Friday night marks the Upper State Championship games in all 5 classes. The Upstate and listening area is well represented with teams who could advance to the State Finals. The game with probably the most hype around the area is the 5A Upper State Final which is Gaffney at Spartanburg. Two teams just down the road from each other. It's a game , I like to call the "Battle of 85 North". A report earlier this week, stated Gaffney fans had purchased 3 times as many tickets at Spartanburg fans. The winner will move on to Columbia and play either perennial powerhouse Dutch Fork or Fort Dorchester.
In 4A, The Greenville Red Raiders will travel to take on powerhouse South Pointe - Rock Hill. It is a tall task and tough ask to go on the road and knock off South Pointe. However, Greenville Head Coach Greg Porter is no stranger to big games this time of year. Porter led Hillcrest to a State Title in his time there before taking over the helm at Greenville High. The Red Raiders will lean on their physical offensive line led by future Clemson Tiger Collin Sadler. He's a 6ft 6 nearly 300 pound Offensive Tackle. Sadler is a 4 star prospect who chose Clemson over offers from Alabama , LSU, Georgia and virtually every other big time school.
In 3A, The Daniel Lions are defending their crown. The Lions broke a State Title drought last year that had dated back to 1998. This year they can get back to back State Titles. Standing in Daniel's way in the Upper State is Chester. Daniel will have home field advantage, however Chester has won on the road at Chapman and Powdersville to get to this point. It'll be a showdown in at Singleton Field and the winner will move on to take on the winner of a power house low country match up between Camden and Dillon.
Round things out for Upstate teams that can punch their State Ticket is the 1A Upper State game. It features Southside Christian taking on Lamar. It's a long and difficult road trip for the Sabres of over 150 miles one way. Geographically, Lamar isn't in the Upper State but in 1A there are way more schools in the lower state than upper. Therefore, teams from the lower state get put in the Upper State bracket.
Check out the "Saturday Morning Scramble" on ESPN Upstate from 8AM-10 AM. Rob Jones will fill in for Cole Bryson to host the show. Rob will break down the Upper State Title games and preview State. Scheduled guests include Spartanburg Head Coach Mark Hodge, Southside Christian Head Coach Mike Sonneborn, Greenville High Head Coach Greg Porter, HS Football insider Jed Blackwell and Gaffney Play-By-Play voice Brock Hamrick.