A few random observations from a fall of sidelines and press boxes:

I love high school football. I really do. It takes me back to my youth. My only quibble is that I wish more games were close and less were blowouts. I’m not advocating anything. I just wish there were more close games. The stories write themselves. Mismatches require 99 and 44/100ths percent pure writing. Bearing down at 3 in the morning is so much fun. Praise the Lord and brew more coffee.

Meanwhile the ballgames get tougher and so does picking them as they are being picked off. This time of year, it doesn’t come so Easley, though it did there when Laurens raided. Slim Pickens is also gone, slain by Greenwood. Undoubtedly those towns are weary of such cheap humor. They still, however, make me laugh.

Inexplicably, last week, in the combined pick ’ems here and at the Laurens County site, I was 11-0. Imagine how I’d do if I took it seriously.

That’s really the point. I wouldn’t do any better – and probably worse – if I took it seriously.

Blissfully ignorant, I’ve gotten 79.8 percent of the games right.

America. What a country.

T.L. Hanna (10-1) at Gaffney (11-0) – This week the Yellow Jackets aren’t going to win a scoring duel. Hanna is going to have to hold the Indians down on a hostile Reservation. The Jackets have to keep their fingers (uh, 6-jointed legs?) on the Gaffney pulse. Hanna can’t afford to fall behind. Gaffney gets it done.

Wren (6-5) at Powdersville (11-0) –The last time it was a 1-point game. It might be again, but not 10-9. The weakness of Region 2-3A showed last week when the Patriots struggled against lowly Broome. The strength of Region 1 showed in the Hurricanes’ destruction of Fairfield Central. I hear a lot of hunches on Wren. I prefer to think of last week as a wake-up call for the Pats. Powdersville slogs on.

Irmo (7-3) at Westside (6-4) – I’ve changed my mind twice since I started this sentence. I saw Irmo play … in an August jamboree. That’s undoubtedly worth a lot now. Who knew it would end up being the tie-breaker? Irmo by those same 6-jointed legs Hanna relies on.

Crescent (6-3) at Gray Collegiate (10-1) -- They’re War Eagles, who maintain nests in West Columbia, and they’ve only lost to Gaffney, and that was 38-35. That’s enough for me to pick Gray Collegiate.

Last week: 7-0. Season to date: 55-15 (.786).

Note: I’m not any better than anyone else at picking the outcome of ballgames, races, meets, matches and elections. My modest skill is that of a history major: I know what already happened. Prophecy wasn’t offered as a major. My advice is to read the above for amusement purposes only. For God’s sake, don’t lay a bet on what I think.