North Augusta (5-1) at North Myrtle Beach (7-0)
Time | 7 p.m.
Broadcast | WRNN-FM, 99.5/nmbchiefs.com
Last meeting | North Myrtle Beach 38, North Augusta 21 (2019 playoffs)
About the game | The two best defensive teams in all of Class 4A (statistically speaking, at least) will meet up in this game. And because of it, the Yellow Jackets and Chiefs offenses won’t be able to dilly dally around. However, stats don’t always tell the immediate story. In both teams’ cases, those dynamic defenses have been playing with a huge cushion, meaning their opponent was frequently going more one-dimensional with a passing attack. If this one is close — something North Myrtle Beach hasn’t had to deal with but twice all season — the Chiefs’ offensive line will be asked to keep creating space for Nyliek Livingston and Devin Montgomery to run. They combined for 296 yards a week ago against James Island, but it’s always easier to put up those types of numbers against an overmatched opponent that is already playing from way behind.
Myrtle Beach (6-2) at Beaufort (5-1)
Time | 7 p.m.
Broadcast | WYNA-FM, 104.9
Last meeting | Myrtle Beach 48, Beaufort 7 (2017 playoffs)
About the game | Second verse same as the first for Myrtle Beach, which will be significantly banged up heading into a second-round road playoff game. However, this time the Seahawks will be asked to defeat a much tougher opponent than South Aiken. Beaufort’s lone loss this season came in a last-minute scheduled contest at Carolina Forest. The Eagles have allowed just 13.3 points per game and are quite adept against the pass, giving up an average of fewer than 68 yards each week. Offensively, Beaufort quarterback Tyler Haley (1,030 yards, nine touchdowns) and running back Amarie Morris (535 yards, 12 touchdowns) are a big reason the Eagles average 42 points per game. Add it all up and Myrtle Beach’s injury problems will get even less leeway than they did in the opening round.
Carolina Forest (7-1) at Dutch Fork (7-0)
Time | 7:30 p.m.
Broadcast | shnsports.com/carolina (Audio broadcast)
Last meeting | Dutch Fork 42, Carolina Forest 20 (2019 playoffs)
About the game | The team that ended Carolina Forest’s 2019 postseason run a game shy of the Class 5A state championship game is on the Panthers’ schedule again. But here’s the thing about that: Just about any lower state team attempting to reach Columbia for the Weekend of Champions is going to have to say that at some point. The Silver Foxes haven’t so much as been tested in the early rounds of the playoffs, dismantling opponents time after time en route to four consecutive state finals. They always appear to scheme better and have better athletes than anyone on the docket. Carolina Forest, meanwhile, has turned almost exclusively to its running game behind Luke Janack and Kyle Watkins. The two 1,000-yard rushers move the chains and protect the football, something Dutch Fork so rarely allows to happen. It will all boil down to how well the Panthers’ offensive line blocks and creates space. Otherwise, the king of South Carolina football may advance yet again.