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Week 8 4A/5A Preview

Region II-5A

Gaffney (4-2, 1-0) at Boiling Springs (2-6, 0-2)
This week’s Game of the Week features two teams in Region 2-5A. Boiling Springs fell to Byrnes last week 30-7, while Gaffney knocked off Spartanburg 26-20 in overtime. The Bulldogs have continued to improve throughout the season, even with an 0-2 start to region play. Gaffney has rebounded after a rough start to the year, winning three straight over very tough opponents.
The Indians are mostly healthy again for the stretch run of games to finish the season, and the return of wide receiver Shuga Jeffries is a big part of why they have started to click on offense. He finished last week with 6 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think this game will be close for a while, but the front seven for Gaffney on defense will eventually take over and frustrate the Bulldogs offense. As long as the Indians aren’t looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Dorman, they should pull away for a comfortable win to move to 2-0 in region play.
Byrnes (6-2, 1-1) at Dorman (7-0, 1-0)
The Rebels pulled away from Boiling Springs last week, while Dorman had to come from behind in a 13-12 win over Mauldin. The Cavaliers started slow last Friday and fell behind 12-0 before scoring 13 second half points to pull off the win. The running game wasn’t as dominant as it had been for the first six games, as the Cavs managed only 30 yards on the ground in the first half. They also struggled to stop the run as Mauldin racked up nearly 200 yards rushing before halftime. Dorman was able to make some halftime adjustments and the defense was lights out in the final two quarters helping spark the comeback win.
Byrnes was also slow coming out of the gate last week, before the offense came alive in the second half. Both teams know how important this game is for region seeding and I expect it to be a battle for four quarters. Dorman looks to have the advantage in physicality, while Byrnes appears to have the edge in team speed. This game appears to be very evenly matched and will come down to which side can execute better, especially in the second half. Both teams have done a great job all season taking advantage of opponents’ mistakes, and penalties could become an issue this Friday night, especially when emotions are high. I think it comes down to the wire and this game may end up being decided by which team makes a big play on special teams. Dorman has had a knack for blocking kicks, while the Rebels have been dynamic in the return game. One of these could very well determine the outcome this Friday.

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