Week 6 will be the halfway point of the regular season for the majority of the classification. The season coming to its halfway point also means that region play is upon us, and that many of the teams are entering their midseason bye weeks. As a result, last week there were a total of 36 games on the schedule that featured a Class AAAA team. This week, the total decreases to just 26 games featuring a Class AAAA school.
In Region 4-AAAA, Salem faces McDonough, but Woodward Academy, Eastside, Hampton, Luella, Druid Hills and North Clayton are all observing bye weeks. Region 2-AAAA is also entering a light week with West Laurens (Statesboro) and Perry (Veterans) closing out their non-region schedules and Howard, Mary Persons and Spalding each on their bye weeks.
Before I start getting into the top matchups on the Week 6 slate later this week, here is an account of some of the most relevant storylines in Class AAAA heading into the action.
The Denmark Danes are among the remaining undefeated teams entering Week 6 and it is worth a closer look at what this year’s team is accomplishing. A year ago, the Danes were a first-year program that was wandering out of the gates for the first time. Fast forward to this year and they just defeated Dawson County 38-24, marking the program’s first ever victory against a ranked opponent. Their matchup against Forsyth Central was cancelled due to weather, but the Danes’ 3-0 start includes a whopping 39.33 average margin of victory. Denmark is a fully-fledged program this season and is striding towards perhaps even larger goals than just making the playoffs for the first time.
The addition of quarterback Aaron McLaughlin has provided a significant boost to the offense’s productivity and the Class of 2021 passer has found his rhythm with senior wide receiver Ze’Vian Capers. The two Auburn commits connected nine times for 282 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 38-24 win over Dawson County. Capers is a mismatch at 6-foot-3, and his abilities are going to alter defensive game plans and provide Denmark’s offense with a great advantage as the season moves forward.
Capers was not the only receiver that put up a major performance Week 5—Westover’s Jordyn Williams had a career day in the Patriots’ 42-21 win over Northside-Columbus. The 6-foot junior posted 11 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Williams has already been offered by Tennessee and Alabama, but it seems as if his recruitment is just beginning to heat up. As for Westover, the program will take a perfect 4-0 record and 2-0 start in Region 1 play into this week’s battle with Cairo. The Syrupmakers are also 2-0 in Region action and won last year’s matchup 27-25. Williams had nine catches for 130 yards in last year’s defeat.
Also, North Oconee sophomore Eli Warrington led the Titans with 115 yards and a touchdown off his five receptions this past Friday in a 35-14 win over Franklin County. North Oconee’s 9-3 finish last season followed a 1-9 finish in 2017 and a winless 0-10 campaign in 2016. This year’s Titans are the first team in the classification to reach 5-0, and they will host Walnut Grove this Friday before its bye week to prepare for their four-game Region 8 schedule. North Oconee is looking for its first region title since 2012.
As for the defensive standouts, here are the top defensive teams based by fewest points per game allowed through the first five weeks of the season:
Flowery Branch: 0.0 ppg
Marist: 2.0 ppg
Cartersville: 5.0 ppg
Sandy Creek: 5.0 ppg
Woodward Academy: 6.0 ppg
Denmark: 8.0 ppg
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