Blessed Trinity at St. Pius
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, George B. Maloof Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Blessed Trinity is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 6-AAA and No. 7; St. Pius is 6-2, 3-1 and No. 9.
Last meeting: St. Pius won 31-7 in 2005.
Three things to know:1. St. Pius RB Ryan Braswell has rushed for 959 yards on 164 carries and scored 15 touchdowns, at least one in each game. Blessed Trinity’s leading rusher is a freshman, Milton Shelton, who has 603 yards and six touchdowns on 100 carries. 2. The four leaders and likely playoff teams from Region 6 are playing each other this week. The other game is Woodward Academy (7-2, 4-1) at Cedar Grove (5-3, 3-1). Only Blessed Trinity, which plays Cedar Grove next week, controls its destiny. 3. This game matches two players who might be the best in the state at their position. That would be long snapper. Blessed Trinity’s Tucker Etheridge is rated the No. 9 long-snapper prospect in the country among seniors by Rubio Long Snapping. He has committed to Louisiana Tech. Casey Wilson of St. Pius is ranked the No. 2 long snapper nationally among juniors.
Camden County at Lowndes
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Camden County is 8-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 1; Lowndes is 9-0, 5-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Camden County won 10-7 in the second round of the 2009 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game will be the Region 1-AAAAAA champion. Lowndes and Camden have never played in the same region but have met four times in the playoffs over the past 10 seasons, with the winner going on to claim a state championship. Lowndes won semifinal games in 2004 and 2007, and Camden won second-round games in 2003 and 2009. Those games were played at Camden or the Georgia Dome. Camden is visiting Lowndes for the first time since 2002. 2. Camden County has three committed college prospects who are prominent statistically. They are QB Brice Ramsey (Georgia), who is 44-of-81 passing for 950 yards and 16 touchdowns; HB/CB J.J. Green (Georgia), who has 563 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns; and LB Jarrad Davis (Auburn), who has a team-leading 44 solo tackles and three forced fumbles. Ramsey has 43 touchbacks out of 50 kickoffs. 3. Two of Lowndes’ top players are questionable with injuries. Leading rusher Nick Burgman (761 yards) is battling a hamstring injury. Preseason all-state DB Tiquan Lang, who scored three touchdowns two weeks ago against Coffee in a 31-29 victory, did not play against Tift County last week because of a sprained ankle.
Carrollton at Sandy Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone
Records, rankings: Carrollton is 6-2 overall, 5-0 in Region 5-AAAA and No. 4; Sandy Creek is 8-0, 5-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Sandy Creek won 14-7 in the 2010 Class AAA championship game.
Three things to know: 1. Carrollton’s offense is led by junior RB Trey Chivers, who leads the team in rushing (655 yards and 10 touchdowns on 75 carries) and receiving (11 receptions for 307 yards and three TDs). The Trojans are predominantly a running team that averages 257 yards rushing and 76 passing. In a 48-0 victory against Alexander last week, 12 players had at least one carry (and no one had more than six) in a 195-yard rushing performance. 2. Sandy Creek has one of the state’s most balanced offenses, averaging 211.4 yards passing and 207.9 yards rushing per game. QB Cole Garvin is 88-of-137 passing for 1,586 yards and 14 touchdowns with three interceptions. Demarre Kitt leads in receiving with 37 catches for 592 yards and six TDs. Eric Swinney leads the running game with 801 yards and 12 TDs on 77 carries. 3. Carrollton and Sandy Creek are the remaining unbeaten teams in 5-AAAA play, and the winner of this game will clinch the region championship. Sandy Creek has won four consecutive region titles and Carrollton has won two straight.
Carver (Columbus) at Peach County
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Anderson Stadium, Fort Valley
Records, rankings: Carver is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 2-AAA and No. 4; Peach County is 8-0, 4-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Peach County won 14-6 in 1991.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game is the Region 2-AAA champion. Carver has won five consecutive region titles. Peach County has won three straight and seven over the past nine seasons. The schools were in the same classification (AAA) as recently as 2010 but not the same region since 1991. 2. QB Greg Williams has been remarkably efficient for Peach County, completing 78 of 109 passes (72 percent) for 1,444 yards and 17 touchdowns. His main target is all-state Demarcus Robinson (29 catches, 562 yards, nine touchdowns). The leading rusher is RB Keyshawn Lowe with 757 yards and eight touchdowns. 3. WR Marqui Hawkins, who has committed to Florida, is Carver’s best-known player, but in a run-based offense he has only 11 catches for 211 yards. The team’s offensive leader is QB Torrance McGee, an efficient passer (50-for-80, 867 yards, 10 touchdowns, no interceptions) who can tuck and run (417 yards, 47 carries, five touchdowns). McGee is not related to Carver head coach Dell McGee.
Grady at Carver (Atlanta)
When, where: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Grady is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 6-AAAA Div. B and unranked; Carver is 8-0, 4-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Grady won 28-27 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. Grady QB Kivon Taylor threw three touchdown passes, including two during a decisive 24-0 run in the second quarter, to lead the Grey Knights to a 45-19 victory over South Atlanta last week. Grady also returned interceptions 10 and 57 yards for first-half scores and blocked a punt that led to a field goal. Grady leads the series with Carver 20-12 and has won 16 of the past 18 meetings going back to 1990. 2. Carver has a 1,000-yard passer in junior Jordan Holden (62-for-97, 1,096 yards and seven touchdowns), but the Panthers get most of their yardage from a running game that picks up 311 yards per game. Montavious Taylor has rushed for 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns on 105 carries and had a season-high 301 yards and four TDs in a 65-14 victory over South Atlanta two weeks ago. Derrick Johnson has 689 yards in seven games. 3. The winner of this game will be the Region 6-AAAA Division B champion and clinch a berth in the state playoffs. The loser will finish in second place and face the A subregion’s third-place team (likely Columbia) next week for a spot in the postseason.
M.L. King at Tucker
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: M.L. King is 8-0 overall, 7-0 in Region 6-AAAAA and No. 2; Tucker is 7-1, 6-1 and No. 5.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. M.L. King QB Monquavious Johnson is the second-leading passer in DeKalb County, trailing only Cedar Grove’s Johnathon McCrary. Johnson is 114-of-175 passing for 1,850 yards and 17 touchdowns. WR Demarquis Polite-Bray is among the county’s receiving leaders with 37 catches for 706 yards and 10 TDs. 2. Tucker is the leading rushing team in DeKalb, averaging more than 300 yards per game, and has four of the county’s top 20 rushers in Dallas Rivers, Dominick Sanders, Joseph Farrar and QB Juwaan Williams, who attempts less than seven passes per game. Rivers leads the team with about 90 yards per game and scored the game-clinching touchdown on a 2-yard run in the Tigers’ 28-13 victory over Miller Grove last week. 3. First-place M.L. King already has clinched a playoff berth and can wrap up its third consecutive region title (and fourth overall) with a victory in this game. Tucker can win its third consecutive region championship (15th overall) by beating M.L. King this week and Mays in the regular-season finale.
Marist at Chamblee
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, North DeKalb Stadium, Chamblee
Records, rankings: Marist is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 6-AAAA Div. A and No. 2; Chamblee is 8-0, 4-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Marist won 28-3 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Marist QB Myles Willis is the team’s leading rusher with 657 yards and nine touchdowns on 120 carries. He has passed for 536 yards for a team that throws only seven times per game. Gray King does a little of everything. He is second in rushing (382 yards on 43 carries) and first in receiving (10 catches for 242 yards) and has returned seven punts for an average of 18 yards. 2. Chamblee entered last week’s game as the fourth-leading rushing team in DeKalb, averaging 204.7 yards per game, and Dezmin Reed was the county’s leading rusher with 620 yards and 12 TDs in seven games. But the Bulldogs used the passing attack in a 34-0 victory over Lithonia. QB Jordan Branch threw four touchdown passes (three to Desmond Noird), and Reed had a 10-yard TD run. 3. The winner of this game will be the Region 6-AAAA Division A champion and clinch a berth in the state playoffs. The loser will finish in second place and face the B subregion’s third-place team (Washington or Banneker) next week for a spot in the postseason.
Warner Robins at Northside (Warner Robins)
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Warner Robins is 7-1 overall, 5-0 in Region 2-AAAAA and No. 7; Northside is 8-0, 5-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Northside won 32-24 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. The winner is the 2-AAAAA champion. It would be Northside’s fourth consecutive region title and 13th overall. It would be Warner Robins’ first region title since 2004 and 24th overall. Northside has won nine of the last 11 in a series that Warner Robins leads 33-21. 2. Both teams rank in the top five of scoring offense in Class AAAAA, with Northside at 44.9 points per game and Warner Robins at 38.8. But Northside’s defense has been more outstanding. The Eagles are allowing 5.3 points per game, the fewest in AAAAA and second to AAA Buford statewide. Westside of Macon is the only Northside opponent to gain more than 205 yards in a game. 3. Each team’s top yardage producer is a receiver/running back type. Northside’s Keshun Hill has rushed for 710 yards on 51 carries (13.9) and caught 11 passes for 175 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Warner Robins’ DeAnthony Mack has rushed for 520 yards on 49 carries (10.6 ypc) and caught 17 passes for 307 yards and scored six touchdowns. Both are dangerous returning kicks.
Wilcox County at Irwin County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field, Ocilla
Records, rankings: Wilcox County is 6-2 overall, 3-1 in Region 2-A and No. 7; Irwin County is 6-2, 4-0 and No. 8.
Last meeting: Wilcox County won 41-7 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Wilcox County WR Johnathan Howard became the first player to surpass 1,000 yards receiving on the season last week with his 10-catch, 193-yard performance in a 40-24 victory over Swainsboro. Howard has 64 receptions for 1,007 yards and 11 touchdowns. QB Makail Grace has thrown for 2,160 yards and 22 touchdowns. 2. Irwin County trailed 14-0 last week before beating Turner County 27-26. Irwin trailed Wilkinson County 28-7 on Sept. 21 before winning 41-34. In both wins, RB/LB Ryan Peterson was a key figure. He rushed for 172 yards against Wilkinson and scored three touchdowns against Turner, including the game-winner on a 28-yard pass with 1:09 left. 3. The Region 2-A race will come down to the final week regardless of the outcome of this game. Irwin County, with a win, clinches no worse than second place but probably would need to beat Charlton County (5-3, 3-1) next week to claim the Indians’ first region title since 1998. Wilcox does not control its destiny. Even with a Wilcox victory Friday, Charlton can win the title by beating Telfair County (5-3, 2-2) this week and Irwin next week.
Wilkinson County at Lincoln County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Bufford Field, Lincolnton
Records, rankings: Wilkinson County is 6-2 overall, 5-0 in Region 7-A and No. 9; Lincoln County is 7-1, 5-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Lincoln County won 35-0 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Wilkinson County had 562 yards of total offense and rallied from an early 14-0 deficit in a 42-21 victory over First Presbyterian last week. David Whipple passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards, a touchdown and two two-point conversions. Antonio Whipple had eight receptions for 155 yards and two TDs. 2. Lincoln County’s Mike McIntire rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries in the Red Devils’ 49-0 victory over Twiggs County last week. McIntire has run for 941 yards on 108 carries (8.7 yards per carry) and scored 15 rushing touchdowns this season. Lincoln County has scored 24 TDs rushing while allowing just five. 3. Wilkinson County and Lincoln County are the only undefeated teams in 7-A play, and the winner of this game will clinch the region title and a spot in the public schools playoffs. Both teams are in good shape for a postseason berth, however, as Lincoln County is No. 1 and Wilkinson is No. 6 in this week’s public school power rankings.
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