By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for our Top 5’s heading into Week 5.
But first, here is a note about the power rankings. Some of you have asked about a running tabulation of where teams stand from week to week. The Georgia High School Association with the assistance of MaxPreps.com has done it. Every Wednesday, the GHSA will post updated power rankings on its website (www.ghsa.net). Visit here to find the rankings through last week, and check back tomorrow to see the updated lists.
As of last week, Holy Innocents was leading the private school rankings while Greenville was ahead on the public school side. But be mindful that this is a very fluid list and in no way reflects who the best teams are yet. Case in point, as of last week, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy would be a No. 4 seed behind Strong Rock Christian, and on the public school side, Wilcox County would be a No. 14 seed.
So give it time. The true picture will begin to come into focus in the next three to four weeks. And now, time for our Top 5’s.
1. Wilcox County (2-1, No. 2 overall). The Patriots beat No. 8 Dooly County, 28-14 last week. The difference was the Patriot duo of quarterback Mikail Grace and receiver Jonathan Howard. Grace was 22-of-35 for 319 yards, though he did throw two interceptions. Grace also ran for 29 yards and a touchdown. All but seven of his completions were to Howard, who caught 15 balls for 225 yards and two touchdowns, one of 17 yards and a 71-yarder in the fourth quarter that broke a 14-14 tie. The tandem also leads the Wilcox secondary, which held Dooly to just 11 yards through the air. Wilcox is off this week, before a huge Region 2 opener at Charlton County (2-1), Sept. 28.
2. Wilkinson County (1-1, No. 4 overall). The Warriors were off last week. They will travel to Irwin County (1-2) on Friday.
3. Marion County (2-0, No. 7 overall). The Eagles were off last week, but face a bit of a test on Friday when they travel to Colquitt to face Miller County (2-1).
4. Lincoln County (2-1, No. 8 overall). The Red Devils beat Ninety-Six, S.C., 41-21 last week. The Red Devils led the AA school 24-0 at halftime. Lincoln is off this week before a tough non-region contest on the road at First Presbyterian Day (1-1), Sept. 28.
5. Charlton County (2-1, No. 9 overall). The Indians shut out AAAAA Bradwell Institute, 12-0 last week, holding the Tigers to just 135 yards of total offense while forcing five turnovers. Charlton will have a very challenging non-region road game on Friday at Fitzgerald (2-1), No. 7 in AA.
Trending: Commerce (3-0, unranked overall), the Tigers host AA Rabun County (1-1) on Friday before their Region 8 opener at George Walton Academy, Sept. 28 … Dooly County (2-1, unranked), the Bobcats were exposed a bit by Wilcox but will have a week off before their Region 4 opener at Brookstone … Emanuel County Institute (2-1, No. 10), the Bulldogs beat Jenkins County (0-2), a team on the opposite side of subdivided Region 3, 42-15, and will have another cross-region game on Friday at Claxton (2-0) … Greenville (2-1, unranked), the Patriots dropped a close one, 20-19, to AAA Decatur (2-1) last week and will have this week off before traveling to No. 7 Marion for the Region 4 opener for both teams … Miller County (2-1, unranked), the Pirates blanked AA Pelham (1-2) last week, 20-0, and will host No. 7 Marion on Friday.
1. ELCA (3-1, No. 1 overall). The Chargers won in a rout over Hapeville Charter (1-2), 56-14, as junior QB Dalton Etheridge ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 175 yards and four touchdowns in a little over two quarters. ELCA led 42-0 at the half. ELCA will have a week off before its Region 5 opener at Holy Innocents (2-2) on Sept. 29, when three key players – DB/WR DJ Curl, RB/LB Keyante Green and OL/DL Isaac Rochelle – all return from injuries.
2. Prince Avenue Christian (3-0, No. 3 overall). The Wolverines were off last week and will host Glascock County (1-3) on Friday.
3. Aquinas (2-0, No. 5 overall). The Irish were off last week and will host AA Josey (1-2) on Friday.
4. Calvary Day (3-0, No. 6 overall). The Cavaliers beat Montgomery County (0-3), 49-13, last week paced largely by the efforts of Jordan Walker (two touchdown receptions) and Luke Stroud (two touchdown runs). They will face another team from the other side of subdivided Region 3 this week when they host Treutlen (1-1).
5. George Walton Academy (2-1, unranked). The Bulldogs spotted Holy Innocents (2-2) a 14-7 edge before scoring the game’s next 38 points en route to a 45-14 win. Nick Waters and Stanley Williams each ran for two touchdowns. GWA is at Warren County (1-1) on Friday.
Trending: Athens Academy (2-0, unranked overall), the Spartans were off last week and will host Our Lady of Mercy (3-0) on Friday in one of the top games on the Class A slate … Brookstone (2-0, unranked), the Cougars were off last week as well and will travel to AA Wesleyan (2-1) on Friday, where they will be the Wolves’ homecoming guests … First Presbyterian Day (1-1, unranked), the Vikings also had an off week last week and will host Pace Academy (1-2) on Friday … Landmark Christian (2-2, unranked), the War Eagles rallied from a 10-7 third quarter deficit at Mt. Paran (0-3) to win 21-10, and will take a week off before hosting Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (1-1) … Our Lady of Mercy (3-0), the Bobcats fell behind Mt. Pisgah (2-1) 7-0 before scoring 42-unanswered points in a 42-14 win, and will travel to Athens to take on Athens Academy (2-0) on Friday.