HARLEM (3-3) AT GLENN HILLS (4-2)
LAST WEEK: Thomson defeated Harlem 46-7; Cross Creek defeated Glenn Hills 21-9
KEY PLAYERS: Harlem-Junior LB Maurice Dorsey (6-1, 220); senior OL Mike White (6-3, 265); senior OL Mark Boiter (6-0, 250); Glenn Hills-Senior RB Ricky Young (5-9, 180); senior WR Brandon Whitley (6-3, 185); senior S Byron Doyle (5-11, 185)
KEY MATCHUP: Harlem's ground game vs. Glenn Hills' defensive line: After rushing for 449 yards two weeks ago against Richmond Academy, Harlem hit a brick wall. The Bulldogs managed less than 100 against Thomson. Glenn Hills will prove to be another test for the Harlem attack.
OUTLOOK: This is a must-win game for both teams. The Spartans cannot afford another region loss with a season-ender against Thomson. Harlem must not lose if it wants to stay on track for a playoff berth.
PREDICTION: Glenn Hills 21, Harlem 17
LINCOLN CO. (2-3) AT AQUINAS (4-1)
LAST WEEK: Lincoln County defeated Athens Academy 10-7; Aquinas defeated Glascock County 33-14
KEY PLAYERS: Lincoln County-Junior TE Brandon Barden (6-4, 220); senior RB/LB Shawntavius Jennings (5-10, 200); senior OL Chase McGill (5-8, 225); Aquinas-Senior TB/FS Patrick Nordmann (5-8, 150); senior QB/LB Lee Malchow (6-3, 210); senior QB/LB Stephen Logue (6-0, 195)
KEY MATCHUP: Lincoln County's defense vs. Aquinas' Nordmann and Brandon Cooks: The Irish runners combined for 160 yards in last week's win. The Red Devils' defense is much improved after allowing 36 points in a loss to Greenbrier.
OUTLOOK: The answer: 1972. The question: When was the last time Aquinas defeated Lincoln County? Both teams have improved since a slow start, and Aquinas' offense seems to be clicking. If there's any chance to pull the upset, it's this year. But even a rebuilding Lincoln County squad is tough to beat.
PREDICTION: Lincoln County 20, Aquinas 14
S. EFFINGHAM (5-1) AT BURKE CO. (4-1)
LAST WEEK: South Effingham lost to Benedictine 7-0; Burke County defeated Butler 48-0
KEY PLAYERS: South Effingham-RB Larry Hall; QB Hamilton; WR Martin; Burke County-Senior LB Fred Walker (5-11, 210); senior DB Nicholas Pavao (6-1, 146); senior NG Frank Hill (5-11, 228)
KEY MATCHUP: South Effingham's Hall vs. Burke County's defense: Hall is one of the best runners in the Savannah-area with more than 900 yards rushing. He managed just 83 yards in last week's loss and also suffered an ankle injury. He missed all of the second half and his status is questionable.
OUTLOOK: South Effingham pounded Burke County by 27 a year ago. The Bears are a more well-rounded squad. After its shocking loss to Thomson, Burke County rebounded well. Coach Steve Summers has his team's attention, and the Bears should be able to pull off the victory.
PREDICTION: Burke County 21, South Effingham 20
WESTSIDE (S.C.) (5-0) AT SOUTH AIKEN (4-1)
LAST WEEK: Westside defeated Seneca 40-0; South Aiken lost at Rock Hill 34-3
KEY PLAYERS: Westside-DT Chris Donaldson (6-3, 256); WR Moe Brown (6-0, 170); QB Thomas Griffin; South Aiken-Senior DE/TE Dekoda Watson (6-3, 215); senior DT/OG Ben Anderson (6-2, 260); senior RB/LB Wade Arnold (5-10, 210)
KEY MATCHUP: Westside's offense vs. South Aiken's defense: Westside roared past Seneca, the top Class AAA team at the time, and put up 40 points. The Thoroughbreds will have to slow down Griffin and his stable of talented wide receivers, including South Carolina commitment Brown.
OUTLOOK: South Aiken lost at Westside 14-7 last year. The Thoroughbreds are coming off a big loss on the road and need to get a confidence-boosting win before they begin region play. Westside averages 38 points per game, so it will be a challenge, but the Thoroughbreds will have the advantage of playing at home.
PREDICTION: South Aiken 28, Westside 24
CHAPIN (5-0) AT S.THURMOND (4-1)
LAST WEEK: Chapin beat Mid-Carolina 38-21; Strom Thurmond beat Silver Bluff 31-17
KEY PLAYERS: Chapin-Junior LB Chris Chapman (6-1, 159); junior SS Jon Holaday (5-9, 175); senior LB Richard Troficanto (5-9, 171); Strom Thurmond-Senior QB Coco Hillary (5-9, 185); senior C Matt Holmes (6-2, 300); senior NG/OG Otis Key (6-2, 270)
KEY MATCHUP: Chapin's secondary vs. Strom Thurmond's receivers: Chapin is allowing less than 12 points per game. Strom Thurmond's air attack, led by Hillary and Justin Broadwater, has improved each week with the development of junior Jarrell Taylor and sophomore Aramis Hillary.
OUTLOOK: Strom Thurmond beat this team 20-0 last year and look for the same this year. The Rebels defense is underrated and its offense is one of the finest in the state. Chapin also hasn't faced near the caliber of competition the Rebels have in Laney, South Aiken and Silver Bluff in recent weeks.
PREDICTION: Strom Thurmond 27, Chapin 7
- From staff reports