Of this week’s Class AA games, one way, way down the road might be biggest.
It’s in Quitman, 13 miles from the Florida line, where No. 2 Brooks County hosts No. 8 Early County in a Region 1-AA matchup. You know, about 32 miles south of Moultrie, where AAAAAA’s eighth-ranked Colquitt County hosts No. 4 Lowndes in 1-AAAAAA in another of only four games between ranked opponents in all classifications, in an otherwise calm week around the state.
Early-Brooks should pack excitement, considering the host Trojans (4-0) are one of only five 4-0 teams in AA, and the Bobcats (3-1) have just one loss. In a series that dates back to Brooks’ 21-9 win in 1970, Early holds the lead, 19-13-1. Yet the Trojans have won the teams’ last four meetings, including 25-8 last year at Early.
Here are other games to watch:
– Bleckley County (2-1) at Putnam County (2-2): This would have been both teams’ region 4-AA opener, had not Putnam faced Crawford in a region Game 2 because of a scheduling quirk. Nonetheless, much is at stake in this one, as the Royals could not only win consecutive games for the first time this season, but jump into region championship contention by doing so. Importantly, this game is among 13 streamed live on GHSA Network, www.ghsa.tv. Putnam began its season 2-0, but has struggled with consecutive losses to Morgan County and Jones County. Bleckley is coming off a 15-8 win over Dodge County in which Tavon Ross threw touchdown passes to Derrick Farrow and Dre Pitts, according to the Bleckley Progress.
– Calhoun (4-0, No. 1 in AA) at Coosa (0-4): Here’s potentially another tune-up for the defending state champion Yellow Jackets, who are Region 7-AA’s only team with more than one win and another of the class’ five 4-0 team. Calhoun comes in led by Taylor Lamb, the state’s second-leading passer in all classifications with 1,252 yards and 11 TDs. He was 17-of-25 for 262 yards and three scores in last week’s 50-14 victory over Dade County. The still winless Eagles have struggled this season and against Calhoun, having lost seven straight to the Jackets.
– Washington Wilkes (4-0, No. 6 in AA) at Union County (3-0): Somebody will suffer its initial loss in this 8-AA affair. Interestingly, however, the teams have met only once, in 1966, when the Tigers prevailed 54-14. The Tigers’ start is their best since beginning 14-0 and losing the state championship game in 2000. The Panthers, who potentially are candidates to be ranked if they win, are a victory from matching their 4-0 start of 2008.
– Fort Payne, Ala. (4-0) at Lovett (2-2, No. 7 in AA): Lovett has its work cut out in its first meeting against its Alabama opponent. A win would be key for the Lions, who began 2-0 but have lost consecutive games. Lovett rushed for just 13 yards in being shut out 24-0 by St. Pius last week.