WILLISTON-ELKO 27, BLACKVILLE-HILDA 12
Williston-Elko (8-2, 5-0 Region 4-A) won the region crown by beating Blackville-Hilda (6-4, 3-2).
Though Jarius Jenkins is the team's big star, and on this night he rushed for 116 yards, he did not find the end zone. Teammate David Owens accounted for all four Blue Devil scores with one coming on a punt return.
“He's overshadowed a bit by Jarius,” Dwayne Garrick, Williston-Elko head coach said. “Tonight he had the best game of his career. It helps take some of the pressure off of Jarius. To be honest, he could be our best all-around player, he plays strong safety on defense and also plays special teams.”
The Blue Devils will open the playoffs at home.
“We have a lot of momentum going in,” Garrick said. “We've won seven in a row and we've had something like 30 region wins in a row. It tells you a lot about the program.”
WHITE KNOLL 34, SOUTH AIKEN 24
In a game it needed to win to clinch a playoff berth, South Aiken got off to a great start on the road at White Knoll High School. The Thoroughbreds led 24-7 at halftime, capitalizing on Timberwolves' turnovers.
“We had a good mix of pass and run and they turned the ball over,” South Aiken coach Jeremy West said of his team's first-half success. “We even scooped and scored on one.”
All of the success of the first half didn't last through intermission as White Knoll rallied for a 34-24 victory. The game turned around on the opening kickoff of the second half. White Knoll (7-3, 2-2) got a big return and a personal foul by the T-Breds (1-9, 1-3) gave the T'wolves first-and-goal from the 10 and they scored on the next play. A South Aiken interception on the next series set White Knoll up with excellent field position again, and its methodical offense didn't take long to post another touchdown and take control of the game.
“It didn't take them long to score,” West said. “You can't give them a short field like that.”
The loss puts White Knoll in excellent position to clinch third place in the region and a guaranteed playoff spot. A win over Lexington will do that and likely eliminate South Aiken from postseason contention. But a White Knoll loss combined with a South Aiken win over Aiken will cause a three-way tie for third between the teams and Lexington that would be determined by a tiebreaker that could favor the T-Breds because of the strength of their schedule.
“We need help now, but we had it in our hands,” West said. “That was the toughest locker room I've had to go into and I feel sorry for the kids because they've been through so much and battled so hard.”
KING 40, WARDLAW 14
Wardlaw's undefeated season came to an end at the hands of King Academy. The Patriots (8-1) were unable to get their rushing attack going against the Knights (10-1), gaining just 134 yards on 35 carries.
Malik Lee rushed 19 times for 92 yards and also caught two passes for 27 yards. His lone touchdown came on a pass from Holton Manly, who threw for 62 yards and ran for the other Patriot touchdown.
Wardlaw's next matchup will be a home playoff game.