Amazingly, we are at the beginning of the playoffs in all South Carolina high school football classes except 4A, who has the final week of the regular season this week.
The season goes so fast. It seems like yesterday we were talking about Sertoma and who had the best looking teams for the upcoming season. Now, we have teams that have already been eliminated from playoff contention while others have a regular season game left plus playoffs. In this post I will try to talk about all the local playoff games plus our ending in 4A.
Last Friday night, the focus was on John McKissick winning his 600th game. It garnered a 4-page special section in Saturday's Charleston paper plus a mention by Chris Fowler and the guys on College Game Day, and a story that aired on SportsCenter that night.
There were many other compelling stories in last week's games, though. Wando bounced back. They played Cane Bay at Cane Bay in a game I attended. It was very close throughout the 1st half as the Warriors appeared bleary-eyed, turning the football over a couple times. Cane Bay actually led 10-7 at halftime before Wando poured it on with 26 2nd half points to win easily.
Goose Creek was no surprise, beating West Ashley, but the Wildcats covered the 67 point spread, only losing 52-7. Fort Dorchester got a big win over struggling Beaufort, and now faces Ashley Ridge, hoping to gain a playoff berth.
James Island had a chance for a home playoff game, but they are out of the playoffs instead after only scoring 2 points against Orangeburg-Wilkinson. They have had only two six-win seasons since Roddy White left in 2000, and one playoff win. Stall is also done for the season, along with a few other 1A teams.
In SCISA 8-man, St. John's Christian had a great season, finishing 9-1. They host Greenwood Christian Friday night in Moncks Corner. Cathedral Academy goes to W.W. King in what should be a good one, while Charleston Collegiate goes to Wardlaw Academy and Coastal Christian hosts Carolina Academy. All four 8-man games involve Lowcountry teams.
In 11-man class A locally, Holly Hill Academy goes to Bible Baptist in Savannah, while Dorchester Academy goes to Williamsburg Academy and Laurens goes to Colleton Prep and Leroy Riley, who's had a resurgence this year after several losing years at Colleton County.
In AA and AAA locally, Northwood Academy goes to Thomas Sumter, while Palmetto Christian goes to Florence Christian. Only one of our AAA teams is going to playoffs, Porter-Gaud. They go to Orangeburg Prep, on a nice 3-game winning streak to end the regular season, a team they lost to by just one at home in September.
4A's regular season is ending with some important games. Goose Creek and Stratford is for the region title. A bad night with a banged up QB for Stratford against Wando kept this from being a 10-0 vs. 10-0 matchup.
Houses will be divided, and it will be crazy at Fulmer Field Friday night. If Stratford pulls off the upset, they will get respect from the pollsters, and ruin Goose Creek's chance at an undefeated regular season.
A few miles away, Summerville and Bluffton will be playing for the Region 8-4A title. Will the monkey be off the Green Wave's back? Or will Bluffton complete a perfect regular season? Fort Dorchester is playing Ashley Ridge on Thursday night in an important game for the Patriots. If the season ended now, they would be on the road for a playoff game.
Wando hosts Sumter looking for a 10-win regular season, while Cane Bay plays West Ashley looking for a playoff berth and Colleton County hopes to break their long losing streak against Beaufort.
Playoff games should be interesting this week. In 3A, Hanahan hosts Gilbert. Hanahan is a big favorite in this game, with their only loss the second week of the year at Timberland. Gilbert is 4-6, coming off two losses to end the regular season.
Hilton Head goes to Strom Thurmond, whose only loss this year was to David Sills and ECA of Maryland in a game featured in Sports Illustrated. 4-6 Berkeley hosts against 4-6 Midland Valley. Berkeley won their final 3 region games to earn a playoff berth. Georgetown goes to Marlboro County. Those are the 3A games in our area.
In 2A Division I, Timberland has a bye; they will face the Marion-Wade Hampton winner, two teams with a COMBINED 3 wins between them. Ridgeland-Hardeeville goes to Edisto. Garrett goes to Lake Marion in what should be a tight game. Lake Marion has a Clemson signee in Mike Williams.
Battery Creek is a good surprise. They host Waccamaw Friday. They are 5-5 after the last two seasons, when they won only once combined.
In Division II, Bishop England has a bye. They host the Mullins-Andrews winner, while Woodland hosts Calhoun County. Academic Magnet had a winning season this year; they will go to Barnwell this week to play the Warhorses.
In 1A Division I, Baptist Hill hosts Estill. That should be a nice match-up, after the Bobcats lost at Estill 38-27 early in the year. St. John's, who took 3A James Island into the 4th quarter, goes to Johnsonville, while Whale Branch, who had a chance to win their region last week, instead goes to Allendale-Fairfax. Carver's Bay goes to Hemingway.
Division II has Branchville going to tough Lake View, while Military Magnet gets to host a playoff game at North Charleston against Denmark-Olar. Cross hosts Scott's Branch. Those should be all the games in the Lowcountry this week. I don't know if I missed one, but there's a lot of good football action on the pike.
If you want playoff brackets, go to http://schsl.org/2012Brackets/2012brackets.htm. You'll see the entire state's playoff brackets for all levels. For SCISA info, go to scisa.org.
Enjoy your games!