SOUTH AIKEN (3-5) AT NORTH AUGUSTA (1-7), 8 P.M.
LAST WEEK: South Aiken beat Lexington, 30-20; North Augusta lost to White Knoll, 37-36 in overtime
KEY PLAYERS: South Aiken-Junior QB/DB Calvin Fuller (6-2, 190); Senior SS/RB Q'Bryan Roper (5-9, 165); Senior LB/TE C.J. Hewitt (6-0, 210); Junior OL/DL Taylor Glass (6-0, 225); North Augusta-Senior RB Manny Riedel (5-11, 190); Senior DT Jonathan Hamrick (6-3, 245); Senior S Mike Gist (6-0, 190); Senior WR Treh Haynes (6-4, 185)
KEY MATCHUP: Fuller vs. North Augusta's defense. The Yellow Jackets won't resemble the Chicago Bears' defense any time soon. Last week, North Augusta allowed White Knoll's Rashawn Taylor to rush for 148 yards and two TDs. The Yellow Jackets must find a way to contain Fuller to have any shot.
OUTLOOK: North Augusta's defense is allowing more than 35 points a game. That's not going to cut it, especially in a rivalry contest. First-year North Augusta coach Dan Pippin will try to knock off his old school. But the Thoroughbreds might have too much firepower.
PREDICTION: South Aiken 35, North Augusta 21
JOSEY (3-3) AT SCREVEN COUNTY (3-3), 7:30 P.M.
LAST WEEK: Josey beat Southeast Bulloch, 28-7; Screven County lost to Laney, 12-7
KEY PLAYERS: Josey-Senior CB/RB/QB Danny Daggett (5-9, 170); Senior DE Cordero Campbell (6-2, 205); Senior OT/DE Raphael Brown (6-2, 255); Senior P/DE/FB Daniel Herman (6-2, 245); Screven County-Senior QB Chris Pye (6-0, 208); Senior RB/LB Theo Williams (5-9, 200); Senior DE Cornelius Tyler (6-0, 172); Senior OG Scott Coady (5-10, 248)
KEY MATCHUP: Daggett vs. Screven County's defense. Daggett is the Eagles' most explosive weapon. Last week, he ran for 114 yards and threw for 123 against Southeast Bulloch. Whether he can successfully keep the Gamecocks off-balance will determine how well Josey does.
OUTLOOK: The fact that Josey finally has something to play for this late in the season is a credit to the job fifth-year coach Barney Chavous and his staff are doing. But winning at Screven County is no easy task - all three of the Gamecocks' losses have been on the road this season. This game is huge for both teams, but look for Screven County to rebound after a pair of close losses.
PREDICTION: Screven County 21, Josey 16
LAST WEEK: Harlem defeated Glenn Hills, 22-14; Washington County beat Cross Creek, 48-0
KEY PLAYERS: Harlem-Senior OL/DL Matt Pitchford (6-0, 283); Senior OL/DL A.J. Ortiz (5-10, 260); Senior NG Shelley Johnson (6-4, 302); Junior TE/LB Mike Leverett (6-0, 200); Washington County-Senior RB Rosco Walls (5-9, 175); Senior LB Cardenal Coleman (6-1, 219); Senior QB Vantroski Jordan (5-11, 165); Senior FB/LB William Daniel (5-8, 175)
KEY MATCHUP: Harlem's backfield vs. Washington County's 4-4 set. Running back Barry St. John is the heavy hitter for the Bulldogs. He returned from injury last week to lead Harlem with 83 rushing yards in a much-needed win. St. John, Trey Crain and quarterback Brendan Gray need to have career games against a stout Golden Hawks defense for the Bulldogs to have any chance.
OUTLOOK: Harlem has never beaten Washington County in 13 tries. In seven of those games, the Bulldogs were shut out, including a 72-0 defeat in their last meeting in 2003. And if that wasn't enough good news for Harlem fans, Washington County has scored 44 or more against its past three opponents.
PREDICTION: Washington County 45, Harlem 14
GLENN HILLS (3-3) AT THOMSON (6-0), 7:30 P.M.
LAST WEEK: Glenn Hills lost to Harlem, 22-14; Thomson beat Butler, 55-0
KEY PLAYERS: Glenn Hills-Senior LB Larry Blue (6-0, 210); Senior CB/WR Demantrez Calloway (5-11, 195); Senior DE Michael Parks (6-3, 260); Senior OL Dan Johnson (6-1, 290); Thomson-Senior DB Vincent Scott (6-1, 170); Senior QB/HB Anthony Erwin (5-8, 175); Senior FB LaBrandon Hudson (5-9, 175); Senior OT Martell Winfrey (6-6, 305)
KEY MATCHUP: Thomson's Wing-T attack vs. Glenn Hills' linebackers. The Bulldogs will come after the Spartans many different ways out of the Wing-T. Glenn Hills can expect a healthy dose of misdirection plays. Expect Hudson to play a key role in the Bulldogs' attack.
OUTLOOK: This used to be a good rivalry until Thomson began dominating it about 15 years ago. The Bulldogs won 63-0 last season and they appear to be even better with new offensive coordinator Mark Daniel at the helm. Thomson might not lose another game in the regular season, if not the entire season.
PREDICTION: Thomson 48, Glenn Hills 7
LAST WEEK: Butler lost to Thomson, 55-0; Cross Creek lost to Washington County, 48-0
KEY PLAYERS: Butler-Senior QB/S Michael Givens (5-11, 185); Senior HB/CB Dexter Dodd (5-7, 145); Senior CB/OLB/HB Garrett Baker (5-7, 145); Senior DL Demetrius Abrams (5-10, 260); Cross Creek-Senior LB Daniel Normington (6-0, 220); Senior OL/DL Brantley Bolden (5-10, 220); Senior WR/DB Floyd Ferguson (5-10, 175); Senior WR/DB Eric Eitson (6-3, 190); Senior LB Akeem Myers (5-10, 170)
KEY MATCHUP: Cross Creek quarterback Emory Wilson vs. Butler secondary. In the Razorbacks' win against Richmond Hill two weeks ago, Wilson accounted for three touchdowns. One might be enough against a Bulldogs team that has been shut out four times.
OUTLOOK: Mathematically, Butler and Cross Creek each each still alive for one of the two playoff spots in Region 3B-AAA. That might be about as optimistic as you can get. Still, first-year Cross Creek coach Scott Tate has his team headed toward a second consecutive winning season. That's incentive in its own right.
PREDICTION: Cross Creek 37, Butler 7
- From staff reports