Fort Mill (3-1) at York (2-1)
Last week: Fort Mill beat Orangeburg-Wilkinson 31-9; York beat Nation Ford 17-14
Last meeting: York won 49-39 (2016)
Key players: FMHS - Jr. DB Cam Saunders, Sr. RB/DB Ryan Heriot, Sr. OL Trey Reed. YCHS - Sr. RB Joe Wade, Jr. WR Ladarius Allison, Sr. OL Cody Thomas.
Need to know: York has won five of the last six against Fort Mill, averaging 44 points in the wins. York hasn’t topped 28 yet this season, in part because of struggles finishing the job inside the opponent’s red zone. If the Cougars can sort out those issues, they should have a good chance against the Yellow Jackets. Fort Mill is rolling at the moment, but its three straight wins came against teams that are a combined 3-7. Friday’s result will be a much more clear indicator of where Ed Susi’s team is, and where it might be headed.
Dorman (1-2) at Rock Hill (1-3)
Last week: Dorman was idle; Rock Hill lost to Boiling Springs 48-23
Last meeting: Dorman won 27-24 (2016)
Key players: DHS - Jr. LB Ryshaun Holmes, Sr. DB Dawson Hoffman, Sr. RB Marcus Ratchford. RHHS - Sr. WR Justain Patterson, Sr. QB Logan McFadden, Sr. DB Jordan Morris.
Need to know: David Gutshall’s Cavaliers broke into the win column two weeks ago against Hillcrest, sacking the Rams QB seven times and holding them to 3-of-18 third down conversions. The good news for Rock Hill is Dorman didn’t force any turnovers in its 18-point win. Giveaways have been the unshakable scourge of the Bearcats’ 2017 so far, and were again in last week’s loss to Boiling Springs. Dorman has won 11 of the 12 against the Bearcats.
Northwestern (2-2) at Spartanburg (2-2)
Last week: Northwestern lost to Byrnes 48-14; Spartanburg beat Union County 41-7
Last meeting: Northwestern won 35-31 (2016)
Key players: NHS - Jr. WR Jamario Holley, Soph. WR Ger-Cari Caldwell, Jr. OL Greg McMoore. SHS - Sr. RB Damyjai Foster, Sr. LB Connor Shugart, Sr. LB Triston Fowler.
Need to know: Spartanburg’s year got off to a terrible start with a surprise loss to Summerville that involved a fight and the suspension of eight Vikings. No surprise Spartanburg got trounced the following week by a good-looking T.L. Hanna team. But the Vikings seem to have found their feet in the two weeks since. David Pierce’s Northwestern team needs a big response after last week’s special teams debacle against Byrnes. Spartanburg owns the all-time series lead but Northwestern has won five of the last six.
South Pointe (3-0) at Buford (Ga.) (2-0)
Last week: South Pointe was idle; Buford’s game was canceled because of Tropical Storm Irma
Last meeting: never played
Key players: SPHS - Sr. DL Jalen Pickett-Hicks, Sr. OL Jaydon Collins, Sr. QB Derion Kendrick. BHS - Sr. DB Bryson Richardson, Sr. DE Mick Reese, Jr. LB Davin Bryant.
Need to know: One South Pointe coach compared this game to Clemson-Alabama. Buford, with its incredible size and devotion to the run game and physical defense, plays the role of the Crimson Tide. South Pointe, with its elite athleticism and mobility and confidence-fueled momentum, resembles Clemson. Will all of that be enough for the Stallions to overcome a long day of travel and become the first non-Georgia school to ever beat Buford?
Nation Ford (0-3) at Lancaster (1-2)
Last week: Nation Ford lost to York 21-17; Lancaster lost to Chester 43-22
Last meeting: Nation Ford beat Lancaster 35-14 (2016)
Key players: NFHS - Soph. WR Petey Tuipulotu, Jr. DE John Sanders, Jr. LB Michael Peterson. LHS - Jr. LB Tyreek Salley, Sr. WR/DB Desmond Stowers, Sr. FB/LB Ben Rivers.
Need to know: This isn’t a must-win for either team because non-region games are meaningless under the current SCHSL playoff system. That said, this is an important game for two teams whose season is heading the wrong direction quickly. A mid-September morale-booster would be huge for either camp, but especially for Nation Ford, which came agonizingly close to a first win against York.
Lower Richland (2-2) at Chester (3-1)
Last week: Lower Richland beat Richland Northeast 21-0; Chester beat Lancaster 43-22
Last meeting: Chester won 54-19 (2016)
Key players: LRHS - Sr. QB Tevaughn Higgins, Sr. DE/LB Antonio Anderson, Jr. WR Keyshawn Capers. CHS - Soph. OL Daniel Elkins, Sr. WR T.J. Hollis, Fr. LB Octaveon Minter.
Need to know: Lower Richland looks a much improved outfit under first-year head coach Rodney Barr. The Diamond Hornets are fresh off a chest-puffing shutout of Richland Northeast and have put a 19-game losing streak in the rearview mirror. The Cyclones have taken the last five games against Lower Richland, scoring 40-plus points in three of those contests. They look even more dynamic on offense with receiver T.J. Hollis back from a finger injury. He had 100-plus yards receiving and two touchdowns last week.
Eau Claire (0-4) at Lewisville (3-1)
Last week: Eau Claire lost to Lamar 47-0; Lewisville beat Whitmire 62-6
Last meeting: Lewisville won 22-12 (2016)
Key players: ECHS - Sr. QB Preston Matthews, Sr. RB Henry Gibbs, Jr. LB Ron Davis Jr. LHS - Sr. DT Josh Belk, Sr. WR Johnny Courtney, Sr. DL/RB Corey Wright.
Need to know: The Lions have won all three meetings against the Shamrocks and are trying to get healthy before region play begins. Talented receiver and return man Johnny Courtney has returned from a back injury and coach Will Mitchell is trying to increase his looks in the Lions offense. Another good sign: Lewisville is forcing a lot of turnovers early and Eau Claire’s offense has coughed the ball up 12 times in four games.
Chesterfield (3-0) at Indian Land (1-3)
Last week: Chesterfield beat Anson County (N.C.) 44-12; Indian Land lost to Broome 27-16
Last meeting: Chesterfield won 41-21 (2016)
Key players: CHS - Sr. QB Savion Watson, Jr. WR Shyheim Rivers, Sr. LB Bobby Cash. ILHS - Sr. DL William Makowski, Fr. OL Michael Csuhta, Jr. RB Jacob Carroll.
Need to know: The undefeated Rams have scored 59, 43 and 44 points in their three games. Gulp. Indian Land competed with Broome last week but coach Horatio Blades was left to rue penalties and turnovers. Very simply, Indian Land can’t afford much of either this season, but especially this week against its former region foe. Chesterfield has won eight of nine games versus the Warriors.