REGION PLAY WEEK EIGHT: Midlands Class 5A and 4A

5A REGION 4

BLYTHEWOOD AT IRMO

Blythewood QB Josh Strickland

The Bengals need a win in their first region game and after a week off to lick wounds, they should be ready to get it done. Irmo got a good win against Spring Valley to go 1-0 in the region and this game is going to make things very interesting in the race for the 2nd spot. Irmo’s defense is playing strong right now and Blythewood’s O-line has left a little to be desired.

Players to watch: Blythewood QB Josh Strickland; Irmo DE Kaseem Vauls

My Pick: Blythewood

LUGOFF ELGIN AT SPRING VALLEY

Spring Valley QB DQ Smith

The Vikings struggled on offense last week against Irmo and special teams play hurt them. While the Demons are no powerhouse, their defense is strong and this could actually be an upset in the making if Spring Valley doesn’t sharpen up on the offensive side of the football.

Players to watch: Spring Valley QB DQ Smith; Lugoff Elgin LB Ethan Hix

My Pick: Spring Valley

SUMTER is Idle this week

5A REGION 5

CHAPIN AT WHITE KNOLL

WK OL Nick Taiste

The Chapin Eagles are on a two game skid after losing to AC Flora and Dutch Fork in the past two weeks. Their OL is one of the best in the Midlands and could pose problems for White Knoll, who will be without star QB Aveon Smith for the remainder of the season. White Knoll will sputter on offense and their defense is just not very strong.

Players to watch: White Knoll QB Jaelin Gray; Chapin QB Roger Pedroni

My Pick: Chapin

RIVER BLUFF AT DUTCH FORK

Dutch Fork QB Ty Olenchuk

The Gators of River Bluff are unbeaten and rested after a week off but they are about to see a different breed of monster in Dutch Fork. The lack of Gator passing game will make it difficult to run against this stout defensive front and Dutch Fork passing game will slice through a vulnerable passing defense for the Gators.

Players to watch: Dutch Fork QB Ty Olenchuk; River Bluff QB Jackson Stone

My Pick: Dutch Fork

LEXINGTON is idle

4A REGION 3

RICHLAND NORTHEAST AT RIDGEVIEW

Ridgeview QB Andre Washington

The Blazers got a great win over York this past week that puts them in a good spot in contention for a home playoff game with a chance for 2nd place.  I say second because I don’t think South Pointe will lose in region play. Richland Northeast continues to struggle and lost a close game this past week that was probably their only shot at a region win.

Players to watch: Ridgeview QB Andre Washington; RNE OL/DL Anthony Cleckley

My Pick: Ridgeview

WESTWOOD AT YORK

Westwood RB Deshawn Boyd

The York Cougars showed this past week that they cannot throw the football and their ground game is not very good. The loss to Ridgeview was revealing for this young team and they will struggle again this week. Westwood is beginning to look like the team I thought they could be in the preseason. They played well in a loss to South Pointe this past week and I believe will fight hard to finish 2nd in this region.

Players to watch: Westwood QB Ahmon Green

My Pick: Westwood

4A REGION 4A

AC FLORA AT LAKEWOOD

Flora QB Wise Segars

The Falcons of AC Flora looked strong against a better than advertised Crestwood team this past week. The face off with an athletic Lakewood team this week who will challenge the secondary with the big play. I don’t think, however, it will be close. The Falcons defensive front will put a pressure on Lakewood they haven’t seen since the Sumter game.

Players to watch: AC Flora QB Wise Segars; Lakewood QB Cody Windham

My Pick: AC Flora

LOWER RICHLAND AT CRESTWOOD

LR QB Jqamison Ganzy

The Diamond Hornets of Lower Richland have grossly underachieved this season but managed to get a blowout win over a bad Dreher team this past week. This week, they will face a Crestwood team that is about the same place that Dreher is, so should get another big win to go 2-0 in region play.

Players to watch: Lower Richland QB Jamison Ganzy; Crestwood DE Parris Lowery

My Pick: Lower Richland

ORANGEBURG-WLKINSON AT DREHER

The Bruins of OW are quietly putting together a solid season with expectations to challenge for the top spot in this region. They have allowed just 64 points in 6 games, though they have not played a powerhouse schedule. Dreher is struggling to move the chains at all in their season.

Players to watch: OW RB Joqwan Guinyard; Dreher QB Josh Drayton

My Pick: Orangeburg-Wilkinson

4A REGION 5

AIRPORT AT NORTH AUGUSTA

Airport WR Butch Lawrence

The Eagles barely escaped their game with Midland Valley and that raises some concern for me. North Augusta is banged up after a physical game with Brookland-Cayce but this team is capable of scoring points. Add to that Airport will be without it’s head coach for the second week in a row and it could make for an upset atmosphere.

Players to watch: Airport TE/H-Back Bryce Rucker; WR Nanders “Butch” Lawrence

My Pick: Upset special: North Augusta

SOUTH AIKEN AT BROOKLAND-CAYCE

BC RB Will Way

The Bearcats of Brooland-Cayce looked invincible behind the running of Will Way against North Augusta, putting up 41 points. They will take an a South Aiken team this week that is 1-5, but better than their record indicates. The T-bred ground game will challenge the Bearcats defense but I don’t think it will be enough.

Players to Watch: Brookland-Cayce RB Will Way

My Pick: Brookland-Cayce

About Jim Baxter

Founder of SCVarsity.com and publisher of SCVarsity and Football in the Midlands. National recruiting anlayst witih 30 years of experience in the industry.

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