After Bluffton High School coach Ken Cribb waited for murky Region 8-AAA to settle Friday, he found his Bobcats would be facing a familiar opponent to open the Class 3-A football playoffs.
Georgetown is where Cribb earned his first head coaching job. And current Georgetown head coach Bradley Adams coached under Cribb at South Florence.
Adams' Bulldogs (7-3, 3-2 Region 8-AAA) travel Friday to Bluffton for the first-round matchup. Georgetown lost in double overtime to Wilson to end the regular season and fell out of contention for a home playoff berth.
Knowing Adams and a little about Georgetown, Cribb said he expects the Bulldogs to be well-coached and athletic.
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After a somewhat sluggish effort Friday at rival Hilton Head High, the Bobcats said their focus would be on staying mentally prepared during the week of practice, during which students also have the week off from school.
"If you think you're going to play perfect every week, it's not happening," Cribb said. "We'll start back Monday and get back to the fundamentals and try to take care of some mistakes. You can make a bunch of excuses, you just have to try to avoid that and eliminate them."
Hilton Head High (4-6, 2-4 Region 7-AAA) produced some positives to take on the road to Myrtle Beach on Friday. Hilton Head High finally cracked the end zone against Bluffton, scoring on a 75-yard pass play during the second half. And Hilton Head High's defense stopped Bluffton on five of the Bobcats' drives.
Myrtle Beach finished the regular season 9-1, including an overtime victory at Class 4-A power Byrnes.
"I know they're gifted, I know they're talented, I know they're tough to beat," Hilton Head High coach Tim Singleton said. "I know that we're going to go up there and fight again. We'll go from there and see what happens."
In Class 1-A, Ridgeland and Whale Branch benefited from an extra victory from Allendale-Fairfax's forfeit and both will host first-round playoff games.
The Jaguars (8-2, 6-1 Region 5-A), playing in Division I, will face Johnsonville, a rematch of their first-round matchup a season ago. Ridgeland won that game 27-15.
Whale Branch (7-3, 4-3 Region 5-A) has made the playoffs each of its two seasons and is hosting a playoff game for the first time. The Warriors' opponent, Scott's Branch, won its final two games to finish 3-7.
Two area private schools -- Hilton Head Christian Academy and Thomas Heyward Academy -- will open the SCISAA Class 2-A playoffs at home.
The Eagles wrapped up a 10-0 regular season and the SCISAA Region 2-AA title with a 33-7 win over rival Hilton Head Prep on Friday and will open against Calhoun Academy at 7 p.m. this Friday.
The Rebels (8-1, 4-1) host Florence Christian in the opener and are likely to travel to take on defending state champion Thomas Sumter in the semifinals.
Hilton Head Prep (5-4, 3-2) will have to travel to Williamsburg Academy in the first round, with hopes of returning to Hilton Head Island for a rematch at Hilton Head Christian in the semifinals.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Friday's first-round matchups
Georgetown at Bluffton, 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Head High at Myrtle Beach, 7:30 p.m.
Division I: Johnsonville at Ridgeland, 7:30 p.m.
Division II: Scott's Branch at Whale Branch, 7:30 p.m.
SCISAA Class 2-A
Calhoun Academy at Hilton Head Christian, 7 p.m.
Florence Christian at Thomas Heyward, 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Head Prep at Williamsburg Academy, 7:30 p.m.