Baldwin at Burke County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bear Den, Waynesboro
Records, rankings: Baldwin (10-2 in 2010) is No. 10 in AAA; Burke County (11-3 in 2010) is No. 6 in AAA.
Last meeting: The teams split two meetings in 2010. Baldwin won 14-8 in the opener, and Burke County won 21-20 in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. In their playoff meeting last season, Burke County scored the go-ahead touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:56 remaining, and Baldwin missed a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds. 2. Baldwin QB DeAndre Thomas passed for 1,635 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 821 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He was runner-up to Cedar Grove’s Johnathon McCrary as GHSF Daily’s choice for preseason all-state QB in AAA. 3. Burke County QB Corey Mayton was the Augusta Chronicle player of the year in 2010 and made the newspaper’s Dream 16 preseason list. He rushed and passed for right at 1,000 yards each last season.
Brunswick at Statesboro
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Womack Field, Statesboro
Records, rankings: Brunswick is 0-1 and unranked in AAAA; Statesboro (11-3 in 2010) is 0-0 and No. 3 in AAAA.
Last meeting: Statesboro won 20-14 in overtime in the 2010 Region 2-AAAA championship game. The Blue Devils also beat Brunswick 21-12 early in the regular season.
Three things to know: 1. Statesboro junior RB Dequan Daniels rushed for 1,703 yards and 21 touchdowns last season – including 702 yards and 10 TDs in four playoff games. Statesboro lost 22-21 in the semifinals to eventual champion Chattahoochee. 2. Brunswick has three seniors committed to FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools in OL Dominique Stallworth (East Carolina), DB Demetrius Frazier (Louisville) and DB Willie Bolden (UAB). That was one reason Brunswick was No. 5 in preseason, a ranking that was lost after a 28-6 loss to Coffee last week. 3. Statesboro beat Brunswick twice last season, including an overtime game in the 10th week for the region championship. With the game tied 14-14 in regulation, Brunswick had a first-and-goal at the Statesboro 5 with 15 seconds left. Without a reliable kicker, Brunswick tried to run the ball but was stopped inside the 1 as time expired.
Collins Hill at Roswell
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Ray Manus Stadium, Roswell
Records, rankings: Collins Hill (10-4 in 2010) is No. 9 in AAAAA; Roswell (7-5 in 2010) is unranked in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Collins Hill won 35-24 in the second round of the 2010 Class AAAAA playoffs. The Eagles also beat Roswell 13-9 in the 2010 season opener.
Three things to know: 1. Bradley Johnson has the task of trying to replace Taylor Heinicke as Collins Hill’s quarterback. Heinicke, a freshman at Old Dominion, passed for a Gwinnett-record 4,218 yards in 2010. 2. Roswell running back Andrew Kwateng rushed for 169 yards on 24 carries in the playoff loss to Collins Hill last season. 3. Roswell has a new head coach in Justin Sanderson, who was the offensive coordinator and has been on the staff since 2003. He replaced Leo Barker, who was 22-12 in three seasons but resigned because of his wife’s job transfer to California.
East St. Louis, Ill. at North Gwinnett
When, where: 8 p.m. Saturday, Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee
Records, rankings: East St. Louis (4-6 in 2010) is playing its season opener; North Gwinnett is 0-1 and No. 10 in AAAAA.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. East St. Louis won all 10 of its games on the field last season, but its official record was 4-6 because it had to forfeit games in which it used an ineligible player. 2. East St. Louis quarterback Lamontiez Ivy was named first-team all-conference last season after passing for 1,770 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is drawing interest from Big Ten and Big 12 schools. 3. Wide receiver Chad Scott had a good game in North Gwinnett’s 26-17 loss to McEachern last week at the Corky Kell Classic. He had six catches for 101 yards and scored both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns, on receptions of 21 and 28 yards from Scott Hosch.
Parkview at Stephenson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: Parkview (5-6 in 2010) is unranked in AAAAA; Stephenson (9-2 in 2010) is No. 6 in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Stephenson won 21-14 in 2010 in two overtimes.
Three things to know: 1. Stephenson won last year’s meeting when it scored on a quarterback sneak in the second overtime. Both teams missed potential game-winning field goals in the first overtime. 2. Stephenson’s senior class is loaded with talent and might lead the nation in major college signings in February. Leading the way are AJC Super 11 DE Jarontay Jones (committed to Virginia Tech), LB Raphael Kirby (Miami), RB Mike Davis (Florida) and DL Jafar Mann (Florida). 3. Stephenson’s roster includes two players who transferred from Parkview since the end of last season – Kirby and DB Kyle Fleetwood. Both players returned turnovers for touchdowns against Stephenson in last year’s game.
St. Pius at Westminster
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Alfred E. Thompson Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: St. Pius (9-3 in 2010) is No. 5 in AAA; Westminster (8-4 in 2010) is No. 5 in AAA.
Last meeting: Westminster won 20-12 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. St. Pius RB/DB Geno Smith, an AJC Super 11 player, rushed for 731 yards and eight touchdowns and had 41 tackles and seven interceptions last season. He was first-team all-state in Class AAA. 2. Westminster returns 11 starters from a team that reached the second round of the playoffs last year. Among the key losses were quarterback William Linginfelter and running back Ralph David Abernethy IV. 3. Westminster leads the all-time series between the two Atlanta private schools 23-3 and has won 17 of the past 18 meetings. St. Pius last beat Westminster in 1992.
Swainsboro at ECI
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rountree Stadium, Twin City
Records, rankings: Swainsboro (10-1 in 2010) is No. 8 in AA; ECI (10-3 in 2010) is No. 5 in A.
Last meeting: Swainsboro won 15-14 in overtime in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. These are county rivals about a 13-mile drive apart. Swainsboro leads the series 20-1-2. The schools played in 2010 for the first time in 13 years. ECI led 14-7 in overtime, but Swainsboro followed its overtime TD with a two-point conversion for the win. 2. Both have all-state candidates at running back. Swainsboro’s Quan Garnder rushed for 1,255 yards and 12 touchdowns and was most outstanding in the fourth quarter of games last season. ECI’s Wezley Ealey, brother of former ECI star Washaun Ealey, rushed for more than 1,300 yards last season, and teammate Buck Moody ran for 1,158. 3. ECI lost head coach Milan Turner (65-12 in his six seasons) to Thomson and replaced him with defensive coordinator Chris Kearson, who has worked at ECI since 2002.
Ware County at Coffee
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jardine Stadium, Douglas
Records, rankings: Ware County (10-3 in 2010) is No. 7 in AAAA; Coffee (4-7 in 2010) is unranked in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Ware County won 31-14 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Coffee QB Will Gardner, who has committed to Louisville, was lost for the season with an ACL injury last week in a 28-6 victory over Brunswick. Backup Santory Long threw a TD pass and ran for two touchdowns in his place. 2. Ware County’s top player is probably LB William Golden, who scored 15 touchdowns and made 118 tackles last season. 3. Coffee started 0-2 last season against Region 1-AAAA teams Ware and Brunswick, but could reverse that record with a win Friday. Ware is 6-1 against Coffee since they were 1-AAAAA region rivals in 2001.
Warner Robins at Peach County
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Anderson Stadium, Fort Valley
Records, rankings: Warner Robins (2-8 in 2010) is unranked in AAAA; Peach County (13-1 in 2010) is No. 3 in AAA.
Last meeting: Peach County won 20-0 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Peach County LB Cassuas Hall made GHSF Daily’s preseason all-state team in Class AAA and the Macon Telegraph’s “Twelve to Treasure” list of the best Middle Georgia players. He had 13 tackles for losses as a junior last year. 2. Peach County lost QB Brett Campbell (2,539 yards passing in 2010) to graduation and sophomore Greg Williams to an ACL injury in preseason. Kentel Kendrick, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior, is the replacement. His top target is expected to be WR DeMarcus Robinson, who had 10 touchdown catches in 2010 and could be the top-rated junior WR prospect in Georgia. 3. Warner Robins senior RB Brian Sutton, who rushed for 590 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, suffered a broken neck during a pickup game in January. He has been cleared to play.
Whitewater at Sandy Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone
Records, rankings: Whitewater (9-3 in 2010) is unranked in AAAA; Sandy Creek (15-0 and the Class AAA champion in 2010) is No. 1 in AAA.
Last meeting: Sandy Creek won 20-14 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Whitewater’s six-point loss last year was Sandy Creek’s closest game of the season. Sandy Creek led 20-0 in the fourth quarter but had to stop a late Whitewater drive to preserve the victory. 2. Whitewater must find a replacement at running back for Josh Clemons, now a freshman at Kentucky. Clemons was the Class AAAA offensive player of the year in 2010 and rushed for more than 2,000 yards. 3. Sandy Creek has won 29 consecutive games, the state’s longest current streak. The Patriots’ last loss was a 28-27, two-overtime decision against Class AAAAA East Coweta on Aug. 28, 2009.
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