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Crosby talks with players

Orangeburg-Wilkinson second-year head football coach Kevin "Butch" Crosby, at left, talks with some of his Bruins players during last Friday's region game at Lower Richland. Crosby and the Bruins will play a first-round SCHSL Class 4A playoff game at Wren High School in Piedmont this Friday.

The opening of the S.C. High School League and SCISA playoffs can serve as a source of pride for the T&D Region.

TD CLUB: 'It's all about attitude and work ethic'

All but 2 schools (Lake Marion, North) in the area made the postseason this year. Given the potential of upsets here and there, the prospects of football at or near Thanksgiving are a serious possibility.

At least one local team appears destined to play in a championship game and be one of the postseason storylines to follow in playoffs.

FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Branchville, OP and AJA get wins

TEAM TO BEAT

Andrew Jackson Academy is seeking its 5th-consecutive SCISA 8-man title game appearance and 4th title during that span. A year after losing in the title game, the Confederates are averaging 60 points a game, holding opponents to an average of 5 points a contest and have posted 5 shutouts this season.

SCISA TEAMS MAKE THE PARTY

It’s perfect attendance to the postseason for T&D Region SCISA teams. All 6 teams with players from the tri-county area (AJA, Orangeburg Prep, Holly Hill Academy, Calhoun Academy, Dorchester Academy and Clarendon Hall School) reached the playoffs.

HOME COOKING

Calhoun County, Woodland, Orangeburg Prep and AJA will open the playoffs this week at home. Only the Confederates are assured home-field advantage through the state championship game.

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1ST ROUND BYE

The shrinking of the playoff field in SCHSL Class A has resulted in regional teams Branchville, Blackville-Hilda and C.E. Murray each receiving 1st-round byes. Branchville will play host to the winner between Denmark-Olar at Lake View in a Friday, Nov. 15 game at home in the second round.

TEAM OF THE WEEK - Branchville

No Yellow Jackets’ team in school history has won as many games or finished as high in the region as the 2019 edition. More history awaits the team in the postseason, should it win its 2nd-round opener.

WEEK 10 GRIDIRON GIANTS

Trey Pulaski (Andrew Jackson Academy) - 198 rushing yards, 3 TDs

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Tyreek Jenkins (Bethune-Bowman) - 15 tackles

Omar Goodwin and Carlos Ramos (both of Bethune-Bowman) - 11 tackles each

Javier Guinyard (Bethune-Bowman) - 10 tackles

Zahiem Lane (Branchville) - 113 rushing yards, 3 TDs

Jacob Watkins (Branchville) - 13 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, defensive TD

Jamarian Jamison (Lake Marion) - 215 total yards, 3 TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing)

Hamari Cuyler (Lake Marion) - 120 rushing yards, TD

Amir Tyler (Orangeburg Prep) - 137 rushing yards, 2 TDs

Will Summers (Orangeburg Prep) - 109 rushing yards, 3 TDs

Billy Workman (Orangeburg Prep) - 10 tackles

COLUMBIA METRO BOWL

The 2nd annual Columbia Metro Bowl is set for Friday, Dec. 20 at Brookland-Cayce High School. The event features teams from throughout the Midlands and has expanded to include Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties. Those players were added to the West team headed by Gilbert head coach Chad Leaphart. Named to the team from The T&D Region are offensive linemen Je’Marius Fludd (Calhoun County) and Antonio Carter (Orangeburg-Wilkinson) and defensive back Josh Joyner (Orangeburg-Wilkinson).

FINAL S.C. PREP FOOTBALL MEDIA RANKINGS

Class A - 1. Wagener-Salley (8), 2. Green Sea Floyds (3), 3. Lamar, 4. Blackville-Hilda, 5. C.E. Murray, 6. Branchville, 7. Lake View, 8. Ridge Spring-Monetta, 9. Whitmire, 10. Baptist Hill. Others receiving votes - Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, McCormick, Cross.

Class 2A - 1. Abbeville, 2. Barnwell, 3. Southside Christian, 4. Oceanside Collegiate, 5. Timberland, 6. Andrew Jackson, 7. Gray Collegiate, 8. (tie) St. Joseph’s, Andrews, 10. Bamberg-Ehrhardt. Others receiving votes - Saluda, Woodland, Mullins, Buford, Batesburg-Leesville, Whale Branch.

SCISA 2A - 1. Trinity-Byrnes (5), 2. Hilton Head Christian, T3. Robert E. Lee, T3. Florence Christian, 5. Orangeburg Prep.

SCISA 8-MAN - 1. Andrew Jackson Academy, 2. St. John’s Christian, 3. Clarendon Hall, 4. Richard Winn, 5. Wardlaw Academy.

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Thomas Grant Jr. reported on The T&D Region sports scene for two decades as a Times and Democrat staffer. In 2014, he became sports editor of The Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News in Lexington.

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