Week 10 Prep Football Preview Capsules

·6 min read

Oct. 22—North Augusta (3-5, 1-1 Region 5-AAAA) at Midland Valley (1-7, 0-2 Region 5-AAAA)

Last time they played

North Augusta defeated Midland Valley 26-7 on Oct. 16, 2020.

Keys to the game

North Augusta was already going to have to put last week's loss to South Aiken behind itself, and now the Yellow Jackets will also have to adjust to not having head coach Jim Bob Bryant on the sidelines — assistant coach Craig Gilstrap was named interim head coach earlier this week, so he'll be leading the way for a group that very much still has hopes of a No. 2 seed in the playoffs and a first-round home game. The Yellow Jackets had a strong defensive effort last week in allowing only 167 yards, and they gained 312 of their own before ultimately a few mistakes left the defending region champions looking up in the standings. Last week Midland Valley ended an 11-game losing streak back to last season, and this week they'll take aim at ending a 22-game losing streak against North Augusta. To do so, the Mustangs will have to take care of the football to put points on the board while also containing a balanced offense that features a physical run game.

Ridge Spring-Monetta (5-2, 3-1 Region 3-A) at Wagener-Salley (3-4, 2-2 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Wagener-Salley defeated Ridge Spring-Monetta 30-8 on Oct. 23, 2020.

Keys to the game

One of the area's best football rivalries will once again go a long way toward determining a region champion and playoff seeding. Ridge Spring-Monetta is tied with Calhoun County atop Region 3-A but already lost the teams' head-to-head meeting, and Wagener-Salley is one of four teams in the region right behind them with two losses. Emotions will run high like they always do in this battle of Highway 39, so it will take a composed effort in a game that often is full of physicality. Each team has talented skill position players who can score in a hurry, so whoever does the better job of limiting those explosive plays will give themselves a big advantage.

Aiken (2-5, 2-1 Region 5-AAAA) at McCormick (2-3, 2-2 Region 1-A)

Last time they played

Aiken defeated McCormick 13-0 on Oct. 13, 1939.

Keys to the game

Aiken's stout defense takes on a McCormick offense led by A'Chean Durant, a running back with Division I potential. Aiken's offense has been the question mark all season, but the Hornets found a spark from quarterback Kelby Stroman in consecutive wins over Midland Valley and Airport. Stroman threw three touchdown passes last week, two to Demarius Tolen and one to Braylon Staley. Continued success for the offense will only help the defense, so Aiken could add to its momentum heading into next week's game against North Augusta that could determine the No. 2 seed in the region.

South Aiken (5-1, 2-0 Region 5-AAAA) at Airport (2-4, 1-2 Region 5-AAAA)

Last time they played

South Aiken defeated Airport 17-14 on Oct. 16, 2020.

Keys to the game

South Aiken is now in control of the Region 5-AAAA race after last week's win at North Augusta but must avoid a letdown on the road after a hard-fought, physical slugfest that produced a rare win over the Yellow Jackets. The T-Breds' defense has been on a mission since allowing 40 points to Silver Bluff in the season opener — they've allowed 41 total in five games since then. They should have an advantage against an Airport offense that has struggled to score points outside of a late rally against Midland Valley. South Aiken should dictate the tempo with its run offense and set itself up for a region championship.

Strom Thurmond (4-2, 2-1 Region 5-AAA) at Gilbert (6-2, 2-1 Region 5-AAA)

Last time they played

Gilbert defeated Strom Thurmond 28-21 on Oct. 16, 2020.

Keys to the game

A four-way tie for first place in Region-5 AAA this week means Strom Thurmond needs a rebound this Friday to pass rival Gilbert and last week's opponent, Orangeburg-Wilkinson. After suffering a physical loss in last week's game Strom Thurmond will need to straighten out any tangles that held them back from effectively excelling in their physical, drag-out performances. This week, they're looking to set their winning standard in motion. Gilbert is also in need of a bounce-back after a one-point loss to Brookland-Cayce last week.

Edisto (2-5, 0-2 Region 5-AA) at Silver Bluff (7-0, 3-0 Region 5-AA)

Last time they played

Silver Bluff defeated Edisto 47-0 on Oct. 16, 2020.

Keys to the game

Capitalizing on what makes Silver Bluff successful serves as not only their bread and butter, but also the key to their game against Edisto this week. As the Bulldogs contend against Edisto's interior line, their chemistry between their senior leadership and their execution running the ball is called to shine through yet again. Edisto has shown to be a stronger team than last year and promises a consistent skill challenge for the Bulldogs this week. This means Silver Bluff will have to continue playing four-quarter football to push through the trenches and secure their undefeated Region 5-AA championship this Friday. After last week's game against Barnwell, it's clear Silver Bluff knows when it's time to play football and put away the opposition.

Denmark-Olar (4-3, 3-2 Region 3-A) at Blackville-Hilda (3-3, 2-2 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Blackville-Hilda defeated Denmark-Olar 36-6 on Sept. 25, 2020.

Keys to the game

Blackville-Hilda couldn't get much going offensively in a non-region loss last week to Bamberg-Ehrhardt, but this week should be a much more welcome challenge for the defending Region 3-A champions. Denmark-Olar has the firepower offensively to hold its own in a shootout with anyone in the region, but those shootouts have happened because the Vikings have given up 40 or more points in four of their five region games. The Fighting Hawks will need to get stops when they can and take advantage of their own opportunities on offense, which could be where they again rely on Omarion Buckmon to have a big game running the ball.

Williston-Elko (2-4, 2-2 Region 3-A) at Calhoun County (2-2, 3-1 Region 3-A)

Last time they played

Williston-Elko defeated Calhoun County 48-6 on Sept. 25, 2020.

Keys to the game

Williston-Elko will have to find a way from keeping North-South quarterback Russell Brunson and a powerful rushing attack from taking control of the game. The Blue Devils are coming off a win over Denmark-Olar last week to stay alive in the hunt for a playoff spot, and they could play spoiler against a Calhoun County team that could give itself an opportunity to clinch the region title outright next week by winning Friday against last-place Hunter-Kinard-Tyler.

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