Rivalries highlight week 1 preview, by Tyler Cupp

Small town and cross county rivals headline our previews this week. From across the river, highway, or county, these schools are playing for a whole community. Bragging rights are on the line this Friday.

Justin Gentry is entering his ninth season for the Chapin Eagles. He has won 57 games, so far, during his time as coach. GoFlashWin photos.

Chapin AT Mid-Carolina
Last meeting-Chapin won 28-13. Eagles lead the all-time series 44-16. The last win for Mid-Carolina in the series was 2012.

This is the 60th consecutive season the Eagles have met the Rebels of Mid-Carolina. The “Battle for the Bell” is the longest consecutive, ongoing rivalry in the state. Before Lake Murray was established 100 years ago, Prosperity was just a stop on the CN&L railway. Every day a train went through the town and would ring the bell. Now, Prosperity is an actual established town with a high school located just 8 miles from Chapin. Each year the winner of this game will win ownership of the actual bell and ring it proudly after the game. The Rebels have a new coach at the helm with Chris Arnoult. He was a player and assistant for Irmo spanning 20 years then won 28 games as a head coach for Chesterfield. He opened his tenure with a 33-7 win over county rival Whitmire last Friday. This will be Chapin’s first game of the 2018 season.

Westwood AT Blythewood
Last meeting-Westwood won 28-9. The series is tied at 3-3

The Redhawks have the shortest distance of any team traveling in the state Friday as Westwood drives just three miles down the road to Blythewood high school to face their cross-town rival. The Battle of the Wood might be my game of the week. After seeing Westwood in person last Friday and reading about Blythewood’s big win over Ridge View, this should be fun. I will be watching the defenses in this one. Granted, Ridge View and LE I’m sure will see better days later this season but Blythewood and Westwood respectively did a great job on their opponents, holding them both to under 150 yards of total offense. But athletes will be on display here. I’ll be curious to see how #2 prospect in the state and now University of South Carolina commit Cam Smith will react, and play after making his decision. And will Blythewood air it out with Quinton Patten? He had more rushing yards than passing in the win last week.

Spring Valley AT Dutch Fork
Last meeting- Dutch Fork won 34-19. Silver Foxes leads all-time series 20-4

Maybe not a rivalry perse, but two of the top tier (and top 10) teams in the Midlands doing battle here. After the Silver Foxes had their game postponed last week and ultimately cancelled, they will be fired up and hungry to finally play. Same goes for Robin Bacon’s Vikings as they competed in a few jamborees two weeks ago yet did not play in Week 0. These teams have had some fun games each year whether it be regular or postseason dating back to 2013.

Brookland-Cayce AT Airport
Last meeting: B-C won 42-21 last year. Airport leads the all-time series 45-29. First game played was 1966.

Airport head football coach Kirk Burnett entered 2018 as one of the longest tenured coaches (15th season) in the Midlands.
This is the 75th meeting between Airport and Brookland-Cayce, per scfootballhistory.com. The last time the Eagles even got a win in the series was back in 2015. That’s when they actually swept the Bearcats in a strong 11 win campaign. And just like in that season, the two teams, separated by four miles, will play twice yet again in 2018. Due to realignment, B-C moved up to 4A and will be joined with their rival in the region. After Airport put up nearly 50 in week 0, while B-C scored 42 of their own, this game could be a shootout. Somebody on defense will have to make a play.
Two stars to watch-
Nanders Lawrence of Airport only touched it 8 times last week vs Dreher but scored 3 times. And on the other side, Reed Charpia is as dangerous as any QB in the Midlands.

Camden AT Lugoff Elgin
Last meeting-Demons won in a thriller at Zemp 33-28 last year. Camden leads the all-time series 30-8. Teams are separated by a bridge that is less than half a mile long.

The Wateree River rivalry pits two cross town and county rivals against each other Friday. The Demons of Lugoff-Elgin still reeling after getting rocked by Westwood will take the Bulldogs of Camden who are riding high after blanking North Central. The series started in 1978 and has played every year since minus a small two season gap in 1980-81. Camden with its rich tradition and has dominated the series for the most part winning the first 16 before the Demons finally won in 1996. but Lugoff-Elgin did take 5 out of 6 from 2006 to 2011.
Both these defenses are going to try and force the other to pass. The strength of the Demons and Dogs are the rushing attacks. Whoever get rolling down hill, may not be stopped in this contest.
Interesting side note here. The Demons will dress 11 seniors with Camden having 27 on the sidelines. Last year however, the Demons had 30 to Camden’s 15. Also, there are not many rivalries where both opposing head coaches played in the NFL. Brian Rimpf played with the Baltimore Ravens while Matt Campbell played on multiple NFL franchises, and even started his career as one of the original 10 Carolina Panthers.

Quick Hits
Dreher AT Lexington
It’s hard to believe that these two have only met twice. Even crazier than that, the last time they played was in the 1974 and 75 seasons with the Wildcats. The battle to watch here will be Lexington’s defensive front vs the Dreher offensive line and rushing attack. DaDa Washington is one of the best backs in the area. Also, let’s see how sophomore QB Cal Herndon follows his winning debut from last Friday over Irmo.

Columbia at North Central
The Caps go from inner-city Columbia to the outskirts of Kershaw County in Boonetown. Could be a competitive game between two 2A schools in rebuilding mode. Columbia looking for its first 2-0 start since 2008

Gilbert at Batesburg-Leesville
B-L leads the all time series 27-5 which began in 1988. Last win for the Panthers was 2015.

River Bluff at Richland Northeast
In only the 4th on campus game played at RNE ever, the Cavs will host River Bluff. Also, the 1993 State Title team will be honored for the Cavs at halftime.

Best of the rest

AC Flora at Union County
Cardinal Newman at Porter-Gaud
Colleton County at White Knoll
Eau Claire at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler
Fairfield Central at Lancaster
Gray Collegiate at Swansea
Hammond at Trinity-Byrnes
Keenan at Irmo
Lower Richland at Carolina Forest
Newberry at Abbeville
Pinewood Prep at Ben Lippen
Ridge View at Providence Day

Categories: Batesburg-Leesville, Blythewood, Chapin, Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, Lexington County, Richland County, Sports