Calvary Day at Savannah Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Garden City Stadium, Garden City
Records, rankings: Calvary Day is 5-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 3-A Div. A and No. 3; Savannah Christian is 3-2, 1-0 and No. 9.
Last meeting: Savannah Christian won 49-7 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Calvary Day QB Jake Clemens (6-3, 200) is on pace for 1,000 yards rushing and passing in the regular season. He has run for 554 yards and nine touchdowns and thrown for 649 (45-of-66) and five TDs. 2. Jalen Myrick, a cornerback/halfback who has committed to Minnesota, is Savannah Christian’s player to watch. He scored on a blocked punt and had a long punt return in a 24-14 victory over Claxton last week. He has had more than 100 rushing or receiving yards in separate games this season. 3. Savannah Christian leads 20-11 in a series that began in 1979, when the Savannah private schools – located seven miles apart – were members of the Georgia Independent School Association. Both left the GISA in 1988. This is the first time that they have played when both teams were ranked.
Fitzgerald at Brooks County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman
Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 5-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AA and No. 4; Brooks County is 6-0, 2-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Fitzgerald won 39-0 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Fitzgerald is 5-1 against Brooks County since the two became region rivals in 2006. Both entered the 2011 game 4-0 in the region, one ranked No. 5, the other No. 6. Fitzgerald outgained Brooks 463-56 in the 39-0 rout. Fitzgerald and Brooks also enter this game as the only unbeaten teams in a region that many rank as the toughest in AA. 2. Brooks County QB Malcolm Parrish has thrown four TD passes in each of the past two games, and 16 on the season. He’s averaging 240 yards passing per game. 3. Fitzgerald has thrown only two TD passes all season and attempted only 20 passes. QB Romarius Gaulden is Fitzgerald’s leading rusher with 490 yards and nine touchdowns on 46 carries (10.7 ypc).
Johns Creek at West Forsyth
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Wolverine Den, Cumming
Records, rankings: Johns Creek is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; West Forsyth is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Johns Creek QB Skye Overton is 49-of-82 passing for 762 yards and five touchdowns and is the team’s leading rusher with 431 yards and 11 TDs on 70 carries. He passed for 188 yards and two scores and ran for 41 yards and a score in the Gladiators’ 30-16 victory over Chattahoochee two weeks ago. 2. West Forsyth QB A.J. Erdely, who has committed to Middle Tennessee, has passed for 935 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions and has rushed for 408 yards and five TDs. He passed for a season-high 267 yards in a 40-6 victory over Centennial on Sept. 28. 3. Johns Creek, West Forsyth and Lambert are tied for first place in 6-AAAAAA. Johns Creek is a fourth-year program in Alpharetta; West Forsyth is a sixth-year program in Cumming; and Lambert is a fourth-year program in Suwanee. None has ever won a region championship.
Lincoln County at Aquinas
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aquinas Stadium, Augusta
Records, rankings: Lincoln County is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 7-A and No. 7; Aquinas is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Lincoln County won 44-22 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Lincoln County has won 31 consecutive games in the series. The last time Aquinas won was 1972. The last time Aquinas was within 20 points of winning was 1987 (27-10). In the 2011 game, Aquinas was within 30-22 in the fourth quarter, when Lincoln scored two touchdowns to put it away. 2. RB/LB Brendan Douglas leads Aquinas in rushing yards (798 on 101 carries), touchdowns (16) and tackles (72). He’s also an outstanding punter. He has put eight of 20 punts inside the 20-yard line. He rushed for 171 against Lincoln County last year. 3. Lincoln County RB Mike McIntire has rushed for 590 yards and eight touchdowns on 76 carries. No other Lincoln County running back has more than 15 carries. QB Ben Turner (49-for-83 passing, 628 yards) and WR Zireycus Letman (24 receptions, 308 yards) are the key figures in the passing game.
Lowndes at Valdosta
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Lowndes is 6-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 4; Valdosta is 3-2, 0-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Valdosta won 21-17 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Many consider this Georgia’s No. 1 rivalry. Valdosta ended a seven-game losing streak to Lowndes in the 2011 game after trailing 17-7 in the final minute. Valdosta scored two touchdowns around an onside kick. The game-winner was a 35-yard TD pass with 17 seconds left. It propelled Valdosta to its first region title since 2003. 2. Lowndes averages 285 yards rushing and 54 yards passing per game. No back averages 10 carries per game, but Nick Burgman (514 yards, 53 carries, 9 touchdowns) is one of the region’s top players. Lowndes’ pass defense is outstanding. The Vikings have 16 sacks and 10 interceptions. 3. Valdosta QB Shelby Wilkes, who directed last year’s comeback win, has 716 yards passing. He has thrown two interceptions in each of Valdosta’s losses, and no interceptions in Valdosta’s wins. Malcolm Joseph (442 yards, eight touchdowns) and Nelson Herring (450 yards, four touchdowns) are the leading rushers.
Manchester at Heard County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Staples Stadium, Franklin
Records, rankings: Manchester is 4-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 5-AA and unranked; Heard County is 5-0, 3-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Heard County won 27-12 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. RB/DB Daranta Dunson is probably Heard County’s best player. He has rushed for 837 yards and scored 15 touchdowns and made 49 tackles and three interceptions. QB/LB Jonathan Hunt is another of five or six Heard County players who start on offense and defense. He has thrown for 545 yards and made 31 tackles. Dunson and Hunt have returned two kickoffs each for touchdowns. 2. FS Dame Turner is probably Manchester’s best player. He has four interceptions and two kickoff returns for touchdowns. He has thrown a TD pass and caught a TD pass. Linebackers Clentavious Smith (62 tackles) and Tre Bryant (47 tackles) are central to Manchester’s defense, which ranks seventh in Class AA scoring defense, allowing 8.8 points per game. 3. These are the only 5-AA teams without a region loss. Manchester’s last region title was in 2001. Heard’s last region title was in 2006.
McEachern at South Cobb
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Clay Stadium, Austell
Records, rankings: McEachern is 4-2 overall and 4-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA; South Cobb is 5-0 and 3-0. Neither team is ranked.
Last meeting: McEachern won 45-7 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. McEachern has had success this season using two quarterbacks, often having them on the field together. In a 49-3 victory over Campbell last week, Ty Griffin had 82 yards and two touchdowns rushing, 76 yards and a TD passing and a 17-yard reception. Tymashian Clemons ran for 44 yards and two scores and had 65 yards passing, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. 2. South Cobb QB Stephon Masha threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Ingram and ran for two scores, including the game-winner on a 15-yard run in overtime, in the Eagles’ 27-26 victory over North Cobb last week. Masha has passed for 1,179 yards and rushed for 472 this season. 3. The winner of this game moves into sole possession of first place in Region 4-AAAAAA, but both teams still have two more games against the region’s other top playoff contenders. McEachern faces North Cobb and Hillgrove, while South Cobb has to play Marietta and Hillgrove.
Stephens County at Monroe Area
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Legion Field, Monroe
Records, rankings: Stephens County is 4-1 overall, 1-1 in Region 8-AAAA and unranked; Monroe Area is 5-0, 2-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Stephens County won 51-21 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Stephens County is primarily a running team, and the overwhelming bulk of the work has gone to Chaz Thornton, a senior who has received interest from Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others. Thornton has 121 of the Indians’ 160 carries and has rushed for 791 yards, including 245 on 40 carries against Hart County on Sept. 14. 2. Monroe Area has the state’s highest-scoring team, averaging 51.4 points after scoring at least 50 in four of the first five games. The Purple Hurricanes are led by QB Stanton Truitt, a former Peachtree Ridge player who has rushed for about 700 yards. 3. These teams were the preseason favorites to win Region 8-AAAA, but Stephens County’s loss to Chestatee two weeks ago has changed the race. Now, if Stephens County loses this game it most likely will finish no higher than third place in the region.
Tucker at Stephenson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: Tucker is 5-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 6-AAAAA and No. 2; Stephenson is 4-0, 4-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Tucker is the highest-scoring team in Class AAAAA, averaging 47.8 points per game. The Tigers do it with a running game that averages 368 yards per game. Yusuf Minor (355 yards and three touchdowns in three games) and Dallas Rivers (501 yards, five games, nine TDs) are the top two rushers in DeKalb County. 2. Stephenson’s 263.8-yard average is the second-best rushing total in DeKalb, but the Jaguars have a more balanced approach. Evan Jones is the leading rusher with 267 yards, but Stephenson has seven players with at least 10 carries, five players with at least 100 yards and nine players with at least one rushing TD. 3. Tucker, Stephenson and M.L. King are all ranked in the top four and tied for first place in Region 6-AAAAA, and their head-to-head meetings over the next four weekends probably will determine the top three seeds for the state playoffs. Although they have been by far DeKalb’s top three programs over the past decade, Tucker has never played either team because they have been in different classifications.
Washington at Grady
When, where: 8 p.m. Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Washington is 5-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 6-AAAA Div. B and No. 6; Grady is 4-1, 1-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Grady won 26-12 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Washington is 5-0 for the first time since 1998, but the Bulldogs had a narrow escape last week in a 26-21 victory against South Atlanta. Washington led at one point 20-0 but needed a 67-yard touchdown pass from Fernanda Tucker to Antavis Rowe with 34 seconds left for the victory. 2. QB Kivon Taylor had two of Grady’s five rushing touchdowns in a 36-0 victory over Therrell last week. Taylor missed the previous game, a 21-0 victory over Lithonia, with an ankle injury and was replaced by Marquavious Henry, who threw three TD passes. 3. This is one of four games that will be played at the Georgia Dome on Saturday. The Atlanta Public Schools middle school championship will be held at 11 a.m., followed by a varsity tripleheader that will include Carver against Therrell at 2 p.m. and Southwest DeKalb against North Atlanta at 5 p.m. Carver, Washington and Grady are tied for first place in Region 6-AAAA Div. B.
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