The area game of the year is coming up. Thomson (9-0) and Washington County (7-2) square off next week in Sandersville with the Region 3B-AAA title on the line. Both are unbeaten in region play.
Washington County's two losses (Baldwin and Dublin) came against top-tier teams. Thomson has not played teams of that caliber even though it did top a strong Washington-Wilkes (8-1) team.
Most Thomson fans hoped to see Glenn Hills give the Hawks more of a game than the 43-6 result on Friday. Glenn Hills held Thomson to a scoreless first half earlier this year and only fell 10-0 at The Brickyard.
Thomson beat Cross Creek 25-8 this week despite sitting star back LaBrandon Hudson. He will return from an injured hand this week facing a team with a score to settle.
Thomson ended Washington County's season a year ago with its 28-21 victory in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.
Rosco Walls remembers. He had 2,000-plus rushing yards in 10 games heading into that game. A veteran Bulldog defense held him to 112 yards on 27 carries.
"I am ready for them," Walls said. "That's the game I've been waiting for all year. Just been waiting to get all over their butt. They stopped me for only a little over a 100 yards. This year we'll show those boys what Washington County Golden Hawks can do."
PLAYOFF PAIRINGS: Aiken got a good draw in the South Carolina High School League playoffs.
The SCHSL changed its Class AAAA playoff format, selecting the top 32 overall teams in the class first, then making the largest 16 of those 32 schools Division I.
The Hornets (10-1) got a No. 1 seed with the elevation of Region 4-AAAA champ Irmo to Division I. They also go into the postseason knowing old nemesis Byrnes won't be standing in the way of a title ring this time around. The Rebels ended Aiken's season each of the past two years in the state semifinals.
Byrnes went on to win the Division II state title each year. The Rebels are a No. 6 seed in the "Big 16" bracket this year.
South Aiken qualified for a first-round playoff game at Goose Creek. First-year coach Robert Wrightenberry will be in familiar territory. He was Goose Creek's defensive coordinator last year.
IN NEED: Glenn Hills coach Ernest Tolbert was looking for extra strength after the 43-6 setback against Washington County.
Not extra strength aspirin. Just extra strength for his Spartans.
"Washington County is a strong team," he said. "They started pounding away at us and got us. I want to say this: Weight room. Weight room. We need a weight room because that was nothing more than us getting pushed around. A weight room would fix that in these battles next year."
ICE, ICE BABY: Silver Bluff lineman Cory Pope sat on the bench at the end of his team's 28-14 win against Andrews with ice on his left knee. The 305-pound senior bumped his knee against another player before the game.
"That was just precautionary there at the end," Silver Bluff coach Al Lown said. "We can't afford to lose him. We can't afford to lose anybody."
CREDIT: Just about every member of Augusta Christian's team contributed to the 41-7 win against Porter-Gaud in the SCISA Class AAA state quarterfinals.
Tailbacks Kyle Meeks and Jay Harmon scored twice. Quarterback Tyler Bourdo threw for two scores. Junior Travis Cerasuolo grabbed an interception and a fumble. The defense gave up just 93 yards.
Coach Bruce Lane pointed out a few team members afterward.
"Our assistant coaches don't get enough credit for something like this," he said. "Craig Johnson's done a fine job coordinating the defense and then you look at all the assistants. Keith Walton, Charles Cooper. Then Ryan Bowers has come in and helped our secondary."
The defending SCISA Class AAA state champion Lions (9-2) will face Region II-AAA No. 1 seed Laurence Manning next week in the state semifinals.
Staff writers Billy Byler, Chris Gay and Steve Sanders contributed to this report.
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The top individual performances among reported totals from around the CSRA.
Player School Att. Yards Avg. TD
Rosco Walls Washington Co. 28 179 6.4 3
Player School Com. Att. Yards TD Int.
Danny Daggett Josey 5 14 190 1 3
Player School No. Yards Avg. TD
Will Bridges Harlem 2 100 50.0 1