It is the BEST time of the year in high school football – Class 4A closes out the regular season with colossal rivalry games, and the rest of South Carolina from 3A to 1A opens the playoffs! IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!
Now, our Fab Five Games for Midlands’ teams tonight!
WLTX Game of the Week: Daniel (8-2) at A.C. Flora (9-1)
Thanks to a near-perfect regular season and Region 4 3A championship, the A. C. Flora Falcons have home field throughout the playoffs, beginning tonight with tradition Upstate power Daniel coming to town. The Falcons will need a big-time crowd and big-time effort in this significant early test.
What does our supercomputer say about the game?
WLTX/USA Today Score Predictor: Daniel 27, A.C. Flora 21
White Knoll (8-2, 4-0) at Lexington (5-5, 2-2)
The Timberwolves are winners of eight straight and can call themselves Region 5 champions with a game left to play – pretty significant heights for a program that’s struggled to maintain success. For now, White Knoll is enjoying every minute of its limelight and has earned everything it’s gotten.
That won’t change in this huge rivalry game with Lexington County foe LHS. After a terrific 2013, the Wildcats this season have had their ups and downs, battling injuries as much as other teams at times.
Lexington has won two out of its past three, however, and narrowly fell in its only loss in that stretch to rival Irmo, 17-14. After putting 47 points on South Aiken last week, can Lexington do the same against a White Knoll defense averaging 23.4 points per game? Expect a close one tonight at White Knoll.
WLTX/USA Today Score Predictor: White Knoll 28, Lexington 21
Westwood (9-1, 4-1) at Spring Valley (604, 2-2)
Westwood’s hope for an undefeated regular season ended last week against Dutch Fork, but the Redhawks can finish the season and enter the playoffs strong with a win against new (and now region) rival Spring Valley.
Like Lexington, the Vikings have had uneven success and have battled injuries. Also like Lexington, Spring Valley is showing signs of life late. The Vikings lost a closer-than-expected game to Dutch Fork two weeks ago (25-12) and trounced Ridge View last week 31-7.
What does that mean for tonight’s huge matchup at Harry Parone Stadium?
WLTX/USA Today Score Predictor: Westwood 24, Spring Valley 14
Wilson (5-5, 3-2) at Swansea (6-4, 5-0)
Swansea started off the season playing a tough schedule and it showed. The Tigers got off to an awful 0-4 start, but after a 34-10 loss at White Knoll – which we all learned was pretty food – Swansea didn’t lost again, sweeping through Region 5 to claim the championship and earn a No. 1 seed in the Lower State playoffs.
They’ll face a Wilson team tonight that had won three in a row before falling to Georgetown on the road 35-16. Can the Tigers keep their high-octane offense rolling against the Tigers from Florence?
WLTX/USA Today Score Predictor: Swansea 35, Wilson 28
Seneca (8-2, 5-2) at Chapin (7-3, 3-2)
While region foes Camden and Dreher were brawlin’ and bawlin’ (to the appeals committee, that is), Cahapin went about the business of ballin’, defeating Camden last week at home to cap a nice 7-3 season that featured narrow losses to region champ A.C. Flora (16-6) and playoff-bound Dreher on the road (35-33).
The Eagles now turn to the playoffs, where they earned a No. 2 seed in their Upper State bracket. They face No. 3 seed Seneca tonight, which has won two in a row and is coming off a 29-20 win over Daniel, which is also in Columbia tonight playing at A.C. Flora.
Who does the computer like?
WLTX/USA Today Score Predictor: Seneca 27, Chapin 21
Midlands Playoff Schedule
Daniel at A.C. Flora
Seneca at Chapin
Camden at Belton-Honea Path
Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Hartsville
Georgetown at Airport
Dreher at Berkeley
Wilson at Swansea
Gilbert at Myrtle Beach
2A Div. I
Mid-Carolina at Fairfield Central
Newberry at Indian Land
Waccamaw at Lake Marion
2A Div. II
Abbeville at Batesburg-Leesville
W.J. Keenan at Central
1A Div. 1
Calhoun County at Hemingway
East Clarendon at Fairfax
1A Div. 2
Branchville at Cross
Pinewood Prep at Hammond
Porter-Gaud at Ben Lippen
Cardinal Newman at Laurence Manning
Heathwood Hall at Wilson Hall
Northwood at Thomas Sumter
Richard Winn at St. John’s Christian
Clarendon Hall at Cathedral Academy
Regular Season 4A Games
Lugoff-Elgin at Dutch Fork
Ridge View at Blythewood
River Bluff at Irmo
Westwood at Spring Valley
White Knoll at Lexington
Sumter at Socastee