Brookstone at Marion County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Eagle Field, Buena Vista
Records, rankings: Brookstone is 7-1 overall, 7-1 in Region 4-A and unranked; Marion County is 8-0, 8-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Marion County won 10-7 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Marion County won its first region title in history in 2010 and would clinch 4-A this year with a victory. Brookstone would become the region frontrunner with a victory (with a “magic number” of one), but both teams must face the other 4-A playoff teams next week – Marion vs. Dooly County (6-2) and Brookstone vs. Greenville (6-2). 2. Brookstone has struggled with injuries this year and will dress out only 26 players. The team’s leading tackler, Jordan Farber, is a freshman with 67 stops. He also has 298 yards rushing and five touchdowns. 3. In the 2010 game between these schools, Brookstone missed two 27-yard field goals in the second half. Marion’s A.J. Wells – a preseason all-state kicker – made a 30-yarder in the first half that proved to be the difference.
Brookwood at Grayson
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson
Records, rankings: Brookwood is 6-2 overall, 5-1 in Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Grayson is 8-0, 6-0 and No 2.
Last meeting: Brookwood won 10-0 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Grayson can win its third region title in four seasons with a victory, but a Brookwood win likely would create a three-way tie (Grayson, Brookwood and Dacula) that wouldn’t be settled until the final weekend of the season. 2. Brookwood’s 23-19 victory over Parkview had perhaps the most dramatic ending in a series that has had its share of exciting finishes. The teams combined for 26 points in the final three minutes, with Brookwood scoring the winning points on Nick Tompkins’ 75-yard kickoff return with 15 seconds remaining. 3. Grayson gets about two-thirds of its offense from the running game. Devin Gillespie leads the way with 465 yards and six touchdowns on 71 carries (6.5 yards per carry). Quarterback Nick Schuessler has completed 52-of-85 passes for 947 yards and 11 TDs.
Colquitt County at Coffee
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Jardine Stadium, Douglas
Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 7-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAAA and No. 9; Coffee is 5-4, 2-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Colquitt County won 38-27 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. If Coffee wins, Coffee is the 1-AAAAA champion. If Colquitt wins, the region title will be decided when Colquitt plays at Valdosta (7-2, 2-1) on Nov. 4. 2. Colquitt County has allowed 91 points in eight games after giving up more than 30 per game during its Class AAAAA runner-up finish of 2010. The defensive players to watch are linebackers Sharmaine Washington (74 tackles) and John Gray (83 tackles, seven for losses). Both line up in a T-set in short-yardage and goal-line situations, and Washington has four touchdowns. 3. Coffee RB Kelly Daniels scored on a 79-yard run for the go-ahead touchdown in an upset of Valdosta two weeks ago, and his 62-yard TD run gave Coffee a 10-7 lead in the second half against Lowndes last week. But that was Coffee’s only first down until the fourth quarter in a 36-16 defeat.
Fitzgerald at Brooks County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman
Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 8-1 overall, 5-0 in Region 1-AA and No. 5; Brooks County is 7-1, 4-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Fitzgerald won 21-10 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game is the champion of 1-AA, which is rated the top region in Class AA by the Maxwell Ratings. At least one 1-AA team has made the state quarterfinals every year since the GHSA expanded to five classifications in 2000. 2. Brooks County QB Malcolm Parrish scored six touchdowns and rushed for 208 yards on 22 carries in a 62-27 victory over Albany last week. He also threw for 125 yards. 3. Fitzgerald QB Kaleb Nobles, who has committed to Valdosta State, has more than 5,000 yards passing for his career, but the Hurricanes are more of a running team this year. Nobles is 67-of-112 passing for 906 yards, and Tolerance Shepherd (888 yards, 127 carries) and Fred Hooks (762 yards, 105 carries) have a shot at 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
Marietta at Walton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Raider Valley, Marietta
Records, rankings: Marietta is 4-4 overall, 4-0 in Region 5-AAAAA and unranked; Walton is 8-0, 4-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Walton won 59-28 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Marietta and Walton have locked up the top two playoff positions in 5-AAAAA, and this game will determine the region champion and No. 1 seed. It would be the first region championship for Marietta since 2005. Walton’s last title came in 2008. 2. Marietta QB Anthony Jennings has passed for 1,672 yards and 14 touchdowns with just three interceptions this season. He also has rushed for 294 yards. Jennings scored the game-winning TD on a 4-yard run with seven seconds remaining in a 35-28 victory against Lassiter last week. Ro’Mello Porter, the team’s leading rusher, had 117 yards and two touchdowns against Lassiter. 3. Walton’s Tyren Jones is the top rusher in Class AAAAA. He has 1,363 yards and 19 touchdowns for the season and had 199 yards and three scores in a 45-7 victory over Wheeler last week. Walton’s Zack Blaylock has returned an interception for a touchdown in three consecutive games.
Mays at Marist
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hughes Spalding Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Mays is 7-1 overall, 7-1 in Region 6-AAAA and unranked; Marist is 7-1, 7-1 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Marist won 24-7 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game most likely will take second place behind No. 1-ranked Tucker in Region 6-AAAA. Each team suffered its only loss against Tucker – Marist lost 15-11 on Sept. 2, and Mays fell 50-7 on Oct. 7. 2. Mays quarterback Tre Jones averages about 220 yards per game passing for a team that is averaging 32.4 points per game. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 340 yards in a recent victory against Carver of Atlanta. The Raiders’ top rusher is Torey Bowens, who averages about 100 yards per game. 3. Marist quarterback Myles Willis rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and passed for 157 yards and a TD in the War Eagles’ 42-12 victory against Lithonia last week. One of his passes was a school-record 99-yarder to Gray King. Marist, which has clinched a playoff berth, will be making its 29th consecutive trip to the postseason.
Newnan at Stephenson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: Newnan is 5-3 overall, 4-1 in Region 2-AAAAA and unranked; Stephenson is 8-0, 5-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Stephenson won 17-14 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Stephenson is tied with M.L. King for first place in 2-AAAAA and would set up a showdown with the Lions next week for the region championship if it beats Newnan. Newnan will be tied with Stephenson for second place and hold the tiebreaker if it wins. 2. Newnan’s offense is balanced between the pass and the run. Quarterback Nick Smith is 105-for-145 passing for 1,176 yards and 10 touchdowns with one interception. The Cougars have rushed for 1,334 yards, led by Bryant Ball with 761 on 120 carries. 3. Stephenson RB Mike Davis, who has committed to Florida, has rushed for 1,328 yards and 15 touchdowns on 134 carries (9.9 yards per rush) this season. He had 180 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 victory against East Coweta last week, and he ran for 166 yards and a TD last year against Newnan.
North Oconee at Elbert County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Granite Bowl, Elberton
Records, rankings: North Oconee is 8-0 overall, 5-0 in Region 8-AA South and No. 10; Elbert County is 8-0, 5-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Elbert County won 6-0 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. The winner will be the champion of 8-AA South and heavily favored in a region championship game Nov. 4 against Banks County. Banks has lost to East Jackson, a team that Elbert and North Oconee defeated by more than 30 points. 2. Tyshon Dye rushed for 97 yards and scored the game’s only touchdown (a 28-yard run) in Elbert County’s victory over North Oconee in 2010. Dye, now a junior, has rushed for 1,191 yards this season. 3. Elbert County ranks third behind Buford and Calhoun in scoring defense at 7.4 points allowed per game. North Oconee is fourth at 8.0, and DE Greg Hall has 28.5 sacks in his last 19 games. Both teams have four shutouts.
Thomas County Central at Warner Robins
When, where: 5 p.m. Saturday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Thomas County Central is 6-2 overall, 4-1 in Region 1-AAAA and unranked; Warner Robins is 6-2, 4-1 and No. 9.
Last meeting: Thomas County Central won 21-17 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. These teams are tied for second place in 1-AAAA behind Northside of Warner Robins. Warner Robins can finish no lower than second with a victory. Thomas Central would need to beat Warner Robins and Bainbridge (6-2, 3-2) next week to eliminate the likelihood of a three-way tie for second. 2. Thomas Central QB Adam Choice rushed for 314 yards and four touchdowns and threw two touchdown passes in a 56-29 victory over Lee County last week. He has 1,242 yards rushing for the season in seven games. 3. Stephon Cross, one of three transfers from cross-town Northside who gained eligibility two weeks ago, has rushed for 147 yards on 15 carries and led Warner Robins in rushing in both of his games, victories over Northside of Columbus and Bainbridge.
Whitewater at Northgate
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Henry Seldon Field, Newnan
Records, rankings: Whitewater is 7-1 overall, 5-0 in Region 3-AAAA Div. B and unranked; Northgate is 8-0, 5-0 and No. 8.
Last meeting: Whitewater won 28-7 in 2010.
Three things to know: 1. Whitewater and Northgate are the only two 3-AAAA teams that are unbeaten in subregion play. The winner of this game clinches the Division B subregion title, a spot in the region championship game at home against Alcovy and an automatic berth in the state playoffs. The loser will face the third-place team from Division A in a play-in game for a spot in the state tournament. 2. Whitewater QB John-Mark Rhodes threw two touchdown passes and Kendall Conley ran for two scores in Whitewater’s most recent game, a 38-3 victory over McIntosh on Oct. 14. Whitewater had the week off last week. 3. Northgate’s eight victories are tied for the second-best total in the school’s history, which began in 1998. The Vikings’ best season came in 2000, when they went 11-2 and lost in the Class AA quarterfinals to eventual champion Americus. Northgate also won eight games in 2004, when it finished 8-3.
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