South Pointe at Belton-Honea Path
Last week: South Pointe beat Airport 61-7; Belton-Honea Path beat North Augusta 13-3
Last meeting: South Pointe won 23-20 (2014 3A playoffs)
All-time series record: 1-0, South Pointe
Winner faces: the winner of South Aiken-Ridge View in the 4A Upper State championship
Key players: SPHS - Sr. LB Bryson Cooper (Shrine Bowl pick, 169 tackles); Jr. DE Eli Adams (79 tackles, 14 TFLs, 9 sacks); Jr. DB Jamari Currence (56 tackles, 6 INTs); Sr. RB Voshon St. Hill (875 rushing yards, 19 TDs; 319 receiving yards). BHPHS - Sr. QB Kameron Burton (1,821 passing yards, 815 rushing yards, 17 TDs); Sr. RB O’Ryan Warren (1,368 rushing yards, 16 TDs); Sr. DB Akyah Miranda (North-South all-star, Army commit); Sr. DL Eddie Smith (10 sacks, 10 TFLs); Sr. OL Mookie Turner.
Need to know: Belton-Honea Path hasn’t forgotten its 23-20 third round playoff loss to South Pointe two years ago, as evidenced by some of the trash talk emanating from the Bears on social media. That’s never been a wise tact with the Stallions, but there is a first time for everything. Belton-Honea Path presents a tough challenge for the Stallions with its power run game (216 yards on the ground per game), but South Pointe has handled similar teams - Lancaster, Mallard Creek and Ridge View - pretty well so far this season. Flip that question: can Belton-Honea Path handle the Stallions’ explosion on offense? Strait Herron’s team has averaged over 47 points per game since beating Mallard Creek in mid-September, as it cuts down on turnovers and spreads the ball around to a variety of weapons. Another outburst from the Derion Kendrick-led unit Friday night might render South Pointe’s defensive effort a largely moot point.
Lewisville at McBee
Last week: Lewisville beat McCormick 42-14; McBee beat Blackville-Hilda 41-8
Last meeting: McBee won 44-16 (Sept. 30, 2016)
All-time series record: 22-9, Lewisville
Winner faces: the winner of Lamar-Williston-Elko in the 1A Upper State championship
Key players: LHS - Sr. LB Darryl Manning (101 tackles, 16 sacks); Soph. RB Quentin Sanders (1,171 rushing yards, 15 TDs); Jr. OL Qua Simpson; Sr. QB Trey Keels (2,330 passing yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs). MHS - Sr. FB Alex Miller; Sr. RB Dashonnell Wright; RB Ricardo Wright.
Need to know: From 1979 to 2008, Lewisville only lost to McBee once. The Panthers are a different animal under coach Charlie Poole; they’ve won four straight against the Lions, including the two team’s regular season meeting in late September. Lewisville forced a couple of turnovers in that game, but coughed the ball up as many times, and in more harmful situations. It’s imperative for the visiting Lions to avoid the turnover-touchdown snowballs that McBee piles on opponents. Mike Hill’s health will be a big question for the Lions; coach Will Mitchell said Wednesday his star receiver is 50-50, though who knows if that was the full story. Lewisville needs Hill; he gives their offense a different dimension against high-caliber competition like McBee.