By CT McDonald
The end of the 2022 regular high school football season is already approaching, and local teams are gearing up to make every game count.
After shutting out White Knoll in its first Region 4-5A game of the season last week, Dutch Fork’s varsity football team is now set to welcome region opponent Chapin to the Silver Fox stadium Friday in a matchup of District Five neighbors.
While the Silver Foxes (6-1, 1-0) were busy with the Timberwolves last week, Chapin’s Eagles (3-4, 0-1) were taking their bye week and preparing to get back on the field this week to continue their conference schedule.
The Eagles lost their first region game two weeks ago against the current region leader, Lexington (2-0), and that followed a non-region loss to the undefeated Class 4A A. C. Flora Falcons (7-0, 2-0).
Now they will take on the No. 2 region team, Dutch Fork, before facing the White Knoll Timberwolves (6-2, 0-2), who, thus far, have lost games only in region competition.
Dutch Fork has lost only to St. Frances Academy — one of the top-ranked teams in the nation — and, until recently, has played most of its games on the road against some strong competition. The St. Frances game was the first home game for the Silver Foxes, White Knoll the second, and now Chapin will be the third.
There will be just two more conference games after this week, and it looks like a struggle between the top-three Region 4-5A teams. The current No. 2 Silver Foxes will face No. 3 River Bluff (1-1) next week, and then complete the region/regular schedule October 28 against current No. 1 Lexington.
In Region 5-4A, Irmo played another cliffhanger last week, but took the 40-37 overtime loss against Ridge View (6-1, 2-0) to settle at 4-3, 0-2 for the season.
As expected, it was a close one, and the story was not told until it went into overtime because of a last minute score by the Blazers.
This week the Yellow Jackets will visit A. C. Flora Friday where they will face the undefeated Falcons. After taking on the two top teams (Falcons and Blazers) in the conference back-to-back, Irmo will then take on Westwood and Lugoff-Elgin to complete the season.
Currently, the Redhawks and Demons are also looking for their first region wins.
With just three weeks left in the regular/region season, each game becomes more important for a shot at the playoffs.