Round 1 2A/3A Preview
One of the most exciting times of the year is here and that is the High School football playoffs that begin this week. Many great games are expected, so let’s take a look at the 2A/3A games in our local listening area.
Cresent @ Chapman
The Chapman Panthers have had another incredible season as they finished the year 9-1 and went unbeaten in region play, including last week’s 38-35 victory over Broome to secure another region tile. But the Panthers are not looking just for a region title this season but a state championship as well, and the path to that starts Friday Night as they host Cresent.
Cresent finished the year at 6-4 and went 2-3 in their region. In Cresent’s last game of the season, they lost to Daniel by a final score of 50-0 and nothing gets easier for them with a red-hot Panthers team awaiting them.
As a game breakdown, there is not a lot here the reality is the Panthers are the far superior team and should not have any problem in this game and should cruise to the second round.
Seneca @ Broome
The Broome Centurions as just mentioned fell to Chapman in the season finale, which turned into a region title game. It was the second year in a row that these two teams played for the region title and Broome fell short. They certainly battled but just couldn’t make enough plays to win that one, and now they will look to move on from that loss and make a run in the playoffs for a state championship and that journey starts against Seneca.
Seneca this season finished with a 5-5 record and went 2-3 in the region. In their last game against West Oak, they won by a final score of 47-6, so they will look to build off that win and make a run of their own.
Broome’s defense is the key last week they couldn’t get the big stop to give themselves a chance to get ahead and they are now not facing an offense quite like Chapman’s but Seneca is averaging around 30 points per game so the defense will have to step it up and string together stops to allow their offense to open up a lead. Right now I see the Centurions getting several stops and winning by a comfortable margin, but as it gets deeper into the playoffs the defense will have to pick it up.
Woodruff @ Wren
The Wolverines finished the regular season at 4-6 and 2-2 in region play, they are coming off a win that gave them the final playoff spot in region 4 when they defeated Union 59-40. But the upcoming game against Wren will be no walk in the park for Woodruff.
Wren is coming into this game with an overall record of 5-5 and finished 4-1 inside region play. Their last game was against a really good BHP team where they lost 51-14 to finish in second place in region 2. Wren played a pretty tough non-region schedule playing teams like TL Hanna and Byrnes, who are both region winners and I think they are very battled tested, so don’t be fooled when you see them with a 5-5 record Wren is a solid football team
For Woodruff to win this game they will need more out of their defense as I have pointed out in previous articles they will give up a good amount of points as they are averaging 38 points per game. For them to win this one I think they have to keep Wren under 30 points I am just not sure they are going to do that.
Landrum @ Strom Thurmond
The Landrum Cardinals kept their season alive last week as they defeated Blacksburg by a final score of 44-7 to receive the final playoff spot in region 1. But to face a really solid football team in the first round like Strom Thurmond is, is no easy task.
Strom Thurmond is entering this game with an 8-2 record overall and was 5-0 inside their region to claim a region title. In their last game, they won by a final score of 43-8 against Fox Creek.
Strom Thurmond is strong on both sides of the ball their offense averages 34 points per game while their defense only surrounders 11 points per game, For Landrum to win this game they are going to have to dominate on the ground offensively and defense will have to make several big plays and force some turnovers. Right now I am not sure if Landrum will be able to make enough plays to win this one
Chesnee @ Bates- Leesville
Chesnee suffered another heartbreaking loss last week when they fell to Liberty 36-35 to fall to the fourth seed in region 1. They were up 20-0 at one point in the game by the fourth quarter they found themselves down 27-28. They scored a TD and got the two-point conversion to go up 35-28 with about 7 minutes left, but with 5 seconds to go they gave up a TD, and Liberty went for two and the win and they got it. So Cheseen will look to bounce back on the road and keep themselves going in the playoffs.
Bates-Leesville finished the year at 5-5 overall and 3-2 inside the region. In their last game of the year, they beat Saluda in a tight one 20-17.
I think this game is a very evenly matched game and could be one of the closer games on the schedule for our area. I think Chesnee’s offense is slightly better than the Panthers’ offense, but the Panther’s defense is slightly better than Chesnee’s. I think Chesnee to win this game they will need their defense to hold strong, but I do believe the Eagles have a good chance to win this game.