Friday look-ahead: Notes on Grady, Marist, Chamblee, Pickens and more

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Lakewood showdown: Grady, winner of four straight, faces undefeated Washington (Atlanta) on Friday at Lakewood Stadium. Grady coach Ronnie Millen notched his 100thwin earlier in the season and has won four of five meetings with Washington, including a 42-22 victory over the Bulldogs last season. Tonight’s game kicks off at 8 p.m. Washington has won its first five games by an average margin of 32.6 points.

Region 6-AAAA notables: Chamblee will be looking for its third consecutive shutout and fourth on the season, when the Bulldogs face Columbia on Friday at North DeKalb Stadium. … Marist has bounced back from consecutive losses with convincing wins over Therrell and Columbia. The War Eagles take on Lithonia at Hallford Stadium on Friday. Lithonia is 1-0 in region play, but has never beaten Marist in 11 tries.

Statement game: Liberty County has a chance a statement win, when the Panthers travel to No. 5 Statesboro for a battle of Region 3-AAAA Division A unbeatens on Friday. Statesboro is allowing just eight points per game and owns in an impressive 21-7 win over Burke County. The Panthers are led by all-state linebacker/fullback Raekwon McMillan, who 19 tackles in last week’s win over Glenn Hills. Statesboro has won six of the seven meetings, including a 19-0 shutout last season.

Turnaround: Pickens was 10-40 in the five seasons prior to coach Chris Parker’s arrival in 2012. Things have changed. At 4-1, the Dragons are off to their best start since 2006. They are led by a pair of explosive offense players in quarterback Tanner Brumby and junior running back Shannon Brooks. Brumby has passes for five touchdowns and rushed for seven more. Brooks leads the team in rushing (815 yards, nine touchdowns) and receiving (184 yards, two touchdowns)

Now, the Dragons get a chance hosting their biggest game in years, when prolific running back Nick Chubb and Cedartown visit on Friday. Pickens and Cedartown are both 1-0 in Region 7-AAAA Division A play.

“We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to play in these types of games in recent years,” said Parker. “We’re trying to embrace it, and the community really has.”

Pickens is allowing 136 rushing yards per game. Chubb is averaging 255 rushing yards per game.

“You’re not going to stop him,” said Parker of Chubb. “You can only hope to slow him down.”

Region 7-AAAA Division B notable: Undefeated Northwest Whitfield hosts Dalton on Friday. Both teams are 1-0 in region play. Dalton has won the last six meetings and nine of the last 10 overall.

Key Region 1-AAAA battles: Americus-Sumter and Westover are tied atop the region at 2-0. Both teams face difficult tests Friday, before playing each other next week at Westover. Americus-Sumter travels to Monroe (Albany), and Westover hosts Crisp County.

4 comments Add your comment

Jordan Hill

October 10th, 2013
1:38 pm

Glad to see that Coach Parker and Pickens are getting some recognition; they have certainly worked their tails off over the last two years and really deserve it.

Here is my preview for the Dragons’ game Friday against the Cedartown Bulldogs:


October 10th, 2013
2:22 pm

Chamblee’s schedule has been a joke — look at the Maxwell Ratings published earlier this week and Chamblee has one of the weakest schedules to date in Class 4A. Sounds like last year — 8-0 until the last two weeks, and then missed the playoffs. Chamblee needs to play better competition in the non-region schedule to be able to hang with better teams at the end of the year.


October 10th, 2013
2:24 pm

Compare Chamblee’s schedule to Marist — Marist has had one of the hardest schedules in Class 4A to date. That is how to prepare for the end of the season. Wish Chamblee staff would care more about the long-term than the short-term.

Believe in Green

October 10th, 2013
3:21 pm

Pickens vs Cedartown….should be good one. Everyone knows about Chubb. He’s as good as advertised, certainly lives up to the hype. Folks are finding out what we’ve known for some time,…Shannon Brooks (5′11-200) is the real deal. Two words,…..BEAST MODE.