High School Football

Friday’s Games (Nov. 2)

State Playoffs

Crestwood (6-4) at Socastee (10-0)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | Crestwood was one of the three fourth-place teams in the Lower State to qualify for the postseason, and the Knights’ reward was getting to play one of the best teams in all of Class AAA in the first round. Socastee is scoring points like crazy – the Braves averaged 38.6 points per game in their five region contests – and hasn’t had a game decided by single digits since Aug. 31. Socastee’s offense is also one of the toughest in the state to scheme against, so Crestwood will have little room for error there. On top of that, the Braves have forced 30 turnovers. That combination doesn’t look good for Crestwood, a team that was dismantled by the four best teams it played all season.

On the air | WSYN-FM, 103.1

Last year | Did not play

Favorite | Socastee

Georgetown (6-4) at Marlboro County (7-3)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | There’s no mistaking that Marlboro County is one of the dark horses to make a Class AAA playoff run. The Bulldogs’ three losses this season came to Scotland County (N.C.), Conway and Hartsville, the state’s No. 1 team in the class. And behind all of the team’s games, wins and losses alike, is an offensive mindset that can overwhelm opposing teams. That probably won’t change Friday night, and given what Georgetown did last week against Wilson, don’t be shocked if a shootout develops here. Georgetown’s top three playmakers – quarterback Caleb Hughes (1,568 yards, 15 touchdowns), running back Julian Lunsford (778 yards, eight touchdowns) and receiver A.J. Walker (713 yards, eight touchdowns) – are healthy. And while Marlboro County can score, it’s also shown the occasional ability to give up a ton on defense, too.

On the air | WGTN-AM, 1400

Last year | Did not play

Favorite | Marlboro County

Waccamaw (3-7) at Battery Creek (5-5)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | These are two teams who have completely different paths to where they ended up in the Class AA, Division I playoff bracket. Waccamaw was rolling earlier, winning three of its first four games before being brought back down to earth with six straight losses. Battery Creek, meanwhile, lost its first three this season before winning five of its final seven. Still, Waccamaw hasn’t lost sight of what it’s trying to do. Warriors’ running back Jalen Simmons is flirting with a 1,000-yard season, and if he’s able to break off a couple long runs, Waccamaw’s chances of ending that losing streak improve dramatically.

Last year | Did not play

Favorite | Battery Creek

Kingstree (1-9) at Aynor (7-3)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | Aynor is in the midst of its best season since the early 1990s. The Blue Jackets already have more wins than any season since 1991, and with a victory Friday night, coach Jody Jenerette’s team could match the eight-win 1990 team. Given Friday night’s opponent, it stands to reason that should happen. Kingstree has won just one game since the start of the 2010 season, and most of those games haven’t been close. This year alone, the Jaguars are giving up 34.2 points per game, a figure that ranks among the worst of any school in South Carolina. That’s a good sign for an Aynor team that is averaging better than 35 points per game behind its three-head rushing attack of Hunter Windham, Damion Riggins and Ronique Smith.

Last year | Did not play

Favorite | Aynor

Andrews (2-8) at Mullins (3-7)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | For all the things both teams have struggled with, inconsistency has been first and foremost. Neither squad won two games in a row this year, and for Andrews, its two victories came over a pair of teams in C.E. Murray and Kingstree that combined to win just three games. If nothing else, Mullins is entering the playoffs on a positive note. The Auctioneers forced five turnovers in a Week 10 win over rival Marion. If Mullins does that again Friday night, Andrews’ season could be over much earlier than the coaching staff would have hoped.

Last year | Did not play

Favorite | Mullins

Hemingway (5-5) at Carvers Bay (9-1)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | For the second year in a row and the fourth time in the last five years, the cross-town rivals will face off in the Class A, Division I playoffs. One of these two teams has played for the state title three of the last five years, so it’s clear this match-up is not going to be taken lightly. However, the difference this season is that Carvers Bay has returned to top form. That was evident by the team’s first meeting this season when the Bears used a strong performance from quarterback Da’Shaun Aiken to glide to a 25-point win. A similar performance isn’t out of the question, here, but don’t forget that Hemingway – despite the most losses in program history since 2005 – is a squad that is used to big games and postseason production. And, given the bragging rights of this rivalry, the Tigers aren’t simply going to help Carvers Bay into the next round.

Last meeting | Carvers Bay 32, Hemingway 7 (Oct. 12)

Favorite | Carvers Bay

Regular Season

Conway (5-5, 2-1) at Carolina Forsest (1-9, 0-3)

When | 7:30 p.m.

The game | The significance of this game was watered down a bit last week. Conway secured a playoff berth with a win over Sumter while Carolina Forest was eliminated from postseason contention with a blowout loss to West Florence. Still, this game isn’t complete devoid of meaning. With a victory, the Tigers will guarantee a top-two spot in region and likely earn a home playoff game, something they haven’t done since 2008. Conway fans can also do a bit of scoreboard watching, as a West Florence win over South Florence (and a Conway victory) gives the Tigers the Region VI-AAAA crown. That would be a major boost for a Conway team that earlier this season was 2-4 and at one point had lost three straight games.

On the air | WGTR-FM, 107.9; WHSC-FM, 101.9; WIQB-AM, 1050

Last year | Conway 32, Carolina Forest 0

Favorite | Conway

By Ian Guerin, For The Sun News