It seems that each year the same teams can be found at the top of the standings. But there are always a number of surprises that can be found throughout the classification.
Here are five of the top surprises in Class AAA this season.
Chapel Hill (4-4, 4-1 in Region 4-AAA): The Panthers have found their offense; they’ve scored 96 points over the last two games. Chapel Hill will make the playoffs and could even finish second in the region. It will be the second straight year the Panthers will make the playoffs under coach Geoff Pastrick.
The Panthers are led by running back Jamarcus Morrissette, who had four touchdowns last week against Haralson County. The sophomore had five touchdowns against Douglass and 385 yards and four touchdowns against B.E.S.T. Academy.
West Hall (5-3, 3-2 in Region 7-AAA): The Spartans will be assured of making the playoffs if they win one more game. It could come down to the outcome of the season-finale at Dawson County. The Spartans are seeking their first playoff spot since 2002.
West Hall has received strong leadership from quarterback Zach English and tight end Hunter Atkinson. They’ve also been a consistent passing connection; Atkinson has caught four passes each of the last two weeks.
Jackson County (3-5, 3-2 in Region 8-AAA): The Panthers will emerge as the No. 4 in this top-heavy region if they can beat Morgan County in the final game of the season. That would put them in the playoffs for the second straight year, something that hasn’t happened since 1986-87.
Southeast Bulloch (6-1-1, 4-1 in Region 1-AAA): The Yellow Jackets are currently in third place in the region and will stay there if they beat Tattnall County on Friday night. Southeast Bulloch hasn’t made the playoffs since 2003.
Southeast’s Tyler Epps scored four touchdowns and rushed for 244 yards in last week’s win over Beach. Epps has now scored 20 touchdowns. Antonio McMillan added 74 yards rushing. That was part of 385 total yards – all rushing. Southeast didn’t even try to throw a pass.
Peach County (6-2, 4-0 in Region 2-AAA): It’s difficult to call the Trojans a surprise, since they’re a perpetual playoff contender. But this is one of the youngest teams that’s been fielded there in years and two straight losses early in the season seemed to signal a rebuilding year. Five straight wins later means the region title will come down to the final game of the season against No. 4 Carver.
The Peach offense has perhaps the best quarterback in Middle Georgia in Greg Williams, one of the holdovers from last year. Williams has thrown for 1,655 yards and 12 touchdowns with Tyler Gibson catching 41 passes for 843 yards and six touchdowns. The Trojans running game is led by Keyshawn Lowe (605 yards) and Nicholas Searcy (405, 11 TDs).