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Round 2 5A Preview

It’s Round 2 of the 5A football playoffs and here is what is coming up on Friday. 

The Spartanburg Nutrition Game of the Week is Spring Valley at Spartanburg. Spring Valley advanced after knocking off Nation Ford 32-24, while Spartanburg beat Woodmont 49-28. 

This battle of the Vikings should be a very entertaining game as it features two teams with contrasting styles. Spartanburg rolled in the first round, using explosive plays on offense to jump out to a big lead early. They were then able to rest their starters for much of the game, so I expect Coach Hodge’s team will be in good health heading into Friday’s game. Spring Valley isn’t as explosive on the offensive side as Spartanburg, but they run an option style offense that is able to grind out long drives and wear down the opposing defenses. They did just that last week against Nation Ford. 

While Spartanburg was able to win comfortably last week, I don’t think it will be nearly as easy for them this Friday. I do like them to score some points early, which is exactly what you want to do against an option team, but it won’t be a scenario where the starters can rest in the second half. The Spring Valley Vikings are 7-2 on the year for a reason. They play great defense and can usually control the time of possession. Spartanburg needs to play good defense on first and second downs to try and get Spring Valley off schedule and make them uncomfortable. I think this game is close for a while, but eventually Raheim Jeter and company will just continue to score, and I don’t think Spring Valley can keep up. What has already been a great season for Spartanburg should continue for at least another week. 

Another interesting matchup in 5A is T.L. Hanna at Gaffney. Hanna defeated Dorman in overtime, while Gaffney thumped Rock Hill 41-0 in Round 1. 

This should be a great game between two teams who enter with a combined one loss on the year. Gaffney was excellent again last week using the run game and a smothering defense to shutout the Bearcats. It was much tougher for the Yellow Jackets at home last Friday, but they were able to find a way to win in overtime over a very good Cavaliers team. 

Both teams have been consistent all year in how they go about winning. Gaffney can be balanced on offense with a power run game, as well as a passing attack that can be very explosive. Hanna will pound you with their option style offense for all 48 minutes, mixing in a few shots downfield throughout the night. 

This ballgame will most likely be a one score game in the fourth quarter. While the Jackets have been great all season running the football, I think they will struggle against the Indians defensive front, which as a unit is one of the best in the state. Indians quarterback Grayson Loftis may be asked to do a little bit more than be a game manager in this one, but I think he is up to the task. I think the Indians survive and advance, keeping their perfect season alive. 

Also, in action this Friday is Byrnes at Northwestern. Byrnes held off Mauldin 30-20, while Northwestern dominated Boiling Springs 52-7. 

This game features two of the most impressive offenses in the state. Byrnes comes in averaging 38 points per game, while Northwestern is even better at just over 40 points per game. 

Byrnes defense has been much better the second half of the season, but they face a different challenge this week. The Trojans have won ten straight games and are led by star quarterback Will Mattison, who has 37 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions on the season. The Rebels are led by a star quarterback of their own, Gabe Rogers, who has over 3,000 yards and 34 touchdown passes on the season. 

This game will most likely be a high scoring affair, and while I think Byrnes can score with anybody, I just don’t know if their defense can make enough stops. Northwestern has been consistent all season, and for that reason I think the Trojans will advance. If the Rebels defense can force a few turnovers, they will have to take advantage and score touchdowns, because I don’t think field goals will be enough. 

We lost Dorman and Boiling Springs in 5A last week. As well as Greer in 4A. Good luck to all our local teams this Friday in Round 2. 

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