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No. 3 Fort, No. 9 Berkeley to collide; Oceanside steady, Timberland tumbles in state rankings

No. 3 Fort Dorchester will host No. 9 Berkeley Friday in the most anticipated matchup in the Lowcountry this season.

The 3-0 Patriots, positioned third in the Class AAAAA state rankings throughout the season, regained sole possession of the No. 3 spot this week. Fort Dorchester sat tied with Byrnes for third, behind Dutch Fork and Gaffney, last week. But Gaffney’s 27-20 home loss to Mallard Creek on Friday dropped the Indians to fourth and slid the Rebels into second. Three-time defending state champion Dutch Fork remains the top team in AAAAA.

Berkeley, 2-0 coming off its bye week, took over the No. 9 slot, swapping positions with undefeated West Florence, who slipped a spot despite a 42-29 win at Lake View last week.

Berkeley won its two games this season over Stall and Ashley Ridge — who are together 1-5 overall this season — by a combined score of 96-12. Fort Dorchester’s closest game was a 25-point win over Glynn (Ga.) in its season opener. The next two were road romps of 49 points at Cane Bay and 41 points at Wando. The Patriots defense, led by Shrine Bowl linebacker Darryle Ware — one of just two Lowcountry selections, along with Summerville lineman Adam McKanna, for the state’s annual senior all-star game against North Carolina — has allowed just 16 points through three games this season.

Fort Dorchester outlasted Berkeley, 21-20, in overtime last season in Moncks Corner. It was the Patriots’ first win over the Stags in four games, since 2006.

Bishop England is traveling to AA No. 6 Timberland this week, in a game that’s no longer a region matchup but still offers plenty of intrigue.

The Bishops are 2-0, both on the road, with a 31-12 win at Class A No. 8 Baptist Hill and 27-7 win at new neighbor Philip Simmons. Timberland opened the season ranked third, and remained there until last week’s 27-6 loss at Providence Day. The Wolves still sit a spot ahead of Oceanside, though, who is still ranked seventh despite adding a 49-42 win over No. 9 Gray to a resume that already included a 46-point win over Class A No. 8 Baptist Hill and a 42-point win at Savannah Christian (Ga.)

None of the six teams ranked ahead of Oceanside have two wins over ranked opponents this season. MaxPreps’ computer rankings — which are determined by strength of schedule and quality of wins, among other things — list Oceanside fourth in AA, behind Abbeville, Southside Christian and Barnwell.

Baptist Hill earned its first win of the season last week, defeating Academic Magnet 67-0. The Bobcats travel to Cross on Friday.

SCHSL Sept. 17 state rankings Class AAAAA

1. Dutch Fork (11)

2. Byrnes

3. Fort Dorchester

4. Gaffney

5. Dorman

6. T.L. Hanna

7. Sumter

8. River Bluff

9. Berkeley

10. West Florence

Others receiving votes: Carolina Forest, Clover

Class AAAA

1. Myrtle Beach (11)

2. Daniel

3. North Myrtle Beach

4. South Pointe

5. Wilson

6. Hartsville

7. A.C. Flora

8. Eastside

9. Walhalla

10. Greenville

Others receiving votes: Travelers Rest, Greer, Wren, Ridge View

Class AAA

1. Dillon (7)

2. Chapman (4)

3. Camden

4. Chester

5. May River

6. Wade Hampton

7. Gilbert

8. Cheraw

9. Strom Thurmond

10. Aynor

Others receiving votes: Marion, Woodruff, Newberry, Union County

Class AA

1. Abbeville (10)

2. Barnwell (1)

3. Bamberg-Ehrhardt

4. Southside Christian

5. Saluda

6. Timberland

7. Oceanside Collegiate

8. Whale Branch

9. Gray Collegiate

10. Andrew Jackson

Others receiving votes: Central, Woodland, Andrews

Class A

1. Green Sea Floyds (9)

2. Wagener-Salley (1)

3. Lamar (1)

4. Lake View

5. Blackville-Hilda

6. Branchville

7. Denmark-Olar

8. (tie) Baptist Hill, Ridge Spring-Monetta, C.E. Murray

Others receiving votes: Cross, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, Great Falls