We were down to two teams.
Now, courtesy of the SCHSL ruling eliminating Goose Creek from the playoffs, we're back up to three. And the on-field action has the potential to outweigh the non-game action this week. Between the high school league's decision and all the noise attached to it, that would be a strong week.
Either way, all three games are expected to be jam-packed. Whether you're headed to Bluffton, Dillon or Socastee, give yourself some extra time.
On to this week's picks:
CONWAY (6-6) AT BLUFFTON (11-1): While we expect Mykal Moody to play for Conway this week, we don't know definitively until the game kicks off. Without Moody, the Tigers may not have much of a chance. The defense has struggled to hold down top-scoring teams, and the moves necessary to fill in for him destroy the offensive build-up of this team. That said, even with Moody, this one is going to be a struggle. Bluffton is often regarded for the 47 points a game it scores. However, the Bobcats' defense is also stout. Conway will have to focus all of the emotion from this week into what would have to be the biggest game of the season. Prediction: Bluffton 40, Conway 32
LORIS (8-3) AT DILLON (10-1): Not too long ago, these teams hooked up and put on one of the best games of the season. Dillon won 21-14, but not before Loris led the game for the first 45 minutes of the game. This week, the Lions will desperately need to get its top athletes in space. Guys like Levi Moody and Ryan Bellamy have the speed to keep up with Dillon's skill guys. At the same time, stopping Dillon tailbacks Anthony Blue and Joe Blue will be no easy task. Prediction: Dillon 27, Loris 21
HARTSVILLE (12-0) AT SOCASTEE (12-0): I won't lie. Much like many of you, I was hoping this match-up would take place. This is No. 1 in Class AAA vs. No. 2. There are five players between the two schools who have already topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark. That means both defenses are going to be tested early and often. Hartsville's Jeff Calabrese calls what the Braves do "assignment confusion", and I'm not sure there is a better term for Socastee's triple option. Until I see otherwise, I give the Braves the edge for that reason. Prediction: Socastee 36, Hartsville 35
Last week: 3-2