Athens Academy at Prince Avenue Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Wolverine Field, Bogart
Records, rankings: Athens Academy is 4-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 8-A and No. 8; Prince Avenue Christian is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Prince Avenue Christian won 18-0 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Athens Academy has the top-ranked defense in Class A, allowing 6.5 points per game and holding all four opponents to seven points or less. The Spartans’ Eric Williams had a 19-yard touchdown reception, an interception and a 72-yard punt return for a TD in a 21-6 victory over Lakeview Academy last week. 2. Prince Avenue’s average margin of victory is 33.2, the best in Class A. The Wolverines are averaging 42.2 points and allowing 9.0 points per game. In a 40-0 victory against Athens Christian last week, RB Carl Mattox rushed for 216 yards and had TD runs of 13, 58 and 76 yards. 3. Athens Academy and Prince Avenue are the only remaining Region 8-A teams that are undefeated overall. The region champion likely will be decided when the winner of this game meets seventh-ranked George Walton Academy.
Bainbridge at Thomas County Central
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Jackets’ Nest, Thomasville
Records, rankings: Bainbridge is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 1-AAAAA and unranked; Thomas County Central is 4-1, 0-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Bainbridge won 27-24 in overtime in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Bainbridge is undefeated against Georgia teams this season, beating two ranked teams from lower classifications (Cairo, Early County) and Class AAAAAA Westlake. Its only loss came in the opener against East Gadsden, a top-10 team in Florida’s Class 4A, 33-14 in a game in which the Bearcats had five turnovers. 2. Thomas County Central is led by QB Adam Choice, a GHSF Daily preseason all-state selection after rushing for more than 1,600 yards last season. He ran for 158 yards and three fourth-quarter TDs in the Yellow Jackets’ 34-14 victory over Tift County two weeks ago. 3. Bainbridge and Thomas County Central are the favorites to win 1-AAAAA, so the region title likely will be decided when the winner of this game meets undefeated Lee County. Thomas County Central last won a region in 2009; Bainbridge’s last title came in 1993.
Coffee at Camden County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Chris Gilman Stadium, Kingsland
Records, rankings: Coffee is 4-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and unranked; Camden County is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Camden County won 28-18 in the first round of the 2010 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. Camden County has two players committed to Georgia in HB/CB J.J. Green (278 yards rushing) and QB Brice Ramsey (28-of-46 passing, 13 TD, 0 INT), but a third player committed to an SEC school, Auburn-bound LB Jarrad Davis, had a big game in the 43-6 victory over Valdosta last week. Davis had eight tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, a pass breakup and a 30-yard TD run. Davis has 43 tackles, twice that of any other Camden player. 2. Under new coach Robby Pruitt, Coffee has become a run-oriented team with no focal back, much like Camden County, as both run the Wing-T. Four Coffee backs have more than 150 yards rushing, each averaging at least 5.3 yards per carry, in Lecarvius Sears (44 carries, 273 yards), George Johnson (41-260), Timareion Simmons (34-223) and Santory Long (29-153). Coffee held Tift County to 99 yards in total offense last week in a 24-7 victory. 3. Camden County has won 87 consecutive region games but this season moved to highly regarded Region 1 from weak 3-AAAAA. Coffee is no stranger, though. Camden and Coffee were frequently in the same region in the 1970s and 1980s before the schools, which are about 100 miles apart, moved to the highest classification. The series stands at 6-6-1.
Cook at Fitzgerald
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jaycee Stadium, Fitzgerald
Records, rankings: Cook is 4-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 1-AA and No. 3; Fitzgerald is 4-1, 1-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Fitzgerald won 21-14 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Cook’s best player is probably QB Ross Pickle, a converted linebacker. He had 81 tackles and four interceptions last season. This season, he plays offense only and has rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Cook coach Ken Cofer says Pickle throws the long ball better than recently graduated all-state QB Zack Folsom, who now is Cook’s quarterbacks coach while a student at Valdosta State. 2. Fitzgerald’s new coach is Jason Strickland, who led Lamar County to a 12-1 finish last year. Strickland has changed Fitzgerald’s offense from former coach Robby Pruitt’s Wing-T to more of an option scheme, similar to Georgia Tech’s. The ’Canes do not have a back averaging more than 10 carries per game. QB Romarius Golden, the leading threat, has 365 yards and seven touchdowns on 37 carries (9.9 ypc). He has attempted only 17 passes, completing 10. 3. Fitzgerald took a 21-0 lead and held on in the 2011 game against Cook and won 21-14. Cook got within a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald ran out the clock. Fitzgerald had 414 yards rushing to Cook’s 9.
Kell at Riverwood
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bill Hoskyn Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Kell is 4-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 7-AAAAA Div. B and No. 10; Riverwood is 5-0, 0-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Brendan Langley, who has committed to South Carolina, has his hand in most of what Kell does. He has a team-leading 15 receptions for 270 yards and four touchdowns. He has rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He has three interceptions, and he is Kell’s primary kickoff returner. 2. Riverwood – 5-0 for the first time since 1986 – runs the triple option. QB Grant Drakeford has 287 yards rushing and more than 400 passing. The leading rusher is another junior, slotback Tyler Blake (505 yards, 14.9 per carry). 3. Riverwood is one of 12 undefeated but unranked teams. Kell is what Riverwood coach Robert Ingram is talking about when he says, “We’ve got to play the big boys now.” The computer Maxwell Ratings rank Riverwood’s schedule as second-easiest so far in Class AAAA (behind Clarkston’s). Maxwell projects Kell as the winner of this game by 21 points.
Lovett at Washington County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, House of Pain, Sandersville
Records, rankings: Lovett is 2-3 and No. 10 in Class AA; Washington County is 5-0 and No. 3 in AAA.
Last meeting: Washington County won 42-7 in the 1993 Class AA quarterfinals.
Three things to know: 1. Washington County QB William Walker is a preseason all-state player who passed for 1,517 yards and rushed for 932 in 11 games in 2011. This season, he’s a more efficient passer (39-of-56, 706 yards, seven TDs, 0 INTs) but is behind his pace in rushing yards (204) mainly because he’s got more help. Running backs Melvin Hill (39 carries, 424 yards, eight TDs) and Jukilo Johnson (41-374-7) together average exactly 10 yards per carry. 2. Lovett preseason all-state RB/DB Grant Haley leads his team in all-purpose yards with more than 50 each on rushes, receptions, kick returns and punt returns. He also leads the team with three interceptions. But offense has been Lovett’s challenge. The Lions are averaging only 2.8 yards per rush. 3. Lovett is the only ranked team with three losses. Its schedule so far is ranked the toughest in Class AA and eighth-toughest in any classification by the Maxwell Ratings. Lovett has played five teams that have been ranked this season in higher classifications.
North Cobb at South Cobb
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Clay Stadium, Austell
Records, rankings: North Cobb is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA and No. 6; South Cobb is 4-0, 2-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: North Cobb won 21-16 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. North Cobb has a pair of dangerous weapons in receivers Xavier Borishade and Nick Miller. Borishade had eight touchdowns (six receiving, a 97-yard kickoff return and a 54-yard punt return) in the first three games, and Miller had 113 yards rushing, 104 yards receiving and three TDs in a 48-14 victory over Harrison last week. 2. South Cobb QB Stephon Masha, who has committed to Liberty, has passed for 909 yards and rushed for 397. RB Chauncey Ingram has rushed for 412 yards and nine touchdowns, and WR Ryan Sumner has 24 receptions for 303 yards. 3. North Cobb and South Cobb are two of the three teams that are undefeated in Region 4-AAAAAA play. Both teams will play the other playoff contenders (McEachern, Marietta and Hillgrove) in the next four weeks. North Cobb is 4-0 for the first time since 2007, while South Cobb is 4-0 for the first time since 2006.
Northeast at Lamar County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Barnesville
Records, rankings: Northeast is 4-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 4-AA and unranked; Lamar County is 3-0-1, 1-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Lamar County won 48-0 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Northeast of Macon has given up 12 points, and its average of 3.0 per game is the third-best total in the state. Offensively, the Raiders are led by RBs Kentrelle Curry and Darius Jackson (who each have 100-yard games this season) and QB Davion Anderson, who threw three TD passes in a 24-0 victory over Monticello last week.
2. Junior twins Lawrence and Lance Austin each had a touchdown run in Lamar County’s 15-0 victory over Taylor County last week. Lawrence Austin is the team’s leading rusher, averaging about 100 yards per game. He had 142 yards on 10 carries in a victory against Pike County on Sept. 14. 3. The winner will be the only remaining team in 4-AA that has not lost a game this season and the favorite to win the region title, although Bleckley County and Macon County are unbeaten in region play. Lamar County is the defending region champion; Northeast’s last title came in 2009.
Thomson at Greater Atlanta Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Spartan Sports Complex, Norcross
Records, rankings: Thomson is 5-0 and No. 2 in Class AAA; Greater Atlanta Christian is 4-1 and No. 9 in AA.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. GAC QB Rafe Chapple threw five TD passes and was 12-of-15 passing for 219 yards in the 42-21 victory over Howard of Chattanooga last week. Chris Williams caught three of the TD passes and had four receptions for 147 yards. Howard keyed on RB Kyle Scales, holding him to a season-low 32 yards. Scales has 571 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on 101 carries. 2. Thomson RB Chris Jordan has rushed for 995 yards, which puts him in the top five in rushing in the state. 3. Thomson is 5-0, but not without suspense. The Bulldogs trailed Burke County 14-0 and won 21-10. They trailed LaGrange 21-0 and won 49-42. They trailed Westminster 10-0 and won 20-10.
Walton at Lassiter
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Frank Fillmann Stadium, Marietta
Records, rankings: Walton is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA and unranked; Lassiter is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Walton won both meetings last season, 34-10 in the regular season and 30-24 in the Class AAAAA semifinals.
Three things to know: 1. Walton’s Tyren Jones, a former Lassiter player, ran for 187 and two touchdowns on 23 carries in the Raiders’ victory over the Trojans in the semifinals last season. This year, he has 1,120 yards and 13 touchdowns on 164 carries. Jones has committed to Alabama. 2. Lassiter QB Eddie Printz was 34-for-57 passing for 395 yards and two TDs in the semifinal loss. He has thrown for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Printz has 7,129 career passing yards and needs 1,934 more to break the state record. His top target this season has been Willie Police, who has 27 receptions for 514 yards and seven touchdowns. 3. Walton, Lassiter, Etowah and Milton are tied for first place in 5-AAAAAA at 2-0, but the winner of this game will be the favorite to win the region. Walton has won seven of the past nine meetings and leads the series 20-10.
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