Region play in most of Class AAAA is still weeks away, which leaves plenty of room to tee it up in cross-classification showdowns, beginning with top-ranked Sandy Creek’s visit to AAAAAA Newnan. All of these games figure to challenge the ranked teams in AAAA.
Five games to watch:
No. 1 Sandy Creek (1-0) at Newnan (2-0): Sandy Creek won in a romp last week but the Patriots and QB Cole Garvin face two serious tests in the next two weeks, starting with Friday’s game at Class AAAAAA Newnan. The Patriots have won 30 straight regular-season games, dating back to the 2009 season opener. The Cougars have scored 62 points in wins over Marietta and LaGrange behind the play of sophomore QB Bailey Bryant.
No. 2. Marist (1-0) vs. Thomas County Central (1-1): The War Eagles and the Yellow Jackets have faced off six times, four of them coming in state semifinal matchups, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Marist’s only win in the series came the last time they played, in 2003. Thomas County Central, ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAA, routed cross-town rival Thomasville before losing a shootout against Class AAAAAA Colquitt County last week. Marist QB scored two touchdowns in the win over Clarke Central last week, while Thomas County Central’s Deandre Cooksey scored four times against Colquitt.
No. 3 Cairo (1-0) at Bainbridge (0-1): One of the premier battles in Southwest Georgia, this rivalry dates back to the early 1920s. Five of last seven meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. Bainbridge won 17-14 in 2011.
No. 9 Jonesboro (1-0) at Westover (0-1): Jonesboro averaged 29 points per game last year and opened 2012 with a 33-7 win over rival Mt. Zion-Jonesboro last week behind Patrick Petty, Taurean Ferguson and Mario Atkinson. This intersectional matchup is the Cardinals’ first meeting against Westover, which bested Class AAAAAA Tift County last week.
No. 10 Baldwin (1-0) at Peach County (1-0): The last two years, this matchup was the last game of the regular season and determined region championships. Peach , the top-ranked team in Class AAA, won both those game and leads the series 7-5. Each side has a big-time playmaker; Baldwin’s Kentavious Thomas scored a pair of touchdowns in the Braves’ 33-14 win over Jefferson County last week, while Peach WR Demarcus Robinson scored three times in the Trojans’ win over Perry.
Other games of note: No. 6 Griffin visits Northgate; Carrollton visits Chapel Hill in coach Rayvan Teague’s second shot at win No. 200; Dalton looks to break a three-game losting streak to Calhoun.