Class A Blog: What to watch Friday? Marion County-Brookstone, JoCo-ECI, Mt. Pisgah-Mt. Paran, Charlton-Clinch headline Week 10 action

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are four huge games on tap in Week 10 Friday, plus a half dozen more worth the price of admission.

No. 6 Marion County (7-0, 4-0) at Brookstone (4-3, 2-2). The Eagles will try to stay unbeaten and all but sew up their third Region 4 title in the last four seasons. Marion County also is No. 1 in the current Georgia High School Association/MaxPreps power rankings for public schools. Brookstone probably does not have a shot at the region championship, but the Cougars can upgrade their power ranking with a win. They currently sit at No. 12 on the private school side.

No. 5 Johnson County (7-0, 2-0) at No. 8 Emanuel County Institute (5-2, 2-0). The Region 3 – Division B title will be on the line in Twin City. ECI, the defending Class A public school champion, has won eight of the last 10 meetings, including 40-0 last season in Wrightsville. A win could vault the Bulldogs, currently at No. 7 in the public school power rankings, into the top three. Johnson County is looking to stay in line for its first region title since 2010. The Trojans finished 7-3 last season but finished at No. 17 in the public school power rankings and missed the playoffs.

Mount Pisgah Christian (7-0, 3-0) at No. 9 Mount Paran Christian (6-1, 3-0). Kennesaw will be lit up Friday for this battle for the Region 6 – Division B championship. The game will feature two of the best junior quarterbacks in the region – Mt. Pisgah’s Aaron Winchester and Mt. Paran’s Jake Allen. Mt. Pisgah won last year’s contest, 42-28, and has won two of the three games the schools have played.

Charlton County (5-2, 3-0) at No. 10 Clinch County (4-3, 3-0). It’s a good chance the entire population of Homerville (2,456) will be crammed into Donald Tison Field, a.k.a. The Boneyard, Friday to watch the Panthers host Charlton County in a game that will go a long way toward deciding the Region 2 champion. Both appear to be locks for the state playoffs after uncharacteristically poor seasons last year. Charlton County finished 5-6 and was blown out in the first round of the state playoffs (31-12) by Marion County. Clinch County finished 4-6, its worst season since 1985. Charlton County leads the overall series 27-23-1, and has won nine of the last 10 meetings, including last year’s game, 21-0.

Region 2: Turner County (4-4, 2-2) at Irwin County (5-1-1, 2-1)

Region 3: Claxton (4-3, 2-1) at Calvary Day (5-2, 3-0)

Region 4: St. Anne-Pacelli (6-1, 3-1) at Dooly County (4-3, 3-1)

Region 5: Holy Innocents (4-4, 2-2) at Pace Academy (4-3, 2-1)

Region 7: First Presbyterian Day (4-3, 3-1) at Wilkinson County (3-4, 2-1)

Region 8: Athens Academy (4-3, 2-2) at George Walton Academy (5-2, 2-1)

22 comments Add your comment

Swamp Lizard

October 24th, 2013
1:08 pm

@ STC …. never got around to telling you on the last Blog ( Power Rankings / Top 5 ), but that was a great take on all six coaches and the big games they have coming up. Look forward to all these big games this Friday. As always, aprreciate the coverage.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 24th, 2013
1:40 pm

Swamp:

As always, thanks for the love man! Should be an interesting weekend to say the least.

STC

LanFan

October 24th, 2013
1:42 pm

What is the take on Holy Innocents/Pace game? I haven’t heard much said about HI except by HI people.

LoveFridayFootball

October 24th, 2013
2:19 pm

Here’s my take on HI/Pace.. And you can throw in OLM and Landmark. I think all four teams are just about equal to each other. If each team played the other twice, their records could easily be .500. Just my thoughts…

dillpickle

October 24th, 2013
2:33 pm

The Battle of the Mounts will come down to DB play on both sides of the ball. Allen and Winchester can both sling it. I think it’s Paran’s homecoming…never good for a big game week….advantage Pisgah. Not sure which game will be better…ECI vs. JCo or Pisgah vs. Paran.

Region 6

October 24th, 2013
3:17 pm

dillpickle…. I have seen both Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Paran play this season. Both teams are well coached and have talented players. This should be a good game with the winner in the driver seat for region 6b crown. Advantage to Mt. Paran on team speed. Their running backs (especially Williams) will be a problem for Mt. Pisgah defense. Advantage to Mt. Pisgah at quarterback. Mt. Pisgah quarterback is a dual threat. He has a strong arm and reads the defense well and can throw into tight coverage. However is best attribute is his ability to keep the play going and scramble if his receivers are not open. Mt. Paran’s QB throws dump passes to his speedy receivers. Most of his passing yards are yards after reception on roll outs. He is not a running threat like Mt. Pisgah’s QB. However he is known to throw a “hail mary” and let Williams run under the ball. Other then this throw, he is not a threat to throw deep. Both teams have had the experience of winning a game in the closing seconds so this will help both teams if this is a competitive game. this game may come down to untimely turnovers, mistakes, and penalties. Mt. Paran may be a younger team than Mt. Pisgah and the lack of experience may be a problem in a tight game. But next year, and maybe this year, Mt. Paran they should be able to make a strong and deep run into the playoffs

S. Thomas Coleman

October 24th, 2013
3:30 pm

LoveFridayFootball:

While all four of those teams — HI, Landmark, OLM and Pace — are good teams and are close to equal, the distinct nod has to go to Landmark. Their program has that intangible “winner’s mentality.” HI is almost there, OLM and Pace are getting there, but Landmark has “it” and has won several games this season because of “it.”

STC

LoveFridayFootball

October 24th, 2013
4:14 pm

True… I’m just saying out of those four, the winner wouldn’t be a surprise to me. I don’t think I could bet against any of them playing each other. Four solid teams! As the phrase goes “On any given Sunday” well with those teams…On any given Friday they could each win! It would be nice to see 5 teams from the region to make the playoffs, but I’m afraid we are like the SEC of college football. We beat up on each other all yr, and someone has to lose.

S. Thomas Coleman

October 24th, 2013
4:28 pm

LoveFridayFootball:

I agree. Region 5 in Class A is as deep as any region in any classification in Georgia. You’d be hard-pressed to find another league that goes five deep with two of those teams begin definite state title contenders and the other three legitimate threats to make deep runs in the state playoffs.

STC

Korefa

October 24th, 2013
5:34 pm

After a slow start against a AA rival and a AAA Powerhouse, ECI has found their groove and have been pounding their Region 3 opponents. The Trojans have not found a way to stop the Bulldogs much in the past decade. Typically in this series ECI starts fast and JOCO starts slow. I see another slow start for The Trojans tomorrow and they will leave with a loss.

ECI 41 JOCO 20

Tiger PatPaw

October 24th, 2013
5:38 pm

Battle of the Mounts – Pisgah at Paran

This looks like Whoa Nelly even on the GHSA schedule page.

I’m pickin’ the Eagles. 35-31

bucket

October 24th, 2013
7:29 pm

The George Walton vs Athens Academy game is going to be huge in Region 8. I still believe George Walton is a team to be reckoned with in Single A and the region race will probably go to the very last game when Prince and George Walton play each other.

At Last

October 24th, 2013
9:49 pm

I am very interested in region 5 with the juggernaut ELCA. Someone said they have not really been challenged this season and that they were too big for single A and region 5. They seemed to have handled HIES and OLM which plausibly may have been their only subtle challenge. Next week they have Pace then Landmark Christian for possible region champs. Is Landmark Christian for real? Can ELCA beat them handily? What does Aquinas have with that shifty running back and tough O-line? Maybe only Landmark and or Aquinas is capable of playing with ELCA. The nod definitely goes to ELCA, but is this a sure thing for another state champs for them? Seems that they aren’t the team they were last season, but certainly better that region 5 teams which look to be the best in single A. This Landmark Christian team is interesting, very young, well conditioned, and very well coached. I need some feedback on this one…help!

dap01

October 25th, 2013
6:36 am

Big game in ECI. I hope Johnson County comes out with a win and I hope all visitor’s cars leave without being damaged.

PWO Red Shirt

October 25th, 2013
8:25 am

@ bucket- do you what Region 8 has for a tiebreaker? I think if Prince or GWA wins the Region they will have the toughest 1st round matchup. Runnerup may have a playoff advantage even if on the road.

bucket

October 25th, 2013
10:17 am

@ PWO – I have searched the GHSA site and I can’t find that information about tie-breakers. I’m pretty sure that it used to be record within classification, but with the new power rankings and such I am not sure what it is. Both Prince and GWA have a couple games to play before meeting, but there’s a good chance that info may be needed.

As far as the playoff scenario, I still believe that ELCA is the best team and there are a lot of teams that could be #2. That should make for a very exciting playoff in Private Single A!

LanFan

October 25th, 2013
11:46 am

At last. I haven’t seen ELCA play this year but gave them the Trophy back in August. I can’t bet against Landmark but with the people we lost coming into this year along with the injuries we took early in the year. I wasn’t sure we would be able to pull out the wins we have gotten let alone the rigers of playing them week in and week out in the playoffs. I just feel it is to much to expect. But they have proved me wrong before this year.

For ELCA I feel the same as I did last year they are the only ones who can beat themselves.

I do have a hope or two on that but after 2 years ago not expecting it.

Good luck to everyone who is on the field tonight.

FNL81

October 25th, 2013
12:02 pm

Hey STC and Swamp Lizard, whats yalls prediciton for Hies/Pace game to virtually get into playoffs and why?

Swamp Lizard

October 25th, 2013
12:47 pm

HI / Pace game should be really good tonight. I think Pace has more “playmakers” than HI, but HI has a toughness about them and I had higher expectations of the Pace coaching staff. I think HI will pull off a close win tonight. That’s just my take. I think STC said it best in one of his replys ….. HI has more big game experience in recent years while OLM and Pace are still learning how to win the big games. As far as those two making the playoffs …. the winner in is for sure, the loser will be holding a breath for that #15 or #16 slot …. no sure thing the loser gets in.

Swamp Lizard

October 25th, 2013
1:11 pm

MY PICKS ….

Marion Co over Brookstone
ECI over Johnson Co
Mt Paran over Mt Pisgah
Clinch Co over Charlton Co ( I hope )
Irwin Co over Turner Co
Calvary Day over Claxton
Dooly Co over St Anne-Pacelli
Holy Innocents over Pace Academy
FPD ( sleeper team on Private side) over Wilkinson Co
GWA over Athens Academy

Good luck to all players and coaches ……. fans travel safe and be NICE!

Korefa

October 25th, 2013
3:42 pm

Swamp

I agree with all of your picks except the one pulling at your heartstrings. I think Charlton will win in a good one over Clinch.

FWIW – I am pulling for JOCO over ECI.

Good luck as well to all of the Class A Teams (True High School Football) and safe travels to all of the fans. Be nice to each other. It is just a game in the end.

There are bad people on the other side of the planet that want all of us dead!.

davidwins

October 25th, 2013
3:44 pm

A few thoughts on Landmark and the season as a whole….We lost a lot of seniors last year. They were the main reason Landmark made it to the semi final round. Then this summer we found out that our stud running back, Jeremiah Kirkland(2000 yards rushing) was jumping ship and transferring to Lovejoy. We started the season with 41 players,mostly freshmen and sophomores. 4 seniors. Injuries hit us early and we are down to 35 active players. 8 and 0 so far. I cant explain it except this team is full of heart. Championships are won in August and these kids are well conditioned and well coached. Probably, no, definitely the best coaching staff in the state. Not only do these coaches build good football players, they build great character in these young men. Rest well this Friday Landmark…the battle picks up next week! We love Friday night football!