SC high school football Week 5 predictions

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North Augusta Yellow Jackets (3-2) at Grovetown Warriors (0-2)
It's been a long time since North Augusta lost two games in nonregion play, but it's happened already. The Yellow Jackets lost a heartbreaker last weekend in double overtime and will be looking to release some frustration on a Grovetown team still without a win. This is a Thursday night game - the third non-Friday game North Augusta has played this season. It's clear the Yellow Jackets defense has some holes, but the Grovetown offense isn't in position to find them. PREDICTION: North Augusta wins 28-10
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Strom Thurmond Rebels (3-1) at Silver Bluff Bulldogs (4-0)
Here's your game of the week in the Augusta area. Strom Thurmond left Class AA for AAA this year, but that doesn't change anything in this rivalry. The enrollment numbers may show that Strom Thurmond is a bigger school, but Silver Bluff seems to have the rare ability of knocking off such teams (just ask Class AAAA Aiken and South Aiken and Class AAA Midland Valley). I've seen both these teams play this year, and it's clear that Strom Thurmond has a more balanced offensive attack. The Rebels can run the ball and throw the ball effectively. Silver Bluff must establish its running game early and can't fall behind by more than a touchdown. PREDICTION: Strom Thurmond wins 21-13
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South Aiken Thoroughbreds (0-5) vs. Spring Valley Vikings (4-0)
This is the final nonregion game for South Aiken, and it can't come soon enough. The Thoroughbreds easily have the most difficult nonregion schedul in the area. Their nonregion opponents have a combined record of 20-4 so far this year. South Aiken will enjoy a much-needed bye week next Friday and could come into region play as a new team with several players scheduled to return from injury. That won't help this week, however, as the team with the longest losing streak in the Augusta area (14 in a row) adds another one to the loss column. PREDICTION: Spring Valley wins 35-7
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Aiken Hornets (2-2) vs. Irmo Yellow Jackets (1-3)
Aiken has now won two in a row with a much-improved offensive game (82 points over the last two weeks). Granted, the games were against winless Midland Valley and slightly better Richland Northeast, but the wins help. Irmo has had some tough competition during the nonregion schedule, but they nearly lost to winless Lexington last week. Expect Aiken to make it three in a row this Friday. PREDICTION: Aiken wins 28-14
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Midland Valley Mustangs (0-4) at Baptist Hill Bobcats (2-3)
Midland Valley's final nonregion game is also its best chance at getting a win this year. The Class A Bobcats have stood tall against their other Class AAA opponent, beating Stall 12-10 a month ago. But the Mustangs know they have to take advantage of this opportunity. It'll be interesting to see who takes over at quarterback. Freshman Daniel Carr stepped in for starter Trenton Baughman last week and threw for nearly 150 yards in two quarters. Coach Rick Knight told me Trenton didn't completely lose his starting job. That will be determined in practice, he said. Carr may be the smarter move for the future of the program, which is currently sitting in a 10-game losing streak. PREDICTION: Midland Valley wins 14-12
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Fox Creek Predators (0-3) at Ridge Spring-Monetta Trojans (2-3)
Region 4-A play began last week for some teams, but Fox Creek opens its region schedule this Friday. The Trojans lost to Hunter-Kinard-Tyler pretty convincingly last week and need a win here to keep up with the region frontrunners. Fox Creek needs to simply cut the turnovers and stop giving up big plays on defense. PREDICTION: Fox Creek wins 22-21


Staff writer Billy Byler makes his predictions for Week 5 of Aiken County high school football. All games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on Friday unless otherwise noted. (photos by Michael Holahan, Sara Caldwell, Chris Thelen and Jim Blaylock).

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