Jimmy Wallace and Bret McCormick discuss the big Region 3-4A opener between South Pointe and Ridge View:
Ridge View (5-0) at South Pointe (4-1)
Last week: Ridge View beat Union County 33-30; South Pointe was idle
Last meeting: South Pointe won 37-0 (2009)
Key players: RVHS - Sr. LB Damani Staley; Sr. RB Ali Kelley; Sr. OL Cameron Muller; Soph. LB Terry Carson. SPHS - Sr. OL Alex Lais; Jr. DB Justin Reese; Jr. DE Eli Adams; Jr. K B.T. Potter.
Need to know: Ridge View hasn’t scored on South Pointe in two prior meetings, but those were seven and eight years ago, and this is a much different group of Blazers. Ridge View - with its speed and athleticism at the skill positions - might be a tougher matchup for South Pointe than Mallard Creek (N.C.) was. Both teams just enjoyed a bye week. The Stallions offense spent its three extra days of practice working on timing; as dangerous as QB Derion Kendrick can be ad-libbing, there is a system to run and South Pointe could be much more consistent operating within its parameters.
Lancaster (3-2) at Westwood (2-3)
Last week: Lancaster beat Lugoff-Elgin 32-6; Westwood lost to Dutch Fork 47-14
Last meeting: never played
Key players: LHS - Soph. OL Fred Reid; Sr. LB Casey Hegler; Sr. DB C.D. Catoe; Sr. DL Houston Brantley. WHS - Sr. LB Dareius McCaskill; Soph. WR Cortes Braham; Jr. QB Elijah Heatley; Jr. RB Jaylen Riley.
Need to know: This could be a really interesting, evenly contested game. Westwood’s three losses have come against teams ranked in the 5A classification’s top-10 - Dutch Fork, Blythewood and Westside so their record can be tossed out. Turnover issues cost the RedHawks in the Blythewood and Dutch Fork defeats, so keep an eye on their ball control Friday night. Lancaster appears to have gotten back on track last week, especially on offense. Special teams proved a spark against Lugoff-Elgin with defensive end Markees Watts blocking a field goal and a punt. No better way to get an offense back on course than with some short fields.
Richland Northeast (4-1) at York (1-4)
Last week: Richland Northeast beat Airport 48-13; York lost to Clover 25-22
Last meeting: never played
Key players: RNHS - Jr. RB Tyquandre Davis; Sr. DB Michael Joyner; Sr. QB Aloysius Jackson; Jr. DE Daquan Holley. YCHS - Sr. LB Ke’Trael Lytle; Sr. RB Paul Moore; Sr. LB J.T. Sanders; Sr. OL Danny Warren.
Need to know: Richland Northeast is a sneaky contender in the packed Region 3-4A. The Cavaliers’ only loss was a one-point defeat to Spring Valley and in QB Aloysius Jackson, they have the kind of dual threat QB who can dominate high school football. York tumbles into region play in serious need of a pick-me-up and a home win would be the same kind of tonic that Rock Hill High needs. Pay attention to how the Cougars start; slow first halves have cost them heavily in three losses this season.
Gaffney (4-1) at Rock Hill (1-4)
Last week: Gaffney lost to Northwestern 46-2; Rock Hill was idle
Last meeting: Gaffney won 12-3 (2015)
Key players: GHS - Jr. WR Dennis Smith; Sr. ATH D.J. Logan; Soph. LB Tyron Hopper; Sr. LB Jaiden Clayton. RHHS - Sr. LB Kendrick Hicks; Sr. DB Nick Truesdale; Sr. WR Kenny Agurs; Soph. RB Narrii Gaither.
Need to know: Any preview of this game centers on Gaffney QB Tyshun Sarratt’s health. He got knocked all over the place last week by Northwestern and the Indians really struggled without him. It’s unclear what shape he’ll be in for the Rock Hill game, but believe that the rested Bearcats - fresh off a bye - will try to get their licks in on the talented junior if he plays. A win Friday would really boost confidence for Bubba Pittman’s team ahead of region play the following week, and shut the door on the four close losses in non-region football.
Northwestern (5-1) at Fort Mill (2-3)
Last week: Northwestern beat Gaffney 46-2; Fort Mill was idle
Last meeting: Northwestern won 56-6 (2015)
Key players: NHS - Jr. OL K.D. Canaty; Sr. DB Ali Shockley; Sr. LB Caliph Brice; Sr. RB/WR Dequez Harris. FMHS - Sr. WR Ethan Piercy; Sr. DB/LB Jordan Markowski; Sr. LB Patrick Mead; Sr. ATH Gus Jarosz.
Need to know: The Trojans have won seven straight in this rivalry, Fort Mill’s last victory coming in 2006. Shrine Bowl QB Gage Moloney threw five interceptions in a three-game span earlier in the season, but hasn’t thrown any the last two weeks and appears to be rounding into midseason form. When Northwestern doesn’t turn the ball over it’s extremely difficult to beat, a fact Fort Mill knows all too well. Expect the Yellow Jackets to have some tricks up their sleeves coming off a bye week, but it’ll take a lot more than that to knock off a Trojans team that is really starting to hum offensively and is fresh off its best defensive performance of the season.
Nation Ford (4-1) at Clover (5-0)
Last week: Nation Ford beat Indian Land 40-3; Clover beat York 25-22
Last meeting: Nation Ford won 56-20 (2015)
Key players: NFHS - Jr. C Brody Parks; Sr. WR Alex Stennett; Soph. WR Dewuan McCullum; Jr. DB Ben Tuipulotu. CHS - Sr. OL Jackson McDowell; Sr. LB Hayden Milley; Sr. TE Jackson Parrish; Jr. WB/LB Semaj Lakin.
Need to know: Both teams have forced nine turnovers this season; Clover’s offense has coughed the ball up four times and Nation Ford six. That two-giveaway deficit would be mortal to the Falcons’ hopes Friday against the Blue Eagles’ ball-control offense that’s surprisingly got more big-play pop than in recent years. Michael Allen’s team runs the ball a little better than it has the last few seasons, thanks to QB Kirk Rygol, but really needs to take advantage of its possessions in a big game at Clover.
Jimmy Wallace and Bret McCormick mull over the Nation Ford-Clover encounter:
Indian Land (1-5) at Chester (5-1)
Last week: Indian Land lost to Nation Ford 40-3; Chester beat Carolina Pride 65-6
Last meeting: Chester won 52-0 (2007)
Key players: ILHS - Sr. DB Joseph Sikorski; Jr. WR/DB John Gregory; Sr. OL Jeremy Montgomery; Sr. OL/DL Stone Potts. CHS - Sr. DE Ethan McGriff; Jr. DB Quay Hardin; Sr. DL Jarez Hardin; Soph. LB Ira Grant.
Need to know: Two teams headed in different directions meet in a Region 4-3A opener. Chester is buzzing after completing its non-region slate with 54 and 65-point wins. Indian Land is struggling after a tough non-region run and a mounting injury list. Fourteen turnovers in six games haven’t helped either, and a continuation of that trend would be costly Friday night against an explosive Cyclones’ offense. You have to think that Chester QB Malik Williams (13 rushing, seven passing TDs in six games) will be peeved after he was left off the Shrine Bowl squad, which is bad news for any opponents moving forward.
Lewisville (6-0) at McBee (3-2)
Last week: Lewisville beat C.A. Johnson 52-0; McBee beat Mullins 40-28
Last meeting: McBee won 18-0 (2015)
Key players: LHS - Jr. DB Chase Yoder; Sr. LB Darryl Manning; Soph. RB Quentin Sanders; Jr. OL Qua Simpson. MHS - Sr. RB Dashonnell Wright; RB Ricardo Wright.
Need to know: McBee has played a much tougher schedule than Lewisville, so don’t be fooled by the Panthers’ two losses. McBee played well offensively last week against Mullins, and had a bye week prior to that; byes can be more consequential at the 1A level where rosters are more shallow. The Panthers have their entire backfield offensive firepower back in action, led by Dashonnell Wright, who would probably already be close to 1,000 yards rushing if he hadn’t missed a few games. Lewisville’s strength on defense is its front seven, but that posit will be fully tested Friday by the Panthers.
Lewisville coach Will Mitchell talks about upcoming games against McBee and Lamar:
Timmonsville (1-5) at Great Falls (0-6)
Last week: Timmonsville lost to Scott’s Branch 14-12; Great Falls lost to North Central 46-0
Last meeting: N/A
Key players: THS - Soph. QB Jamaric Morris; Jr. WR/DB Chris Taylor; Jr. LB/RB Tyquan Eaddy; Jr. OL/DL Titus Echols. GFHS - Sr. ATH Aaron Rice; Jr. LB/WB Gage Spinks; Jr. WR/DB Tommy Belk; Soph. DL/OL Dustin Smith.
Need to know: Both of these teams are struggling as they open Region 2-A play. The Whirlwinds have lost four straight and haven’t scored more than 20 points in a game this season, offensive struggles mirrored by Great Falls, which has topped 20 once. Only three teams out of Region 2-A make the postseason so these two are definitely on the outside looking in. But a win Friday night would at least provide a springboard into the playoffs if coupled with a later upset.
Region 3-4A standings
Region 4-5A standings
Region 4-3A standings
Region 2-A standings