FRIDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK - Dutch Fork, Gilbert face familiar foes in 2nd round
Friday’s 2nd round matchups for the SC High School League playoffs are set for Chronicle Country teams.
A pair of familiar foes await 4-time defending Class 5A champion Dutch Fork and Gilbert of Class 3A.
The Silver Foxes (7-0) resumes their “Drive For 5” when they invite back Carolina Forest (7-1) in a rematch of last year’s Lower State final they won 45-20.
The winner will face River Bluff (4-1) or Sumter (7-0) in this year’s Lower State final. The Gators upended 2nd round Fort Dorchester to improve to 3-0 in 1st round games under head coach C. Blair Hardin.
Meanwhile, the Indians (7-0) will face playoff nemesis Dillon (6-0) in the 2nd round. The Wildcats set up a 3rd trip in 4 years to Gilbert following Saturday’s 57-20 win over Hanahan.
Dillon has won both playoff meetings over the Indians, including last year by a 41-34 score.
After Friday’s 43-35 road victory over Westside, the 1st playoff win since 2012, Irmo (6-2) will play host to Catawba Ridge at WC Hawkins Stadium in the 2nd round of the Class 4A Upper State playoffs.
It’s also the 1st home game since 2012 when the Yellow Jackets lost to White Knoll.
The Copperheads defeated Greer 34-14 this past Saturday and are facing Irmo for the 1st time.
In Class 2A, Pelion and Gray Collegiate will play host to 2nd round games.
The Panthers (4-2) will face Andrews (4-1) in the 1st meeting between the 2 schools since the opening round of the 2011 playoffs. The Yellow Jackets won that game 44-0, but Pelion leads the series 2-1.
Gray Collegiate (7-0) will face Christ Church (6-2) at Midlands Sports Complex. The only other time the 2 teams met was the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, a game won by the Cavaliers 47-30 in Greenville.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK - KZ Adams (Gray Collegiate) & Colton Mason (Gilbert)
The exclusive members of Lexington County’s “1,000-yard rushing club” each rushed for 4 touchdowns in the opening round. Adams had 169 rushing yards to increase his Chronicle Country-leading total of 1,481. Colton had 258 rushing yards and has 1,426 on the season.
TEAMS OF THE WEEK - Irmo & River Bluff
The Yellow Jackets and Gators played the roles of “Road Warriors” this past Friday. Irmo rallied twice to defeat Westside and former Lexington and Chapin head coach Scott Earley 43-35. River Bluff used an inspired defensive effort to shock 2nd ranked Fort Dorchester 14-12.
Tanner Staton (Brookland-Cayce) - 237 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 rushing TDs
Will Way (Brookland-Cayce) - 126 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Jayden Bradfort (Chapin) - 166 passing yards, 2 TDs; 1 rushing TD
Bennett Galloway (Chapin) - 110 rushing yards, TD
Conner Lehmann (Chapin) - 10 tackles
Will Taylor (Dutch Fork) - 206 passing yards, TD; 2 rushing TDs
Elijah Spencer (Dutch Fork) - 8 receptions, 114 yards, TD
Tre Robinson (Gray Collegiate) - 175 passing yards, 2 TDs
Kamarre Johnson (Gray Collegiate) - 2 sacks. fumble recovery TD
Izayah Whiteside (Gilbert) - 124 passing yards, TD
Dedrick Starkes (Irmo) - 127 rushing yards, TD
Dylan Williams (Irmo) - 127 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 102 passing yards
Jacob Osmanski (Pelion) - go-ahead 88-yard kickoff return TD; INT
Riley Myers (River Bluff) - 155 rushing yards, TD
Adam Molnar (River Bluff) - 10 tackles
BY THE NUMBERS
Dutch Fork has gone 47 straight games without a loss, won 46 straight against in-state teams and have been victorious in 21 consecutive playoff games. Quarterback Will Taylor has thrown for 1,746 yards and 18 TDs. Teammate wide receiver Elijah Spencer has 40 receptions for 732 yards and 10 TDs. Antonio Williams has 587 kick returns yards and 2 touchdowns...Chapin has now won the last 7 “Battle of the Bell” matchups with Mid-Carolina...Chapin linebacker Sam Greer finished the season with 108 tackles. Teammate wide receiver Zavier Short finished with 50 receptions for 705 yards and 9 TDs...Gilbert head coach Chad Leaphart became his alma mater’s 2nd winningest coach with his 48th career victory last week. He only trails Marty Woolbright with 67 career wins at Gilbert.
FRIDAY’S PLAYOFF GAMES (All games at 7:30 pm)
Dillon at Gilbert
Catawba Ridge at Irmo
Carolina Forest at Dutch Fork
Andrews at Pelion
Christ Church at Gray Collegiate
River Bluff at Sumter