Baxter’s Blitz: Instant Analysis of Class 5A and 4A

5A REGION 4          

Sumter QB Hayden Vasquez

The Sumter win was expected and that is going to keep them right in the driver’s seat for the region crown. I don’t see a challenger close to them. QB Hayden Vasquez continues to impress as a leader on this football team.

Spring Valley’s loss to Irmo makes things interesting in the race for the No. 2 spot. Obviously, Irmo, with the 1-0 region start, is in that spot right now but can they sustain it? Blythewood was off this week but next week’s match up with the Yellow Jacket will give us a good indication of what could happen in this spot. Keep in mind, neither team has played Lugoff-Elgin yet but a win by Irmo over Blythewood would definitely put them in the lead for that spot.

Here’s what I think: Sumter wins this region; I believe that Blythewood, Spring Valley, Irmo and Lugoff-Elgin are going to trade wins between the four and give us some kind of tie at the 2nd and 3rd spot.

Blythewood’s OL is the only thing that scares me about them; Spring Valley’s inconsistency on offense and mistake-prone play, along with youth, scares me for them. Irmo is similar to Spring Valley in inconsistency and youth but they seem to be getting better each week. Lugoff-Elgin, of the four, I like the best with their defensive play.

PREDICTION based on this week’s analysis.

  1. Sumter
  2. Blythewood
  3. Lugoff-Elgin
  4. Irmo
  5. Spring Valley


Dutch Fork is in another dimension from everyone else in this region. Their win over Chapin was a clinic in offensive football. Ty Olenchuk is clearly the best quarterback in the state, of that I am certain. No one in this region is within 21 points of this team.

Lexington RB Ahmad Bynem-Scott

Lexington’s win over White Knoll really makes things interesting for the race for No. 2. Chapin is at White Knoll this week. Depending on the status of Aveon Smith, the entire dynamic of this game changes. Without Smith, White Knoll could very well go without winning a region game. With a healthy Smith, they still have a shot at a piece of the No. 2 spot. Lexington is off this week before facing Dutch Fork in two weeks. That game is a wash. I think they play safe, don’t get anyone hurt and focus on Chapin and River Bluff in the final two games.

Dutch Fork wins this region, hands down. Not even close. I believe that the No. 2 spot is going to go to either Lexington or River Bluff. Chapin certainly has a team that could mess that up. I like their quarterback as one of the best in the region.

Lexington’s lack of passing game scares me for them. Chapin’s passing defense scares me about them. River Bluff’s short passing defense is vulnerable. White Knoll, without Aveon Smith, will struggle.

PREDICTION based on this week’s analysis

  1. Dutch Fork
  2. Lexington
  3. River Bluff
  4. Chapin
  5. White Knoll


Southe Pointe QB Tahleek Steele

Nothing has changed here except the race for No. 3. South Pointe still wins this region in my opinion. Westwood looked like a team who could very well have won this region but came up short. I still stay they are the No. 2 team, but we will see what happens when they face Ridgeview in two weeks. Ridgeview’s win over York really puts them in position to finish at least third if they win over Lancaster, which they should. That could make their game against Westwood for NO. 2 spot in this region.

Westwood lack of offensive fire power compared to where I thought they would be is a concern for me when they play Ridgeview. Ridgeview’s sputtering on offense scares me for them.

PREDICTIONS based on this week’s analysis

  1. South Pointe
  2. Westwood
  3. Ridgeview
  4. York
  5. Lancaster
  6. RNE


AC Flora is the best team in this region. They have quality wins to their credit and I don’t see anyone beating them. Orangeburg-Wilkinson is the closest to them in this region but I don’t think they are strong enough offensively to get close to the Falcons.

Flora DL Jaylin Brown

Lower Richland got a win over a very down Dreher football team. This team has really underachieved from where I thought they would be at this point in the season. I think every game is crucial to them in order to finish at least third. Lakewood will not be a push over and I’m not sure they can beat OW.

AC Flora has no weaknesses that concern me. Perhaps the pass defense plays a little vulnerable at times but outside of that, this team is solid. OW  has not been tested since the Bamberg-Ehardt game in week two, which they loss and only mustered 13 points. Lower Richland is a mystery to me. They are not playing anywhere near their potential and that worries me for them.

PREDICTION based on this week’s analysis.

  1. AC Flora
  2. Orangeburg-Wilkinson
  3. Lower Richland
  4. Lakewood
  5. Dreher
  6. Crestwood


BC RB Will Way

Brookland-Cayce got a signature win against North Augusta this past week in that it wasn’t even close. This team is playing good football right now and I believe it is going to come down to them and their rival, Airport, for the region crown. That said, South Aiken may end up having a say in this. They play very tough in their ground game and will be more than competitive.

Airport beat Midland Valley but it took a last second field goal to do it. THAT is a concern because Midland Valley is not a very good football team right now. Granted, the Eagles were playing without head coach Kirk Burnette but still…Midland Valley?

PREDICTIONS based on this week’s analysis

  1. Brookland-Cayce
  2. Airport
  3. South Aiken
  4. North Augusta
  5. Midland Valley
  6. Aiken

About Jim Baxter

Founder of Nationally published recruiting anlayst witih 30 years of experience in the industry. His work has appeared in publications such as Athlon, Sporting News, The Recruiting News and Deep South Recruiting and he is the author of the best selling book, The Book On Evaluating Football Players.

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  1. So NA won’t make the playoffs but MV, Aiken who haven’t won a game will? And SA has only beaten Aiken? We have only lost to very good teams.

    • I think NA will finish 3rd or 4th. Probably 4th. That will put them in the first round against the No. 2 team from the beach region which will probably be Wilson or North Myrtle Beach

      • They weren’t listed in your picks for playoffs. I see the list has been updated.

        • That is not my “list of the playoffs.” That is the region standings. NA was inadvertantly left off. I don’t have the power to remove a team from a region. lol

  2. I’ve been watching NA for 10+ years every game away and home and BC is one of the dirtiest playing teams I’ve seen in many years. Refs had little control of the game and lots of players trying to fight or instigate. Not normal football “chippyness”. Good luck to whoever plays them the week before playoffs.

    • You’ll have to describe “dirty”. They are a physical football team but if there was dirty playing going on and nothing said about it, you’d have to take that up with the officials.

      • Just a general football comment for anyone interested in region play. We don’t ever blame games on officials or need to discuss. Just a comment about their type of play is all. Most football fans will understand.