A game between Peach County and Carver Columbus is worthy of being played at the Georgia Dome. Instead these two highly ranked clubs will meet in Fort Valley to determine the Region 2-AAA championship.
Peach County (8-0, 4-0) has been ranked No. 1 in the state all season. The Trojans won a state championship in 2009, reached the semifinals in 2010 and lost in the championship game a year ago. This is a program that’s won double-digit games for seven of the last nine previous seasons.
Carver (7-1, 4-0) began the season ranked No. 3, but fell a few places when it lost a 33-0 decision to Class AAAAAA Colquitt County. The Tigers have won five straight since then and enter this week’s showdown ranked No. 4. Carver has won 11 or more games in each of the six previous seasons and won it all in 2007.
Both teams are run-oriented, but each has a major-college recruit at receiver. Peach County features Demarcus Robinson (Clemson), who has caught 29 passes for 562 yards and nine touchdowns. Carver counters with Marqui Hawkins (Florida), who has 11 receptions for 211 yards.
Both quarterbacks do a nice job running the offense. Torrance McGee of Columbus has thrown for 867 yards and 10 touchdowns, all without an interception. Peach County’s Greg Williams has thrown for 1,444 yards and 17 touchdowns.
So who’s got the edge in this one? Hard to tell, since the other teams in the region are not very good and have not offered much resistance. As far as signature wins goes, Peach knocked off Warner Robins 29-24 and Carver beat Shaw 18-13.
The two teams have no real history. Peach County leads the series 4-0, but the two clubs have not meet since 1991, the last year they were in the same region.
Four other games to watch:
No. 7 Blessed Trinity (7-1, 4-0) at No. 9 St. Pius (6-2, 3-1): St. Pius saw its offense stopped in last week’s loss to Woodward Academy, although it came largely from self-inflicted wounds. The Golden Lions cannot afford as many misfires this week against a BT team that could almost wrap up the Region 6-AAA title with a win, given the Titans have already defeated Woodward Academy. Two excellent backs will be on display here: Ryan Braswell of St. Pius, a workhorse who has 959 yards and 15 touchdowns, and Blessed Trinity freshman Milton Shelton, who has 603 yards and six touchdowns. St. Pius has a 4-0 lead in the series, but the two private Catholic schools haven’t played since 2005.
Cedar Grove (5-3, 3-1) at Woodward Academy (7-2, 4-1): Two dangerous quarterbacks take the stage in this game: Terry Googer of Woodward Academy and Johnathan McCrary of Cedar Grove. McCrary, a Vanderbilt commitment, leads DeKalb County in passing with 2,128 yards (136-for-184) with 21 touchdowns. His favorite targets are senior Jamir Hannah (33 catches, 618 yards, eight TDs) and junior Deion Sellers (30 catches, 379 yards, three TDs). Googer is more apt to beat you with his feet, but last week against St. Pius the elusive junior ran for 81 yards and threw for 126, including a 39-yarder that won the game. Cedar Grove has been talked about as the No. 4 team from Region 6-AAA, but the Saints are a dangerous offensive club that No. 8 Woodward can’t afford to overlook. If Cedar Grove scores the upset, Region 6 could have four teams with one region loss headed into the final week of the season.
Morgan County (6-2, 3-2) at Hart County (5-3, 4-0): Not many people paid much attention to Hart County early in the season when the Bulldogs came out of the gate with three losses. Now, five straight wins later, they’re looking differently at coach William Devane’s team. A win this week would put Hart in line to play for the Region 8-AAA championship next week against North Oconee. Morgan County leads the series 7-6, but Hart has won the last six meetings. The teams haven’t played since 2009 in an infrequent series that began in 1959.
Central Carroll (5-4, 4-2) at Chapel Hill (5-3, 4-1): Chapel Hill last made the playoffs in 2009 and lost a play-in game a year ago. Central, one of the state’s dominant programs in the mid-80s, last qualified for postseason in 2008. Central could clinch second place and earn a first-round home game with a win. The two teams have never met.