High School Football Week Four is Here!

Picks, predictions, & thoughts from Saturday Morning Scramble host Cole Bryson
The Fan Upstate
Photo credit The Fan Upstate

Headline: Region Play Inches Closer

As the month of September rolls on, we are getting closer and closer to the second phase of the season; region play. Meanwhile, most teams still have a few non-region matchups left before we get to the games that matter the most. As our sample size grows more and more each week, here are a few things we have learned thus far this season. First, Greenville County has landed on the football scene. The old days of Spartanburg being the only competitive county are over. Just to name a few, you have teams like Greenville, Hillcrest, JL Mann, St. Joseph’s, & Christ Church who have had stellar starts to the 2023 campaign. If you missed the unveiling of the Week 4 Upstate Top 10 on Offsides earlier this week, here it is.

1. Daniel
2. Clinton
3. Hillcrest
4. Gaffney
5. Byrnes
6. TIE St. Joseph’s & JL Mann
7. Belton-Honea Path
8. Westside
9. Spartanburg
10. TIE TL Hanna & Chapman

First 4 Out:

1. Greenville
2. Abbeville
3. Broome
4. Boiling Springs

As Marc Ryan asked me on Monday, how hard is it to make this poll each week? I will answer by saying this; extremely. I obviously look at the teams who are without blemish, but I also have to factor in strength of schedule as well as they eye test. For example, I have Byrnes & Gaffney ahead of a few undefeated teams lower in the poll. The reason for that is due to reasons stated above.

ICYMI, I would again like to congratulate Colton Link of Landrum Football on being awarded our Week 3 Player of the Week. Colton rushed for 270 yards on 16 carries and found pay dirt four times on Friday.

Last week I debuted “5 Points or Less”. In this section, I predict the games that will end in 5 points or less.

Now let’s take a look at the key matchups happening in Week 4.

Chesnee at Woodruff:

This one is really intriguing as Chesnee comes in 3-1 on the season. The Eagles fell to the Broome Centurions in August and that is by no means a bad loss. Clay Lewis in my opinion has done an exceptional job this season having his team prepared and I like the Eagles to continue that success as we get closer to region play. Woodruff comes into this game 1-3 on the season with their only win being over Fountain Inn. This team under first year HC Brett Sloan is still trying to find their identity but it doesn’t get any easier. I do expect this game to be close but I like Chesnee to walk out with the victory.

Cole’s Pick

Chesnee 30, Woodruff 28

Northwestern at Gaffney:

I don’t see a more exciting matchup on Friday than this one. The Trojans of Northwestern go into Title Town on Friday night to take on the Gaffney Indians in what should be an exciting matchup. Northwestern is 2-1 on the season with wins over Clover & Nation Ford. They started the season with a close loss to Providence Day. Page Wofford does an incredible job with this program & you can expect to see the Trojans play up to the hype of what this one should be on Friday. Gaffney comes into this game riding a 3 game win streak after falling to Crest in Week Zero. The Indians have a gauntlet of a schedule and I expect that to pay off on Friday night as Gaffney has seen much tougher competition this season. It will be a close one, but I like the Indians to prevail.

Cole’s Pick

Gaffney 24, Northwestern 21

Chapman at Clinton:

The Panthers will hop on I-26 Friday and head south for 46 miles until they run right into what should be another incredible matchup. Clinton comes into this game without blemish while Chapman comes in with one loss to Boiling Springs. Other than the Boiling Springs loss, Chapman has played some incredible football to start the 2023 season. The Panther defense will have to try to subdue the red-hot Clinton offense who has average 51 points per game. The Clinton offense is not the only strength of their team as the defense is only allowing an average of 12 points per game. The storyline of this matchup is how well the Chapman defense will line up against the run heavy offense of the Clinton Red Devils. I do like this game to be competitive, but in the end, the Red Devils find their 5th win of the season.

Cole’s Pick

Clinton 35, Chapman 25

Now let’s get to the other 23 games happening on Friday night in the Upstate.

Greer at Boiling Springs:

Cole’s Pick

Boiling Springs 42, Greer 21

Spartanburg at Riverside:

Cole’s Pick:

Spartanburg 35, Riverside 21

Clover at Dorman:

Cole’s Pick

Dorman 21, Clover 14

Wren at Byrnes:

Cole’s Pick

Byrnes 38, Wren 28

Landrum at SCA:

Cole’s Pick

Landrum 54, SCA 14

Laurens at Union County:

Cole’s Pick

Union County 28, Laurens 20

Berea at Broome:

Cole’s Pick

Broome 41, Berea 14

Southside at Carolina:

Cole’s Pick

Carolina Academy 21, Southside 7

Powdersville at Hillcrest:

Cole’s Pick:

Hillcrest 29, Powdersville 21

Walhalla at Palmetto:

Cole’s Pick

Walhalla 28, Palmetto 14

J.L. Mann at Greenville:

Cole’s Pick

Greenville 35, J.L. Mann 24

Westside at Mauldin:

Cole’s Pick

Westside 40, Mauldin 3

Easley at Woodmont:

Cole’s Pick

Woodmont 34, Easley 14

Greenwood at T.L. Hanna:

Cole’s Pick

T.L. Hanna 28, Greenwood 21

St. Joseph’s at Ware Shoals:

Cole’s Pick

St. Joseph’s 28, Ware Shoals 14

Crescent at Abbeville:

Cole’s Pick

Abbeville 42, Crescent 31

Anderson at Southside Christian:

Cole’s Pick

Southside Christian 35, Anderson 21

Pendleton at Fountain Inn:

Cole’s Pick

Pendleton 28, Fountain Inn 21

Travelers Rest at Eastside:

Cole’s Pick

Eastside 21, Travelers Rest 14

Wade Hampton at Blue Ridge:

Cole’s Pick

Wade Hampton 28, Blue Ridge 24

Christ Church at Calhoun Falls Charter:

Cole’s Pick

Christ Church 40, Calhoun Falls Charter 28

Catawba Ridge at Chester:

Cole’s Pick

Chester 31, Catawba Ridge 21

For a full breakdown of all of these games, tune into The Saturday Morning Scramble from 8-10am with Cole Bryson & Alex Guest.

Featured Image Photo Credit: The Fan Upstate