I'm going to go back to something for this week only that I did for the last two seasons, talk about the top 10 games in the Lowcountry in more detail. I have been very busy this week at College of Charleston, with multiple major assignments and exams, so sorry for the delay. I will get back to normal previews next week.
Here is this week's schedule.
1) Cane Bay (3-4, 0-1) at Goose Creek (6-1, 1-0): A big game for Goose Creek supremacy, as all Region 7-4A games are. Goose Creek got a challenge last week from James Island, losing 7-6 at halftime on their homecoming before winning by a 32-13 score. Cane Bay lost at Stratford 33-7, as Stratford has rapidly improved throughout the season. Goose Creek has back to back road games following this one.
Cane Bay is a major underdog, but they only lost by 16 to Fort Dorchester and 2 to Summerville, and have beaten a improving Berkeley team, so they can't be counted out. Chuck Reedy has to have his Gators ready to play, otherwise it could be another long night.
2) Stratford (5-2, 1-0) at Wando (4-3, 0-1): Stratford may be the quietest 5-2 team in recent memory. Many people left them behind early in the season after back to back home losses to Sumter and a Fort Dorchester team that is the 2nd best team in the area, but they have come back with four straight wins, only allowing 30 points in the last 4 games. This is a huge game for playoff positioning in the region.
Wando was shut out stunningly last week by West Ashley, 9-0, as all the Wildcats needed was a receiving TD and a long FG in the 4th quarter. You never know what you are going to get from Wando each week. It is like Bo Wallace with Ole Miss. Do we get good Wando or bad Wando this week?
3) West Ashley (3-4, 1-0) at James Island (5-2, 0-1): A very interesting game in the Backyard this Friday night for homecoming. West Ashley lost four straight games before last week's shutout, and only scored 19 points in the last three of those. Maybe last week's win was a turning point to their season.
James Island on the other hand suffered a tough loss at Goose Creek, but performed very well, leading 7-0 in the 1st quarter after an 80 yard fumble return for a TD and only allowing six points to the vaunted Gator offense in the first half. This is a very interesting game because of the rivalry factor.
4) Colleton County (4-4, 0-1) at Fort Dorchester (7-1, 1-0): Fort Dorchester beat Summerville for the first time since 2001 last Friday night. Now they have a challenge with Colleton County, who lost by 24 points at home to Ashley Ridge. Now they draw one of the toughest tasks in SC high school football, their final three games, all in region, all on the road.
Fort Dorchester with Joyner and Garrett as the main offensive weapons are a very good team. Tonight is the Patriots homecoming, and with the fans so excited last week that they tore down the goal posts, homecoming at Fort Dorchester will be a happening this year.
5) Orangeburg-Wilkinson (6-1, 1-1) at Berkeley (3-4, 2-0): Berkeley was left for dead a couple weeks ago at 1-4. Now they have reeled off back-to-back region wins, and are 3-4 with a big game against a O-W team which suffered a very tough loss last week at home to Hanahan. They were blown out 38-13, and now in one week, O-W can go from the region drivers seat to possibly being eliminated from the region race with a loss.
Berkeley can move to 3-0 with a win, and next week's game is at win less Stall. I don't like getting ahead of myself, but the game Halloween night at Hanahan could be for a region title.
6) Bluffton (3-4, 0-0) at Ashley Ridge (5-3, 1-0): Bluffton still hasn't played a region game yet, while Ashley Ridge has already played one and has a bye next week. Ashley Ridge can earn a winning season with a win here, even with only scoring four more points than they've allowed in eight games (231-227). After three straight losses, will last week's win in Cougar Country spark a late-season run?
7) Academic Magnet (6-1, 2-0) at Whale Branch (3-4, 2-0): Most people at the beginning of the season would not have predicted that this game between two usually middling 2A schools would be one of the biggest games of the season so far. But it is for region play and playoff positioning. Magnet and Branch are the only 2-0 teams in Region 6-2A, and the winner of this battle has a very good chance of a region title.
8) Burke (0-7, 0-2) at St. John's (4-3, 2-0): Burke has lost 24 straight games in what has been a very tough time for the Bulldogs football program. They have gotten steadily better throughout the season, only losing by three points to Military Magnet last week in a tough homecoming loss. St. John's is perfect in their region, and closes their home schedule this week, as they finish up at Military Magnet and Cross.
9) Stall (1-6, 0-2) at Hanahan (4-3, 2-0): An important game for Hanahan in region play. They cannot slip up against a Stall team who is a major underdog. Stall hasn't scored a point since September 19. They scored forty-one points in a overtime win over North Charleston September 5. Since then, in a five-game stretch, they have been shut out four times in five games. Hanahan has steadily improved through the season as well.
10) Bible Baptist (2-5, 0-4) at Northwood Academy (7-0, 3-0): Northwood Academy has very quietly made their way through an undefeated season so far. They have opened their new stadium in Cane Bay, and have played a very good brand of football throughout the year. They've only allowed eight points in the last four games, and are a favorite in their SCISA preview. They can't slip up though, as Hilton Head Christian has an important game against Thomas Heyward.
11) Hilton Head High (5-3, 0-2) at Beaufort (4-3, 1-1): A very important game at Beaufort. The county rivals battle. B.J. Payne of Hilton Head says that Hilton Head basically has to win out to make playoffs. Beaufort has to probably win two of their final three to make playoffs.
Enjoy the games!