Originally created 10/26/01

Top picks



There may not ever be a bigger weekend of high school football in the Augusta-area as there is tonight. In South Carolina Class AA, top-ranked Silver Bluff tackles No. 2 Barnwell in what could be a preview of the Lower state championship game in a few weeks.

In South Carolina Class AAAA, North Augusta visits Aiken in a monster showdown while in Georgia, undefeated Westside visits once-beaten Washington County in a game that could decide the Region 3-AAA champion.

Westside at Washington County: Westside's offense hasn't been flashy this season but when you have a defense like the Patriots, who needs offense? Westside's defense has yet to allow a touchdown, but they haven't seen an offense that's as explosive as Washington County's.

Last season, Westside upset the Golden Hawks, which helped propel the Patriots into the state playoffs. Washington County hasn't forgotten about that game and are anxious for payback.

The bad news is that the game is in Sandersville, a place where Washington County is almost invincible. If the Patriots can play perfect, they have a good chance.

Washington County 10, Westside 7

Barnwell at Silver Bluff: It doesn't get any better for prep football fans in South Carolina. Silver Bluff puts its 24-game unbeaten streak on the line against a team that was once its chief nemesis.

Barnwell hasn't been overly flashy this season, but the War Horses have gotten the job done. Silver Bluff may be as good as there is right now but the Bulldogs have to play their best game of the season to beat Barnwell.

Silver Bluff 21, Barnwell 13

North Augusta at Aiken: North Augusta's final two games, beginning with Aiken tonight and ending with Lexington next week, will see what the Jackets are made of. An upset loss to Irmo has North Augusta steaming, but they won't be able to take its frustration on Aiken.

The Hornets may be playing the best football in the region and have North Augusta right where it wants them - at home and coming off a huge loss. Look out.

Aiken 17, North Augusta 14

Burke County at Thomson: Another big game. Thomson must win in order to keep pace with Statesboro atop the Region 3-AAAA standings. But Burke is playing well.

Thomson 20, Burke County 14

Lakeside at Greenbrier: Lakeside must win to keep its playoff hopes alive. Greenbrier must find some offense.

Greenbrier 14, Lakeside 10

Jefferson County at Harlem: At the first of the season, everybody thought this game would probably mean little. It's very important in the Region 3-AAA standings.

Harlem 16, Jefferson County 7

Williston-Elko at Blackville-Hilda: Throw the records out in this game. The region title is on the line.

Blackville-Hilda 31, Williston-Elko 21

Midland Valley at Strom Thurmond: Midland Valley rebounds from last week's loss to beat Strom Thurmond.

Midland Valley 21, Strom Thurmond 7

Others: Richmond Academy 24, Cross Creek 10; Statesboro 48, Butler 7; Hephzibah 31, Glenn Hills 6; Evans 24, Forest Park 0; Screven County 49, Richmond Hill 0; Appling County 17, Swainsboro 10; East Laurens 14, Jenkins County 7; Washington-Wilkes 55, Oglethorpe County 0; Warren County 45, Aquinas 6; Glascock County 27, Our Lady of Mercy 6; Lincoln County 23, Social Circle 13.

Allendale-Fairfax 31, Wade Hampton 7; South Aiken 20, Airport 10; Wagener-Salley 17, Denmark-Olar 14; Calhoun Falls 21, McCormick 14; Ninety Six 37, Ridge Spring-Monetta 7.

Wardlaw 28, Wyman King 21; Eagles Landing 31, Curtis Baptist 0; Brentwood 13, Pinewood 7; Briarwood 21, Nathanael Greene 13; Edmund Burke 28, David Emanuel 17; John Hancock 20, Thomas Jefferson 14; Augusta Christian 21, Tattnall Square 14.

Last week: 26-4. Season: 136-27.