Last weekend was a tough one for our local South Carolina football teams. Aiken, North Augusta, Midland Valley, Silver Bluff and Barnwell all saw their playoff dreams come to an end.
But there are still four remaining teams, and here's how I see those games playing out Friday night:
Central at Strom Thurmond: Lee Sawyer's Rebels rolled to a 61-27 victory over Southside on Saturday night to set up a showdown with unbeaten Central. This one should be a doozy. Both teams score plenty of points, but I think Strom Thurmond's defense will prevail. The Rebels have pitched six shutouts in their 12 wins. Strom Thurmond 24, Central 17
Williston-Elko at Ware Shoals: Williston-Elko's only loss came against county and region rival Blackville-Hilda. Ware Shoals has lost three times, but to Class AA schools. The Blue Devils might be thinking too much about a potential rematch with Blackville-Hilda, so I'm going with the home team. Ware Shoals 23, Williston-Elko 20
Blackville-Hilda at Scott's Branch: It's tough when you've won all your games and still must travel in the third round of the playoffs, but that's what David Berry's Hawks face this weekend. Blackville-Hilda eked out a 7-6 win over nemesis Lake View last week, but my sources tell me that the Hawks squandered several scoring chances. I'm sticking with the defending champs until further notice. Blackville-Hilda 27, Scott's Branch 21
Wardlaw vs. Andrew Jackson: The championship game for 8-man football supremacy in South Carolina will be held at Calhoun Academy in St. Matthews tonight. The Patriots are undefeated and have enjoyed a nice return to form this season. Mike Rosier, my colleague in Edgefield, says that Wardlaw beat Andrew Jackson once this season but that the losing team was missing a key player. Wardlaw 42, Andrew Jackson 28