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Week 4 Prep Football Preview Capsules


Sep. 10—Fox Creek (1-0) at Silver Bluff (1-0)

Last time they played

Fox Creek defeated Silver Bluff 23-21 on Nov. 1, 2019.

Keys to the game

Two programs that scored resounding victories in their respective season openers three weeks ago finally return to the field in a matchup of former region rivals. Both teams have talented, experienced offensive lines they’ll be counting on to open things up for their skill position players, so whichever defensive line can gain the upper hand should go a long way toward deciding a winner. Both quarterbacks dazzled in the season openers, so the defenses will face a tall task in terms of trying to disrupt that flow.

Saluda (2-0) at Midland Valley (0-2)

Last time they played

Saluda defeated Midland Valley 37-17 on Sept. 25, 2015.

Keys to the game

Midland Valley fell victim to another late scoring barrage in last week’s 42-26 loss to Pelion, but this week the key may be to not give up an early one against a Saluda team that has feasted on early turnovers and defensive stops in blowout wins over Strom Thurmond and Ridge Spring-Monetta. Saluda likes to get after the passer and bring pressure, so Midland Valley quarterback TJ McElmurray’s legs may be even more important this week as the Mustangs incorporate his running ability into the offense.

Greenwood (3-0) at North Augusta (2-1)

Last time they played

Greenwood defeated North Augusta 34-32 on Nov. 16, 2012 in the second round of the Class AAAA, Division II playoffs.

Keys to the game

The Yellow Jackets were the comeback kings a week ago against Grovetown, scoring 21 unanswered points in a 28-19 win. They likely can’t afford another slow start against a Greenwood team that has opened the season with wins over Hillcrest, Emerald and Catawba Ridge. North Augusta has been riding the hot hand as it rotates in as many players as possible during the non-region portion of the schedule, and last week those hot hands belonged to quarterback Colson Brown (201 yards passing, two touchdowns), running back DJ Curry (14 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns), and wide receiver Jacarri Gamble (seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown).

T.W. Josey (0-0) at Strom Thurmond (1-1)

Last time they played

This is the first meeting between the two programs.

Keys to the game

Strom Thurmond was flying high following its win over Midland Valley two weeks ago, then used last week’s bye week to get better in practice and heal some injuries. The Rebels’ run game is versatile and deep, meaning Josey’s defense can’t afford to simply focus its attention on a single player like Chris Barnes (136 yards and three touchdowns on three carries vs. Midland Valley). Keep an eye on the Rebels’ ball security, particularly early in the game — fumbles doomed the Rebels to a slow start in a loss to Saluda, and they prematurely ended two early potential scoring drives against Midland Valley. Note: At halftime, former Rebel greats Matt Key and Coco Hillary will be inducted into the Strom Thurmond Athletic Hall of Fame.

Barnwell (2-1) at Burke (1-1)

Last time they played

Barnwell defeated Burke 41-0 on Nov. 15, 2019 in the second round of the Class AA playoffs.

Keys to the game

Barnwell bounced back in a big way last week, blowing out Swansea a week after a disappointing loss to Calhoun County. Head coach Dwayne Garrick wanted improved play out of both of his offensive and defensive lines, and they responded in a dominating victory. Quarterback Weston Sandifer had a strong outing, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another, so watch for him to continue to develop a rhythm with receivers like top option Clay Pender (four catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns last week).

Blackville-Hilda (0-0) at McBee (0-2)

Last time they played

Blackville-Hilda defeated McBee 36-12 on Nov. 15, 2019 in the second round of the Class A playoffs.

Keys to the game

This is the long-awaited season opener for Blackville-Hilda, the defending Region 3-A champion that sat idle the first three weeks of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. This game was initially scheduled to be played against Wagener-Salley, but the War Eagles’ own COVID-19 problems forced a late substitution. There’s youth and inexperience at some key spots for the Fighting Hawks, so this will be their one non-region test to work out some kinks before beginning their title defense.

Ridge Spring-Monetta (1-1) at Lewisville (3-0)

Last time they played

Lewisville defeated Ridge Spring-Monetta 27-20 on Nov. 13, 2020.

Keys to the game

Third downs may end up deciding this one, as whoever does a better job of imposing their will and extending drives will put themselves in position to win. Lewisville’s single-wing offense can grind out drives all game long and wear down a defense, so Ridge Spring-Monetta’s defense will have to be up to the task in third-down situations when the Trojans can get the ball back to their offense. When they do, it’s up to a thin offensive line to pave the way for their talented playmakers. Quarterback Remedee Leaphart showed in a win over Batesburg-Leesville that he’s learned when to check down, throw the ball away or use his legs for a first down, and his continued maturation can take the Trojans a long way — he just needs to have the time to do it.

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