Nation Ford (1-1) at York (0-2)
Last week: York lost to Union County 23-13; Nation Ford was idle
Last meeting: Nation Ford won 40-21 (2015 playoffs)
Key players: NFHS -Sr. LB Corbin Tesimale; Sr. OL Tariq Walker; Jr. DB/WR Ben Tuipulotu; Sr. WR Alex Stennett. YCHS - Sr. OL Danny Warren; Jr. LB J.T. Sanders; Sr. ATH Jae’vion Matthews; Sr. DB Detorien Rawlinson.
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Need to know: Watch what happens in the second half between these two teams; when York beat the Falcons 42-28 in the 2015 regular season, they scored 28 after halftime, including 21 in the third quarter. Nation Ford scored 33 second-half points to knock York out of the playoffs. This will be a tough one for York with Nation Ford fresh off a bye week. York hasn’t lost three games in a row since Bobby Carroll took over as head coach ahead of the 2011 season.
Lancaster (2-0) at Chester (2-1)
Last week: Lancaster beat Fort Mill 16-14; Chester beat Keenan 36-14.
Last meeting: Lancaster won 33-13 (2015)
Key players: LHS - Soph. FB Ben Rivers; Sr. QB Jamias Shropshire; Sr. WR Tee Tinsley; Jr. DE Markees Watts. CHS - Soph. OL Wyatt Tunall; Sr. DL Radarrius Wright; Soph. LB Dantrell Simmons; Sr. QB Malik Williams.
Need to know: Chester led this game at halftime last year before succumbing to 19 fourth quarter points from the Bruins. This game is a progress check for Victor Floyd’s rebuilding job with the Cyclones. Their issue has been depth and Lancaster’s insistent pounding of the football through backs Ant Foster and Farrika Grier tests even the biggest and most stout high school football rosters. Chester should be competitive in the first half, but has to find a way to sustain any success it has into the third and fourth quarters.
South Point (N.C.) (1-2) at Clover (2-0)
Last week: South Point lost to Shelby 24-0; Clover was idle
Last meeting: never played
Key players: SPHS - Sr. SE Nathan Silver; Sr. LB Nick Muse; Soph. QB Scottie Lee; Jr. TE Ethan Jackson. CHS -Sr. WR/LB Willy Clark; Jr. WB Connor Owens; Sr. OL Jack McGivern; Jr. OL Garrett Lutz; Sr. DB Lakerri Adams.
Need to know: South Point was shut out last week for the first time since 1998, so it’s hard to imagine the Red Raiders going scoreless consecutive weeks. Clover’s defense has been much better through the first two games of the season, allowing just 13 points each to Ashbrook (N.C.) and Forestview (N.C.) and the Blue Eagles should be mentally ready for South Point’s triple option offense thanks to a bye week and extra time to prepare. Could be some nerves for the hosts, too; they haven’t started 3-0 since 2010.
Boiling Springs (2-0) at Rock Hill (1-2)
Last week: Boiling Springs beat Hanna 38-21; Rock Hill lost to South Pointe 30-23.
Last meeting: Boiling Springs won 21-7 (2013)
Key players: BSHS - Sr. QB Mason Streater; Jr. LB Graham Derrick; Sr. OLB/MLB La’trez Pinckney; Sr. WR/RB Will Brown. RHHS - Sr. LB Devardo Williams; Sr. DB Nick Truesdale; Jr. DB Jordan Morris; Jr. WR Eric Stroud; Sr. OL Nick Sterling.
Need to know: No. 6 Boiling Springs is the sleeper pick of many to win the powerful Region 3-5A, thanks in part to an offense that gets the ball downfield quickly. The Bulldogs have well over 30 seniors on the roster and are averaging almost 18 yards per completion. This game will test Rock Hill’s ability to bounce back from, No. 1, a disappointing loss at South Pointe last week, and No. 2, the likelihood that Boiling Springs puts some points on the board at District Three Stadium. If the Bearcats can tamp down turnovers, they should keep pace with the visitors offensively.
Northwestern (2-1) at Byrnes (1-2)
Last week: Northwestern beat South Meck (N.C.) 38-25; Byrnes lost to Mallard Creek 21-14.
Last meeting: Byrnes won 40-31 (2015)
Key players: NHS - Sr. OL Alex Parker; Sr. LB Caliph Brice; Sr. DB D.J. Agurs; Jr. LB Christian Steele. JBHS - Jr. WR Demarcus Gregory; Jr. RB Quez Mayes; Jr. LB Khalid Jones; Soph. LB Jalen Miller; Sr. CB Jordan Davis.
Need to know: Northwestern last won at Nixon Field in 2001. They aren’t alone in struggling to win at Byrnes; the Rebels are 36-3 on their home patch since 2011. Byrnes’ normally prolific offense has struggled to replace standout senior QB Micah Young and turnovers have been a bit of an issue in the first three games. Highly-touted wide receiver Demarcus Gregory has made 20 of the Rebels’ 47 total catches and if the Trojans can limit him – easier written than done – they could be in good shape to break their bugaboo in Duncan.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson (2-1) at Fort Mill (1-2)
Last week: Orangeburg-Wilkinson lost to Bamberg-Ehrhardt 13-12; Fort Mill lost to Lancaster 16-14.
Last meeting: Orangeburg-Wilkinson won 21-17 (1994)
Key players: OWHS - Sr. QB Jasaun Grainger; Sr. RB Dashon Barr; Jr. WR/TE Zach Felder; Sr. OLB Micha’el Williams. FMHS - Sr. OL Nolan McGraw; Jr. DB/WR Ryan Heriot; Sr. QB Ryan DeLuca; Sr. RB/DB Ronnie Hughes.
Need to know: It’s been a while since these two schools crossed paths, and could be a long night for Orangeburg-Wilkinson considering the drive up to Fort Mill, and an annoyed bunch of Yellow Jackets that lost on a last-second field goal in Week Two. This game – like many – could hinge on turnovers; Fort Mill has struggled holding on to the rock, fumbling 12 times this season though it’s recovered five of those. But, that’s been offset by the Yellow Jacket defense’s five fumble recoveries and five interceptions. Get on the right side of that tally Friday night and Fort Mill should have a good night at Bob Jones Stadium.
Broome (2-1) at Indian Land (1-2)
Last week: Broome beat Landrum 35-17; Indian Land lost to Blacksburg 20-0
Last meeting: never played
Key players: GBHS - Soph. OL/DL Jysaiah Cromer; Sr. FB/LB D’Marco Jackson; Jr. RB/LB Jarius Jeter; Sr. QB Jake Mathis. ILHS - Soph. K Brandon Dickerson; Soph. RB Tyree Sistare; Sr. LB Logan Teeter; Sr. WR Ryan Albino.
Need to know: This will be a huge test for Indian Land, which is going through expected growing pains after jumping two classifications within six years. The Warriors struggled last week in a shutout loss to Blacksburg, in large part because standout running back Lee Massey was out with the flu. They better be focused on defense this week; Jet Turner’s Centurions look like a threat in 3A, led by Division I prospect D’Marco Jackson and an offense that’s averaging 357 rushing yards per contest.
South Pointe (3-0) at St. Frances Academy (Md.) (1-1)
Last week: South Pointe beat Rock Hill 30-23; St. Frances Academy lost to Paramus Catholic 38-20.
Last meeting: never played
Key players: SPHS - Jr. DB Justin Reese; Jr. LB/WR B.J. Davis; Sr. OL Alex Lais; Sr. LB Deedric Cousar. SFA Jr. WR Tyrell Henry; Jr. WR Randy Fields; Sr. TE Myles Wright; Sr. DE B’Ahmad Miller.
Need to know: Hard to read this one. St. Frances has a lot of Division I talent, especially at the edges of the line of scrimmage and should have a size advantage over the Stallions. But that’s nothing new for South Pointe, nor is generally being faster and more athletic than the opposition. This will be a great test of focus for Strait Herron’s program, which has struggled with that at time this season. No better evidence of that than the Stallions’ 32 penalties in three games. They can’t afford double-digit flag games Friday or next Friday against North Carolina juggernaut Mallard Creek.
Lewisville (3-0) at Whitmire (1-2)
Last week: Lewisville beat Buford 36-20; Whitmire lost to Ridge Spring-Monetta 50-12.
Last meeting: Whitmire won 20-19 (2007)
Key players: LHS - Sr. LB Keilan Renegar; Sr. QB Trey Keels; Soph. WR Johnny Courtney; Jr. DB Mikhail Fourney. WHS - Soph. CB/RB Kyle Hunt; Sr. DE/T Matthew Mathias.
Need to know: Lewisville ran wild the last two weeks and it’s hard to see that trend not continuing this week. The Lions have a pair of game-breakers in the backfield in Mike Hill and Quentin Sanders, but their offensive line has been dominant too, making long runs easy to break. Worse for the host Wolverines, Lewisville’s defense has imposed consistent pressure on opponents - off the edge from Jene Thompson and Darryl Manning or up the middle from Josh Belk and blitzing linebackers - and could give Whitmire, which has scored 12 points combined in a pair of losses that sandwich a 26-0 win over Great Falls, a very hard time Friday night.
Ware Shoals (0-3) at Great Falls (0-3)
Last week: Ware Shoals lost to St. John’s Catholic 35-0. Great Falls lost to Blackville-Hilda 38-6.
Last meeting: Ware Shoals beat Great Falls 31-21 (2008)
Key players: WSHS - Sr. RB Janius Jefferson; Sr. WR Greg Mattison; Soph. DT/G Christian Walker; Sr. QB Hunter Wood. GFHS - Sr. ATH Aaron Rice; Sr. RB/WR Aaron Rice; Jr. QB Connor Henson; Sr. OL/DL Corey Roof.
Need to know: Ware Shoals lists 22 kids on its football roster, comparable to Great Falls’ 19 or so. The Hornets, from the banks of the Saluda River near Greenwood, scored 21 points in their opener but were shut out the last two weeks by Southside Christian and St. Joseph’s. Offense has been a huge struggle for Great Falls, too, as the Red Devils transition to a spread, pass-first system. Neither team has anything to lose really, so it could be a fun ballgame down in Great Falls.