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AA teams eye games, bids

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Friday finales will decide playoff slots

By Robert Howey

 

Playoff seedings will be on the line for Class AA teams as week 10 in the 2013 Lancaster County football season unfolds.

For the second straight year, all Class AA teams qualify for postseason play as AA will again crown two state football champions.

Games involving county Class AA teams have Indian Land hosting Buford in a rivalry clash and AJ at home to battle region rival Central of Pageland.

In Class AAAA, Lancaster caps its regular-season road schedule with a trip to Rock Hill.

All games kick off at 7:30.

The stakes are high for Class AA county teams.

Andrew Jackson, 4-5, 2-2, can boost its Class AA Div. II playoff seeding with a home win over the Eagles, who are coming off a 29-7 loss to Cheraw.  AJ will likely host a first-round playoff game on Nov. 8. 

Buford and Indian Land can aid their playoff seeding with a win in Lancaster County’s oldest football rivalry.

Buford competes in Div. II, while Indian Land is a Div. I team.

AJ coach David Moore said the Vols face a test in battling the Eagles.

“This is a typical Central  team,” Moore said. “They are quick and have good speed. They are lacking some of the size of their past teams, but they will compete and go hard.

“I know they will come here smarting from the loss to Cheraw and looking to get back on track,” he said. “They have their share of athletes and they come off the football real well.

“We’re coming off a solid win and we need to use that momentum to boost us,” Moore said. “The keys for us are to play error-free football and make Central earn everything.

“We have to be able to control the football and keep it away from their big-play people,” he said. “This is our senior night and I hope we have a good crowd out to boost our guys and put us over the top.”

Buford is bidding for its second win of the season over IL after taking a 28-22 win over the Warriors at BHS on Aug. 30.

“Indian Land’s record doesn’t show it, but they have been in their share of games,” BHS coach Mike Wells said. “A play here or there would have made the difference. They’re still playing hard and giving good effort.

“With this their last home game and facing Buford, I know they will battle to the final whistle,” Wells said. “We have to do a good job of controlling the ball to take time off the clock. We also have to make the most of our scoring chances. Our defense has to get off the field and prevent them from controlling the game.”

IL coach Mike Mayer said the Warriors’ defense has to deliver.

“Buford does a good job of controlling the ball, but we have to be able to play good defense,” Mayer said. “I think a big key is to take care of the football and have zero turnovers.

“We hurt ourselves with turnovers and breakdowns in the kicking game and we have to be better this week,” Mayer said.

Lancaster is hoping for success on the road where its two wins have come this season.

“We played hard last week and had good effort,” LHS coach Bennie McMurray said. “It comes down to making the key plays.

“Rock Hill, like us, has been snake bit at times this season, but they are better than what their record reflects,” McMurray said. “It’s been a tough season, but we just have to go out there and give it our best shot.”