Class A: New Divided Top 5s heading into Week 7

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here we go with the Top 5s heading into Week 7. Some believe the private schools are dominant this season. I beg to differ, but it’s all only talk since we won’t prove it on the field this season … or next season.

What say you?

PUBLIC

1. Lincoln County (No. 5 overall, 3-1). Last week the Red Devils roared back from a 14-0 deficit to crush First Presbyterian 49-27 in Macon. Mike McIntyre scored four touchdowns and ran for 216 yards on 21 carries, while quarterback Ben Turner completed 14-of -15 passes for 217 yards. Lincoln will begin Region 7 play Friday at Warren County (1-3).

2. Charlton County (No. 10 overall, 3-2, 1-0 in Region 2). Unlike the AJC Poll, we have the Indians’ and Wilcox County ahead of Emanuel County Institute (more on the Bulldogs below), based on their brutal non-region schedules. Then in Charlton’s first Region 2 game it won a 32-26 thriller over Wilcox County (2-2, 0-1), as Tyree Savage scored on a 5-yard run on fourth down with just over a minute left in regulation to break a 26-26 tie. The Indians will get another test Friday when they travel to Ashburn to face upstart Turner County (4-1).

3. Wilcox County (2-2, 0-1 in Region 2, unranked). The Patriots’ non-region schedule included Wilkinson County, AAAA Monroe and Dooly County with a game at AAA Swainsboro (3-1) on Oct. 26. The Pats committed three turnovers in the loss to Charlton. They will try to get that cleaned up when Lanier County (2-3, 0-1) comes to Rochelle on Friday.

4. Emanuel County Institute (No. 6 overall, 4-1). The Bulldogs dominated Portal last week 48-0, as the ECI defense allowed just 108 yards of total offense. ECI will begin its subregion 3-Division B schedule on Friday at home when winless Wheeler County (0-4) comes to Twin City.

5. Miller County (4-1, 1-0 in Region 1, unranked). The Pirates edged Mitchell County 21-20 last week, as Jacolby Jones caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Algin Merritt to tie the game with 45 seconds left in regulation, before Justin Williams’ PAT. Marvin Grant has 130 yards rushing, including an 86-yard touchdown run. Miller will host Calhoun County (1-4, 0-1) on Friday.

Trending: There is no shame at all in Commerce’s (4-1, 0-1 in Region 8 ) 26-14 loss to George Walton Academy last week. They will try to get back on track at home on Friday against Athens Christian (1-4, 0-1 in Region 8 ) … Dooly County (3-1, 1-0 in Region 4), gutted out a 7-3 win over Brookstone (2-2, 0-1) in the Region 4 opener for both last week. The Bobcats host Hawkinsville (1-3, 0-1) on Friday … Marion County (3-1, 1-0 in Region 4) edged Greenville (2-2, 0-1) 28-21 last week in the Region 4 opener. The Eagles host winless Schley County (0-4, 0-1) on Friday … Greenville (2-2, 0-1 in Region 4) has lost two consecutive games by a combined eight points. The Patriots will look to get back on track on Friday at home against winless Central-Talbotton (0-4, 0-1) … Clinch County (3-2, 1-0 in Region 2) got off to a winning start in Region 2 play, downing Telfair County (3-2, 0-1) 17-9 last week. The Panthers get a week off before hosting Irwin County (2-2) in an important league game on Oct. 12.

PRIVATE

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (No. 1 overall, 4-1, 1-0 in Region 5). The Chargers dominated Holy Innocents (2-3, 0-1) 42-3 last week behind 134 yards rushing on just eight carries, three of which went for touchdowns, by Keyante Green. ELC A will host Mt. Vernon Presbyterian on Oct. 12.

2. Prince Avenue Christian (No. 2 overall, 5-0, 1-0 in Region 8 ). PAC got 216 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Carl Mattox en route to a 40-0 blanking of Athens Christian (1-4, 0-1) last week. The Wolverines will host No. 8 Athens Academy (4-0, 1-0) on Friday in a game that will have huge implications for Region 8 and for the Private School Power Rankings.

3. Aquinas (No. 3 overall, 4-0, 1-0 in Region 7). The Irish manhandled Twiggs 50-8 on the strength of a six-touchdown performance – five rushing, one receiving – by Brendan Douglas, who finished with 245 yards rushing on 13 carries. Aquinas will host Hancock Central (3-1, 1-0) on Friday.

4. Calvary Day (No. 4 overall, 4-0). The Cavaliers were off last week and will begin play in subregion 3-Division A on Friday when they host Savannah Country Day (1-3).

5. George Walton Academy (No. 7 overall, 4-1, 1-0). The Bulldogs came from behind to beat previously unbeaten Commerce last week 26-14, thanks to a combined 275 yards rushing by Hunter Rice, Nick Waters and Stanley “Boom” Williams. GWA will visit Hebron Christian (1-3, 0-2) on Friday.

Trending:  Athens Academy (No. 8 overall, 4-0, 1-0 in Region 8 ) has its biggest game of the year thus far on Friday at No. 2 PAC … Defending Class A champion Savannah Christian (No. 9 overall, 2-2) will begin play in subregion 3-Division A with a tough one on Friday at Claxton (3-1) … Pacelli (4-0, 1-0 in Region 4, unranked) will face Columbus rival Brookstone (2-2, 0-1) in another one of a handful of games that will have a big impact on the region standings and Private School Power Rankings … Our Lady of Mercy (4-1, 1-0 in Region 5, unranked) will try to continue to prove it is a team to be reckoned with on Friday when the Bobcats host rival Landmark Christian (3-2, 1-0, unranked) in what they hope will be career win No. 200 for head coach Mike Earwood … Landmark Christian has won its last two games by a combined score of 90-10 and will look to continue its climb back to prominence at Mercy on Friday.

18 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

October 2nd, 2012
4:02 pm

If Prince Avenue Christian keeps winning, will the school be called a “Super PAC?” Just checking . . .

Swamp Lizard

October 2nd, 2012
5:25 pm

STC … You know I always look forward to the Top 5’s !! I appreciate it and all the Class A “goodies” you round up.
I have a question for you though … this Top 5 ( Public & Private ) is your Top 5 right? Because I noticed you have unranked ( in the AJC poll ) Wilcox Co as your #3 team on the Public side, while your #4 team, Emanual Co is ranked #6 in the state ( AJC poll ). Is that a mistake or is this just your take on the Top 5’s?
If it is your take, I agree 100%. I do think Wilcox Co is a little better than ECI … MAYBE better than #10 ranked Charlton Co too ( turnovers last Friday night ). I do think a “tough” loss to a higher class team shouldn’t hurt a team “if” they are good. I admire your take if it wasn’t a mistake. ;)

Swamp Lizard

October 2nd, 2012
6:15 pm

JUST MY TAKE … we have been talking a little about the AJC Top 10 being dominated by the Private schools …. the top 4 are private schools and 7 of 10 teams ranked are private schools. My son and money go to a private school. One side of me is thrilled that the Top 10 is currently dominated by the private schools, but the other side of me knows better. I hate it that the public schools threatened to pull out of GHSA if they didn’t split the two. I love the rankings, the opinions and the takes of the AJC and our bloggers. But it’s just that …. “opinions” & “takes”. I really think Lincoln Co or even an unranked Wilcox Co could beat any private school that’s ranked in the Top 10 right now. Those two teams are GOOD! There are public schools that are not ranked that will step up as the season heads to the playoffs, just as there are private schools that are ranked right now that will be biting nails wondering if they will even make the playoffs.

TCDOG25

October 2nd, 2012
7:42 pm

Well swamp lizard i would like to add that Charlton Co. was demolished by Fitzgerald right. But ECI demolished Fitzgerald in a scrimage game. But hold up before everyone has a heart attack because it was a scrimage game. Lincoln Co. beat Vidalia in a scrimmage game and both of them are ranked in the top four or five spots in their respective classification. ECI was winning 26-0 over fitzgerald before putting the B-team in. Im just saying they wanted to win and played hard. But i love the fact that everyone is sleeping on ECI.

GAHSFBFan24

October 2nd, 2012
8:47 pm

Swamp Lizard, why do you think Lincoln Co. or Wilcox Co. would beat ELCA? I think ELCA can beat both of these teams fairly easily this year. I think GWA or PAC can as well.

Swamp Lizard

October 2nd, 2012
8:53 pm

TCDOG25 … first let me start off by saying I really think ECI will be 8-1 going into the Region 3 play-in game ( Sav Christian or Calvary Day ). ECI has ONE game remaining they have to “play” … Johnson County. I do think you’ll win that one. ECI has played one really good team ( AAA Washington Co … 48-22 loss ) and one good team ( Claxton … 14-6 win ). ECI is a good football team, how good, I just don’t know. I do think Wilcox Co is a better team than ECI … that’s just my opinion … the AJC thinks different, ECI is the # 6 team in the state according to them. I do wish you & ECI the best this year. I will be pulling for y’all on the Public side of the playoffs. I will be glad to eat my crow like a big man if y’all knock off Wilcox Co along the way. ;)

Swamp Lizard

October 2nd, 2012
8:55 pm

TCDOG25 …. scrimmage games don’t count. ;)

Swamp Lizard

October 2nd, 2012
9:03 pm

@ GAHSFBFan24 … I think ELCA is the best team in Class A football hands down … they would be the team to beat if Public & Private were to play the playoffs together. BUT … any good team can beat another on any given Friday night. That was the point I was trying to make. I think ELCA could be beat, is it likely, I say not.

TCDOG25

October 2nd, 2012
9:37 pm

I didnt say they counted but i know that they meaning fitzgerald kept their starters in against our B-team to get back in the game. But it is what it is and we will see shortly who belongs and who doesn’t. Looking forward to the playoffs though some teams playing higher classification teams will not make the playoffs.

TCDOG25

October 2nd, 2012
9:53 pm

It has happened before ECI knocking off Wilcox but i’m just excited to see how this experiment turns out. I truly believe there will be some disappointed top tier teams that don’t make it.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:00 pm

@Max: Clever! Maybe we could say they are “King Avenue Christian.” How’s that?

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:04 pm

@Swamp: Thanks, as always for the love! And yes, as the season plays itself out, I’m sure I’ll tend to disagree with our Top 10, so the Top 5s are just my take. I could be wrong … but probably not!

Just kidding! Seriously, dropping Wilcox totally out of the Top 10 makes absolutely no sense, and having Charlton only ranked No. 10 doesn’t hold much water to me either.

Thanks for reading and posting, Swamp!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:07 pm

@Swamp: Absolutely true. For instance, right now Strong Rock would make the playoffs, based on the Power Rankings, while Landmark Christian would not. I don’t think that scenario will hold. That’s just one example of several that will play themselves out as the season moves on.

Thanks for reading and posting, and sparking a lively discussion!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:09 pm

@TCDOG: I think you’ll find that both Swamp and I said a few weeks back that ECI would be in the hunt for the public title, right along with Wilcox, Lincoln and Charlton … and don’t count out Commerce.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:10 pm

@GAHSFBFan: I don’t know about “fairly easily,” but I think ELCA would win.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

TCDOG: Based on how the point system works, I think the top tier teams will be fine because they will win a lot of games. Wins are worth 10 points, no matter who you play. Now, they may not get the seed that they want, but they’ll still give themselves a chance by making the tournament.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

moto

October 3rd, 2012
11:08 am

We will know a lot more when Aquinas plays Lincoln and the Region 8 heavyweights play each other. I have seen George Walton and Eagles Landing play; they are absolutely the real deal. GWA will get tested in their region, but ECA won’t lose in region play.

moto

October 3rd, 2012
11:15 am

As long as we have this insane (for football) division of Class A into public and private schools, it would be great if some of the elite programs would schedule each other in the regular season. One loss by a public school to a private school (or vice versa) wouldn’t harm a good team’s chances in its own playoffs, but it would give us at least some indication of who’s best in a given year.