"The Big Gold" State Championship Weekend Preview

Photo credit The Fan Upstate

Starting Thursday night it's State Championship Weekend from Benedict College The 3A State Title Game will open things up from Columbia. The 2A Title game will be Friday at 2 PM and the 1A State Game is at 7 PM. On Saturday, 5A will kick off at high noon and the night cap is the 4A State Title game. New champions will be crowned in every class, which speaks to the parity in high school football around the state.

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Powdersville vs Beaufort- Powdersville won its 1st ever Upper State Title game appearance last week, downing Clinton 27-14. The Patriots had a 20-0 2nd half run to fuel the win. They ended Daniel's reign as two time State Champs and snapped their 36 game win streak, the week prior. Powdersville's offense is led by RB Thomas Williams, a Virginia Tech commit who is lightning fast and nearly never goes down on 1st contact. Williams also plays DB on defense and is thought to play that position in college. Peyton Little, Harrison Jeffries and Drake Sloan have all stepped up big for Powdersville all season and specifically in the playoffs. The Patriots lost D-1 prospect LB Jalen Rambert for the season to injury in the non-region slate. They have been able to continue to win and Rambert has been an inspiration for his teammates. That's a testament to the coaching job by Robert Mustar this year, Powdersville can cap off back to back double digit win seasons with a State Title. They'll have to down a good Beaufort team that beat traditional power Dillon to win the Lower State last week. Their lone loss came to Fort Dorchester who's playing for the 5A State Title on Saturday.
My pick- Powdersville by a TD something like 27-20.

Abbeville vs Oceanside Collegiate- Abbeville had one of the most incredible quarters of football at the high school level in a big game , that I can remember last week. The Panthers trailed Saluda 16-13 after three quarters, they scored 28 unanswered in the final frame to cruise 41-16. Oceanside Collegiate who is 12-1 with their only loss coming to 4A Lower State Champs South Florence. The Oceanside program has produced talent like Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman in recent years. They have dismantled everybody in the playoffs. Oceanside features Georgia Commit Monroe Freeling , a 6ft 6 280 lb O-Tackle , who is ranked as the #1 recruit in the state by 247 Sports. My Pick- I will roll with the 'Ville by 3-7 points, they do two things there, A. Play Football B. Deer Hunt and they are tremendous at both. I imagine that both offenses will put up 30 or more points.

1A Christ Church vs Johnsonville- Christ Church suffered their only loss early in the year to a good Holy Innocents team from Georgia. Since then they have mowed people down, pretty much. They feature Coastal Carolina recruit Dashun Reeder at Running Back. The Junior has lit up defenses all year along, rushing for over 2,000 yards and about 40 TD's. He had 3 TD's in their 21-7 win in the Upper State Title Game over rival St. Joe's. Johnsonville is unbeaten on the season, but they have been in some tight games. Four of their 13 wins have come by a TD or less. Johnsonville's defense has been great in the postseason allowing just 7 points per game in their 4 playoff wins. Something has to give here, with the strength of both teams meeting each other. Christ Church is back in the State Finals for the 1st time since 2014.
My Pick- Christ Church by two TD's, the balance of power in 1A seems to be in Region 1.

4A Northwestern Rock Hill vs South Florence- What should be a great match up with two high powered offenses. NW went to Greenville and clipped a loaded Red Raider squad 33-28 to win the Upper State last week. The Trojans have one loss and it was to 5A Upper State participant Gaffney. South Florence is undefeated on the season and has been rolling people by double digits are more all year. They beat previously undefeated A.C. Flora by double digits last week to win the Lower State. This game features some tremendous D-1 level talent, NW has WVU commit Elijah Caldwell at WR and Northwestern University commit Jordan Knox on the O-line. The South Florence is led by Shrine Bowl Selection and Syracuse commit Lanorris Sellers at QB.
My Pick- South Florence by a TD.

5A Dutch Fork vs Fort Dorchester- What Dutch Fork has done really all season, but specifically in the last 2 weeks can't be overstated. The Silver Foxes beat Spartanburg by more than 40 two weeks ago and went to the Reservation and handed Gaffney a loss by more than 3 TD's. It was just the 5th home loss for Gaffney since 2017. DF features what is likely to be the state's best offensive line unit. They are big, physical and can open run lanes. They also feature RB Jarvis Green, who most people think is the best in South Carolina at his position. The James Madison commit is likely to win Mr. Football in the state.
My Pick- Dutch Fork by 2 TD's

This weekend's episode of the Scramble will air live Saturday from 8-10AM and will be the season finale and the "State Championship Edition" of the program. Powdersville Coach Robert Mustar is set to join me, as is Christ Church Coach Quin Hatfield and others. We will review the State Title games in 3A, 2A and 1A and preview the 4 and 5A games. Also , I will reveal the "All-Scramble Team" comprised of players in our coverage area. Tune in on 97.7, 97.1 , 1330 AM, 950 AM, The Free Audacy App, Alexa/ Smart Speaker and here on TheFanUpstate.Com

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