High School Football

This week’s Midlands high school football top games, schedule and predictions

The high school football season is in its fifth week in South Carolina, and here are some of the top matchups in the Midlands as well as the weekly power rankings.

Top Midlands games this week

Camden (2-2) at AC Flora (3-0): Second straight year the two teams are meeting. A.C. Flora won last year, 3-0, but Camden leads the all-time series, 18-10. Camden, ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, has lost two games in a row. Camden quarterback Grayson White has 1,120 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns. South Carolina commit Xzavier McLeod has 20 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks for Camden. A.C. Flora quarterback Carew Bates is completing 70.8% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns. Running back Makel Townsend has 400 yards rushing and six touchdowns. The Falcons are averaging 55.6 points per game. Bezjak’s prediction: A.C. Flora

Cardinal Newman (2-1) at Heathwood Hall (2-2): Game is WACH Fox’s Sonic Friday Night Rivals game. Heathwood has won four straight games in the series, including 25-14, last year. Cardinal Newman’s last win came in 2018 by a score of 20-8. Cardinal Newman running back AJ Reyes leads the team with 541 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. C.N. quarterback Duncan Skehan is 23-of-34 passing for 610 yards and six touchdowns. Heathwood quarterback Patrick Belk has thrown for 585 yards and five total touchdowns. Jonathan Roland leads Heathwood with two interceptions. Bezjak’s prediction: Cardinal Newman

Chapin (3-1) at Brookland-Cayce (1-3): Second straight year the two teams are playing. Chapin won last year 41-21. Chapin has won three games in a row after an opening loss to Irmo. Chapin quarterback Brady Albro has thrown for 713 yards and seven touchdowns. Hayden Burriss leads the Eagles with three sacks. Bezjak’s prediction: Chapin

Dutch Fork (4-0) at North Augusta (1-3): First meeting between two teams since 2013. North Augusta won that game, 24-23. Dutch Fork has a 42-game regular-season unbeaten streak. It is the fifth straight road game for Dutch Fork, which will have its home opener next week against nationally-ranked St. Frances Academy (Maryland). John Buetow leads Dutch Fork with 6.5 sacks. As a team, the Silver Foxes have 23.5 sacks. Dutch Fork running back Jarvis Green leads the team with 552 yards rushing and five touchdowns despite missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury. Former Westwood coach Matt Quinn is in his first season at North Augusta coach. Bezjak’s prediction: Dutch Fork

Gilbert (3-0) at Lexington (3-1): Fourth all-time meeting between the two Lexington County schools. Lexington leads the all-time series, 2-1, including last year’s 14-12 victory. Lexington stopped Gilbert on a two-point conversion late in the game to seal the win. Lexington will induct its hall of fame class at halftime of the game. Lexington senior running back Jonah Norris leads the team with 839 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. Norris has two 300-yard games this season. Lexington quarterback Taiden Mines has 817 yards passing and nine touchdowns with five going to Kmadi Maxwell. Gilbert has a strong 1-2 punch at running back with Alias Graham Woodberry (543 yards, 6 TDs) and Jaden Allen-Hendrix (328 yards, 8 TDs). Jordan Smith leads Gilbert with 27 tackles and three interceptions. Bezjak’s prediction: Lexington

Hartsville (3-1) at Irmo (2-1): Irmo is coming off a bye last week and suffered its first loss of the season against River Bluff on Sept. 2. Irmo played that game without starting quarterback A.J. Brand, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Running back Eric Tucker leads the Yellow Jackets with 354 yards rushing. Hartsville is coming off a 59-35 loss to Dillon and is ranked No. 8 in Class 4A poll. Hartsville running backs Carmello McDaniel and J’Shawn Anderson each have eight rushing touchdowns. Bezjak’s prediction: Hartsville

This Week’s Schedule, Picks

All games begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted; Lou Bezjak’s prediction in parenthesis

Airport at Fox Creek (Pick: Airport)

Ben Lippen at Porter-Gaud (Ben Lippen)

Blythewood at Goose Creek (Blythewood)

CA Johnson at Swansea (Swansea)

Camden Military at Laurence Manning (Laurence Manning)

Charleston Collegiate at WW King (WW King)

Dreher at Ridge View (Ridge View)

Eau Claire at Gray Collegiate (Gray Collegiate)

Fairfield Central at Keenan (Fairfield Central)

Faith Christian at Newberry Academy (Newberry Academy)

Fort Mill at Lugoff-Elgin (Lugoff-Elgin)

Hickory Grove Christian at Northside Christian (Hickory Grove)

Holly Hill at Richard Winn (Richard Winn)

Lower Richland at River Bluff (River Bluff)

Mid-Carolina at Columbia (Mid-Carolina)

Newberry at Batesburg-Leesville (Newberry)

North Central at Crestwood (Crestwood)

Spring Valley at Richland Northeast (Spring Valley)

Westwood at Midland Valley (Westwood)

White Knoll at South Aiken (White Knoll)

Wilson Hall at Hammond (Hammond)

Last Week: 20-8

Season Record: 87-25

The State’s Power Rankings

A look at The State’s Top 10 for Columbia-area schools after Week 4:

1. Dutch Fork

Record: 4-0

Last Week: Defeated Stratford, 64-21

2. AC Flora

Record: 3-0

Last Week: Defeated Brookland-Cayce, 72-43f

3. Gilbert

Record: 3-0

Last Week: Defeated Pelion, 53-3

4. Lexington

Record: 3-1

Last Week: Defeated Blythewood, 35-14

5. River Bluff

Record: 4-0

Last Week: Defeated South Aiken, 35-28

6. Ridge View

Record: 3-1

Last Week: Defeated Spring Valley, 27-0

7. White Knoll

Record: 4-0

Last Week: Defeated Westwood, 56-20

8. Saluda

Record: 4-0

Last Week: Defeated Emerald, 21-14

9. Irmo

Record: 2-1

Last Week: Off

10. Camden

Record: 2-2

Last Week: Lost to Gray Collegiate, 22-7

Dropped out: None

Others considered: Hammond, Fairfield Central, Gray Collegiate

September 15, 2022 | State, The: Web Edition Articles (Columbia, SC)
Author/Byline: Lou Bezjak, The State | Section: prep_football

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