Butler at Washington County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The House of Pain, Sandersville
Records, rankings: Butler is 5-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 3-AAA South and unranked; Washington County is 3-2, 1-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Washington County won 42-14 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Butler is 5-0 for the second consecutive season after going 0-10 each year from 2006 through 2009. After a 7-3 finish in 2010, Butler seeks its first playoff appearance since 2003. 2. Butler is a run-oriented team. Jeff Menefee (453 yards) is seeking his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. Christian Garnett has rushed for 425 yards. 3. Led by dual-threat QB William Walker, Washington County has lost its games against state-ranked opponents – Thomson 45-38 in overtime and 31-26 to Class AAAA Statesboro.
Dacula at Grayson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson
Records, rankings: Dacula is 3-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Grayson is 5-0, 3-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Grayson won 16-10 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Dacula and Grayson are two of the three teams (along with Parkview) that are unbeaten in 8-AAAAA, and the winner will emerge as the front-runner for the region title, although Parkview and defending state champ Brookwood remain very much in the hunt. 2. Grayson quarterback Nick Schuessler was 7-for-9 passing for 126 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 21 yards and another score in the Rams’ 42-14 victory against Shiloh last week. Schuessler ran for one touchdown and passed for another in Grayson’s victory over Dacula last season. 3. Dacula’s Marcus Cox ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and had two receptions for 76 yards and a TD in a 49-21 victory over Central Gwinnett last week.
George Walton at Prince Avenue
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Brad Akins Field, Bogart
Records, rankings: George Walton is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 8-A and unranked; Prince Avenue is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 9.
Last meeting: George Walton won 40-7 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Neither school has won a region title in the GHSA, but the winner would be the front-runner in 8-A. These are the only 8-A teams that are undefeated in region play with winning overall records, and each has defeated defending region champion Athens Academy. 2. Prince Avenue has outscored its five opponents 149-7. The Athens-area school is 5-0 and ranked for the first time in its seven years of varsity football. 3. George Walton Academy, the GISA Class AAA champion in 2009, has lost only one region game since joining the GHSA. That was against Athens Academy last year. George Walton avenged that loss last week when QB Hunter Rice rushed for 126 yards and passed for 113 in a 22-10 victory.
Hillgrove at McEachern
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Walter H. Cantrell Stadium, Powder Springs
Records, rankings: Hillgrove is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAAAA and No. 9; McEachern is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: McEachern won 64-48 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Last year’s meeting was the second-highest scoring game ever between Cobb County schools. The teams combined for 112 points and 1,115 yards of total offense, including 607 by Hillgrove in a losing effort. Hillgrove got 466 yards passing from Gage Henry, who graduated. 2. McEachern’s offense is led by quarterback Trent Thompson, who is 79-for-145 passing for 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns. Hillgrove’s offense revolves around running back Kenyan Drake, an Alabama commitment who has rushed for 741 yards on 63 carries (11.8 yards per carry). 3. Hillgrove opened in 2006, primarily to relieve overcrowding at McEachern about three miles away in Powder Springs. This will be the second meeting between the schools in football, and it probably will decide the championship in Region 4-AAAAA.
Lambert at Johns Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek
Records, rankings: Lambert is 5-0 overall, 5-0 in Region 7-AAAA and No. 7; Johns Creek is 5-1, 5-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Lambert won 17-7 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Lambert can all but clinch the Region 7-AAAA championship with a victory. A win by Johns Creek, however, probably leaves a three-way tie for first place among Lambert, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee with four weeks remaining. Lambert and Johns Creek are third-year programs, and Chattahoochee is the defending Class AAAA champion. 2. Lambert had 543 yards of total offense while holding Forsyth Central to 188 in a 41-7 victory last week, according to the Forsyth News. Daniels Myers led the way with 167 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 17 carries. 3. Johns Creek suffered its first loss of the season when Chase Nelson scored on a 3-yard run to give Chattahoochee a 19-16 overtime victory last week. Lambert beat Chattahoochee 24-7 on Sept. 2.
Laney at Dublin
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Shamrock Bowl, Dublin
Records, rankings: Laney is 5-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 3-AA and unranked; Dublin is 5-0, 3-0 and No. 9.
Last meeting: Dublin won 27-18 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. These are the only 3-AA teams that have not lost a region game, and Dublin has defeated the only one-loss team (Bleckley County), so the winner is the clear favorite to win what would be Laney’s first region title since 2004, Dublin’s first since 2008. 2. Laney QB Leo Myers scored five touchdowns in a 33-7 victory over East Laurens last week. For the season, the region player-of-the-year candidate has rushed for 524 yards and 13 touchdowns on 100 carries and is 46-of-88 passing for 708 yards and four touchdowns. 3. Dublin RB Maurice Martin has rushed for 485 yards on the season and topped 115 yards each of the past three games, but Cedric O’Neal ran for 153 last week in a 37-0 victory over Screven County. Both are key players on defense, O’Neal at safety, Martin at linebacker.
Mays at Tucker
When, where: 7:30 p.m., Adams Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Mays is 5-0 overall, 5-0 in Region 6-AAAA and unranked; Tucker is 5-0, 5-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Tucker won 32-10 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game will take sole possession of first place in Region 6-AAAA. Tucker will have the most difficult portion of its schedule behind it, but Mays still has a game at third-place Marist on Oct. 28. 2. Tucker’s scoring average of 46.6 points is second in Class AAAA, although its average of 313.6 yards per game in total offense is just ninth-best in DeKalb County. Devin Towns (225 yards in three games) and Dallas Rivers (240 in four) are the leaders among the 15 players who have run the ball for the Tigers. 3. Mays is hoping to avoid the late-season slump it experienced in 2010 after a similar 5-0 start. The Raiders lost four of their final six games, including a 52-31 loss to Clarke Central in the first round of the playoffs.
North Gwinnett at Norcross
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Norcross Stadium, Norcross
Records, rankings: North Gwinnett is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 7-AAAAA and No. 6; Norcross is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: North Gwinnett won 38-0 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game will be the favorite to win the 7-AAAAA championship, although both teams still must play Peachtree Ridge, which also has not lost a game in region play. 2. North Gwinnett quarterback Scotty Hosch has completed 79 of 120 passes for 1,080 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ leading rusher is Donnie Miles, who has 312 yards and seven touchdowns on 49 carries. North Gwinnett gets about 58 percent of its offense from the passing game, but it ran for a season-high 282 yards in a 71-6 victory against Meadowcreek two weeks ago. 3. Norcross’ Alvin Kamara rushed for 222 yards on 17 carries in a 41-34 victory against Mill Creek on Sept. 23. Kamara had the game-winning score on a 49-yard run late in the fourth quarter and scored on runs of 42 and 66 yards in the first quarter.
Valdosta at Lowndes
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Valdosta is 5-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 1-AAAAA and unranked; Lowndes is 5-1, 0-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Lowndes won 24-17 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. This is the 50th meeting in a series that many rate as the No. 1 rivalry in Georgia high school football. Lowndes has won seven consecutive games in a series that it once trailed 30-5. Now, it’s 33-16. 2. Lowndes’ Wing-T offense is balanced among running backs Mike Moore (510 yards, five touchdowns), Nick Burgman (422, seven) and Dee Daniels (377, five). Each has had at least one game of 100-plus yards rushing. FS Josh Clemons, the team’s best player, is seeing less action in the backfield as the season goes on but remains a factor at receiver. 3. In a 16-3 loss to M.L. King last week, Valdosta allowed only 42 yards rushing and held all-state QB Jonquel Dawson to 13-of-31 passing. But Valdosta’s offense has been erratic with graduated passing stars Ryan Whilden and Malcolm Mitchell. QB Shelby Wilkes has played the past two games in place of injured starter Alex Stephenson, who could be lost for the season with a foot injury.
Wilcox County at Charlton County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field (The Swamp), Folkston
Records, rankings: Wilcox County is 6-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 2-A and No. 5; Charlton County is 6-0, 4-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Wilcox County won 32-12 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Wilcox County’s 33-game home winning streak is the state’s longest, but winning at Charlton County’s Indian Field – home of tonight’s game – is no piece of cake, either. Charlton County has won 34 consecutive regular-season games at home dating to 2004. 2. Charlton County RB Tre Hamilton has rushed for 885 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has scored 10 touchdowns in his last three games. 3. Wilcox County QB Makail Grace, the replacement for Class A offensive player of the year Nick Marshall, threw four TD passes and returned an interception for a touchdown in a 48-0 victory over Atkinson County last week.
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