As the game time temperature drops (we’re looking at a “brisk” 70 degrees at kickoff tonight) the pressure rises under the Friday night lights.
Almost every game tonight has playoff implications, ranging from region-title hopes to home-field advantage to must-win situations, so the stakes are high.
If you’re headed to a game tonight, download the free ScoreStream app and keep your fellow fans posted with score updates while keeping up with scores from around the area and state.
Here’s this week’s full slate.
CANE BAY (7-1, 3-0) AT BEAUFORT HIGH (6-1, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles’ region-title hopes didn’t die with last week’s 23-14 loss to Berkeley, but they’re on life support. Beaufort High needs a win tonight to hold out hope for a first-round playoff game, and perhaps even a three-way tie with Berkeley and Cane Bay that could result in a region crown via tiebreaker. The Eagles will have their hands full, though, as they expect to be without star running back Kyleik Middleton (sprained shoulder). It has the potential to be a good matchup for the Eagles’ defense, which struggles against high-powered passing attacks, because the Cobras have attempted only 44 passes all season. If Beaufort can contain Kris Copeland, they’ll have a chance to win.
Prediction: Beaufort High 20, Cane Bay 17
HILTON HEAD HIGH (3-4, 0-3) AT STALL (2-5, 0-3), 7:30 P.M.
The Seahawks have lost their first three region games by a combined 14 points, including a heart-wrenching 41-35 loss to Colleton County last week after rallying to take the lead in the final minute. Their playoff hopes are slim – they have to win their final two games, including next week’s clash with Beaufort High, or get some help to forge a three-way tie for the final spot. It’s all moot if they don’t win tonight, but that shouldn’t be a concern. Hilton Head High should dominate a Stall team that has been outscored 164-25 in region play.
Prediction: HHIHS 47, Stall 13
MAY RIVER (2-5, 1-1) AT BATTERY CREEK (3-5, 1-2), 7:30 P.M.
The playoff picture in Region 8-3A is still fairly convoluted, especially if you aren’t sold on Wade Hampton’s status as the region frontrunner (for the record, I’m not convinced the Red Devils’ powerful running game will be effective against May River’s excellent run defense next week). A second straight win would give the Sharks a chance to play for a share of the region title at home next week, but the Dolphins have steadily improved and are coming off an impressive 44-18 win over Ridgeland-Hardeeville.
Prediction: May River 26, Battery Creek 21
RIDGELAND-HARDEEVILLE (3-4, 0-2) AT WADE HAMPTON (4-4, 2-0), 7:30 P.M.
The Jaguars are reeling, having lost four straight since their surprising 3-0 start, and now they hit the road to face Region 8-3A leader Wade Hampton. Ridgeland-Hardeeville has had a tough time stopping the run, which doesn’t bode well against the Red Devils’ smashmouth ground game that gashed Bluffton last week.
Prediction: Wade Hampton 55, Ridgeland-Hardeeville 12
GARRETT TECH (3-4, 2-1) AT WHALE BRANCH (3-4, 3-0), 7:30 P.M.
The Warriors can officially clinch the Region 6-2A crown with a win tonight. Whale Branch flexed its muscle in a 49-0 win at Academic Magnet last week and needs to bring that same killer instinct to dispatch the Falcons, who are capable of pulling off the upset if given the opportunity. As long as the Warriors hang onto the ball, though, Irvin Mulligan should have a big night and Whale Branch’s strong defense should dominate.
Prediction: Whale Branch 33, Garrett Tech 7
BETHESDA ACADEMY (2-7, 1-2) AT HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (3-3, 1-1), 7 P.M.
The Eagles can clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight. It has been a tough go lately for HHCA, which hasn’t won since Sept. 22 and was routed 44-0 at St. Andrew’s last week. The Eagles should be able to get back on track as long as they can keep quarterback Daniel Harrington on the field.
Prediction: HHCA 37, Bethesda 23
COLLETON PREP (3-4, 1-0) AT JOHN PAUL II (5-4, 1-2), 7:30 P.M.
The Golden Warriors are no longer in the running for the region title, but they can play spoiler tonight. Colleton Prep has won two straight following a three-game losing streak, but the Warhawks can’t get caught looking ahead to next week’s potential region-title showdown with Thomas Heyward. JPII is a bit of an enigma, but Zack Doe should put up his usual big numbers on the ground. The question is whether the Golden Warriors can slow down Colleton Prep’s ground game.
Prediction: Colleton Prep 41, John Paul II 33
THOMAS HEYWARD (6-2, 2-0) AT PALMETTO CHRISTIAN (0-6, 0-1), 7:30 P.M.
Even the classic trap-game situation isn’t enough to make this matchup competitive. The Eagles are winless and had to forfeit last week’s scheduled game against Bethesda. The Rebels are rolling with five straight wins and will take care of business ahead of next week’s region-title clash at Colleton Prep.
Prediction: Thomas Heyward 47, Palmetto Christian 6
HILTON HEAD PREP (1-7, 0-3) AT NORTHWOOD ACADEMY (1-6, 1-2), 7:30 P.M.
It has been a tough season for both of these teams who were SCISA powers not so long ago. The Dolphins have been shut out three times, including both games since losing star quarterback Stone McDonald to a broken throwing hand, while the Chargers have been blanked four times and narrowly avoided their fifth goose egg in a 42-7 loss to Orangeburg Prep last week.
Prediction: Northwood Academy 20, Hilton Head Prep 14