Region 6 is like Southeastern Conference of Class AAA. With apologies to Region 7 (which has big-dog Buford and mighty North Hall), Region 6 It’s the deepest and strongest league in the classification. The region has six teams that could be considered anywhere from above average to very good.
Each week Region 6 has a game or two that promise to have an impact on which team will reach the state tournament. It’s a shame only four teams get to advance to the postseason, since the two non-qualifiers will be better than the third- and fourth-place teams in other regions.
The pecking order in Region 6 starts with St. Pius, the defending league champion and runner-up a year ago. The Golden Lions are ranked No. 8 in the state and have already beaten No. 9-ranked North Oconee and Thomson, which began the season in the rankings.
Next come Blessed Trinity, Woodward Academy and Cedar Grove, all playoff participants a year ago. Blessed Trinity and Woodward have been in the state rankings this year, but slipped out after losses. These two played last week, with Blessed Trinity prevailing.
Trying to break into the playoff picture are Decatur and Towers. They both suffered their first loss of the season a week ago, Decatur losing to Cedar Grove and Towers losing to St. Pius.
The region features two marquee games again this week. Cedar Groves plays Towers and Decatur travels to Woodward Academy.
Cedar Grove vs. Towers (Panthersville): Towers is hoping its newfound surge can lead to a turnaround against old rival Cedar Grove. The Saints lead the series 11-3-1 and have won the last three meetings, including last year’s 66-8. A repeat of that lopsided game isn’t likely, but Towers faces a difficult challenge in stopping Cedar Grove’s Deion Sellers, who has rushed for 100 yards in five games and ran for 194 last week.
Decatur at Woodward Academy: The Decatur defense, led by linebacker Kyle Kitchens, has been solid, even in last week’s loss. The Bulldogs will have their hands full against a Woodward team that features a gifted quarterback in Terry Googer and an excellent group of running backs that includes Elijah Holyfield.
Others games of interest this week include:
Pierce County at Appling County: The No. 10 Bears have yet to be challenged, but that might change this week with a visit to Appling. Pierce has won the last two meetings; last year’s 36-34 win essential gave the Region 1 title to Pierce. The Bears have won 12 straight regular-season games and 16 straight games in their region. This could be a showcase for quarterback Tyler Harris, Pierce County’s SMU-bound, who has already thrown for 1,305 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Washington County at Lovett: The No. 3 Golden Hawks take their shot against Class AA No. 2 Lovett. The Lions have already beaten Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity and St. Pius – the cream of Region 6. Washington County won 48-35 a year ago in Sandersville. Washington County, which averages 49.8 points, will unleash a lot of offensive firepower – quarterback A.J. Gray and running backs Danyale Wicker and Melvin Hill. But Lovett is pretty stout in that department, too, and gets quarterback Willie Chandler back this week after missing the last game with an injury.