It’s win or end for high school football teams beginning this week.
The state playoffs open Nov. 8 and two Dorchester County programs are in the hunt for a Class AAAAA state championship. Summerville (6-3) will host Lugoff-Elgin (4-6) at 7:30 p.m. in the first round while Fort Dorchester (9-0) will host Lexington (7-3) at 7:30 p.m.
Lugoff-Elgin’s wins came over Westwood, Fort Mill, Irmo and Blythewood while its losses came to Camden, Chapin, River Bluff, Rock Hill, Sumter and Spring Valley. Three of the team’s losses came by 7 points or less.
Summerville’s losses this season came to Wando (32-20), Berkeley (40-37) and Fort Dorchester (35-17).
Following his team’s loss to Fort Dorchester Nov. 1, Summerville coach Joe Call said his team has been gearing up for the playoffs over the last few weeks.
“Tonight we came out and played hard,” Call said. “I was proud of our guys. When you look at film on Fort Dorchester you see other teams intimidated by them, but we came out and played. That is something we’ve learned and something we are going to have to continue to do because in the playoffs every game is tough.”
Lexington looks to be a tough No. 3 seed. The Wildcats’ wins came over Irmo, Dreher, South Aiken, Batesburg-Leesville, Spring Valley, White Knoll and Chapin. Lexington’s losses came to Gilbert, Dutch Fork and River Bluff.
But the Patriots have a ton of momentum built up as they enter the post season without a loss.
“I don’t think Summerville ever really stopped us; we stopped ourselves,” LaPrad said. “The good thing is we didn’t give up at halftime.”
In fact, Fort Dorchester shutout Summerville in the second half while scoring 21 unanswered points. Stall carried a lead over the Patriots into halftime two weeks before, but then Fort Dorchester rolled to a 56-30 victory. The Patriots have three shutouts this season and have held four other opponents to 14 points or less.
If Summerville wins its playoff opener, it will play either Goose Creek or South Florence in the second round. If Fort Dorchester wins in the first round, it will host either Berkeley or West Florence in the second round.
Ashley Ridge needed a win in its final region game in order to qualify for the playoffs, but fell 35-28 to Stall so West Ashley earned Region 8-AAAAA’s No. 3 playoff seed. The Swamp Foxes finish the season with a 3-6 record with a 1-3 mark in region play.