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BJ Staley and Midland Valley suffered a last-second loss last week at Airport. This week, the Mustangs will look to get their first win of the season against Aiken.

Midland Valley (0-5, 0-1 Region 5-AAAA) at Aiken (0-6, 0-1 Region 5-AAAA)

Last time they played

Aiken defeated Midland Valley 41-14 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Midland Valley

  • Harper Puckett, QB. Puckett passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns last week.
  • BJ Staley, WR/DB. Staley was Puckett's go-to receiver and caught both touchdown passes.
  • Joseph Smalls, RB. Smalls scored the Mustangs' rushing touchdown last week.

Aiken

  • Antavious Lawton, QB. Lawton has shown growth at the position throughout the first half of the season.
  • David Neal, WR/DB. Neal made a couple of catches for the Hornets last week.
  • Ferderian Terry, RB. The Hornets have started to rely on Terry more and more in the run game.

Keys to the game

Aiken's defense will have to show marked improvement from last week's showing against South Aiken. The Hornets were unable to stop the T-Breds' offense from putting together lengthy scoring drives. That, combined with the fact Midland Valley's offense comes in with some momentum after passing for more than 200 yards last week, could prove to be the deciding factor in this one. The Mustangs' defense also comes in with some confidence. The team held Airport to its lowest point total of the season.

Airport (4-2, 1-0 Region 5-AAAA) at North Augusta (2-4, 0-1 Region 5-AAAA)

Last time they played

North Augusta defeated Airport 28-10 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Airport

  • Marko Gilmore, QB. Gilmore has completed 49 of 73 passes for 668 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
  • Nanders Lawrence, WR/RB. Lawrence has rushed for 469 yards and seven touchdowns on 59 carries this season.

North Augusta

  • Charles Hammond, DL. Hammond leads the team in tackles for loss (eight) and sacks (four).
  • Cole Saggus, LB. Saggus has 29 total tackles and four tackles for loss this season.
  • Jordan Wilburn, WR/DB. Wilburn has been the Yellow Jackets' most frequent target in the passing game, and he's caught 16 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Keys to the game

One week after allowing 424 rushing yards in a 41-14 loss to Brookland-Cayce, North Augusta must now quickly regroup to attempt to slow down Lawrence, Bruce Staley and the Airport rushing attack. The Eagles escaped with a last-second win over Midland Valley last week, and in that game the Mustangs were able to move the ball effectively for the first time this season. North Augusta's offense hasn't been consistent this year, but the Yellow Jackets have shown nearly each week that they can pick up yards and score when they need to. This week, they need to do that before falling behind again.

South Aiken (1-5, 1-0 Region 5-AAAA) at Brookland-Cayce (3-3, 1-0 Region 5-AAAA)

Last time they played

South Aiken defeated Brookland-Cayce 40-35 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

South Aiken

  • Braden Briatico, LB/RB. Briatico is the T-Breds' top tackler, and he made eight stops in last week's 42-0 win over Aiken.
  • E.J. Hickson, QB. Hickson went 10 of 12 passing for 177 yards and three touchdowns last week.
  • Nequel Martin, RB. Martin rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown on only 10 carries last week.

Brookland-Cayce

  • Will Way, RB/DB. Way has rushed for 812 yards and 12 touchdowns on 114 carries this season.
  • Peyton Whitten, QB. Whitten is 38 of 67 passing for 521 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Keys to the game

What a difference a week makes for South Aiken, which went from 0-5 to having a shot at sitting in the Region 5-AAAA driver's seat. The T-Breds were able to do just about anything they wanted to offensively last week against Aiken, running the football well to set up a very efficient night in the passing game. The defense did its job, too, and will definitely have to again this week. Brookland-Cayce's offense is unpredictable in that the Bearcats may line up in any of several different formations on any given snap, and they move the ball well out of all of them. The T-Breds' coaches will be tasked with putting their players in the right spots so they can get stops.

Barnwell (7-0, 1-0 Region 5-AA) at Whale Branch (4-1, 0-1 Region 5-AA)

Last time they played

Barnwell defeated Whale Branch 49-12 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Barnwell

  • Jamari Chisolm, RB. Chisolm continues to find the end zone. He's scored in all seven games this season and has 22 total touchdowns.
  • Ernest Smith, DL. Smith will be key in trying to slow the rushing attack of Whale Branch.
  • Craig Pender, QB. Pender has passed for 1,300 yards so far this season.

Whale Branch

  • Jadon Grant, RB. Grant ran for three touchdowns in last week's game against Woodland.
  • De'Arius Hazel, RB. Hazel is the other threat in the backfield. He ran for 127 yards last week.

Keys to the game

Whale Branch is looking to bounce back from a tough one-point overtime loss to Woodland to open region play. Barnwell will see a heavy dose of the run game in this one. Whale Branch has rushed for more than 300 yards in each of its past three games, including 386 yards last week. Barnwell has been solid against the run so far this season, and it will take another strong effort from the front seven again this week.

Fox Creek (4-2, 1-0 Region 2-AA) at Abbeville (6-0, 1-0 Region 2-AA)

Last time they played

Abbeville defeated Fox Creek 50-0 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Fox Creek

  • Ryan Chavous, RB/LB. Chavous continued his strong season with 179 rushing yards in the Predators' 17-7 win over Ninety Six.
  • Dawson Lewis, DL. Lewis leads Fox Creek in tackles (42), tackles for loss (22) and sacks (six).
  • CJ Tillman, DL. Tillman is the Predators' second-leading tackler with 41, and he's made six tackles for loss and intercepted a pass this season.

Abbeville

  • Martico Jackson, RB. Jackson has rushed for 549 yards and two touchdowns on 70 carries.
  • J.D. Moore, RB. Moore has 547 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 71 carries.

Keys to the game

Fox Creek can't get too caught up in the moment Friday night. Yes, it's an opportunity for a signature win against the No. 1 team in the state, the defending champs, one of South Carolina's most storied programs, and so on. Thinking too much about all of that, which ultimately has no impact between the sidelines, can cause players to tighten up, or try to do too much, or any other number of things that probably won't help the Predators' chances. They need to stick with what's produced this four-game winning streak – run the football and play lights-out defense, then see where they're standing. Watch to see if the Predators can continue to force turnovers – they recovered three fumbles in last week's win.

Silver Bluff (2-4, 0-1 Region 2-AA) at Batesburg-Leesville (2-4, 0-1 Region 2-AA)

Last time they played

Batesburg-Leesville defeated Silver Bluff 33-19 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Silver Bluff

  • Christopher Holley, LB. Holley is one of the Bulldogs' leading tacklers.
  • Darius Johnson, RB. Johnson is Silver Bluff's main big-play threat on offense.

Batesburg-Leesville

  • Marvin Gantt, RB. Gantt leads the team with 519 rushing yards on 92 carries.
  • Tre Robinson, QB. Robinson has passed for nearly 1,000 yards.

Keys to the game

Silver Bluff's defense struggled again last week against a potent Saluda offense. This week could pose a similar problem for the unit. The Bulldogs struggled to stop the pass, and Batesburg-Leesville isn't afraid to air it out on offense. Silver Bluff will also need a spark offensively after averaging nine points per game in the previous three games.

Ridge Spring-Monetta (4-2, 3-0 Region 3-A) at Blackville-Hilda (4-2, 2-1 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Blackville-Hilda defeated Ridge Spring-Monetta 2-0 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Ridge Spring-Monetta

  • Tray Dean, DL/RB. Dean was everywhere in last week's 30-20 win over Denmark-Olar. He made 15 tackles and forced and recovered a fumble.
  • DB Harris, WR/DB. Harris' speed on the edge could give the Hawks fits defensively, which then could open things up on the interior for the run game.
  • Remedee Leaphart, QB/DB. Leaphart had another strong game last week, accounting for 225 yards of offense and three touchdowns.

Blackville-Hilda

  • Adonis Davis, QB. Davis is a dangerous runner and has a strong arm. He'll get plenty of carries and take some shots downfield against the Trojans.
  • Daylan Dickerson, RB. RS-M will have to contend with Dickerson both as a rusher and as a pass catcher.

Keys to the game

Stopping Davis will be the key for RS-M's defense, especially on those runs where he'll wait until the very last second to pull the ball away from his running back and take off for big yardage. The Hawks aren't afraid to take shots downfield in the passing game, so the Trojans' secondary will have to be ready for that – though Dean could disrupt it all if he's at his usual pass-rushing form. The Trojans can take advantage of their speedy playmakers like Harris to try to wear out the Hawks' defense, then hit them with the powerful Collier Sullivan up the middle. This game has massive implications at the top of Region 3-A – it's essentially an elimination game for the Hawks, who need to win out, and it's a chance for the Trojans to stay undefeated heading into next week's rivalry game against No. 1 Wagener-Salley.

Wagener-Salley (6-0, 3-0 Region 3-A) at North (0-6, 0-3 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Wagener-Salley defeated North 54-0 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Wagener-Salley

  • Jeremiah Bynem, LB/RB. Bynem has 41 tackles (10 for loss) this season.
  • Kaleb Shaw, RB/DB. Shaw touched the ball five times last week and scored four touchdowns, including one on an interception return.
  • Westin Williams, DL/TE. Williams has a team-high 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles.

North

  • Hassan Frye, WR/DB. Frye has the height and athleticism to create matchup problems.
  • Travis Gordon, RB/DB. Gordon will play a variety of positions in order to get the ball into his hands.

Keys to the game

Wagener-Salley is the new No. 1 team in Class A, but the War Eagles aren't focusing on that at all this week. Head coach Willie Fox has seen his players show that type of maturity all season long, so there's good reason to think the War Eagles won't play down to an overmatched North team that hasn't won a game since beating Wagener-Salley in 2014. This could be a big opportunity for the War Eagles to get everyone on the roster some snaps and give some players a look at some live action.

Williston-Elko (1-5, 1-2 Region 3-A) at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler (3-3, 1-2 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Williston-Elko defeated Hunter-Kinard-Tyler 16-14 on Oct. 5, 2018.

Players to watch

Williston-Elko

  • Jaharian Cuthbertson, WR/DB. Cuthbertson made eight solo tackles in last week's loss to Wagener-Salley.
  • Tres Rimes, QB. Rimes has passed for 1,016 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
  • Javier Rudolph, QB/DB. Rudolph has a team-high 289 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season.

Hunter-Kinard-Tyler

  • Keron Barr, RB/LB. Barr made 17 tackles, forced a rumble and rushed for a touchdown in the Trojans' 32-6 win over Estill on Sept. 27.
  • Arquan Edwards, QB/DB. Edwards rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in the Trojans' win over Bethune-Bowman on Sept. 13.

Keys to the game

Williston-Elko's offensive line will have to win the battle up front against an H-K-T defensive line that graduated the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Jamario James. The Blue Devils need to get their run game going, and they need to keep Rimes upright for the passing game to be as dangerous as they've shown it can be at times this year. The Trojans will take shots downfield in the passing game, sending their speedy playmakers deep to try to make big plays. Williston-Elko's secondary will have to be ready for that, and the Blue Devils will have to be sound tacklers when they get their opportunities.