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HSSR's Top Midlands Games For Week Eight

Note: Games are scheduled for Friday but impact of Hurricane Michael could change date/times.

While the final decision whether to play Friday or later in the year is still up in the air, one thing that is certain is that whenever Blythewood and Sumter do meet it will likely have major ramifications for Region 4-AAAAA.

The Bengals (5-1, 1-0) and the Gamecocks (6-0, 1-0) are both positioned at the top of the standings with a victory in this game likely going a long way to claiming a potential region crown.

Sumter is sixth in the latest HSSR rankings while Blythewood is 13th.

“We know we’ve got our hands full and we’ve got to play as good as we have all year to play with them,” first-year BHS head coach Jason Seidel said. “Anytime you play in Sumter it’s tough so we’ve got to be ready to go.”

Blythewood has seen a resurgence under Seidel. After going 3-7 a year ago, the only loss the Bengals have this season was an 18-7 decision to Westwood. BHS is currently riding a four-game winning streak and has outscored opponents 165-93 so far this season.

“It’s been pretty amazing to watch the culture change,” Seidel said. “This is just another challenge that we’re going to face head-on.”

That starts with a defense that hasn’t allowed more than 22 points in any game this season and has allowed 14 or less in three straight games. Patrick Godbolt leads the charge with 6 ½ sacks this season followed by Nick Rogers with six. Godbolt had 11 ½ tackles and 3 ½ sacks against Irmo last week.

 “We want to be able to stop the run, create some turnovers and put pressure on the QB,” Seidel said. “Just sound football – tackle well and be physical and run to the ball.”

Offensively Jaylon Boyd has shouldered the load with 98 carries for 722 yards and 10 touchdowns. Boyd ran 24 times for 122 yards and a touchdown against Irmo. King Ford, who took over for the injured starting quarterback in the second game of the season, threw for 111 yards and another score.

“We have many formations, but we want to run,” Seidel said. “We average about 220 (yards) on the ground per game. King Ford’s come in and done a good job and is starting to feel more comfortable in the offense. We’re starting to run a little bit more and that’s opening some things up in the passing game.

“We want to stay balanced.”

Balance hasn’t been an issue for the Gamecocks. They’re averaging 202.2 yards through the air per game and 176.7 on the ground while putting up an average of 44.3 points per game.

Jonathan Henry has rushed for 734 yards and 12 touchdowns while Justice Wells has added another five scores. Quarterback Ontra’ Harvin has thrown for 812 yards and 13 TDs with Tony Dinkins-McCall hauling in seven of them.

Defensively, SHS is allowing an average of just 11.2 points a game. Dontae Coleman, Kirkland Boone and Antonio Roach all have at least 34 combined tackles and at least 5 ½ tackles for a loss. Eric Watts leads the team with 5 ½ sacks.

Sumter has also come away with 11 takeaways.

In another key region showdown, Camden (6-1, 1-0) travels to Chester (8-0, 2-0) for the top spot in Region 4-AAA. The Bulldogs are No. 4 in the latest HSSR rankings while the Cyclones are No. 2.

Camden has outscored opponents by 160 points this year with its only loss coming against AAAA Hartsville (35-21).

Bryce Jeffcoat leads the charge at quarterback with 1,140 yards passing and 12 TDs so far this season. Shymeik Corbett has a threat running and catching with 532 receiving yards and 522 rushing yards with 11 combined touchdowns. He had 103 yards rushing and three scores last week against Fairfield Central.

Deldrik Jones has more than 400 yards rushing as well and Landon Goodwin is second on the team with 433 receiving yards.

Defensively, Blake Dalton has 50 tackles and Chase McKoy leads the team with eight tackles for a loss. Jayln Dubose has 46 tackles and Rasheed Sutton leads the secondary with two INTs.

The Cyclones have outscored opponents 308-111 thanks in large part to a dominant run game that is averaging 319.4 yards per game.

Pha’leak Brown and Stan Mills have combined for 1,340 yards and 18 touchdowns. Emmanuel Wright and quarterback Zan’Jerry Dunham each have more than 400 yards rushing and a combined 14 TDs.

Defensively, Octavieon Minter leads Chester with 66 tackles. Teddy Murphy has 11 tackles for a loss and also has a team-high nine sacks. Zion Mills leads the secondary with three quarterback picks.

Also in AAA, Gilbert (4-2, 1-0) and Strom Thurmond (6-2, 2-0) meet in a key Region 5 matchup. The Indians are 10th in the latest HSSR rankings while the Rebels are seventh.

GHS has been balanced on offense this season with 1,397 rushing yards and 984 passing yards. DeAndre Cook leads the way with 413 yards on 101 carries and nine TDs. Cody Temples isn’t far behind with 392 yards and two scores.

Quarterbacks Josh Strickland and Jy Tolen have combined for 10 passing touchdowns with Matt Reed on the receiving end of five of them.

Logan McNatt leads the defense with 79 total tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles. Darrius Bell has a team-high six sacks and nine tackles for a loss. Temples has two INTs in the secondary.

Strom Thurmond has relied more on its dual-threat quarterback. Jequan Harris has 757 yards passing seven touchdowns and is second on the team with 606 yards rushing and seven more scores. Stanley Hill leads the Rebels with 787 yards on the ground and 10 TDs.

Deshawn Miles and Robert Whitt pace the defense. Miles has 42 tackles while Whitt is tops on the squad with 14 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. STHS has recorded 28 sacks total and 63 tackles for a loss.


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