One weekend you’re on top of the high school football world and the next you could be the No. 3 seed in your own region.
Such is life for the Bishop England Bishops, who beat previously undefeated Woodland last weekend in a must-win situation to gain control of Region 6-AA. Now the Bishops must win at Ridgeland-Hardeeville Friday night or face slipping from the region’s No. 1 seed to third.
Bishop England enters the game with a 7-2 record, 6-0 in 6-AA. Ridgeland-Hardeeville is 6-3, 5-1. Woodland is 8-1, 5-1.
If Ridgeland-Hardeeville defeats the Bishops, Woodland will gain the No. 1 seed thanks to the tie-breaker system. The first tie-breaker is non-region wins. Woodland is 3-0 in non-conference games while the Bishops and Jaguars are 1-2. Ridgeland-Hardeeville would be the No. 2 seed based on head-to-head competition against Bishop England.
“This is another must-win situation,” said Bishop England coach John Cantey, whose team has won seven straight games after opening the season with losses to West Ashley and Hanahan. “We could go from a No. 1 seed with a bye week to a team playing in the first round and having to hit the road early.”
The Bishops have won two straight Division II-AA state titles and really haven’t had to focus on the regular-season finale the past two seasons. But this year it matters. It also matters that Ridgeland-Hardeeville will have motivation on its side. The Bishops beat the Jaguars 41-8 last fall.
The Jaguars average 260 yards per game in offense, including 144 on the ground. The team features offensive lineman Tyrae Simmons, who will play in the North-South All-Star Football Game.
Friday marks the final week of the regular season for all classifications in the High School League except AAAA.
In Region 8-AAA, Hanahan can wrap up the region title and a perfect regular season with a victory over Stall. The Hawks are 9-0, 4-0, while Stall is 2-7, 1-3.
In Region 6-A, St. John’s should clinch the league championship Friday. The Islanders are 6-3, 3-0 under first-year coach Brad Bowles, and face a Lincoln team that is 1-8, 0-3.
Defending Division II-A state champion Cross has completed its regular season and owns a 5-5 record, including 3-1 in Region 6-A.
In Region 7-AA, Timberland battles Lee Central for the championship. Timberland is 7-2, 4-0, while Lee Central is 5-4, 3-1.
Playoffs begin next weekend.
The Division I-A and II-A state football championships will be held Nov. 23 at Benedict College in Columbia.
The Class I-AA and II-AA state football championships will be held Nov. 30 at Benedict College.
The Division I-AAAA, II-AAAA and Class AAA state football championships will be held Dec. 1 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
The SCISA regular season also ends Friday.
The SCISA 8-man state football championship will be held Nov. 22 at a location to be determined.
The Class A, AA and AAA title games will be held Nov. 23 at Benedict College.