Baxter's Blitz - Class 5A Week 7

MMQB Four

National high school football analyst Jim Baxter breaks down all of the action in South Carolina and here's a look at the Week Seven Action from the Class 5A.

REGION 1\\

Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Hanna, T.L. (North Anderson) 1 0 0 1 7 0 0 1 247 84
Westside (Anderson) 1 0 0 1 4 3 0 0.571 164 167
Easley (Easley) 0 1 0 0 3 4 0 0.429 133 181
Woodmont (Piedmont) 0 1 0 0 1 6 0 0.143 94 181
Mann, J.L. (Greenville) 0 0 0 0 2 4 0 0.333 84 269

WHAT HAPPENED
Hanna and Westside both got big wins, with the Yellow Jackets pummelling Easley 52-0 and Westside winning 30-13 over Woodmont. J.L. Mann was out of action this week.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Westside plays Easley this week and the 3-4 Greenwave needs a win to get back in a home-playoff-game mix. If they are going to knock off Westside while Scott Earley is there, this would be the year to try to do it while the Rams are limping.

MY TAKE:
T.L. Hanna is going to run the table. I don't see anyone in  this region to stop them from scoring at least 30 points in any game. The winner of that Westside/Easley game is going to finish second. Woodmont is going to battle the loser for that third spot but if Easley knocks off Westside, the Rams already hold that tie breaker and the Wildcats finish fourth. J.L. Mann...I just don't see them winning a region game. They have very little offense and they are allowing 25 points per game. 

REGION 2
Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Mauldin (Mauldin) 1 0 0 1 4 2 0 0.667 212 102
Hillcrest (Simpsonville) 1 0 0 1 4 3 0 0.571 184 147
Greenwood (Greenwood) 1 0 0 1 4 1 0 0.8 175 94
Riverside (Greer) 0 1 0 0 1 5 0 0.167 160 217
Laurens (Laurens) 0 1 0 0 1 5 0 0.167 116 224
Wade Hampton (Greenville) 0 1 0 0 2 4 0 0.333 115 161

WHAT HAPPENED
Mauldin beat Riverside in a marathon game, 44-26, Hillcrest dominated Laurens 39-6 and Greenwood beat WAde Hampton 42-21.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Greenwood at Mauldin is a big game this week. The Mavericks are feeling like they have a shot at this region with an offense that is averaging 35 points per game but the Eagles defense is tough. Mauldin is at home and are 2-1 when playing at home this year.

MY TAKE:
The winner of this Greenwood at Mauldin game will play Hillcrest in region play and determine the region champion. The Hillcrest Rams are balanced but not overpowering. But none of these teams are overpowering and that is what makes it a wide open region. I see Wade Hampton and Laurens battling for the fourth spot in this region while Riverside pulls up the rear.

REGION 3

Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Spartanburg (Spartanburg) 1 0 0 1 5 2 0 0.714 228 147
Dorman (Roebuck) 1 0 0 1 4 2 0 0.667 195 154
Byrnes, James F. (Duncan) 0 1 0 0 5 1 0 0.833 213 63
Gaffney (Gaffney) 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0.5 190 108
Boiling Springs (Boiling Springs) 0 1 0 0 4 2 0 0.667 184 130

WHAT HAPPENED
I freaking love this region. There are good games EVERY week in region play. The Spartanburg Vikings hung on to beat Byrnes 21-14. Dorman knocked off Boiling Springs in a fairly close game, 28-18, and Gaffney went outside region to pummell Rock Hill, 44-14, missing FIVE PATs.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
They are ALL big. Dorman  hosts Gaffney and Byrnes is at Boilng Springs while Spartanburg takes a week off before their showdown with Dorman.

MY TAKE:
I think that Spartanburg will run the table in the region now. They and Byrnes are clearly the better two teams. The Rebels will need to tighten ujp their passing game prior to the playoffs but make no mistake about this: contrary to what the twitter experts think, the Rebels are playing the quarterback that gives them their best chance at winning games period. I believe Dorman, Boiling Springs and Gaffney battle for the third spot; since Dorman has a win over BS already, this week's game at Gaffney is huge for the Cavs. .

REGION 4
Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Northwestern (Rock Hill) 1 0 0 1 4 3 0 0.571 176 188
Nation Ford (Fort Mill) 1 0 0 1 3 3 0 0.5 116 143
Clover (Clover) 0 1 0 0 3 3 0 0.5 176 159
Fort Mill (Fort Mill) 0 1 0 0 3 3 0 0.5 151 144
Rock Hill (Rock Hill) 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 0.167 109 233

WHAT HAPPENED
Northwestern beat Fort Mill 37-20 and Nation Ford beat Clover 37-28. Rock Hill lost to Region 3 opponent Gaffney in a blow out. 

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Northwestern and Clover; the Trojans have gotten two big wins back-to-back and are looking like the team we expected them to be in the preseason. Clover, while not an overpowering team, can be explosive and could be a test for the Trojans.

MY TAKE:
I believe Northwestern is the best in the region. The question is who is going to win the 2nd spot. Nation Ford or Fort Mill would be my best guess. Fort Mill's offense has the ability to score points and both of their defenses are playing about the same. I look for that to determine the 2nd and 3rd spot in this region. Clover will fall to 0-2 in region play this week and will be in a hole.

REGION 5
Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Dutch Fork (Irmo) 2 0 0 1 4 1 0 0.8 250 65
Spring Valley (Columbia) 2 0 0 1 6 0 0 1 248 74
Lexington (Lexington) 2 1 0 0.667 5 2 0 0.714 173 142
Irmo (Columbia) 1 2 0 0.333 5 2 0 0.714 204 147
River Bluff (Lexington) 1 2 0 0.333 2 5 0 0.286 135 206
Blythewood (Blythewood) 1 2 0 0.333 3 4 0 0.429 88 142
White Knoll (Lexington) 0 2 0 0 3 3 0 0.5 163 177

WHAT HAPPENED
Dutch Fork continues to abuse opponents, beating Blythewood like a red-headed step-child (is that politically correct?) 58-0. Lexington beat River Bluff to go to 2-1 in the region and Irmo beat White Knoll 33-20, pushing White Knoll to 0-2 in region play. Spring Valley was idle this week.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Spring Vally at Irmo is a big game. Irmo, at 1-2 HAS to get another win to have a chance at a playoff berth. White Knoll at River Bluff is a must win for the Timberwolves. To get an automatic in this region they have to win three region games and the Timberwolves are at 0-2. 

MY TAKE:
Listen, Dutch Fork is the team to beat in this region. While I believe Spring Valley's offense can cause some frustration for Dutch Fork's defense, I still say it's going to be Dutch Fork at the top, Spring Valley in second and a race for the third spot. This week's Lexington at Dutch Fork is going to be ugly and if I were Lexington, my plan would be not to get anyone hurt and focus on the remaining games and try to focus on that third spot.

REGION 6
Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Sumter (Sumter) 1 0 0 1 5 1 0 0.833 196 119
Conway (Conway) 1 0 0 1 5 1 0 0.833 176 63
Carolina Forest (Myrtle Beach) 1 0 0 1 4 2 0 0.667 167 97
Socastee (Myrtle Beach) 0 1 0 0 4 2 0 0.667 232 179
South Florence (Florence) 0 1 0 0 2 4 0 0.333 115 137
West Florence (Florence) 0 1 0 0 1 5 0 0.167 106 158

WHAT HAPPENED
Sumter beat South Florence, Conway beat West Florence and Carolina Forest beat Socastee.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Conway at Socastee is a huge game. I feel like the Braves still  have a shot at third in this region and it could easily come down to tie breakers if they could get a win this week. Conway, however, plays some nasty defense and I'm not sure the Braves can take them.

MY TAKE:
Right now, I like Sumter in this region, though Conway has to be considered a major contender. Carolina Forest plays very good defense but I'm not sure their offense is strong enough to get them past Conway nor Sumter. Socastee, if they want a shot at third playce MUST beat Conway this week and I just don't see it happening. I look for the Braves to finish in the fourth spot while the two Florence teams battle for fifth and sixth.

REGION 7
Team Conference Overall  
W L T PCT W L T PCT PF PA
Fort Dorchester (North Charleston) 3 0 0 1 6 0 0 1 332 81
Summerville (Summerville) 3 0 0 1 4 1 0 0.8 136 94
Wando (Mt. Pleasant) 2 1 0 0.667 3 3 0 0.5 129 120
Stratford (Goose Creek) 1 2 0 0.333 1 5 0 0.167 136 276
Ashley Ridge (Summerville) 1 1 0 0.5 4 2 0 0.667 125 118
Goose Creek (Goose Creek) 1 2 0 0.333 1 4 0 0.2 55 113
James Island (Charleston) 0 3 0 0 1 5 0 0.167 142 274
West Ashley (Charleston) 0 2 0 0 2 3 0 0.4 128 121

WHAT HAPPENED
Fort Dorchester pounded Stratford, Summerville beat West Ashely, Wando beat James Island, and Ashley Ridge beat Goose Creek. So now we can see a little better who's who in this region.

THIS WEEK'S BIG GAMES:
Wando at Summerville is a big game; everyone other than Fort D is playing for second place in this region.

MY TAKE:
Fort Dorchester is the cream of the crop. They are averaging 55 points per game and have beaten TWO powerhouse 5A teams in their run - Dutch Fork and Dorman. If I had to pick a 2nd right now it would be Summerville but they are a DISTANT second. Wando and Ashely Ridge will battle for that third and fourth spot and the rest are insignificant in the big scheme of things.

About Jim Baxter

Jim Baxter is a former coach and nationally published recruiting analyst with more than three decades in the industry. He founded SCVarsity.com as one of the first high school sites on the Rivals.com Network, most recently with Yahoo Sports. He is the author of the best selling "The Book On Evaluating Football Players" and is the host of the South Carolina High School Scoreboard Show on 107.5 The Game. He has operated the oldest independently run combine, coached for the Nike Football Combines and Elite 11 since 1999. He has served in the past on the broadcast crew in both radio and TV for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, as well as the North-South All-Star game. He was a member of the coaching staff for the 2015 Max Emfinger All-American game.