Football season is quickly approaching, and Aiken County fans will get their first good look at area teams next week when the Aiken County Football Jamboree kicks off at North Augusta High School.
The county's eight teams (and two non-Aiken County teams) will come together Friday, Aug. 12 for what might be the largest Aiken County jamboree ever. The event has normally included eight teams (seven from the county and Williston-Elko), but Fox Creek and Saluda were added to the schedule this year, meaning a single $6 ticket will let you see 10 teams in action.
As we pass Thanksgiving on the calendar, only the best of the best are still playing high school football. North Augusta and Williston-Elko are the only two teams left. Here's a breakdown of their games this week:
Last week: 2-1
Class AAAA Division II semifinals: No. 3 North Augusta (12-1) at No. 2 Greenwood (12-1), 7 p.m.
We're deep into the state playoffs now. If your team is still alive, you know you've had a good football season. Six teams played last week, but only three survived. The choices of games to watch this week has dwindled considerably, but you're pretty much guaranteed to see quality play no matter where you go. Here's a breakdown of the three games this week:
Last week: 5-1
Class AAAA Division II quarterfinals: No. 6 T.L. Hanna (7-5) at No. 3 North Augusta (11-1)
It's the first full week of postseason play around the area as North Augusta joins Midland Valley, Strom Thurmond, Silver Bluff, Williston-Elko and Fox Creek as they all make their state playoff runs. Five of the six area South Carolina teams will play at home this week, making for a busy Friday night. Here's what I think will happen this week:
Last week: 8-0
Class AAAA Division II first round: No. 14 Richland Northeast (7-4) at No. 3 North Augusta (10-1)
Thomson at Burke County
This is the Region 3-AAA title game, with both already assured a state playoff berth by winning their subregions. Burke County continues to win impressively each week while Thomson has scored 40 points or more three times in its past four games.
Prediction: Burke County, 28-17
Grovetown at Washington County
Postseason play begins this week in Aiken County, though a few teams (North Augusta, Aiken and South Aiken) still have one more regular season game. The rest of the county will play in the first round of the state playoffs and at home, for the most part. Some people (me) would argue that the current postseason format in South Carolina allows too many teams into the playoffs. A team in Class AAA or AA can go 1-9, finish fourth in its region and still make the playoffs. Though much more complicated, the points system in Class AAAA and A make much more sense.
South Carolina-38, Tennessee-24; final
South Carolina held to secure the win as Tennessee gets stopped on fourth down.
The Gamecocks then ran out the clock to clinch the win.
South Carolina-38, Tennessee-24; 3:28 left in the game
Lattimore looked unstoppable no two key plays on the drive, with a pair of big runs and penalty added on to move it to the Tennessee 1.
It's the final game of the regular season for many teams in South Carolina. Williston-Elko is already in the clubhouse with a 9-1 record and sitting pretty for a third-consecutive trip to the Class A Division II state championship game. Playoff positions are falling into place, region title are being decided and postseason pictures are coming into focus. Here's what I think will happen this week:
Last week: 7-1
Aiken (4-5) at North Augusta (8-1)
Teams don't have much time left to make a move if they want to see postseason play. Some have pretty much clinched a spot in the playoffs (Midland Valley, North Augusta, Williston-Elko), while others are unsure (Aiken, Fox Creek). Here's what I think will happen this week:
Last week: 5-3
North Augusta (7-1) at South Aiken (0-8)
Region 3-AAA Selections
Burke County (3-0, 5-2) at Washington County (3-0, 5-1-1)
This is the game of the week in the region. Both teams have won by huge margins in the first three subregion games, and this one will decide who takes the subregion. This will be the third consecutive season these two have met, and they've split the previous two. The Golden Hawks are the home team in this one, and in a game like this, it could provide that little extra.
Prediction: Washington County, 31-27