The game that will draw the most attention across the state Friday night is right here in Rock Hill.
The South Pointe Stallions will be home against the Clover Blue Eagles at District Three South Stadium, with a 7:30 kickoff.
South Pointe moved to 5-0 last Friday with its 16-0 win over the Rock Hill Bearcats. Clover lost its first Region 3-AAAA game since moving up to Class AAAA last season, 32-19 at home against Northwestern.
Can South Pointe continue to roll? Will Clover come in with a chip on its shoulder and something to prove? Will it be a defensive struggle like Clover's 6-3 win last season at home?
The game features two teams that rely heavily on the run, so don't expect to see the ball in the air unless it's the special teams kicking.
As big as that game looms, there is another that's just as big. It's at York Comprehensive's Pratt Field and features the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets against the York Cougars at 7:30.
Fort Mill has surprised a lot of folks. The Yellow Jackets are 4-1 after knocking off previously undefeated Boiling Springs 34-7 on the road last Friday. The Yellow Jackets rely on defense. They have held opponents to 681 total yards -- second best in the area behind Great Falls -- and 27 points best in the area -- averages of 136 yards and 5.4 points per game.
The offense has been so-so, but is coming around since quarterback Bryan Wright returned last week from an injury and with tailback Cordara Harris getting more touches. Both are first-year starters.
York is the opposite of Fort Mill and comes in with a 3-2 record after its 27-13 Region 3-AAAA win over Lancaster. The Cougars are getting it done with offense. York is third overall in the area behind Clover and South Pointe, with 1,710 yards and 124 points -- 342 yards and 24.8 per game.
The Cougars' success can be broken down to a pair of newcomers, quarterback Adrion Crawford and tailback Adriane Kirkpatrick, a fine runner who catches passes out of the backfield. They operate behind a veteran offensive line led by center Billy Donahue.
Folks, this is going to be a good one.
• 'CAT TALK: Rock Hill plays Thursday night at District Three Stadium, hosting the Mauldin Mavericks at 7:30 and not 8 as originally scheduled.
The Bearcats play Thursday because Northwestern has a home game Friday night at the stadium against Lancaster.
The game is non-region, part of the deal Region 3-AAAA has with Region 2-AAAA. Because each has seven teams, there is on odd team out every week. To ease the problem of scheduling, the two decided last year to match up their teams for those games.
Fort Mill played its game against Boiling Springs last Friday. The others are: Gaffney at York (Oct. 5), Byrnes at Clover (Oct. 12), Northwestern at Hillcrest (Oct. 19), Spartanburg at Lancaster (Oct. 26) and South Pointe at Dorman (Nov. 2).
Rock Hill coach Joe Montgomery confirmed Monday morning that defensive lineman Breon Love broke his collarbone in the first quarter against South Pointe. Love -- a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior -- is likely done for the season.
• POLL: The Week 5 Prep Writers poll had some shifts in Class AAAA, with South Pointe moving up and tied with Greenwood at No. 5. Clover fell from No. 3 to No. 9. Northwestern moved into the poll for the first time in three years at No. 10.
The poll is voted on by the high school writers from McClatchy's five in-state papers and Jason Gilmer of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal from the New York Times chain.
The other voters, including myself, are Steve Wiseman (The State), Jeff Kidd (Hilton Head Island Packet), David Hale (Beaufort Gazette) and Josh Hoke (Myrtle Beach Sun News).
• PARTY: The Lewisville Lions Athletic Booster Club, in cooperation with Founders Federal Credit Union and Blackwell, Trimnel, LLC Attorneys at Law, will hold a tailgate party Friday afternoon from 4:30-7 before Lewisville's game against Chesterfield.
The event will be next to Lions Stadium and includes plates of foot for $3. Hogwild BBQ will provided BBQ and hot dogs. Homemade ice cream will be served by Jones Brothers Ice Cream.
The Rock Hill National Guard will sponsor inflatable football and basketball toss competitions and will serve popcorn and snow cones.
Music will be provided by "Sounds Familiar DJ Company.''
Sports Hut will bring an inflatable fun zone. There will be giveaways, face painting and a pep rally before the game. Bring your chairs.