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Five Midlands high school games to watch

In Week 3, state champion contenders and cross-town rivals meet:



Dutch Fork had little trouble with Fort Mill last week, beating the Yellow Jackets, 48-13. Rock Hill will pose a greater challenge. The duo of quarterback Derek Olenchuk and running back Matt Colburn should make the Silver Foxes the favorite. This is Dutch Fork’s home-opener. With a goal of returning to the state championship, getting past Rock Hill is important before the Silver Foxes move on to other nonconference heavy-hitters in the next two weeks (Dorman and Goose Creek). Dutch Fork beat Rock Hill last season, 49-42.



Unbeaten records are on the line, and this will be the toughest test so far for both teams. Lexington started the season by beating two teams it lost to last year. But with a punishing running back on offense and a more punishing linebacker on defense, the Vikings should have the edge. Running back John Miller and linebacker Christian Miller are Spring Valley’s anchors, but don’t forget quarterback Chris Adams (88 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown last week against Clover) and linebacker Josh Harlan (16 tackles against Clover). Spring Valley’s defense must limit Lexington senior quarterback Will Hunter. The Vikings beat the Wildcats last year, 31-27.


Senior-laden Brookland-Cayce has tripled its win total from last season with a 3-0 start. After knocking off Swansea last week in convincing fashion, Chapin is primed to end Brookland-Cayce’s run. Bearcats quarterback Zeke Walker (two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown last week) has been carrying the team, but keep in mind the past two Brookland-Cayce victories been comebacks.



While Westwood is coming off an emotional win over Richland Northeast, Blythewood is entering tonight’s game after an emotional loss to Lexington. The Bengals lost a three-point lead with under two minutes left against the Wildcats, and Westwood beat its first Richland District 2 opponent in its short history. Momentum isn’t easy to discount, but Blythewood should have an edge against the Redhawks and earn its first win of the season.


Both teams endured close losses last week, so at least one of these squads is guaranteed to leave with a victory. Heathwood Hall lost by three points to Porter-Gaud in its conference opener, but Ben Lippen’s 27-20 loss to defending SCISA champion Augusta Christian seems more impressive. Heathwood Hall won the matchup last season, and it will look to running back Brandon Hill to help do so again.

Isabelle Khurshudyan

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