Alexander; DF: RB Bryce Thompson, WR Jalin Hyatt
Notes: First meeting between the two teams. … Dutch Fork set eight school records in last week’s 77-20 win over Stratford, including most post points and total yards with 693. … DF’s Jalin Hyatt has four straight 100 yard receiving games. … Dutch Fork’s Bryce Thompson has 32 total touchdowns. … WF has won four straight after 1-6 start. … WF’s RB Ailym Ford has 812 yards and seven TDs in last four games.
Pick: Dutch Fork
(Picks in bold face caps)
BROOKLAND-CAYCE at Wade Hampton
BATESBURG-LEESVILLE at Whale Branch
Lugoff-Elgin at BERKELEY
Westwood at EASTSIDE