Remember last week when I mentioned that I started the 2010 season 22-0 with my picks? Well, it's clearly not 2010.
Granted, predicting what a bunch of 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds are going to do on a Friday evening isn't easy. But I need to do better than I did last week if I'm going to call myself a professional sports writer.
So here's my attempt at picking the Week 2 games.
Season picks: 3-2
Last week: 3-2
Midland Valley (0-1) at South Aiken (0-0)
The first reminder that it is no longer 2010 is the fact that South Aiken is winning. The Thoroughbreds broke their 13-game losing streak last week with a season-opening victory at Richland Northeast. Was it a fluke or are they really that good? I say no fluke. South Aiken liked the taste of winning so much, they'll do it again against a smaller, slower Midland Valley squad.
Prediction: South Aiken wins 21-7
Dutch Fork (2-0) at North Augusta (1-0)
Dutch Fork has yet to give up a point in two games. North Augusta struggled and even trailed in the first half to a smaller Midland Valley team. The Yellow Jackets seem to have the potential to put together another strong season, but it will take time for that potential to develop into actual success. Time is not on their side at the moment with a strong Dutch Fork team coming to town. That Silver Fox defense will be too much.
Prediction: Dutch Fork wins 17-10
Crestwood (1-0) at Aiken (1-0)
Aiken is as mad as... well... a hornet. They lost a game they should have won last week, falling by a point to Class AA Silver Bluff. Class AAA Crestwood will have to play the role of punching bag this week. Aiken is a better team than the one I saw last Friday. They still have the speed and a strong defense. The offensive confusion (and zero passing game) will be corrected.
Prediction: Aiken wins 28-14
Blackville-Hilda (0-2) at Fox Creek (2-0)
No, I didn't get those records confused. Never in the history of the planet has Fox Creek been 2-0 and Blackville-Hilda been 0-2 in the same year. After an emotional, miracle-experiencing week at Fox Creek, it's hard to say anything will stop the Predators. The talk around Region 4-A is that Blackville-Hilda and Williston-Elko (also 0-2) are down this year. We'll find out this week.
Prediction: Fox Creek wins 35-28
Silver Bluff (1-0) at Ninety-Six (1-0)
The Bulldogs are no doubt riding high after their win over Class AAAA Aiken at Aiken last week. The speed of that defense was astounding. Aiken is a fast team, but the ball carriers simply couldn't get outside of Silver Bluff's containment. I admit I don't know much about Ninety-Six, but I doubt they have the speed Aiken does, which means Silver Bluff's defense will shine again.
Prediction: Silver Bluff wins 21-0
Strom Thurmond (2-0) at Saluda (1-0)
Yes, Saluda won its season opener 42-0, but that was against Ridge Spring-Monetta. This is Strom Thurmond, and this is a different level of football. The Rebels weren't challenged at all by Williston-Elko in Week 0. Laney had to put together a major late-game rally to avoid being blown out completely last week. Strom Thurmond will get another easy win this week.
Prediction: Strom Thurmond wins 35-7
Calhoun County (1-1) at Wagener-Salley (0-2)
This is a tough region opener for Wagener-Salley. They're both Class A schools, but Calhoun County is still almost twice as big of a school as Wagener-Salley. These two programs are just at different levels.
Prediction: Calhoun County wins 42-12