Allatoona at East Paulding
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Raider Stadium/The Boneyard, Dallas
Records, rankings: Allatoona is 9-0 overall, 9-0 in Region 5-AAAAA and No. 5; East Paulding is 9-0, 9-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Allatoona and East Paulding are the only remaining unbeaten teams in 5-AAAAA, and the winner of this game will claim the region championship while the loser will settle for the No. 2 seed. This is the only game in the state this week matching undefeated teams. Allatoona is seeking its second consecutive region title, and East Paulding is seeking its first title since 2007 and its second overall. 2. Allatoona’s offense is tied for sixth in Class AAAAA with an average of 37.6 points per game. The Buccaneers have two 1,000-yard rushers in senior T.J. Herron (1,038 yards, 166 carries) and sophomore Josh Bettistea (1,103 yards, 103 carries). Bettistea rushed for 344 yards on 26 carries in a 56-27 victory against North Paulding last week. 3. East Paulding has the No. 3 offense in Class AAAAA with an average of 44.4 points per game. Kamani Thomas is the leading rusher with 1,428 yards on 144 carries (9.92 yards per carry) and has had four games of at least 224 yards. Kyler Neal has 825 yards on 61 carries. QB Mitchell Webb has passed for 1,135 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception.
Camden County at Colquitt County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Memorial Stadium, Moultrie
Records, rankings: Camden County is 9-0 overall, 5-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 1; Colquitt County is 6-3, 3-2 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Colquitt County won 32-31 in the 2011 Class AAAAA quarterfinals.
Three things to know: 1. If Colquitt County loses this game and Coffee beats Valdosta, the final two playoff berths in Region 1-AAAAAA will be decided by points allowed against the five contending teams in the region. Currently, Colquitt has allowed 64 points. Valdosta (96) and Coffee (97) have given up far more points, so it would take an epic blowout in this game to keep Colquitt out of the playoffs. The Valdosta-Coffee loser likely is out of the playoffs. 2. Camden County has clinched the region title, but the game still holds meaning for Camden, the newest member of Region 1. Camden’s success of the past decade has been discounted by some for Camden’s long membership in weak Region 3-AAAAA. After beating Lowndes last week, Camden coach Jeff Herron told the Valdosta Daily Times, “I am not going to lie, it feels good because a lot of people doubted us.” Camden’s average score against region opponents this season is 39-7. 3. Colquitt County gets two-thirds of its offense in passing while using two quarterbacks. Senior Cole Segraves (1,202 yards passing, seven TDs, nine INTs) is likely to start. Sophomore Daniel Mobley (933 yards passing, nine TDs, four INTs) has a sore shoulder. Segraves threw three interceptions in the Valdosta loss but bounced back last week in a must-win game against Coffee and was 14-of-17 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
Gainesville at Flowery Branch
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Falcon Field, Flowery Branch
Records, rankings: Gainesville is 7-2 overall, 6-1 in Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Flowery Branch is 7-2, 7-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Gainesville won 29-21 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game will be the Region 8-AAAAA champion, and the loser will take the No. 2 seed. Gainesville is seeking its fifth consecutive region title and 29th overall. Flowery Branch tied for first place in 8-AAAA last season but was the No. 3 seed, so the Falcons will be attempting to win their first outright region championship. 2. Gainesville junior QB Deshaun Watson is perhaps the leading candidate for Class AAAAA player of the year. The third-year starter has accounted for more than 3,100 yards of total offense (2,376 passing, 772 rushing) and had a hand in 44 touchdowns (32 passing, 12 rushing). Watson passed for 258 yards and two TDs in the Red Elephants’ 46-41 upset loss to Loganville last week. 3. Flowery Branch QB Jackson McDonald doesn’t have the type of numbers that Watson has, but he is also dangerous running and passing. McDonald has passed for 1,105 yards and 13 touchdowns and has rushed for 605 yards and 12 TDs, according to the Gainesville Times.
Greater Atlanta Christian at Lovett
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium/Conley-Oakley Field, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 7-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 6-AA and No. 5; Lovett is 5-4, 3-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Lovett won 35-28 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. GAC’s offense is balanced with 1,657 yards rushing and 1,596 passing. RB Kyle Scales (937) is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing. QB Rafe Chapple has thrown 15 TD passes. Peter Whiteneck (30 catches, 550 yards, six TDs) and WR Chris Willians (27-542-5) are the top receivers. 2. Comparative scores favor GAC, which beat region rivals Wesleyan 42-20 and Westminster 30-0. Lovett beat both with fourth-quarter rallies. Against Westminster, QB Willie Candler (1,304 passing yards) hit Andrew Siegel for a 30-yard TD pass with 5:24 left at the end of an eight-play, 77-yard drive for a 10-7 lead that stood up. Against Wesleyan the week before, Lovett drove 72 yards on 11 plays for the winning touchdown, which was a 1-yard run by Grant Haley with 29 seconds left. Lovett won 24-21 as Haley, who scored three touchdowns, intercepted a pass to seal it. 3. The series between these two is tied 4-4, but Lovett has won the past four. Four of the past five meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer. Lovett is seeking its 16th region title overall, first since 2009 and second since 2000. GAC is seeking its fifth region title and first since 2001.
Heard County at Bowdon
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Warren P. Sewell Field, Bowdon
Records, rankings: Heard County is 9-0 overall, 7-0 in Region 5-AA and No. 8; Bowdon is 8-1, 6-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Bowdon won 48-30 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Heard County RB/FS Duranta Dunson is a Class AA player-of-the-year candidate. He has rushed for 1,264 yards and 20 touchdowns on 112 carries (11.2 ypc). He has made 72 tackles, intercepted four passes and caused two fumbles. 2. Bowdon kept itself in contention for a region title with a 26-21 victory over rival Bremen last week. Sophomore RB Darrell Holland scored two touchdowns and rushed for 120 yards – 116 after Bowdon trailed 14-6 at halftime. Bowdon took the lead in the fourth quarter and defended Bremen’s final drive inside the Bowdon 25-yard line in the final seconds. 3. Heard clinches the region title with a victory. Bowdon would need to win by seven points or more because of the region’s tiebreaker criteria that looks at point differential among tied teams, which would include Manchester. Heard County has won two region titles in its history, most recently in 2006. Bowdon has won 15, most recently in 2005. The only time that Bowdon has won a region title outside of the lowest classification was in 1971, when only 11 teams played in the lowest class, which was C at the time.
Landmark Christian at ELCA
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Commitment Field, McDonough
Records, rankings: Landmark Christian is 7-2 overall, 5-0 in Region 5-A and unranked; Eagle’s Landing Christian is 8-1, 5-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Landmark Christian won 14-7 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Landmark Christian RB Jeremiah Kirkland rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-3 victory over Holy Innocents’ last week. Kirkland rushed for 87 yards in Landmark’s upset of ELCA in the Class A semifinals last year after Landmark lost to ELCA 35-14 in the regular season. In the semifinal upset, Landmark intercepted a pass late and scored on a 24-yard quarterback run with 42 seconds left. ELCA was 0-for-11 passing with two interceptions in the game. 2. ELCA RB Keyante Green has rushed for 842 yards (13.2 ypc) and 15 touchdowns despite missing three games injured and not playing the second half since the first game. QB Dalton Etheridge (52-for-77, 941 yards) missed last week’s game with a high ankle sprain and is questionable for this game. 3. The winner of this game is the region champion. It would be a third straight for ELCA. Landmark has won five region titles, most recently in 2007. Region champions in Class A are guaranteed of a playoff berth and cannot be seeded below any non-champions in the playoffs.
Marist at Carver (Atlanta)
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Marist is 8-1 and No. 2 in Class AAAA; Carver is 9-0 and No. 9 in AAAA.
Last meeting: Marist won 21-6 in 2011.
Three things to know: This is the Region 6-AAAA championship game between two teams that went undefeated in their subregions, and both teams are guaranteed a spot in the state playoffs. Marist is seeking its first region title since 2008 and its 22nd overall. Carver is seeking its first region title since 2007 and its fifth overall. Marist has won all four meetings between the schools, but they have played just twice since 1969. 2. QB Myles Willis is Marist’s leading rusher with 670 yards and nine touchdowns on 127 carries, and he is 35-of-61 passing for 635 yards and six TDs. He was held to 13 yards rushing on seven carries in the subregion-clinching 24-0 victory over Chamblee last week, but he passed for 99 yards and a touchdown. Gray King is the second-leading rusher (50 carries, 431 yards) and leading receiver (12 catches, 299 yards). 3. Carver clinched its subregion with identical 22-19 victories over Washington and Grady on consecutive weekends. Montavious Taylor rushed for 196 yards on 27 carries against Grady last week. Taylor has rushed for 1,303 yards (9.8 ypc) on the season. The Panthers are trying to go 10-0 in the regular season for just the second time in school history.
North Hall at Buford
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
Records, rankings: North Hall is 8-1 overall, 6-0 in Region 7-AAA and No. 9; Buford is 6-3, 4-2 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Buford won 35-7 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. If not for two midseason forfeits by Buford, this would have been a matchup of two undefeated teams in region play that would have decided the 7-AAA title. As it is, North Hall already has clinched its first title since 2007 and Buford will finish out of first place for just the second time in 12 years. Buford will be the No. 2 seed unless it loses and White County beats Banks County, which would put the Wolves in third place. 2. North Hall outgained Banks County 296-44 in the first half in building a 35-0 halftime lead in its 42-7 victory last week. QB Bradley Brown passed for 103 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Taylor Ryder, and Kevin Christmas rushed for 107 yards and a TD on four carries, according to the Gainesville Times. 3. Buford’s leading rusher, Dontravious Wilson, left last week’s game against East Hall in the first half with an injury, but it didn’t slow the Wolves as they ran for 325 yards in a 49-6 victory. Thomas Wilson had 98 yards on three carries, and Zavior Hoxie had 57 yards on 10 carries, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Parkview at South Gwinnett
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, South Gwinnett Community Stadium, Snellville.
Records, rankings: Parkview is 7-2 overall, 6-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA and No. 9; South Gwinnett is 7-2, 6-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Parkview won 20-7 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Parkview, South Gwinnett and Grayson are tied for first place in Region 8-AAAAAA, and all three have clinched playoff berths. Parkview can win its first region title since 2004 with a victory. South Gwinnett will win its first region title since 2003 if it beats Parkview and Grayson loses to Brookwood. 2. Parkview’s leading rusher, Chris Carson, has missed most of the past two games with injuries. In his absence, Justis Rosser stepped up in a 38-7 victory over Berkmar last week. Rosser had two touchdowns and 111 of the Panthers’ 254 yards rushing, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. 3. South Gwinnett gave itself a shot at winning the region title with a 42-38 victory over Brookwood last week, just the fifth win for the Comets in 29 all-time meetings with the Broncos. South Gwinnett QB Jordan Ramey passed for 382 yards and four touchdowns and scored the game-winning TD on a 2-yard run with 3:13 remaining. Ramey is 115-of-203 passing for 1,929 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season.
Savannah Christian at ECI
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rountree Stadium, Twin City
Records, rankings: Savannah Christian is 7-2 and No. 6 in Class A; Emanuel County Institute is 8-1 and No. 2 in Class A.
Last meeting: Savannah Christian won 34-0 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. ECI averages 280 yards rushing per game and has three players between 500-599 yards for the season, but the key ball carrier is Greg Purcell. He has 588 yards rushing and 265 receiving and a team-leading 12 touchdowns. 2. Savannah Christian FS/WR Jalen Myrick is a sure all-state player. He played only the first half last week in a 42-12 victory over Jenkins County but had time to score three touchdowns, catch five passes for 111 yards, rush for 43 yards on two carries and force a fumble. Committed to Minnesota, Myrick is best known for his speed and projects to play cornerback in college. 3. The winner is the region champion and is guaranteed to be seeded in the state playoffs higher than any non-champion. ECI is the home team in this game because of region rules that base it on the GHSA Class A power rankings. ECI (13.58) edged Savannah Christian (13.57) by .01 points. ECI will be in the public-school playoffs, while Savannah Christian will be in the private-school playoffs.
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