One of the most balanced leagues in Class AAA is Region 5. As most teams reach the midpoint of the season tonight, it appears that No. 7 Cartersville is the best of the region. There are plenty of other teams that fall in the good to above-average categories. How they establish themselves over the next few weeks will determine who makes the playoffs and who stays home.
One of those games takes place this week when Gordon Central (4-0) gets its first serious test of the year when it travels to play Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (4-0). Neither team is ranked, but the winner of this contest between a pair of Warriors will be knocking on the door for statewide consideration.
Gordon Central will need to close the door if it gets the opportunity this week. The Warriors had a 21-point lead against Ringgold last week, only to clinch to a final 27-26 victory. Gordon Central is led by quarterback M.J. Reynolds and Chandler Curtis is a good two-way player at receiver and defensive back.
Gordon Central leads the series 10-4 and has won two straight in the rivalry, including 24-17 in 2011.
Here are four other top games to watch on Friday night:
North Hall at Dawson County: There might be a few points scored in this one, as both clubs have demonstrated the ability to light up the scoreboard. Dawson County has been an offensive machine this season. With quarterback Tyler Dominy (1,119 yards passing) pulling the strings, the Tigers (3-1) have scored 135 points in four games. North Hall (2-1) has scored 97 in three games and was ranked ninth in the state before hitting a bump in the road against Jefferson. Although the two teams might seem to be geographical rivals, this is the first meeting between the two schools. This will have a great deal to say about who will challenge Buford for the Region 7-AAA title.
Blessed Trinity at Woodward Academy: There are plenty of high-scoring games in Region 6-AAA, but these are two of the best defensive teams in the league. Woodward has given up only 23 points in four games. Their common denominator: both have been beaten by Lovett. This is the first meeting between the schools, who have each spent time in the rankings this year. BT was ninth in the first poll of the year, while Woodward joined the rankings last week and has moved up to No. 9. Woodward’s offense has come to life recently behind back Jollyce Myrick, who has had two touchdowns in each of the last two games. The winner of this game will be considered the region’s most likely challenger to St. Pius.
Thomson at Westminster: The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs have dates with two more private schools before they jump into Region 3 action. They’ll find a solid Westminster team that has gone 2-3 against an aggressive schedule. Westminster will try to do what no one else has been able to do this year: stop Thomson back Chris Jordan, who already has rushed for 837 yards. The teams have played only once, that in the 1967 state championship game that was won by Thomson.
Callaway at Maynard Jackson: It is resolved that someone will be required to win Region 4-AAA. In fact, that region has four spots in the playoffs, so somebody must take those four slots. This is a game that should help solve that puzzle, as these are two of the region’s best. Callaway (2-1) has won two straight since losing the opener to Heard County. Wilson Lindsey is one of the area’s top running backs; he scored three touchdowns in the win over Harris County. Quarterback Tez Parks does a nice job running the offense. Jackson (2-1), led by Kendrick Callier, did not play last week after losing to South Atlanta.