High School Football

5 top Midlands high school football storylines — and our Week 7 predictions

Watch: River Bluff prepares for matchup with No. 1 Dutch Fork

River Bluff coach Blair Hardin and running back Braden Walker discuss the team's unbeaten start and matchup with No. 1 Dutch Fork.
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River Bluff coach Blair Hardin and running back Braden Walker discuss the team's unbeaten start and matchup with No. 1 Dutch Fork.

Here are five things to keep an eye on this week in Midlands high school football:

River Bluff’s huge test

River Bluff has been one of the best stories in the Midlands this year. The Gators are off to their best start under second-year coach Blair Hardin.

But River Bluff gets its toughest test of the season when it hosts two-time defending state champ and nationally ranked Dutch Fork. The Silver Foxes have been dominating teams all season, outscoring them 320-42.

Another road challenge for Hammond

For the second time in three weeks, Hammond heads to the Charleston area to face an unbeaten opponent.

The Skyhawks face Porter-Gaud in a matchup of 6-0 teams. Two weeks ago, Hammond defeated previously unbeaten First Baptist, 28-21.

The teams have similar offensive numbers with P-G scoring 37.3 points and Hammond 36.6 a game.

Irmo road warriors

After a 1-2 start, Irmo has won three straight road games, including last week’s Region 4-5A opener against Spring Valley.

The Yellow Jackets look to make it four in a row on the road tonight at Blythewood. An Irmo win would put it in the thick of the region race with favorite Sumter.

It is the region opener for Blythewood, which is coming off an open date. The Bengals also have a three-game winning streak since losing quarterback Quentin Patten.

Chapin, White Knoll look to avoid 0-2 region start

After losing their Region 5-5A openers last week, Chapin and White Knoll look to avoid 0-2 starts when the teams meet at Cecil Woolbright Field in Chapin.

It is the first meeting since 2001 between the schools, with the series tied at 1-1. The game is WACH Fox’s Sonic Rivals Game of the Week.

White Knoll quarterback Aveon Smith is averaging 270.2 yards of total offense a game and has accounted for 23 touchdowns.

Can Flora continue run?

A.C. Flora finally gets a true home game this week as it hosts Lakewood.

It is the first game for the Falcons at remodeled Memorial Stadium. After an 0-2 start, the Falcons have won three straight and look for their first four-game winning streak since 2016.

A.C. Flora won its region opener over Crestwood, 17-16, last week despite only 167 yards of total offense.

Midlands Top 10 Poll

1. Dutch Fork (5-0)

2. Hammond (6-0)

3. River Bluff (5-0)

4. Westwood (4-1)

5. Camden (5-1)

6. Blythewood (4-1)

7. Lexington (4-2)

8. Irmo (4-2)

9. Brookland-Cayce (4-2)

10. Gilbert (4-2)

Week 6 Picks

Thursday

Columbia vs. Gray Collegiate at Memorial Stadium

Bezjak: Gray Collegiate

Dearing: Gray Collegiate

Friday

Batesburg-Leesville at Silver Bluff

Bezjak: Silver Bluff

Dearing: Silver Bluff

Ben Lippen at Heathwood Hall

Bezjak: Ben Lippen

Dearing: Ben Lippen

Brookland-Cayce at South Aiken

Bezjak: Brookland-Cayce

Dearing: Brookland-Cayce

Calhoun at WW King

Bezjak: Calhoun

Dearing: Calhoun

Calhoun County at CA Johnson (Benedict College)

Bezjak: Calhoun County

Dearing: Calhoun County

Chester at Keenan

Bezjak: Chester

Dearing: Chester

Crestwood at Lower Richland

Bezjak: Lower Richland

Dearing: Lower Richland

Dreher at Orangeburg-Wilkinson

Bezjak: Orangeburg-Wilkinson

Dearing: Dreher

Dutch Fork at River Bluff

Bezjak: Dutch Fork

Dearing: Dutch Fork

Edisto at Pelion

Bezjak: Edisto

Dearing: Edisto

Fairfield Central at Camden

Bezjak: Camden

Dearing: Camden

Hammond at Porter-Gaud

Bezjak: Hammond

Dearing: Hammond

Irmo at Blythewood

Bezjak: Blythewood

Dearing: Irmo

Lakewood at AC Flora (Memorial Stadium)

Bezjak: AC Flora

Dearing: AC Flora

Laurence Manning at Cardinal Newman

Bezjak: Laurence Manning

Dearing: Laurence Manning

Mid-Carolina at Clinton

Bezjak: Clinton

Dearing: Clinton

Newberry at Emerald

Bezjak: Newberry

Dearing: Newberry

North Augusta at Airport

Bezjak: North Augusta

Dearing: North Augusta

Northside Christian at Oakbrook Prep

Bezjak: Oakbrook Prep

Dearing: Oakbrook Prep

Richard Winn at Laurens

Bezjak: Richard Winn

Dearing: Richard Winn

Ridge View at Richland Northeast

Bezjak: Ridge View

Dearing: Ridge View

Saluda at Ninety Six

Bezjak: Saluda

Dearing: Ninety Six

Strom Thurmond at Swansea

Bezjak: Strom Thurmond

Dearing: Strom Thurmond

Spring Valley at Lugoff-Elgin

Bezjak: Spring Valley

Dearing: Spring Valley

White Knoll at Chapin

Bezjak: White Knoll

Dearing: White Knoll

York at Westwood

Bezjak: Westwood

Dearing: Westwood

This Season’s Records

Bezjak: 111-40

Dearing: 106-35

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