Week 5 Prep Football Preview Capsules

·5 min read

Sep. 16—Midland Valley (0-3) at Silver Bluff (2-0)

Last time they played

Silver Bluff defeated Midland Valley 19-0 on Nov. 6, 2020.

Keys to the game

The show goes on for Silver Bluff, while the rebuild remains in its early stages at Midland Valley. The Bulldogs have yet to give up a point this season, shutting out South Aiken in the season opener and Fox Creek last week. They've shown they have the ability to pile up points in a hurry behind a stout offensive line and skill-position stars, so Midland Valley will have to avoid falling into a deep hole early like it did last week when Saluda scored 36 points in the first quarter.

Williston-Elko (0-1) at Blackville-Hilda (1-0)

Last time they played

Blackville-Hilda defeated Williston-Elko 42-22 on Oct. 30, 2020.

Keys to the game

There's plenty of mystery in this Barnwell County rivalry game that opens up the Region 3-A schedule. Williston-Elko has only played one half of football, and that was nearly a month ago in the season opener. Defending league champ Blackville-Hilda also only has one result on its record, but that was last week in a win at McBee. Both teams have key returners with plenty of youth in critical spots, which are exactly the types of teams that would benefit from the non-region schedule. They didn't have those opportunities to put in many live reps, so whoever is better able to knock off some rust will be at a significant advantage.

Westwood (0-2) at Aiken (0-2)

Last time they played

This is the first meeting between the two programs.

Keys to the game

Aiken is back in action for the first time since Aug. 27 after dealing with COVID-19 protocols, and the Hornets will have to knock off some rust quickly against a dangerous Westwood team that's senior-heavy at the skill positions. The Redhawks have a balanced, experienced rushing attack that the Hornets will have to try to slow down, and their dual-threat quarterback has a handful of solid targets in the passing game. Cleaning up some mistakes, especially turnovers, will be key for Aiken as it tries to find some rhythm before the Region 5-AAAA opener against South Aiken in a couple of weeks.

Burke County (1-0) at North Augusta (2-2)

Last time they played

North Augusta defeated Burke County 30-18 on Sept. 11, 2015.

Keys to the game

Offensive line play is key for any football team, and for North Augusta it's a case of some younger Yellow Jackets with potential to be future stars needing to grow up in a hurry this season when their team needs them. North Augusta has talented running backs in DJ Curry and Christian Jackson, and Colson Brown and Austin Harrell have found success in the passing game — but that success is awfully hard to come by if the opposing defense is able to swarm them. Those youngsters up front are key to the future of the program, but they're especially important to the present as the Jackets play with a "next man up" mentality. Limiting the big play will be something to watch after Greenwood broke through for several in a 31-7 win last week.

South Aiken (0-1) at White Knoll (1-2)

Last time they played

South Aiken defeated White Knoll 31-6 on Oct. 2, 2020.

Keys to the game

This is the long-awaited second game for South Aiken, but don't expect the T-Breds to treat it as some moral victory that they're able to play again — they have a chip on their shoulder after poor execution doomed them in a 40-0 loss to Silver Bluff nearly a month ago. South Aiken had to take some time off while dealing with COVID-19 protocols but will be as close as possible to being full strength heading into this game against a familiar White Knoll program in a series that has been fitful for both teams. The T-Breds are eager to get back to playing to the standard that has been set over the last several years, so look for an inspired effort after so much time away from the field.

North Central (1-1) at Barnwell (2-1)

Last time they played

This is the first meeting between the two programs.

Keys to the game

Offensive and defensive line play have been key in both positive and negative ways so far this season for Barnwell. The Warhorses struggled up front in a loss to Calhoun County but rebounded two weeks ago in a blowout win over Swansea. Their game last week at Burke was canceled at the last minute, so they've had to wait an extra game to try to capitalize on some of that momentum they had built. Look for the Warhorses to take control of the line of scrimmage, pound the ball in the run game and set up some long passes to their explosive playmakers.

Denmark-Olar (1-1) at Ridge Spring-Monetta (2-1)

Last time they played

Ridge Spring-Monetta defeated Denmark-Olar 50-26 on Oct. 9, 2020.

Keys to the game

Ridge Spring-Monetta will again have to find a way to beat a bigger, stronger team, but the Trojans just did that a week ago in a 58-50 win over Lewisville that has them feeling confident heading into the Region 3-A opener. RS-M will have to contend with Denmark-Olar's size, which isn't new, but there will be a challenge Friday that will be a new one for the Trojans — playing as the favorite. RS-M wasn't expected to score wins over Class AA rivals Batesburg-Leesville and Saluda or top-10 Class A program Lewisville, yet here the Trojans are at 2-1. Quarterback Remedee Leaphart's maturation showed in a six-touchdown performance last week, so watch for he and his talented receivers and running backs to keep things rolling as long as their offensive line can keep their jerseys clean.

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