The 3rd round of the High School Football playoffs are set for this Friday. Now, the herd has been thinned and everyone left is a high caliber program. This week will feature some heavyweight type showdowns around the Upstate in various classes.
Spartanburg at Dutch Fork- These two met early in the season and Friday will feature the rematch. Dutch Fork went to Spartanburg and won the regular season match up 27-25. Special teams was a key in the Dutch Fork win, as they hit a FG late to win it. Spartanburg knows they had chances to win that one and look to win the more meaningful installment of the match up. Vikings Head Coach Mark Hodge was on the Saturday Morning Scramble this past weekend to preview this game. Below is an excerpt of that interview with Coach Hodge talking about the 1st matchup and previewing this one.
Gaffney hosting Byrnes- This is another regular season rematch. Byrnes took the region contest at home in the regular season's final week. Gaffney had the Region 2 5A Title sowed up at the time and many of their starters played sparingly in that game. The 2nd time around, you can believe that both teams have something to prove. Gaffney is 34-4 at home since 2017 and 6-2 in their last 8 postseason home tilts. The Reservation will be rocking on Friday, as the Indians hosts Byrnes. You can hear that game starting with pregame coverage at 7 PM, Friday night on The Fan Upstate. The winners of these two games will meet in the 5A Upper State Title Game.
Greenville High hosts Catawba Ridge- The Red Raiders started 0-3 against quality 5A teams in the non-region. They haven't lost since then and just knocked the defending 4A State Champs South Pointe out of the playoffs. Greenville got a hard fought 24-20 win at Sirrine last week. They welcome in Catawba Ridge they have been pretty dominant, thus far in the playoffs. They blew Riverside out in the 1st round and then went on the road and outscored North Augusta 23-0 in the 2nd half last week, to win 37-14.
Westside at Northwestern Rock Hill- Westside scored with 3 seconds left to spoil Indian Land's upset bid last week. The Rams came away with a hard fought 39-35 win in Anderson. Now they go on the road to take on a Northwestern squad that has been rolling. NW has been a buzz saw winning their 1st two playoff games by 50 or more. The winners of these two games will play for a trip to the 4A State Title Game.
Powdersville Hosts Daniel- Powdersville has won double digit games in back-to-back years for the 1st time in the school's short history. Last week, they avenged a loss to Chester in last year's 3rd round to the tune of 42-12. They now are staring likely the biggest game in program history in the face. Daniel comes to Powdersville riding a 36 game winning streak. They are two time defending 3A State Champs and are looking for their 1st 3-peat in program history. Something has to give in a matchup of two teams who lost a combined two games in 2 seasons.
Clinton hosts Chapman- This game sets up to be an old school, "smash mouth", run heavy, dogfight. Both of these teams are physical at the line of scrimmage. Clinton is averaging over 50 points per game and they are undefeated. Only teams has played them within two scores all year. However, last week they were in a 4 quarter game before beating BHP 28-13. Chapman was at home last week and handled Seneca. The Panthers have hit their stride late in the year. They ran for well over 300 yards in the Seneca win. Alvin Lewis and Matthai Scott did the majority of the damage last week. Clinton boasts versatile playmaker Bryson James, who's a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina. The winner of Daniel vs Powdersville will have homefield and host the winner of Clinton vs Chapman in the 3A Upper State Final.