The season within a season kicked off on Friday night. The playoffs started around South Carolina High School Football. I have been on record as saying, too many teams make the playoffs. That often creates a major gap in quality of teams and matchups in the 1st round. Below are the scores and results from each of the classes and notes from games involving teams we have covered this season.
TL Hanna 36-35 over White Knoll. The Region 1 Champs Hanna survived with a one point win over Region 4's 4th place finisher. Hanna trailed for much of the game, but found a way to win late.
Gaffney 60-23 over Rock Hill. As expected, Gaffney rolled their 1st round opponent. Gaffney is now 33-4 at home since 2017. Indians Head Coach Dan Jones tied the program's all time win leader Bob Prevatte with 119 wins. Jones can take the all time lead with a win in the 2nd round.
Dorman 37-7 at Clover. Dorman had no trouble in the rematch beating Clover worse the 2nd time around than the 1st. Demarius Foster ran for over 274 yards and a TD, he also had a TD catch.
Dutch Fork 56-0 Mauldin. Dutch Fork is the Region 4 Champs and rolled in their 1st round game as expected. They have been ranked #1 in the State's 5A rankings most of the year.
JL Mann 33-21 Spring Valley. Mann made their 1st playoff appearance since 2011. They got their 1st win in the playoffs since 2009. Mann 10th grade RB Na'Cyus Morrison had a breakout game running for 158 yards and a TD on 28 carries. Mike McLellan made plays at WR, he had 6 catches for 121 yards and 2 scores.
Byrnes edges Hillcrest 31-28. The Rebels played inspired football on Friday night, after two players Chris Foster and Caleb Melton were in a car crash Friday morning. The two were injured and missed the game with Hillcrest. Byrnes put together their best half all year, getting out to a 24-7 halftime lead. Hillcrest which came in 9-1 and was a quality team, they would fight back to make the game interesting. The kicking game was a difference in the game, Byrnes made a FG in the game. Hillcrest had a FG blocked and then missed another FG try that would have tied it with 3 minutes left.
Spartanburg destroyed Nation Ford 59-17. The Vikings have 4 losses on the season against a brutal schedule. Three of those losses came in non-region play to Dutch Fork and Georgia powerhouses Grayson and Langston Hughes. I have been saying for weeks, Spartanburg would be a tough out in the playoffs. They have 3 major factors working for them, 1. They are battle tested playing great teams and being in close games with Dutch Fork and an OT loss at Gaffney. 2. QB play makes a difference in the postseason. Spartanburg has a good one in ECU commit Raheim Jeter. 3. They have a championship level coach. Mark Hodge has made Spartan high a factor in 5A. They made the Upper State Title Game last year, before losing Gaffney. Hodge led Chapman High to multiple State Titles. He even won at Carolina High , which has been virtually impossible otherwise.
Here's a list of the 2nd round playoff matchups for 5A.
Spartanburg at TL Hanna
Dorman at Dutch Fork
Gaffney hosts JL Mann
Byrnes is at Blythewood.
Catch me previewing these and other major 2nd round matchups on "Offsides with Marc Ryan" in the 3 PM hour on Friday. You then can hear all the results, review and analysis of the biggest games across the Upstate on the Saturday Morning Scramble from 8-10AM this Saturday.