By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
It’s time for the Week 10 version of our Divided Public-Private Top 5s lists, with a bit of a surprise ending. Let us know if we’re on target or in need of a Georgia High School Football 101 class.
And don’t forget to check back on Thursday for our games of the weekend and projected first round playoff matchups, based on the updated Power Rankings.
1. Lincoln County (6-1, 3-0 in Region 7; Ranked No. 5 overall). Mike McIntire led the Red Devils to a 57-7 pasting of Georgia Military College (4-3), as he scored four touchdowns and ran for 175 yards on just 12 carries. Lincoln will try to avoid an upset next week at Twiggs County (2-5) before the showdown for the Region 7 championship against No. 9 Wilkinson County, Nov. 2, in Lincolnton.
2. Emanuel County Institute (6-1, 2-0 in Region 3-Division B; No. 2 overall). The Bulldogs were off last week and should be well rested for Friday’s battle for the sub region title against Johnson County (6-1, 2-0), in Wrightsville.
3. Wilcox County (5-2, 3-1 in Region 2; No. 7 overall). The Patriots won their third straight last week, 33-7 over Clinch County (3-4), as quarterback Makail Grace accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense – 288 passing and 95 rushing. A quirk in the schedule sends Wilcox to AAA Swainsboro (3-4) on Friday for a tough, late season non-region game, before the Patriots visit No. 8 Irwin County (5-2), Nov. 2, on Senior Night in Ocilla.
4. Irwin County (5-2, 3-0 in Region 2; No. 8 overall). Irwin downed Lanier County 37-19 last week for its fourth consecutive win, as James Curtis ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Now Irwin will try to hang on to the top spot in Region 2 as it faces a brutal three-game stretch to close out the season, starting Friday at Turner County (5-2). The following week Wilcox comes to Ocilla, before Irwin closes out the regular season at Charlton County (4-3).
5. Wilkinson County (5-2, 4-0 in Region 7; No. 9 overall). Wilkinson appears to be getting hot at the right time. The Warriors won their fourth straight last week, 42-14 over Aquinas (5-2), which had been ranked No. 6 at the time. Quarterback David Whipple ran for 95 yards and threw for over 200, while running back Shiquez Underwood ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Wilkinson travels to Macon on Friday to face First Presbyterian Day (5-2), before the faceoff for the region title at Lincoln on Nov. 2.
TRENDING (In alphabetical order): Charlton County (4-3, 2-2 in Region 2) has alternated wins and losses all season, but will try to break that trend on Friday in front of the home crowd with a victory against Clinch (3-4) in Folkston … Claxton (5-2, 2-1 in Region 3-Division A) will look to stay in the hunt for the Region 3-Division A title when it hosts Calvary Day, ranked No. 10, on Thursday … Wrightsville will be jumping on Friday night as Johnson County (6-1, 2-0 in Region 3-Division B) will host No. 2 ECI for the sub region title … Marion County (6-1, 4-0) will try to take another huge step toward winning its third consecutive Region 4 championship, when the Eagles host Brookstone (5-2, 3-1) on Friday … Miller County (7-1, 4-0 in Region 1), winners of six straight, will look to stay on track to claim its first region title since 2008, when the Pirates host winless Stewart County on Friday.
1. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (6-1, 3-0 in Region 5; No. 1 overall). The Chargers flexed their muscles last week, dominating an Our Lady of Mercy team (4-4, 1-3 in Region 5) that had lost three games by a total of just 12 points. Keyante Green led the way with 176 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 10 carries, and sophomore safety Davis Reynolds had two interception returns for touchdowns of 40 and 70 yards. ELCA will host Strong Rock (3-4, 0-3 in Region 5) on Friday.
2. Athens Academy (7-0, 4-0 in Region 8; No. 3 overall). The Spartan’s defensive unit, as it has done all season, held an opponent to single digits, as Athens Academy throttled Commerce 45-7 last week. Senior quarterback Austin Schulte completed 8 of 10 passes for 129 yards. Athens Academy will host George Walton Academy (5-2, 2-1 in Region 8), which lost to Pinecrest Academy (4-2, 3-1 in Region 8 ) last week, 29-10, in one of the biggest upsets of this season.
3. Prince Avenue Christian (7-1, 3-1 in Region 8; No. 4 overall). The Wolverines blasted Hebron Christian Academy (1-6, 0-5 in Region 8 ) 48-7 last week, behind two pick-sixes from linebackers Titus Campbell and Christian Payne. PAC will take a week off before ending the season with two tough road games: a trip to Cumming to face upstart Pinecrest Academy ( 4-2, 3-1 in Region 8 ) on Nov. 2, followed by the season finale in Monroe against George Walton Academy (5-2, 2-1 in Region 8 ) on Nov. 9.
4. Savannah Christian (5-2, 3-0 in Region 3-Division A; No. 6 overall). The Raiders have quietly won five in a row after drilling winless Portal (0-7, 0-3) 35-0 last week. Savannah Christian scored all of its points in the first half before calling off the dogs in the second. The Raiders will look to take another step toward winning their second consecutive sub region crown when they host Jenkins County (4-3, 2-1 in Region 3-Division A) on Friday.
5. Calvary Day (6-1, 2-1 in Region 3-Division A; No. 10 overall). The Cavaliers blitzed Jenkins County, which had won four straight, 48-12 last week. Calvary Day will try to hold on to second place in the sub region on Friday when it travels to Claxton (5-2, 2-1).
TRENDING (In alphabetical order): Aquinas (5-2, 2-2 in Region 7) fell out of the AJC Top 10 after losing its second consecutive game last week, 42-14, to No. 9 Wilkinson County. It was the Irish’s second loss in a row to a public school, after their 20-13 loss to No. 5 Lincoln County on Oct. 11. Aquinas will try to rebound at home on Friday when Warren County (1-6, 1-4 in Region 7) visits the Big A … Brookstone (5-2, 3-1 in Region 4) will try to force a three-way tie for first place in Region 4 on Friday when it visits Marion County (7-1, 4-0) in Buena Vista … Darlington (5-2, 3-0 in Region 6-Division A) emphatically took control of the sub region with a 31-0 win over Gordon Lee (5-2, 2-1) last week. The Tigers will try to avoid an upset in Carrollton on Friday when they face a much-improved team from Mt. Zion, which has won three straight … Holy Innocents (5-3, 3-1 in Region 5) win its third straight last week, 28-3 over Strong Rock (3-4, 0-3 in Region 5), and will host Pace Academy (2-5, 1-2 in Region 5) on Saturday … Landmark Christian Academy (6-2, 4-0 in Region 5) has won five in a row after last week’s 38-14 win over Pace Academy, behind 219 yards rushing and three touchdowns by junior Jeremiah Kirkland. The War Eagles are off this week before they host Holy Innocents Nov. 2 in downtown Fairburn …
And now, in an unprecedented executive decision by the suits at Class A Blog headquarters, a sixth team has been added to the “Trending” list of private schools: Walker (7-0, 4-0 in Region 6-Division A). Though the combined record of the Wolverines’ foes this season is a dismal 16-33, they have fashioned one of the state’s most dramatic turnarounds under first-year head coach John East. Walker, just 13-37 over the past five years, has already clinched its first winning season since finishing 6-4 in 2006, and will most likely make its first post season appearance since it finished 6-5 in 2005 and lost in the first round of the Class AA playoffs to eventual state runner up Calhoun (41-7). The Wolverines are led by 14 seniors, including Evan Kasian, an all-state candidate at running back. Walker will host Cobb County rival Whitefield Academy (5-2, 4-0 in Region 6-Division A) in Marietta on Friday, in a game that will go a long way toward determining the sub region champion.