Here are five things we learned from Week 6 in Class AAAAA:
*Advantage Tucker: If comparing scores means anything (and usually it doesn’t), then Tucker gets the slight edge over Stephenson and M.L. King when it comes to playing Arabia Mountain. M.L. King beat the Rams by 18 points (24-6) on Friday, similar to the margins in Arabia Mountain’s earlier losses to Tucker by 19 points and Stephenson by 10. Region 6-AAAAA is off next weekend, and the real fun begins on Oct. 12 when No. 2 Tucker meets No. 4 Stephenson at Hallford Stadium.
*It’s business as usual in 2-AAAAA: As expected, Northside and Warner Robins had easy times on the first weekend of region play, with Northside crushing Lakeside-Evans 56-0 and Warner Robins beating Evans 34-6. It’s likely the two will be unbeaten in region play when they meet on Nov. 2 to decide the region title. The biggest surprise in 2-AAAAA was Grovetown beating Houston County 27-23 to get its first victory of the season and break a six-game losing streak.
*Richmond Hill is in the mix: Richmond Hill established itself as the top challenger to Ware County in Region 3-AAAAA by rallying to beat Glynn Academy 20-17 and improve to 4-0. However, the Wildcats must avoid what happened to them last season, when they started the year 5-0 only to lose four of their final five and miss the playoffs. Richmond Hill plays Ware County at home on Oct. 19.
*A good offense can beat a good defense: Heritage came into Friday’s game with the third-ranked defense in Class AAAAA, allowing just 5.3 points per game, but the Patriots were no match for Deshaun Watson and Gainesville. The junior quarterback passed for 277 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 120 yards and two scores in the Red Elephants’ 42-14 victory. Gainesville and Flowery Branch are tied for first place in Region 8-AAAAA, a half-game ahead of Clarke Central.
*Huge game coming up for Riverwood: Riverwood is 5-0 for the first time since 1986 after its 55-27 victory over Northview, but the Raiders have compiled the impressive record against Class A Holy Innocents’ and four teams with a combined record of 2-14. The true test will come in next week’s game against Kell, the region’s preseason favorite. This is Riverwood’s 46th season of football, and only six times have the Raiders won more than five games.