By Tyler Shugart
My favorite time of year is finally here. No it’s not because of Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s because it is time for the High School Football playoffs. This is what teams have worked so hard all year for. No more easy games. From here on out its win or go home. Some games will come down to simply who wants it more. It’s time to put up or shut up, the playoffs are upon us!
Boiling Springs vs Rock Hill
These two teams got together earlier in the season and it was a fantastic game with the Bulldogs coming out on top 35-32 in week 3. That was the second fewest points Boiling Springs scored all year, and the most points they have allowed in any game. Boiling Springs finished the season 9-1 while Rock Hill finished 2-8. Look for Boiling Springs to put a lot of points on the board in this one.
Tyler Pick-Boiling Springs
Clary Pick – Boiling Springs
Hauser Pick – Boiling Springs
Gaffney at Northwestern
These two teams got together earlier in the season at Gaffney High School. Gaffney was undefeated at the time and rolling right along putting up big points on every team they faced. They were making people question who would win region 3 5A. Then they ran into Northwestern. Gaffney QB Tyshun Sarratt was injured and Northwestern easily defeated Gaffney 46-2, with the Indians only two points coming on a penalty called on Northwestern in the end zone. Sarratt will play in this game but it won’t be enough. Although Sarratt could make it closer.
Tyler Pick- Northwestern
Clary Pick – Northwestern
Hauser Pick – Northwestern
Dorman @ Nation Ford
These two teams appear to be very similar. Both beat Rock Hill, and lost to Byrnes and Northwestern. They seem to score about the same amount of points, and give up around the same amount of points. (Except for against Rock Hill where Nation Ford Scored 70.) Nation Ford likes to throw the ball a little more than Dorman; they are averaging 324.8 yards per game through the air and 104.5 on the ground. For Dorman, 251 through the air and 201.5 on the ground. I think if Dorman can keep the ball on the ground and keep the Nation Ford offense off the field, and eliminate the big plays while Nation Ford is on the field, then the Cavs could pull off this win. Call it a hunch, but I think they get it done.
Clary Pick – Dorman
Hauser Pick – Dorman
Spartanburg vs Clover
Clover runs one of the most hard to stop offenses around. They will run it A LOT. Spartanburg will have to play good, solid, assignment defense. Clover finished the regular season 6-3 with a couple of quality wins, including one over a very good South Pointe team who is a favorite to win Class 4A. Spartanburg prides themselves on defense, and they take care of business in round one.
Tyler Pick- Spartanburg
Clary Pick – No Pick (calling game)
Hauser Pick – Spartanburg
5A Tyler Pick for State Champion- Although I hate to admit it I think Northwestern is too strong and will claim the Title.
Dark Horse – Couple of teams in Lowerstate are capable of winning it but I think Spartanburg is a true dark horse that could come out of the upstate to win it all. Defense wins Championships.
Union County vs Aiken
Yellow Jackets always seem to play better when the playoffs come around. They schedule hard games during nonconference play to ready themselves for the challenges of the region schedule and the playoffs. The Aiken Green Hornets don’t have the skill players the Jackets have like Shi Smith. Union County Rolls.
Tyler Pick- Union
Clary Pick – Union
Hauser Pick – Union
4A Tyler Pick for State Champion- South Pointe will take on Hartsville for the Title. I give the edge to South Pointe. Too many really good athletes.
Chapman vs Camden
The Camden Bulldogs have given up some points this year. Including 70 to Fairfield Central and 61 to Hartsville. That tells me they have a hard time with the run. Enter DJ Twitty the very good running back for Chapman. Look for him to have a big game.
Tyler Pick- Chapman
Clary Pick – Chapman
Hauser Pick – Chapman
Woodruff at Fairfield Central
The Wolverines have struggled at times this year with teams that run the Football successfully. Especially Power Run teams. The Griffins are a very talented offense with the ability to get a lot of rushing yards. Plus it is very difficult to go to Fairfield and win at Victory Village. I think the Griffins are primed for a run to the title. Will this be Trey Elders last game at Woodruff?
Tyler Pick-Fairfield Central
Clary Pick – Fairfield Central
Hauser Pick – Fairfield Central
Class 3A Tyler Pick for State Champion- Everyone had Dillon winning this thing preseason I still think they will but I think the Griffins of FFC can give them a run for their money.
Class 2 A
Chesnee at Fox Creek-
The Chesnee Eagles have had an up and down season. Which team is going to show up Friday night. Will it be the offense that can score at the drop of a hat or the one that turns the ball over a lot? Can Isaiah Ellis rise to the occasion and play to the high level we all know he is capable of? Fox Creek has given up a lot of points this year and I think that trend continues. Here’s to hoping that high powered Chesnee offense shows up and gets it done.
Clary Pick – Chesnee
Hauser Pick – Chesnee
Landrum at Saluda-
The Cardinals have been one of my favorite teams to follow this year. I have enjoyed how they have improved week in and week out. They are a very young team and time will only make them better. They ended conference play on a high note defeating region champ Blacksburg. Saluda has won 9 straight games since dropping the season opener to Strom Thurmond. They won 8 of those games by double digits. I don’t believe Landrum’s young offense can keep up with Saluda’s scoring.
Clary Pick – Saluda
Hauser Pick – Saluda
2A Tyler Pick for State Champion-No brainer. Abbeville