High School Football

5 top Midlands high school football storylines — and our Week 9 predictions

Watch: AC Flora football enjoying turnaround season

AC Flora coach Collin Drafts, players Quincy Riley and Dewey Greene discuss going from no wins last year to competing for region title this year.
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AC Flora coach Collin Drafts, players Quincy Riley and Dewey Greene discuss going from no wins last year to competing for region title this year.

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

Winning streaks, region title hopes on line for AC Flora, Lower Richland

A.C. Flora and Lower Richland have been two of the hotter teams in the Midlands and square off with Region 4-4A title hopes in the balance.

Lower Richland, which has won three consecutive games, clinches the top seed with a win tonight. It would be the Diamond Hornets second consecutive region title.

The Falcons have been one of the best stories of the year, going from 0-10 last season in Collin Drafts’ first year to 5-2 this season. A.C. Flora has won five games in a row, its longest streak since 2014.

Lower Richland snapped AC Flora’s eight-game winning streak in the series with a 40-14 win last year.

Comments from AC Flora coach Collin Drafts and celebration from the Falcons following 45-12 win over Columbia.

Key Region 5-5A matchups

The Region 5-5A playoff picture will be a little clearer after tonight. Dutch Fork already has clinched the region but second and third are still up for grabs when Lexington travels to Chapin and White Knoll hosts River Bluff.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Lexington’s Perry Woolbright, who will coach his first regular-season game in stadium named after his grandfather, Cecil.

If Lexington and River Bluff both win, they will clinch playoff spots and their game next week will decide who finishes No. 2 and No. 3 in region. If Chapin wins, it finishes 2-2 in region and will have to wait until next week’s games to see where it will finish.

White Knoll needs to win this week and next week against Dutch Fork to get one of the top three spots in region. The top three spots are guaranteed to be in postseason while fourth-place team can receive an at-large berth.

Lexington football coach Perry Woolbright talks about his grandfather Cecil Woolbright coaching legacy and advice he gave him about coaching.

Blazers look to knock off South Pointe

Coming off a big win over rival Westwood, Ridge View can help its postseason positioning with a win over South Pointe.

A Ridge View win clinches it at least third spot in the region but would still be in running for region title.

The Stallions haven’t lost a region game since 2013 and lead the all-time series with the Blazers, 4-0. South Pointe has outscored the Blazers, 102-40, the past two years.

Ridge View football coach Perry Parks discusses his team's TD/Turnover hoop for celebrations

­Cardinal Newman’s big test

Cardinal Newman is in midst of one of its best years in a while.

The Cardinals are 6-1, their highest win total since winning six games in 2013, and carry a five-game winning streak into matchup SCISA rival Hammond.

Hammond has been the standard in SCISA football over the last decade. The Skyhawks enter the game with a 20-game winning streak and is averaging 37.6 points a game.

Spring Valley’s controls own playoff destiny

With matchups against the top two teams in Region 4-5A the next two weeks, ­­­­­Spring Valley is in control of his playoff positioning.

The Vikings travel to region-leading Sumter on Friday before their final region game against Blythewood next week. Spring Valley is 1-1 in region, tied with Blythewood and half-game back of second-place Irmo.

Midlands Top 10 Poll

1. Dutch Fork (7-0)

2. Hammond (8-0)

3. River Bluff (6-1)

4. Camden (6-2)

5. Blythewood (5-2)

6. Ridge View (5-2)

7. A.C. Flora (5-2)

8. Spring Valley (5-2)

9. Irmo (5-3)

10. Brookland-Cayce (5-3)

Week 9 Picks

Thursday

Eau Claire vs. Gray Collegiate (At Keenan HS)

Bezjak: Gray Collegiate

Dearing: Gray Collegiate

Friday

Abbeville at Saluda

Bezjak: Abbeville

Dearing: Abbeville

Batesburg-Leesville at Fox Creek

Bezjak: Batesburg-Leesville

Dearing: Batesburg-Leesville

Ben Lippen at Porter-Gaud

Bezjak: Porter-Gaud

Dearing: Porter-Gaud

Brookland-Cayce at Aiken

Bezjak: Brookland-Cayce

Dearing: Brookland-Cayce

Calhoun County at Columbia (At Keenan)

Bezjak: Calhoun County

Dearing: Calhoun County

Cardinal Newman at Hammond

Bezjak: Hammond

Dearing: Hammond

Chester at Fairfield Central

Bezjak: Chester

Dearing: Chester

Edisto at Gilbert

Bezjak: Gilbert

Dearing:Gilbert

Indian Land at Camden

Bezjak: Camden

Dearing: Camden

Lakewood at Dreher (Memorial Stadium)

Bezjak: Dreher

Dearing: Dreher

Lexington at Chapin

Bezjak: Lexington

Dearing: Lexington

AC Flora at Lower Richland

Bezjak: AC Flora

Dearing: AC Flora

Lugoff-Elgin at Blythewood

Bezjak: Blythewood

Dearing: Blythewood

Mid-Carolina at Woodruff

Bezjak: Woodruff

Dearing: Woodruff

North Central at Lewisville

Bezjak: North Central

Dearing: North Central

Northside Christian at Colleton Prep

Bezjak: Colleton Prep

Dearing: Colleton Prep

Richard Winn at WW King

Bezjak: Richard Winn

Dearing: Richard Winn

Ridge View at South Pointe

Bezjak: South Pointe

Dearing: South Pointe

River Bluff at White Knoll

Bezjak: River Bluff

Dearing: River Bluff

South Aiken at Airport

Bezjak: Airport

Dearing: South Aiken

Spring Valley at Sumter

Bezjak: Sumter

Dearing: Sumter

Union County at Newberry

Bezjak: Union County

Dearing: Newberry

Westwood at Lancaster

Bezjak: Lancaster

Dearing: Westwood

York at Richland Northeast

Bezjak: York

Dearing: York

This Season’s Records

Bezjak: 155-47

Dearing: 151-51

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