High School Football

High school football Week 11 preview capsules

Preview capsules for Friday's area high school football games:


SCISAA playoffs -- first round

Holly Hill Academy (7-3) at Hilton Head Prep (7-3) (at Hilton Head Christian Academy), 7 p.m.

Last meeting: Holly Hill Academy won 41-17 in first round of 2014 playoffs.

Last week: Holly Hill Academy lost 20-0 to Dillon Christian; Hilton Head Prep beat Hilton Head Christian 45-6.

The skinny: In addition to slowing down the Raiders' running game on defense, the Dolphins' best weapon may be to simply keep it off the field by putting together long drives. HHA will throw a bit more than last year, according to Wald, so the Dolphins can't be lulled to sleep by the run.


Thomas Heyward Academy (6-5) at Dillon Christian (8-2), 7 p.m.

Last meeting: N/A

Last week: Thomas Heyward Academy lost 36-20 to Colleton Prep; Dillon Christian beat Holly Hill Academy 20-0.

The skinny: Rebels head coach Nic Shuford said the Warriors are loaded with playmakers and are big up front.

"Defensively, we need to make them put drives together and eliminate the big plays," Shuford said. "The big plays have been killing us. Offensively, we need to get off to a good start. Games we've won are games in which we've scored early."

Rebels star running back Anthony Sanders is banged up and not 100 percent.


SCHSL regular season

Beaufort (4-5, 1-3) at Berkeley (3-6, 1-3), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Berkeley won 27-21 in 2014.

Last week: Beaufort lost to Orangeburg-Wilkinson 27-21; Berkeley lost to Hanahan 35-18.

The skinny: The Eagles will be playing without 1,000-yard rusher Wyatt Sherpensky, who broke his sternum last week. Beaufort head coach Mark Clifford said several players will step up for banged-up teammates, but expect to see Omar Cummings earlier and more often on offense. Beaufort has had success at Berkeley before, so the venue shouldn't be intimidating. Clifford said the team isn't thinking about the playoff berth up for grabs.

"We're just playing for the W," Clifford said. "We're not worried about that."


Bishop England (5-4, 4-0) at Battery Creek (4-5, 3-1), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Bishop England won 27-21 in 2014.

Last week: Bishop England beat Academic Magnet 41-13; Battery Creek beat Whale Branch 21-14.

The skinny: While this isn't the Bishop England team of a few years ago, Dolphins head coach Jim Shuman said it's still quite good.

"As far as how we match up, I think it's pretty even," Shuman said. "We have size advantages in areas and they do in others. I would say speed is about the same. It really comes down to the same keys as last week. Who can play without making the mental errors and penalties that cause teams to beat themselves? We need to execute on offense and play strong defense just like last week."

Battery Creek will be a little shorthanded in the quest for its first region title. Standout running back Tyrone Dilbert (foot) is out. Key defender Sonja Jones is in a cast but will play.


Hanahan (7-2, 4-0) at Hilton Head Island (9-0, 4-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Hanahan won 21-14 in 2014.

Last week: Hanahan beat Berkeley 35-18; Hilton Head Island beat Stall 63-12.

The skinny: "Hanahan is a very good team that dominates on defense and special teams," Seahawks head coach B.J. Payne said. "They struggled a bit on offense early in the season, but they are clicking on all points offensively now. They are the best team to date we have played."

The Region 8-AAA championship is on the line in this game, but Payne said that's not the only reason a win is key.

"The winner of this game would secure home playoff games until the state championship game," Payne said. "It also, on paper, puts you into the side of the bracket that you want."


North Charleston (5-4, 0-4) at Whale Branch (4-5, 2-2), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Whale Branch won 64-12 in 2014.

Last week: North Charleston lost 49-14 to Garrett; Whale Branch lost 21-14 to Battery Creek.

The skinny: Warriors head coach Jerry Hatcher said it appears Whale Branch has locked up its playoff spot.

"I don't want to leave anything to chance, so we need to win," Hatcher said. "With a win we can finish either second or third, depending on the outcomes of other games. We are at full strength. Nyles (Pinckney) is completely healed and has started the last two games. North Charleston is faster than us, but we are bigger and stronger than them."


Silver Bluff (6-3, 4-0) at Ridgeland-Hardeeville (2-7, 1-3), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Ridgeland-Hardeeville beat Silver Bluff 26-24 in 2014.

Last week: Silver Bluff beat Barnwell 59-38; Ridgeland-Hardeeville beat Edisto 37-26.

The skinny: The Jaguars could sneak into the playoffs if they win and Edisto beats Woodland. That scenario would require two pretty big upsets. Jaguars head coach Jahmaal Nelson said Silver Bluff is a talented team, and it would require a perfect game from Ridgeland-Hardeeville to earn a win.

"It is senior night, and we would like to send our seniors out on a high note," Nelson said. "We also want to be able to finish the season with some momentum for the underclassmen to build on."


Summerville (3-7, 1-2) at Bluffton (5-5, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Summerville won 54-19 in 2014.

Last week: Summerville Lost 37-21 to Ashley Ridge; Bluffton lost 60-27 to Colleton County.

The skinny: Bobcats head coach Ken Cribb said his team is still alive for a playoff berth, "but if we beat Summerville, we will be tied for third with a win, (and the) tiebreaker will probably eliminate us. The kids' goals are a winning record, to beat Summerville for first time and win the last game of the year."

Cribb said his team matches up well with Summerville, but he's looking forward to next year when Bluffton, which will return 14 starters, will play in 3-A.