A capsule look at Friday's area high school football games:
Whale Branch (4-4, 2-1) at Battery Creek (3-5, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Whale Branch won 44-7 in 2014.
Last week: Whale Branch beat Garrett 35-22; Battery Creel lost 21-20 to Academic Magnet.
The skinny: Battery Creek's star running back, Tyrone Dilbert, is out, while top tackler Sonja Jones will again play in a cast.
"It's harder to prepare for rivalry games like this because of the things that are on the line," Dolphins head coach Jim Shuman said. "Community bragging rights tend to bring great emotion out in players, therefore you might have someone that is normally not a factor but suddenly has the game of their life.
"Our injuries and some guys being sick this week have made it tough to prepare, especially with the nasty wet weather we had earlier in the week."
Nyles Pinckney is back for the Warriors.
"We match up pretty well with them," Whale Branch head coach Jerry Hatcher said, "and they match up pretty well with us. It's definitely a big game."
Orangeburg-Wilkinson (3-6, 1-2) at Beaufort (4-4, 1-2), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Beaufort won 23-13 in 2014.
Last week: Orangeburg-Wilkinson lost 17-13 to Hilton Head Island; Beaufort lost 41-19 to Hanahan.
The skinny: Orangeburg-Wilkinson showed in its narrow loss to unbeaten Hilton Head Island how misleading its record is. The Bruins' defense is stout and their top players on offense were missing for about half the season with injuries. The Eagles will have their hands full.
Bluffton (5-4, 0-2) at Colleton County (4-5, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Colleton County won 14-12 in 2014.
Last week: Bluffton lost 45-6 to Fort Dorchester; Colleton County lost 16-14 to Summerville.
The skinny: The Bobcats are banged up again, with their kicker and starting quarterback questionable, for a game that is a must-win for their playoff hopes.
Hilton Head Island (8-0, 3-0) at Stall (0-8, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Hilton Head Island won 63-0 in 2014.
Last week: Hilton Head Island beat Orangeburg-Wilkinson 17-13; Stall lost 48-0 to Berkeley.
The skinny: A win would match the Seahawks' best start in school history.
"It means a lot to these kids," Hilton Head Island head coach B.J. Payne said. "They have worked so hard that any accomplishment they receive or record they break, they have truly earned."
Payne is hoping for a solid all-around game.
"We need a complete game in all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams -- to prepare for the grind ahead of us."
Ridgeland-Hardeeville (1-7, 0-3) at Edisto (0-8, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Ridgeland-Hardeeville won 57-13 in 2014.
Last week: Ridgeland-Hardeeville lost 46-12 to Barnwell; Edisto lost 38-21 to Wade Hampton.
The skinny: The Jaguars have a good shot at win No. 2 this week. Head coach Jahmaal Nelson said it has been difficult to keep his team motivated and committed.
"As a head coach I have not been in this position before," Nelson said. "However, as a winner (as a player and coach), I will handle this type of situation as I do all situations -- by coming out, working hard to get better and pushing the players that show up each day to get better."
John Paul II (1-8, 1-6) at Beaufort Academy (3-5, 2-4), 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: First meeting.
Last week: John Paul II lost 62-20 to Charleston Collegiate; Beaufort Academy was idle.
The skinny: Jackson Spratling suffered a broken arm two weeks ago for BA and is out, meaning some changes for the Eagles' defensive scheme.
"The key for us to win is pretty much always the same -- team defense, protect the football and play disciplined overall," Eagles head coach Scott Richards said. "If we do that then we have a shot. I fully expect John Paul to play hard and make some plays. They would certainly like to finish their season on a high note.
Hilton Head Prep (6-3, 4-1) at Hilton Head Christian (3-7, 0-4), 7 p.m.
Last meeting: Hilton Head Prep won 32-10 in 2014.
Last week: Hilton Head Prep beat Dorchester Academy 38-22; Hilton Head Christian Academy lost 34-6 to St. Andrew's.
The skinny: "We need to take care of the ball," HHCA head coach Matt Smith said. "The boys continue to play hard. We need to improve on ball security and getting off the field on third down. Prep has a lot of upperclassmen that are experienced and play physical. We will need to win the turnover margin and create some short fields."
Prep head coach Kevin Wald stressed getting out to a good start.
"We can't assume we're going to win," Wald said. "I expect Christian to play their best game of the season against us. In these rivalry games, you can throw out the records."
Thomas Heyward Academy (6-4, 3-1) at Colleton Prep (6-3, 4-0), 7 p.m.
Last meeting: Colleton Prep won 28-20 in 2014.
Last week: Thomas Heyward Academy beat Curtis Baptist 67-6; Colleton Prep beat Bible Baptist 15-0.
The skinny: One of coach Nic Shuford's keys to the game is usually to get off to a good start. The Rebels can't afford a slow start against Colleton Prep and they have to lock down War Hawks' quarterback Brian Murdaugh, a big man to bring down and a competent passer. The region title is on the line. The Rebels should get quarterback Logan Thomas back this week.