GAME OF THE WEEK
Berkeley (5-5) at Myrtle Beach (6-4)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | Myrtle Beach’s linebackers may not be putting up the gaudy stats they were a year ago when Octavius Thomas and Sean Michael Orcutt were roaming the middle of the field. But after some early tinkering to find the right combination, the Seahawks appear to have it with seniors Malik Pryor and Calvin Vereen on the outside and junior Marcus Chestnut in the middle. The linebacking crew was big last week in slowing down North Myrtle Beach’s run game in the second half of the 30-28 victory. The win gave Myrtle Beach a home playoff game, and like last season – when the Seahawks beat Manning 43-13 in the first round at Doug Shaw – coach Mickey Wilson’s team wants to make the most of what would likely be its final home game of the season. In order for that to happen, that trio of Pryor, Vereen and Chestnut will have to find a way to slow down Berkeley quarterback Joseph Dress. After an ankle injury forced him out for about a month, he’s run for 398 yards and five touchdowns while throwing for another 362 yards and two scores.
• On the air | WYNA-FM, 104.9; htcconnect.com
• Last meeting | Myrtle Beach 42, Berkeley 28 (2010 playoffs)
• Favorite | Myrtle Beach
Hilton Head (7-3) at Socastee (10-0)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | Just four weeks ago, Hilton Head was 7-0 and held a top-10 state ranking. The Seahawks had won six of those seven games by sizable margins and were starting to look like they could be dangerous come playoff time. Then, the best teams in Region VIII-AAA showed up. First Orangeburg-Wilkinson, and then Hanahan and then Berkeley made Hilton Head look significantly worse. Those three teams beat the Seahawks by an average score of 38-11. Coincidentally, that’s within a few points of the average score of Socastee’s 10 games so far this season. That being the case, the Braves could make quick work of Hilton Head.
• On the air | WSYN-FM, 103.1; htcconnect.com
• Last meeting | Socastee 23, Hilton Head 20 (2009 playoffs)
• Favorite | Socastee
North Myrtle Beach (8-2) at Orangeburg-Wilkinson (9-1)
• The game | North Myrtle Beach’s schedule has seen its share of decent defenses this season. But in Orangeburg-Wilkinson, the Chiefs are about to discover if they can maneuver one of the best defenses in all of Class AAA. The Bruins are giving up 10.3 points per game. The most scored against Orangeburg-Wilkinson all season was the 28 that Class AAA No. 2 Hanahan put up. The Bruins are good as a whole, but they also have one of the state’s most disruptive players on their defensive line. Junior defensive end Albert Huggins is getting offers from around the southeast, including schools like Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Florida State.
• On the air | WRNN-FM, 99.5; nmbchiefs.com; htcconnect.com
• Last meeting | First meeting between schools
• Favorite | Orangeburg-Wilkinson
Marion (1-9) at Aynor (6-4)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | Aynor’s regular-season meeting against Marion just a few weeks back was a microcosm of the good and bad of what the Blue Jackets can do on the ground. Coach Jody Jenerette’s team trailed after one quarter to a then-winless Marion team after an early turnover led to a Swamp Foxes’ touchdown. From there, ball protection, and efficiency went through the roof. Aynor ran for just shy of 500 yards in the game, led by 144 from Kamron Johnson and 134 and three touchdowns from Louis Taylor. If the Blue Jackets protect the football in the rematch, Aynor should be able to win a playoff game for the third straight season.
• On the air | WRXZ-FM, 107.1; htcconnect.com
• Last meeting | Aynor 42, Marion 16 (Week 8)
• Favorite | Aynor
Waccamaw (4-6) at Edisto (6-4)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | Waccamaw’s late-season swoon had as much to do with absent players as anything else. Minus quarterback Jalen Simmons, pretty much every other key offensive weapon missed at least one game in the second half of the year. It led to some blowouts against region foes. Warriors coach Tyronne Davis said at least two of the team’s top skill players, running back Justin Holmes (548 yards, six touchdowns) and Tyriq Grant (82 yards, two touchdowns) will be in uniform this week. Simmons, a converted running back, has already amassed 17 touchdowns this season. Those three will all need to be on point to extend the season. Edisto’s defense has allowed a respectable 21 points per game this season against an extremely difficult schedule.
• Last meeting | First meeting between schools
• Favorite | Edisto
Baptist Hill (6-4) at Carvers Bay (9-1)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | These two teams haven’t played each other in some time, but they do have a common opponent from the 2013 regular season. Carvers Bay steamrolled St. John’s – the eventual Region VI-A champion – 40-0 in Week 2. The Bobcats, meanwhile, dropped a 12-6 loss to St. John’s during the region slate. The separation between the rest of the teams’ schedules are also worthy of note. Carvers Bay faced a pair of teams in Hemingway and Johnsonville currently ranked among the state’s top 10 in Class A. Arguably the best team Baptist Hill faced (Cross) beat the Bruins 33-0. Now add in the fact that the Bears are healthy and ramped up, and they should be able to exorcise some of the demons from last year’s first-round upset loss to Hemingway.
• Last meeting | Carvers Bay 53, Baptist Hill 0 (2007 regular season)
• Favorite | Carvers Bay
Carolina Forest (1-9, 0-3) at Conway (1-9, 0-3)• When | 7:30 p.m.
• The game | The Grand Strand Pride Bowl means nothing to the Class AAAA playoff brackets. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to play for. Conway and Carolina Forest are both in the midst of long losing streaks that extend to August and September, respectively. Ending the season on any semblance of a positive note would do either program some good heading into offseason conditioning. As for what to expect, there’s a good chance each of these teams could have some of their better offensive performances of 2013. Carolina Forest is currently last in Class AAAA in total defense, having given up 51.2 points per game. Conway (36.1 ppg allowed) is also among the class’ eight worst defenses. It may provide for one heck of an entertaining rivalry game, records notwithstanding.
• On the air | WSEA-FM, 100.3; WGTR-FM, 107.9; htcconnet.com
• Last year | Carolina Forest 27, Conway 24
• Favorite | Carolina Forest