5 things we learned, plus a look at next week’s playoff games
Here are five things that stood out from Friday’s high school playoff action involving Midlands teams:
Playing away from home didn’t affect some Midlands teams.
Brookland-cayce, Westwood, Batesburg-leesville, Swansea and Camden pulled off road victories over higher-seeded teams Friday night.
B-C’S 31-30 victory featured a more than two-hour weather delay and didn’t end until 12:52 a.m. Saturday. The Bearcats’ bus didn’t return home until 4:15 a.m. Brookland-cayce, which recovered a fumble with less than three minutes left, has won four of its last six road playoff games.
For the second straight year, Westwood went on the road and knocked off a No. 1 seed. The Redhawks defeated Region 1-4A champion Belton-path, 20-3, to earn a rematch with Ridge View.
Westwood defeated unbeaten North Augusta, 23-13, last season in the first round. The Redhawks lost four straight games during the middle of the season and had to make the playoffs as an at-large seed, finishing fifth in Region 3-4A.
But Westwood has won three straight games and given up a total of six points in that span.
Batesburg-leesville continued its strong play on the road with a 49-13 win over Columbia. The Panthers are 7-1 on the road in the playoffs since 2015.
B-L’S 49 points were a season-high and most since scoring 50 last season against Allendalefairfax. The Panthers head to Central next week.
Swansea’s season began with some turmoil with the firing of coach Greg Wright but is ending with its first playoff win since 2014. The Tigers defeated Manning, 20-14, in overtime for its first playoff victory since beating Wilson, 45-21. Swansea travels to defending state champion Dillon next week.
Camden won its first playoff game since 2009 with a 52-10 win at Seneca. The Bulldogs rushed for 423 yards in the game and outgained Seneca 514-267. Camden has won eight games, its highest win total since nine victories in 2010.
RIDGE VIEW’S RECORD NIGHT
Ridge View’s first oncampus playoff game was a memorable one. The Blazers scored a schoolrecord 76 points in the 76-0 win over Travelers Rest.
The Blazers’ 76 points beats the mark of 70 set in the first round of the first round of the 2016 playoffs against Wren. Ridge View had 584 yards of total offense in the game.
RIVER BLUFF MORE THAN JUST WALKER ON OFFENSE
River Bluff showed Friday it can win even without one of its top players.
Running back Braden Walker was sidelined with an ankle injury, but tailback Antonio Gantt and quarterback Michael Rikard picked up the slack in his absence.
Gantt rushed for 167 yards and Rikard threw for 162 yards and career-high four touchdowns in the Gators’ win over Conway. There is a chance Walker might return this week against Berkeley in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
River’s Bluff has nine victories this season, most in school history.
The playoffs seem to bring the out the best in Dutch Fork running back Ron Hoff.
The junior scored four touchdowns in Friday’s 54-0 win over South Florence in the first round. Hoff has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 10 of his 11 playoff games.
Of Hoff’s 59 career rushing touchdowns, 21 scores (35 percent) have come in the postseason.
Gilbert has won a playoff game in each of Chad Leaphart’s three seasons.
The Indians defeated Georgetown, 33-7, in the first round of the 3A playoffs Friday night. It was Gilbert’s fourth playoff win since Leaphart’s first season in 2016.
Prior to Leaphart’s arrival, the Indians won just two playoff games from 1999-2015.
HOW MIDLANDS TOP 10 FARED
1. Dutch Fork (9-0) – Defeated South Florence, 54-0
2. Hammond (12-0) – Defeated Cardinal Newman, 49-12
3. River Bluff (9-1) – Defeated Conway, 35-19
4. A.C. Flora (9-2) – Defeated Lancaster, 44-21
5. Airport (7-4) – Lost to Marlboro County, 48-20
6. Spring Valley (7-4) – Lost to Sumter, 21-13
7. Blythewood (6-4) – Lost to Nation Ford, 14-5
8. Ridge View (7-3) – Defeated Travelers Rest, 76-0
9. Gilbert (7-3) – Defeated Georgetown, 33-7
10. Brookland-cayce (7-4) Defeated Beaufort, 31-30
NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULE FOR MIDLANDS TEAMS
West Ashley at Dutch Fork River Bluff at Berkeley
Westwood at Ridge View Wren at AC Flora Brookland-cayce at Hartsville Class 3A
Camden at Chapman Swansea at Dillon
Gilbert at May River
North Central at Abbeville Batesburg-leesville at Central Bamberg-ehrhardt at Gray Collegiate (At Benedict College) Saturday
At Benedict College Hammond vs. First Baptist, 7:30 p.m.