High School Football

Predictions, schedule and Week 4’s can’t-miss Midlands high school football games

Here are the top games to watch and predictions for Week 4 of high school football in the Midlands:

5 can’t-miss games

Dutch Fork (3-0-1) at Blythewood (3-1): The Silver Foxes are riding a 29-game unbeaten streak and are averaging 401 yards per game. Dutch Fork has outscored opponents over 143-13 over last three games. Blythewood has won two straight games and is averaging 31 points per contest in that span after scoring just 21 points in the first two.

Gray Collegiate (2-2) at White Knoll (4-0): A matchup of two of the area’s top QBs in Gray’s Hunter Helms and White Knoll’s Aveon Smith. Helms leads the Midlands in passing yards with 1,581 and has thrown for more than 300 in each of his first four games. Smith has 917 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns this season. The Timberwolves are looking for their second 5-0 start in school history and have outscored opponents 183-54 this season.

Irmo (2-2) at River Bluff (4-0): Irmo leads the all-time series 3-1. The two teams didn’t meet last season because of Hurricane Florence. River Bluff has been dominant in its first four games and outscored its opponents 196-28, and the Gators’ defense is giving up just 80 yards a game. Irmo quarterback Dylan Williams threw for a season-high 141 yards with two touchdowns and also ran for score in the win last week against Brookland-Cayce.

Newberry (2-1) at Fairfield Central (2-2): Fairfield leads the series 14-11 since 1986. The last two matchups have been decided by a total of three points, including Newberry’s 32-30 win last year. Fairfield got a boost with the return of top running back Will Barber last week. Barber had 77 yards and a TD against Calhoun County. Newberry running back Ahmorae Wilmore had a season-high 218 yards rushing and three touchdowns in win over Chapin.

West Florence (3-0) at Camden (4-0): West Florence has won four of the last five in series but Camden won last year 31-28. Both teams are led by strong running games. West Florence QB George Floyd and Terry McKithen have combined for 765 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Camden running back Willis Lane leads the Midlands with 756 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. The Bulldogs are averaging 345 yards a game on the ground and had three players rush for more than 100 yards last week against Fort Mill.

Week 4 Midlands game schedule, predictions

Predictions from The State’s Lou Bezjak and Chris Dearing. (All games at 7:30 p.m.)

Thursday

Columbia vs. Fox Creek at Keenan HS (Lou-Columbia; Dearing-Columbia)

Friday

AC Flora at Richland Northeast (Lou-ACF; Dearing-ACF)

Airport at Lower Richland (Lou-Airport; Dearing-Airport)

Batesburg-Leesville at Lexington (Lou-Lexington; Dearing-Lexington)

Ben Lippen at Augusta Christian (Lou-Ben Lippen; Dearing-Ben Lippen)

CA Johnson at Pelion (Lou-Pelion; Dearing-Pelion)

Cardinal Newman at First Baptist (Lou-First Baptist; Dearing-First Baptist)

Carolina Pride at Keenan (Lou-Keenan; Dearing-Keenan)

Dutch Fork at Blythewood (Lou-Dutch Fork; Dearing-Dutch Fork)

Eau Claire at McCormick (Lou-McCormick; Dearing-McCormick)

Gilbert at Dreher at Memorial Stadium (Lou-Gilbert; Dearing-Gilbert)

Gray Collegiate at White Knoll (Lou-White Knoll; Dearing-White Knoll)

Hammond at Wilson Hall (Lou-Hammond; Dearing-Hammond)

Heathwood Hall at Pinewood Prep (Lou-Heathwood; Dearing-Heathwood)

Irmo at River Bluff (Lou-River Bluff; Dearing-River Bluff)

Jefferson Davis at Richard Winn (Lou-Richard Winn; Dearing-Richard Winn)

Lugoff-Elgin at Fort Mill (Lou-LE; Dearing-LE)

Mid-Carolina at Ninety-Six (Lou-Mid-Carolina; Dearing-Ninety-Six)

Newberry at Fairfield Central (Lou-Fairfield Central; Dearing-Newberry)

Newberry Academy at Wardlaw (Lou-Newberry Academy; Dearing-Wardlaw)

North Central at Andrew Jackson (Lou-Andrew Jackson; Dearing-Andrew Jackson)

Patrick Henry at Northside Christian (Lou-Northside Christian; Dearing-Northside Christian)

Ridge View at Daniel (Lou-Daniel; Dearing-Daniel)

Spring Valley at Chapin (Lou-Spring Valley; Dearing-Chapin)

Swansea at Calhoun County (Lou-Swansea; Dearing-Swansea)

Westwood at South Aiken (Lou-Westwood; Dearing-Westwood)

West Florence at Camden (Lou-Camden; Dearing-Camden)

Season Totals for predictions

Lou Bezjak: 71-28-1

Chris Dearing: 74-25-1

SC Prep Media Polls

First-place votes in parentheses

SCHSL

Class 5A

1. Dutch Fork (11); 2. Byrnes; 3. Fort Dorchester; 4. Gaffney; 5. Dorman; 6. T.L. Hanna; 7. Sumter; 8. River Bluff; 9. Berkeley; 10. West Florence

Others receiving votes: Carolina Forest, Clover

Class 4A

1. Myrtle Beach (11); 2. Daniel ; 3. North Myrtle Beach; 4. South Pointe; 5. Wilson ; 6. Hartsville; 7. AC Flora; 8. Eastside; 9. Walhalla ; 10. Greenville

Others receiving votes: Travelers Rest, Greer, Wren, Ridge View

Class 3A

1. Dillon (7); 2. Chapman (4); 3. Camden; 4. Chester; 5. May River; 6. Wade Hampton ; 7. Gilbert ; 8. Cheraw ; 9. Strom Thurmond; 10. Aynor

Others receiving votes: Marion, Woodruff, Newberry, Union County

Class 2A

1. Abbeville (10); 2.. Barnwell (1); 3. Bamberg-Ehrhardt; 4. Southside Christian; 5. Saluda; 6. Timberland; 7. Oceanside Collegiate; 8. Whale Branchl 9. Gray Collegiate; 10. Andrew Jackson

Others receiving votes: Pageland Central, Woodland, Andrews

Class A

1. Green Sea Floyds (9); 2. Wagener-Salley (1); 3. Lamar (1); 4. Lake View; 5. Blackville-Hilda; 6. Branchville; 7. Denmark-Olar; 8. (tie) Baptist Hill ; Ridge Spring-Moletta; C.E. Murray

Others receiving votes: Cross, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, Great Falls

SCISA

Class 3A

1. Hammond (5); 2. First Baptist; 3. Laurence Manning; 4. Porter-Gaud; T5. Heathwood Hall; T5. Augusta Christian

Others receiving votes: Ben Lippen

Class 2A

1. Robert E. Lee (4); 2. Trinity-Byrnes (1); 3. Orangeburg Prep; 4. Florence Christian; 5. Williamsburg Academy

Others receiving votes: Hilton Head Christian

Class A

1. Thomas Heyward (5); 2. Carolina Academy; 3. Pee Dee Academy; 4. Dillon Christian; 5. Bethesda Academy

Others receiving votes: Dorchester Academy

8-man

1. Andrew Jackson (3); 2. Clarendon Hall (2); 3. Richard Winn Academy; 4. St. John’s Christian; 5. Jefferson Davis

Others receiving votes: Palmetto Christian

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