In the penultimate week of the regular season, there were key matchups involving Greenville County teams in terms of region finishes and playoff seeding Friday. Here’s a recap of some of those big games.
Christ Church 35, St. Joseph’s 21
In a battle of top 10 teams in Class 1A, Christ Church quarterback Tucker Hendrix threw as many touchdowns as he did incompletions in the No. 2-ranked Cavaliers’ win. Hendrix completed 15-of-19 passes for 324 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
The win sets Christ Church up for a showdown at Southside Christian for the Region I-1A championship next Friday.
The favorite target of Hendrix was wide receiver Jackson Repp, who caught seven passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. That gives the junior 852 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns this season. After Repp caught a touchdown on the second play of the game, Christ Church (7-2, 5-0) standout back Dashun Reeder had a 54-yard touchdown run to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season and push the lead to 14-0.
All three of sixth-ranked St. Joseph’s (7-2, 3-2) touchdowns made it a one-score game, but the Knights could never get the lead under seven. Cade Alt threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Michael Poinsette on the final play of the first half and Brayden Johnson’s two-point run cut the lead to 21-14 at the break. A six-yard touchdown catch by Repp was the lone score of the third quarter.
St. Joseph’s Lucas Salgado ran for a four-yard touchdown to get the lead down to 28-21 with 7:21 left in the game, but the Cavs answered with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Hendrix to Jude Hall with 3:39 remaining to wrap up the scoring.
The Knights will wrap up the regular season next Friday at McCormick. The winner of that game will earn the No. 3 seed out of the region and host a playoff game in the opening round.
Southside Christian 47, Ware Shoals 12
Southside Christian (6-2, 5-0) remained the only other team with a perfect region record besides Christ Church thanks to a lopsided win Thursday at Ware Shoals’ historic Riegel Stadium. Sabres’ senior quarterback Paul Cobin completed 12-of-23 passes for 158 yards with an interception, while sophomore Carson Boleman was 9-for-9 passing for 117 yards and three touchdowns. Boleman also ran for a score.
Zach Brewster caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, while Ethan Chandler had three catches for 61 yards and a score. Running back Christian Kaiser ran seven times for 39 yards and two touchdowns and also had three receptions for 34 yards and a score.
Hillcrest 57, Mauldin 0
It was a historic night in many different ways for the 69th edition of the Golden Strip Derby game Friday at Mauldin’s Freeman Field. The game helped kick off a weekend-long celebration of Mauldin High’s 50th anniversary.
By the end of the game, it was a historic night for Hillcrest (8-1, 2-1 Region I-5A), which bounced back from its first loss in a big way. In recording the largest margin of victory ever in the rivalry, the Rams extended their series-best win streak to 11 consecutive games. Friday’s victory also gave the Rams the lead in the series for the first time ever at 35-34.
Hillcrest raced out to a 27-0 lead after one quarter and a 48-0 advantage at the half. The Rams had five touchdowns on offense, a 45-yard pick six by Caleb Constantino, a safety and a 34-yard field goal by Anthony Grudko in the opening half.
Hillcrest wrapped up the scoring in the third quarter on Avery McFadden’s third touchdown of the game and another safety. McFadden, a Shrine Bowl receiver who’s committed to Georgia State, finished with seven receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score.
That effort helped him rewrite the Rams’ record book. McFadden is now the school’s all-time leading receiver with 2,783 career yards and all-time touchdown scorer with 47 in his career.
Hillcrest hosts JL Mann (7-2, 2-1) Friday with second-place in the region – and a home playoff game in round one – on the line. The loser of Friday’s game will hit the road in the opening round.
Mauldin (0-9, 0-3) will wrap up the regular season by hosting Woodmont (4-4, 0-3), which lost at TL Hanna 64-25 Friday. The Mauldin-Woodmont winner will claim the final playoff spot out of Region I and will play at the winner of Friday’s Region III championship game between Clover and Rock Hill in round one.
Greenville 48, Greenwood 7
A showdown for second place in Region I-4A quickly turned into a beatdown for Greenville. On the first play of the game, South Carolina commitment Mazeo Bennett took an end around 52 yards for a touchdown and the tone was set for the night.
The Red Raiders found the end zone on all six of their first-half possessions to take a 41-0 lead into halftime. Bennett wrapped up the scoring with his third touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter. Bennett had just one rush that didn’t produce a score as he finished with 80 yards on four carries. He also had a 31-yard catch and a 30-yard kickoff return.
Greenville (6-3, 3-1) will host Easley (4-5, 2-2) in Friday’s regular season finale. The Red Raiders need a win to secure a second-place finish in the region and a home playoff game in round one.
Greer 65, Wade Hampton 7
Greer traveled to Wade Hampton Friday and thoroughly dominated the Generals to remain the only team in Region II-4A without a region loss. The Yellow Jackets (4-5, 3-0) had 48 plays for 560 yards of total offense, while Wade Hampton had 49 plays for 50 yards.
Quarterback Chris Hall had 280 yards of total offense (168 passing, 113 rushing) and accounted for four touchdowns for Greer. LaDainnian Martin had 14 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns also for the Yellow Jackets.
Greer will host Riverside (5-4, 2-1) in Friday’s regular season finale. The winner will earn the No. 1 region seed and homefield advantage throughout the Class 4A Upper State playoffs.
Eastside 36, Laurens 34
Eastside raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and led 36-8 in the fourth quarter before hanging on for the win. After Laurens’ last touchdown in the final seconds, the Eagles recovered an onside kick to secure their first region victory since 2019.
Standout running back Kalvin Banks rushed for 179 yards and four touchdowns to lead Eastside (5-4, 1-2 Region II-4A).
The Eagles can claim a spot in the playoffs with a win in Friday’s regular season finale against rival Wade Hampton (2-7, 0-3). An Eastside win and a Greer win would see the Eagles finish in a three-way tie for second place. If the Generals win, they would tie the Eagles for fourth place and collect the last playoff seed from the region.