With the games counting toward playoff berths and seedings few and far between, there are nonethless some interesting story lines in Class AAAA this week.
The No. 1-ranked Sandy Creek Patriots, off to a dominating 2-0 start, plays tonight against East Coweta, the last team to beat them in a regular-season game. The Indians beat Sandy Creek 28-27 in in double overtime in the 2009 season opener. The Patriots have reeled off 31 straight regular-season wins since then.
Other games to watch Friday night:
No. 9 Jonesboro (2-0) at No. 4 Griffin (2-0): No. 9 Jonesboro no doubt has been looking forward to this one after a heartbreaking loss to Griffin in the first round of the state playoffs last year, a game in which the Bears scored twice in the final three minutes for a comeback win. Explosive Cameron Sutton and Patrick Petty have sparked the Cardinals to a pair of solid wins, while Griffin QB Jaquez Parks has put up big numbers in a pair of easy victories. Few series in the state have been as lop-sided as this one; Griffin has won 37 of 39 games and hasn’t lost to the Cardinals since 1981. The Bears have 16 shutouts against Jonesboro and last year’s game a 47-43 Griffin win, was just the second time Jonesboro has topped 20 points against the Bears.
No. 2 Marist (1-1) at Lovett (2-0): Despite being just 10 miles apart, these two perennial playoff teams meet for the first time Friday night. Marist looks to rebound from a tight loss to Thomas County Central last week. The Lions, ranked No. 5 in Class AA, are off to a solid start, with wins over AAA schools Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity.
No. 3 Carrollton (1-1) at Calhoun (2-0): Carrollton hits the road to north Georgia to face a budding Class AA dynasty in Calhoun, and this one has all the makings of a shootout. Carrollton put up nearly 500 yards of total offense in a win over Chapel Hill last week, including 105 rushing yards from Jarvis Terrell. Meanwhile, Calhoun, ranked No. 1 in AA, has scored 97 points in two games while allowing 76.
No. 5 Cairo (1-1) at Thomas County Central (2-1): Thomas County Central, ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAA, faces a ranked AAAA team for the second straight week. Cairo squares off with a 1-AAAAA team for the second straight week. Thomas Central leads the series 21-17, with one tie, and the two schools have traded wins the past eight years.
No. 8 Burke County (1-1) at Coffee (2-0): For the third straight year, the Bears travel to play a team from Region 1 in the state’s largest classification. The Bears got well with a rout of Hephzibah last week after dropping their season opener, and they’ll likely need their ‘A’ game to get past Coffee, which has started 2-0 for the first time in four years.