High School Football

5 top Midlands high school football storylines — and our Week 8 predictions

Watch: Camden players, coach talk turnaround, big matchup with Chester

Camden coach Brian Rimpf and players Shymeik Corbett, Bryce Jeffcoat, Javaris Holliday and Blake Dalton discuss team's team's 6-1 start after winning three games last year.
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Camden coach Brian Rimpf and players Shymeik Corbett, Bryce Jeffcoat, Javaris Holliday and Blake Dalton discuss team's team's 6-1 start after winning three games last year.

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

Camden, Chester collide in top-five matchup

The Region 4-3A title will likely be decided Friday night when fourth-ranked Camden travels to third-ranked Chester.

At 6-1, Camden is a win away from its most wins in a season since 2010 and the Bulldogs haven’t won a region title since 2002. Camden’s offense is averaging 433 yards and 38 points a game.

Chester has a balanced rushing attack with four players, including freshman quarterback Zan Dunham, with at least 497 yards or more. The Cyclones also have five starters back on the offensive line including Mr. Football finalist Wyatt Tunall.

Blythewood’s big test

Blythewood will go for its fifth consecutive win but face its toughest opponent during that stretch when it travels to Sumter.

The winner of the game will take control of the Region 4-5A standings. Blythewood hasn’t won five in a row since 2012.

The Gamecocks are ranked No. 7 in Class 5A and their average margin of victory is 33.3 points a game. Blythewood is giving up just 15.5 points a game.

Westwood looks to end slide

After 4-0 start, Westwood has lost two games in a row and will look to end its losing streak against Richland 2 foe Ridge View.

If the Redhawks lose, they will be 0-3 in Region 3-4A with region games left against Lancaster and Richland Northeast. A Ridge View win would keep the Blazers in the running for the top two spots in the region with a matchup at South Pointe on tap for next week.

Ridge View has won two in a row in the series but the all-time record between the schools is 3-3.

Rested Gilbert faces Strom Thurmond

Gilbert’s bid for a second consecutive region crown will get a big test Friday when it travels to Strom Thurmond.

Both teams are ranked in the latest Class 3A poll and their only losses came against teams in higher classifications. Gilbert, which had a bye last week, has scored 27 points or more in five of its six games.

The Rebels have 28 sacks in eight games this season. Gilbert has won two in a row against the Rebels.

River Bluff looks to bounce back

River Bluff’s 5-0 start came to a halt last week with a 56-14 loss to No. 1 Dutch Fork.

The Gators try to rebound Friday with a home game against Chapin. It is the third meeting between the teams with both games decided by eight points or less.

If Chapin wins, it moves to 2-1 in the region and is in a good spot to grab one of three guaranteed playoff spots from Region 5-5A with only one conference game left next week against Lexington.

Midlands Top 10 Poll

1. Dutch Fork (6-0)

2. Hammond (7-0)

3 Camden (6-1)

4. Blythewood (5-1)

5. River Bluff (5-1)

6. Westwood (4-2)

7. Lexington (4-2)

8. Gilbert (4-2)

9. A.C. Flora (4-2)

10. (tie) Spring Valley

10. (tie) Chapin (4-2)

Week 8 Picks


Aiken at Airport

Bezjak: Airport

Dearing: Airport

Blythewood at Sumter

Bezjak: Sumter

Dearing: Sumter

CA Johnson at Eau Claire

Bezjak: Eau Claire

Dearing: Eau Claire

Calhoun at Richard Winn

Bezjak: Richard Winn

Dearing: Richard Winn

Camden at Chester

Bezjak: Camden

Dearing: Chester

Chapin at River Bluff

Bezjak: River Bluff

Dearing: River Bluff

Christian Academy at Northside Christian

Bezjak: Northside Christian

Dearing: Christian Academy

Clinton at Newberry

Bezjak: Newberry

Dearing: Newberry

Dreher at Crestwood

Bezjak: Dreher

Dearing: Dreher

Dutch Fork at Lexington

Bezjak: Dutch Fork

Dearing: Dutch Fork

Fox Creek at Saluda

Bezjak: Saluda

Dearing: Saluda

Gilbert at Strom Thurmond

Bezjak: Gilbert

Dearing: Strom Thurmond

Gray Collegiate at Calhoun County

Bezjak: Gray Collegiate

Dearing: Gray Collegiate

Hammond at Laurence Manning

Bezjak: Hammond

Dearing: Hammond

Heathwood Hall at First Baptist

Bezjak: First Baptist

Dearing: First Baptist

Keenan at Indian Land

Bezjak: Indian Land

Dearing: Indian Land

Lee Central at North Central

Bezjak: North Central

Dearing: North Central

Lower Richland at Lakewood

Bezjak: Lower Richland

Dearing: Lower Richland

Lugoff-Elgin at Irmo

Bezjak: Irmo

Dearing: Irmo

Mid-Carolina at Union County

Bezjak: Union County

Dearing: Union County

Midland Valley at Brookland-Cayce

Bezjak: Brookland-Cayce

Dearing: Brookland-Cayce

Ninety Six at Batesburg-Leesville

Bezjak: Ninety Six

Dearing: Ninety Six

Orangeburg-Wilkinson at AC Flora

Bezjak: AC Flora

Dearing: AC Flora

Richland Northeast at South Pointe

Bezjak: South Pointe

Dearing: South Pointe

Swansea at Pelion

Bezjak: Swansea

Dearing: Pelion

WW King at Tri-Academy

Bezjak: Tri-Academy

Dearing: Tri-Academy

Westwood at Ridge View

Bezjak: Westwood

Dearing: Ridge View

White Knoll at Spring Valley

Bezjak: Spring Valley

Dearing: Spring Valley

Wilson Hall at Cardinal Newman

Bezjak: Cardinal Newman

Dearing: Cardinal Newman

This Season’s Records

Bezjak: 130-43

Dearing: 125-48