Chapin Looks to Reclaim Region Title: A Preview of Region IV-3A

Entering the stretch run of the football season, Chapin (6-0, 1-0) prepares to play Lower Richland (2-4, 0-1) on the road. Chapin won their last game two weeks ago at home against Richland Northeast 28-8. Last week, all Region IV-3A games, including AC-Flora-Chapin, were postponed following historic flooding that kept students throughout the Midlands out of school.

Chapin has exploded out of the gates this season, scoring an average of 45.2 points per game. Chapin shutout Columbia in the opener 49-0 and followed with a 44-7 beatdown of arch-rival Mid-Carolina. Chapin’s closest game of the year thus far came against Swansea, a 63-60 overtime game delayed by lightening until Saturday morning. Two road wins against Newberry and Brookland-Cayce by scores of 34-13 and 35-25, respectively, finished the non-region schedule at 5-0.

“The season is going good, offense is doing great and defense is working hard. I think we will do good things in the playoffs. I expect good things,” said junior wide receiver Kale Rhame, who has 18 catches for 296 yards and three total touchdowns on the year.

Other region teams have fared well entering region play. AC Flora (3-3,0-1) has wins over Columbia, Swansea and Ninety Six. Flora is two one-point losses, against Clinton 30-29 and Airport 38-37, from also being undefeated. Flora lost to Camden 27-12 to start the region schedule in a game that was pushed up in order to avoid a massive storm system.

Dreher (4-2, 1-0) boasts wins over Fox Creek, Columbia, and CA Johnson. Dreher lost by three to 5-0 Airport and 35-20 against Aiken. Camden (3-3,1-0) has fared worse with losses to West Florence, Hartsville and Lancaster. Camden’s wins have come against winless Lakewood, one-win Lugoff-Elgin and AC Flora to start their region schedule.

Lower Richland and Richland Northeast (1-5, 0-1) round out the region teams. Lower Richland’s season features close wins over Keenan, a 54-48 decision, and Orangeburg-Wilkinson, a 20-19 victory, as well as losses to Spring Valley, Airport and Chester. Richland Northeast’s sole victory this year so far came against Orangeburg-Wilkinson, but Richland Northeast has had a considerably stronger non-region schedule than other teams in the region, with games against undefeated Airport, undefeated Lancaster and 4A powers Westwood and Spring Valley.

Chapin is the clear favorite to win the region, despite AC Flora being the defending region champion, going 4-1 against region teams last year. Even though Chapin’s last region title came in 2013, Chapin is favored due to the experience on defense and an electrifying offense led by senior quarterback Logan Bailey. Bailey’s 1,646 total yards and 24 total touchdowns leads the Midlands. Brendan Greene and Avery Armstrong, dual-threat senior QBs for AC Flora and Dreher, respectively, are two of the more exciting players in the region and the state. Richland Northeast has one of the stingiest defenses in the Midlands, led by senior linebacker and University of Louisville commit TJ Brunson. Richland Northeast is allowing a region fewest 13.3 points per game over the last three games.

Chapin’s season finishes with Lower Richland on the road, Dreher at home, Camden on the road and concludes with AC Flora at home, originally scheduled for October 9. The playoffs begin Friday, November 13.