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?
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.
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.