Columbia Star

Games to watch in 2017

August 18: Woodruff @ A.C. Flora

This is the first chance A.C. Flora fans get to see the Falcons under the direction of coach Collin Drafts. With a new coach and a lot of new players, this is sure to be far from a polished game for A.C. Flora, but it may be an indication of what the year may hold. There is also a measure of revenge for A.C. Flora as Woodruff earned a 36- 24 win last year.

August 25: Airport @ Brookland-Cayce

Lately, this rivalry game has become closely contested. Brookland- Cayce won three of four from 2013 to 2014. Airport won both games in 2015, before the Bearcats won a thriller at Airport in 2016. As has been the custom in this series, this game will serve as a tone-setter for the season. Home-field advantage hasn’t meant a lot over the last couple of seasons. Brookland-Cayce’s experience at quarterback may provide an edge; however, heavy personnel losses for both teams leaves the outcome of this one up in the air.

September 1: Spring Valley @ RNE

There aren’t a lot of ways to improve on the four-overtime, one-point thriller last year’s game provided fans. However, that won’t mean the 2017 renewal of the Spring Valley/Richland Northeast rivalry won’t be compelling. The Cavaliers will look to get a signature win for first-year head coach Bennett Weigle, while the Vikings will try to build early season momentum before entering a difficult region schedule. Spring Valley enters the matchup on a five-game winning streak against the Cavaliers.

September 8: Ben Lippen @ Hammond

Does Ben Lippen have staying power as a heavyweight in 3A SCISA football or was 2016 a flash in the pan? This game will provide a good answer to that question. The Falcons took both games against the Skyhawks, including a 41-14 semifinal win at Hammond, so they won’t be intimidated by playing this game at Hammond. The difference may come down to quarterback play for both teams. This one will definitely be full of points and excitement.

October 6: Cardinal Newman @ Heathwood Hall

Despite the lack of success by either team recently, this has turned into an even series dating back to 2010. In those seven matches, Cardinal Newman has won four, Heathwood Hall three. However, the Cardinals have won four of the last five games. Homefield advantage would normally give a team the upperhand, but Heathwood Hall hasn’t beaten Cardinal Newman at home since 2011. While the overall series record has been close, the margin of victory hasn’t been. From 2014-2016 it has averaged 17.7. The winner has scored at least 21 points the last five games.

October 27: A.C. Flora @ Dreher

Dreher is presented with an opportunity to end its ten-game losing streak against A.C. Flora. The Falcons will have a number of new players in starting roles and a new head coach in Collin Drafts. The 2017 season is head coach Treigh Sullivan’s fifth with the Blue Devils and marks the return of Jay Washington. In the last four games, A.C. Flora has outscored Dreher by an average of 35 to 18.5.

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