The Bears, who have won a region championship the past three seasons, take a five-game winning streak into this week’s home game against Wayne County in the Region 3-AAAA title game. The matchup decides the first two seeds out of the region. Burke County beat the Yellow Jackets 32-28 earlier this season.
The region’s other two playoff bids will go to the winner of Statesboro at Glenn Hills and Liberty County at Richmond Academy.
Though they can’t qualify for the playoffs, South Effingham will visit Butler and Hephzibah will visit Cross Creek to close out the region slate.
CHAMPS AGAIN: No matter the region or classification, Strom Thurmond continues to build upon an already impressive region record over the years.
The Rebels held off upset-minded Midland Valley for a 34-27 win Friday night, giving Strom Thurmond its ninth region championship in 10 years.
Over that span, the Rebels are 48-2 in region play, all under coach Lee Sawyer, who said he was especially proud of this one after the loss of last year’s senior class.
For quarterback Jauveer Hammond, along with the other seniors, the title represents four in a row for their high school careers.
“It feels great to win another title,” Hammond said after the hard-fought effort.
“It’s four in a row in my time here. Few can say that.”
Both the Rebels and Mustangs also know their first-round opponents.
In the Class AAA playoffs, Midland Valley visits Hartsville and Strom Thurmond is home against Darlington.
WINNING TRADITION: As North Augusta’s players gathered on the soggy field after their 55-13 road win at Aiken, Dan Pippin told his players of an important number.
The Yellow Jackets had recorded their 60th win in six years, an average of 10 per season.
The news was followed by a loud cheer from the North Augusta huddle.
“I’m pretty proud of that,” said Pippin, who is in his eighth season at the helm in North Augusta.
Next up is a home game against Dutch Fork and the Region 5-AAAA title is on the line.
Even though the Yellow Jackets were not tested by the Hornets, Pippin knows it will be tougher this week.
“We made too many mistakes on offense,” Pippin said of Friday night’s performance. “Too many drops,
and any time we’ve got a short field we’ve got to score. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
Staff writers John Boyette and David Lee contributed to this story.