Originally created 10/25/02

Key matchups

Lexington at Aiken 8 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Lexington (4-4, 2-0 Region 4-AAAA) beat South Aiken, 41-17; Aiken (4-4, 0-2) lost to Orangeburg-Wilkinson, 20-17.

KEY PLAYERS: Lexington-RB Demetris Summers (Sr., 6-1, 200); RB Enrique Brooks (Jr., 5-10, 190); QB Justin Pate (Jr., 5-10, 170); DB Willie Seigler (Sr., 6-1, 180). Aiken-QB Dustin Ennis (Jr.); RB/OLB George Mathis (So.); RB/DT Myron Jordan (Sr.); OL/ILB Daniel Willis (Sr.).

KEY MATCHUP: Aiken's battered defense vs. Summers. Summers torched South Aiken last week with 231 yards rushing and five touchdowns, pushing his season totals to 1,412 yards and 21 touchdowns. Linebackers Willis, Deon Frierson and Tony Mealing are recovering from injuries, and Mealing is questionable after missing last week's game.

OUTLOOK: It will be difficult for the Hornets to stop Summers, but they must find a way to slow him down to have a chance. Aiken will rely on its ground game, with Ennis filling in at quarterback for the injured Bishop Scott.

PREDICTION: Lexington 42, Aiken 14

LAST WEEK: Allendale-Fairfax (6-2, 3-0 Region 5-AA) beat Jasper County, 26-19; Silver Bluff (5-3, 3-0) beat Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 39-7.

KEY PLAYERS: Allendale-QB/DE Eric Priester (Sr., 6-5, 223); QB/DB Sly Johnson (Sr., 5-9, 160); RB/DB Theodore Bryant (Sr., 5-6, 155); WR/DB Derrell Doe (Sr., 5-9, 170). Silver Bluff-QB/LB De'Angelo Bryant (Sr., 6-2, 215); RB Robert Kelly (So., 5-8, 170); DE Chris Wright (Sr., 5-11, 190); DT Charles Chavous (Jr., 6-0, 245).

KEY MATCHUP: Silver Bluff's defensive line vs. Allendale's offensive line. Priester has a dangerous arm and given adequate time, he is likely to pad his passing totals. Wright, Chavous and the rest of the Bulldog defensive line must win the battle up front to contain him.

OUTLOOK: Silver Bluff has blown out its first three region opponents by an average of 33 points. Look for a high-scoring affair, with Silver Bluff coming out on top in the battle for Region 5-AA supremacy.

PREDICTION: Silver Bluff 42, Allendale 30

LAST WEEK: A.C. Flora (6-2, 3-0 Region 5-AAA) beat Brookland-Cayce, 22-15; Midland Valley (4-4, 3-0) beat Keenan, 41-14.

KEY PLAYERS: A.C. Flora-RB David Smith; OL Garland Jackson; RB/FS Ty Colpin. Midland Valley-QB/DB Marcus Johnson (Sr., 5-11, 175); RB Dontrell Jones (Sr., 5-10, 165); WR/DB Terrence Sapp (So., 5-9, 150); FB/DE Randy Kirkland (Sr., 5-9, 202).

KEY MATCHUP: Midland Valley's defense vs. Smith. Smith rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns last week as the Falcons defeated Brookland-Cayce for the first time in 31 years.

OUTLOOK: Johnson passed for two touchdowns last week and ran for two more. The Mustangs will continue to rely on Johnson, Jones and Sapp to guide their offense. The winner takes over first place in Region 5-AAA.

PREDICTION: A.C. Flora 23, Midland Valley 17.

Screven County at Swainsboro 7:30 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Screven County (7-0) defeated Liberty County, 53-0; Swainsboro (3-3) defeated Savannah Christian, 38-7.

KEY PLAYERS: Screven County-LB Sean Mosley (Sr., 6-2, 245); SS Brian Roberts (Sr., 5-10, 175); QB Willis McCorvey (Sr., 6-1, 185); OG Warren McCorvey (Sr., Sr., 5-10, 270. Swainsboro-DB Garnell Smith (Sr., 6-1, 190); TE Jonathan Ross (Sr., 6-2, 200); DL Terrance Brinson (Sr., 5-11, 215); QB/K Cason Devane (Jr., 5-9, 160).

KEY MATCHUP: Screven County's defense vs. Swainsboro's offense. Who needs offense when the Gamecocks' defense has dominated like it has this season? Led by Mosley, Screven County's defense is allowing 3.4 points a game and has four shutouts.

OUTLOOK: Swainsboro has turned its season around with three straight wins, but has a tough two-game stretch starting tonight with Screven County and Appling County next week. The good news for Tigers fans is that Swainsboro could lose both games and still make the playoffs with a 5-5 record. It would take an upset for the Tigers to knock off a Gamecocks team trying to defend its Region 2-AAA title.

Prediction: Screven County 21, Swainsboro 6

KEY PLAYERS: Burke County-DL Xavier LaCue (Sr., 6-0, 240); LB Antoine Johnson (Sr., 5-10, 180); TE A.J. Huddleston (Sr., 6-2, 185); RB Miquel Payne (Sr., 5-8, 160). Greenbrier-OL Curtis Henchel (Sr., 6-3, 272); K Ben Tankersley (Sr., 5-7, 140); RB Orlando Pollard (So., 5-6, 150); QB Cam Griffin (Sr., 5-11, 185).

KEY MATCHUP: Burke County's offense vs. Greenbrier's defense. The Bears' offense has struggled at times , but will get good field position tonight. Because Greenbrier has had problems with its kickoff return coverage, Tankersley kicks high and short to prevent long returns. Burke County will have to take advantage of a shortened field if it expects to win.

OUTLOOK: With upcoming games against Thomson and Statesboro, Greenbrier's playoff hopes go from slim to none with a loss. Burke County has had a tough schedule the past month and has played better than the scoreshave indicated. The Bears stay in playoff contention with a win.

Prediction: Burke County 17, Greenbrier 14

KEY PLAYERS: Westside-RB Aundra Ellison (Sr., 6-0, 225); OL Michael Buckshaw (Sr., 6-2, 230); OL Casey Whoon (Sr., 6-0, 210); K Obi Egekeze (Jr., 6-4, 180). Cross Creek-WR/DB John Tweedy (So.); K Matt Thompson (Sr.); OL/DL Antonio Lee (Sr.).

KEY MATCHUP: Westside's Ellison vs. Cross Creek's linebackers. Ellison has emerged as one of the area's top rushers because of his offensive line. Once he gets past the line, the Razorbacks have to somehow slow him down. If Ellison starts breaking off big runs in the first quarter, it could be a long night for Cross Creek.

OUTLOOK: Look for Westside to blow off some steam after last week's loss to Washington County cost them a chance to win the Region 3-AAA title.

Prediction: Westside 31, Cross Creek 0

Jefferson County at Harlem 7:30 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Jefferson County (0-6) was idle; Harlem (5-2) beat Richmond Academy, 35-14.

KEY PLAYERS: Jefferson County-OL Fernando Velasco (Sr., 6-3, 330), WR Sean Walker (Jr., 6-0, 150), DT Charles Gibbons (Sr., 6-0, 210); Harlem-RB/LB Kelvin Sturgis (Sr., 5-10, 190), RB/CB Tae Dorsey (Sr., 5-10, 185), QB Mike Hawkinberry (Sr., 5-9, 170).

KEY MATCHUP: Harlem's ball control offense vs. Jefferson County's defense. Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis said he has to keep the ball out of the Warriors' hands. He'll have to do it without one of his best defenders, Josh Wilmoth, who's out with a broken leg.

OUTLOOK: Harlem, which needs a win to clinch a playoff berth, comes into the game with an injury problem. Lewis said his team will have to play its best game in three years to get back to the postseason.

PREDICTION: Harlem 17, Jefferson County 10

LAST WEEK: Richmond Academy (2-4) lost to Harlem 35-14;Laney (6-1) beat Josey, 45-8.

KEY PLAYERS: Richmond Academy-QB Ibrahim Rashada (Jr., 5-10, 185), FB Justin Williams (Sr., 6-0, 210), OL Devin Smith (Sr., 6-2, 315). Laney-LB J.K. Sabb (Sr., 6-0, 215), WR/DE Rod Briscoe (Sr., 6-3, 185), RB Deresco Williams (Jr., 5-8, 190).

KEY MATCHUP: Rashada vs. Briscoe and Johnny Beard. As is the case with any team that plays the Musketeers, Rashada - possibly the best athlete on the field - must be contained. That responsibility will fall to the Wildcats' defensive ends.

OUTLOOK: Richmond Academy has talent, though it probably won't be enough to beat Laney.

PREDICTION: Laney 27, Richmond Academy 12

LAST WEEK: Jones County (1-6) beat Greenbrier, 23-10; Thomson (7-0) beat Statesboro, 40-7.

KEY PLAYERS: Jones County-QB Justin Lord (Sr., 5-7, 150), LB Jake Parent-Lew (Sr., 5-10, 195), LB Mitch Mitchell (Jr., 5-10, 215); Thomson-LB Danny Verdun (Sr., 6-2, 230), QB Deon Palmer (Sr., 6-2, 180), RB Demarco McNair (Sr., 6-0, 185).

KEY MATCHUP: Thomson's physical tools vs. Jones County's mentality. The Greyhounds realize they're playing one of the best teams in the state. In order to make this game a competitive one, Jones County can't make any mental blunders.

OUTLOOK: Jones County lost 21 seniors and 17 starters from last year's Region 4-AAAA championship squad. Nine sophomores will start tonight, and although the Greyhounds are coming off their first win last week, they don't have a prayer against Thomson.

PREDICTION: Thomson 48, Jones County 10

LAST WEEK: South Aiken (6-2) lost to Lexington, 41-17; North Augusta (5-3) beat White Knoll, 30-7.

KEY PLAYERS: South Aiken-RB Rashad Hunter (Sr., 6-1, 200), OL Jerome Dunbar (Sr., 6-2, 340), DL Will Durrett (Sr., 6-3, 265). North Augusta-OL Bryant Pontoon (Sr., 6-2, 285), LB David Sanborn (Sr., 6-1, 200), RB Martise Quiller (Sr., 5-10, 185).

KEY MATCHUP: Hunter and Dunbar vs. North Augusta's defensive line. The Yellow Jackets have been hurt by injuries, so a lot of their players will get time on both sides of the ball. That won't help them in their quest to get past Dunbar.

OUTLOOK: South Aiken has put up points this season, and North Augusta's defense will be tested. This is probably the most important game of both team's seasons.

PREDICTION: South Aiken 27, North Augusta 21


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