This game should be a feature match-up between two of the top Division II teams in Class AAAA in South Carolina. Friday night they will meet to determine early season pecking order and to establish an early contender for the Little 32 crown.
Aiken comes into the game with much to prove after last weeks 24-7 win over Laurens high school. The hornets are looking to assert themselves as one of the elite teams in 4A again this year after seeing their string of title game appearances end last year with a shocking 3-0 first round playoff loss to Battery Creek.
This year's hornet squad has already encountered some adversity with the loss of start RB/DB Kenyata Smith to injury. Hoping to step up for the hornets will be a strong cast led by last weeks Player of the Week, Jeff Simpkins. Simpkins will share backfeild duties with emerging star Bishop Scott at quarterback as well as a talented stable of running backs headlined by senior Ombreyan Broadwater and super sophomore George Mathis. Hopeful to add another demension to the hornet offense is senior wideout Jermaine Martin who is back from an adominal injury that has kept him sidelined for much of the pre-season and last weeks win. Martin is a hihgly touted receiver and should add an instant deep threat to a hornet offense that has had trouble scoring in big games in recent years.
Defensively, Aiken is led by Simpkins, defensive tackle Myron Jordan, and a strong stable of linebackers headed by seniors Daniel Willis and Tony Mealing. End Channing Williams could also be a decisive playmaker for the hornets as they will be tested by the Rebel's explosive, pass-oriented offense.
Byrnes is headlined by WR Terrel Allen, one of the tops in the state in his position, and a defense that returns six starters off of a team that went 10-4 last year in the former Region II. That defense will be anchored by LB Josh Brock and FS Octavius Love Byrnes season last year ended one game short of the state Division II title game and they are early favorites to take it a step further and make it to Columbia this year.
The Rebels are coming off of an impressive summer that saw them win many off-season accolades and be ranked among the state's elite in passing leagues scrimmages. Included in that was their winning of the elite Orangeburg 7 on 7 passing tournament back in July.
The game will be a stern early season test for both ballclubs and the first of several for Aiken, which has road contest with Gaffney and Greenwood also on their slate in the next few weeks as they prepare for their Region 4AAAA slate. In short, this game has the most marbles on the table for an early season contest for both of these clubs. It going to be a premier match-up of two talented and top notch teams to determine early season pecking order in Class AAAA. For that reason, it's been labeled as the Aiken county Game of the Week by Aikencountyfootball.com
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