Fort Dorchester coach Steve LaPrad said he wants the Patriots to be recognized as a “national” program. The Patriots defeated Glynn Academy out of Brunswick, Ga., 37-21, in the opening week and now face perennial Florida power Viera (Fla.) High School on Friday night.
The other top matchup features two undefeated teams in Berkeley and West Ashley.
The Moultrie News’ Frankie Mansfield is 11-1 after two weeks, while David Shelton and The Post and Courier’s Andrew Miller both are 10-2, just one game back in the high school picks standings.
Here are this week’s picks.
Berkeley at West Ashley
Shelton: Both teams are 2-0 and looking to prove they are contenders in Class AAAAA. Every time I pick West Ashley to lose, they win. Berkeley, 28-27
Mansfield: Another good test for Berkeley’s front lines after last week’s thriller with Ashley Ridge. Stags survive again. Berkeley, 28-21.
Miller: This game will tell if West Ashley is a legitimate contender in Region 8-AAAAA. Stags are legit Region 7-AAAAA contenders. Berkeley, 24-23.
Viera (Fla.) at Fort Dorchester
Shelton: Patriots are good and should handle their Sunshine State counterparts. Fort Dorchester, 35-20.
Mansfield: Viera defense is too young in the front seven. Fort D runs its way to a win at home. Fort Dorchester, 31-24.
Miller: Another win over an out-of-state team will help the Patriots get noticed on a national level. Fort Dorchester, 31-18.
Stratford at Ashley Ridge
Shelton: This is Stratford's toughest test to date after a 2-0 start. Swamp Foxes stinging after last week's tough loss to Berkeley. Ashley Ridge, 24-21.
Mansfield: Stratford is playing inspired ball, especially on defense, but Ashley Ridge will be the Knights’ toughest test yet. Ashley Ridge, 24-21.
Miller: Ashley Ridge is coming off a tough loss last week against Berkeley, and Stratford is still building its program. Ashley Ridge, 23-20.
St. John's at Garrett
Shelton: Islanders will not have an easy night with Falcons. St. John's, 19-16
Mansfield: Garrett will have a hard time keeping pace with St. John’s, which has scored 63 points in its first two games. St. John’s, 28-14.
Miller: Islanders are coming off a loss to Andrew Jackson, while Garrett beat Baptist Hill in overtime. St. John’s, 21-13.
First Baptist at Wilson Hall
Shelton: Hurricanes will cruise in their first SCISA AAA contest. First Baptist, 34-16
Mansfield: Hurricanes should be able to rest their starters by halftime. First Baptist, 42-13.
Miller: Running back Michel Dukes is the real deal and Wilson Hall doesn’t have the defense to stop him. First Baptist, 38-7.
Woodland at Hanahan
Shelton: Both teams coached by rookie head coaches. Coin flip takes the visiting team. Woodland, 18-14.
Mansfield: Cody Craig tops David Morbitzer in the battle of assistants turned first-year head coaches. Woodland, 21-7.
Miller: Woodland might be a little better on paper, but going with the Hawks at home. Hanahan, 20-19.