Most of the regions in Class AAA don’t start league play for another week, which leaves a lot of games that don’t count in the big picture, but may provide bragging rights. It’s especially true among the private schools.
There are two big games involving ranked and near-ranked teams from AAA going against rivals in another classification. Both promise to be interesting contests that could swing either way.
St. Pius at Lovett: The No. 2-ranked Golden Lions will have their hands full against Lovett, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AA.
St. Pius (3-0) continues to be an offensive machine; it ran for 311 yards last week in a 41-14 rout of Thomson. Quarterback Joey Connors has embraced his roll as director of the ground attack; he even ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns last week.
The St. Pius defense will have its hands full trying to slow down a Lovett club that beat then-No. 5 Class AAAA Marist in over a week ago. The Lions (3-0) are led by running back Grant Haley and quarterback Willie Chandler. The Pius defense, led by Daniel Crochet and Nick Ruffin, will be pushed to keep Lovett’s explosive offense in check.
St. Pius won last year’s game 24-0 and leads the series 9-4. Last year was the first time the rivals had played since 1983.
Westminster at Woodward Academy: Woodward has been impressive the last two weeks against schools from higher classifications. The War Eagles (2-1) are led by the versatile Terry Googer, a South Carolina commitment, at quarterback and defensive back. Googer ran for 83 yards and passed for 47 last week against Woodland. Quincy Wolff and Elijah Holyfield add additional punch at tailback.
Westminster is coming off a big win over Thomasville, where Rankin Woley stepped it at quarterback to lead a second-half comeback. Woley ran for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the second half. Jake Forte, the injured QB, has committed to Harvard.
Woodward leads the series 23-19 and has won two of three meetings since the schools began playing again in 2008. Woodward won 24-3 last year.
Harris County at Callaway: This could be a showcase for two outstanding quarterback: Tez Parks of Callaway and Taquon Marshall of Harris County. No. 7 Callaway (2-0) was off last week, but Marshall ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Veterans. Callaway must also find a way to slow all-state running back candidate Esaia Chapman, who has already tallied 443 yards. Callaway won last year’s game 24-21, but Harris didn’t lose another game until the Class AAAAA quarterfinals against Gainesville.
Blessed Trinity at White County: These two teams met twice last year. Blessed Trinity (1-2) won the regular-season game 21-19 and took the first-round playoff game 35-14. White County (3-0) hasn’t opened the season with three straight wins since 1974, when the Warriors started 4-0 and went 9-1. Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin would win his 100th career game with a victory.
Buford vs. Bye: Take the Wolves and lay the points.