Class AA blog: In brief — Hephzibah defense scores 3 touchdowns in final 6 minutes to clinch playoff berth

All of the top 10 teams from last week won their games except one — No. 7 Bleckley County enjoyed a bye. As a result, there were no changes in the polls.

For Friday night's recap, go here.

Below is the latest top 10. The number in parenthesis represents the previous week's ranking.

1. (1) Rockmart (8-0)

2. (2) Callaway (8-1)

3. (3) Dublin (8-0)

4. (4) Hapeville Charter (6-1-1)

5. (5) Rabun County (8-0)

6. (6) Swainsboro (7-1)

7. (7) Bleckley County (6-2)

8. (8) Union County (8-0)

9. (9) Washington County (6-2)

10. (10) Thomasville (5-4)

In brief:

  • ICYMI: Someone wrote an excellent article about the rise of Bleckley County.
  • For the Bleckley County Royals, there's no question their biggest game of the season is this week against Dodge County, a team that's beat them five consecutive times. The Royals are 6-2, 3-1 in Region 3; the Indians are 4-5, 3-2 and are coming off a 34-14 win over East Laurens.
  • In a game moved up to Thursday due to weather, the Pepperell Dragons shut out Dade County 42-0. The Dragons improved to 6-2, 4-1 and have all but assured themselves a postseason berth for the fifth consecutive season and ninth time in 10 seasons. The Rome News-Tribune has details.
  • Here's the ceremony for Jaques Evans being honored with the GHSF Daily Player of the Week award. Here's a special edition of Third and Three, which was on hand for the award's presentation.
  • Here's a feature from sportswriterrob that delves into the history of Model football.
  • Crush them, B.E.S.T. Academy did. The Eagles beat McNair 58-0 and are 3-5, 3-2 in Region 6, currently holding the fourth and final playoff spot in the region. It was their first shutout since 2016, when they beat Therrell 20-0.
  • The Screven County Gamecocks sent a message of inspiration to a teammate who needs to get better, then went out and won the game for him, 26-20 over Butler. The Gamecocks are 6-2, 4-2 in Region 4, AA's largest region (nine teams), and have clinched at least the No. 4 seed for their eighth straight trip to the playoffs.
  • Hephzibah clinched a playoff berth with with three defensive touchdowns in the final six minutes to beat Laney 29-8. The Rebels are 6-2, 5-2 in Region 4.
  • Harlem also clinched a playoff berth when it beat Josey 40-12 to improve to 6-3, 6-1 in Region 4. Wynston Wilcox has the story for The Augusta Chronicle.
  • The Toombs County Bulldogs burst their way back into the playoff picture — and shoved Jeff Davis out — by dominating the Yellow Jackets 31-0. ToombsNow has the coverage. Notably, five of the Bulldogs' six wins are shutouts. The Bulldogs are 6-2, 3-2 in Region 2 and hold the fourth and final playoff spot with their finale against No. 6 Swainsboro on Nov. 8, following a bye. The Jackets are now in fifth place at 6-2, 2-2 and would need to beat both Swainsboro and Metter to make the playoffs.
  • Swainsboro's Ja'Von Brown was nominated for WTOC Play of the Week for his touchdown run in the Tigers' 21-9 win over Vidalia. The Tigers are 7-1, 4-0 in Region 2 and are the last team undefeated record in 2-AA play.
  • WTXL has highlights of Thomasville's 67-23 win over Berrien. The Bulldogs are above .500 for the first time this season at 5-4, 3-0 in Region 1. Hurston Waldrip kicked a 53-yard field goal for the Bulldogs.
  • WJBF has highlights of the Screven County-Butler, Washington County-Southwest, Hephzibah-Laney and Vidalia-Swainsboro games.
  • Here's Glendon Poe for The Walton Tribune writing from Social Circle's perspective of Rabun County's 61-20 win. Rabun County is 8-0, 5-0 in Region 8; Social Circle is 2-6, 0-5.
  • Here's Todd Forrest's game story of Union County's 43-0 win over Oglethorpe County for NGN Sports. The Panthers are 8-0, 5-0 in Region 8; Oglethorpe County is 2-6, 1-4.
  • AccessWDUN's Caleb Hutchins talks of the collision course Rabun County and Union County are on to play for the Region 8 title on Nov. 8. Both teams will likely still be undefeated when they play in two weeks.
  • Here's Callaway's Tank Bigsby bursting through the line during the Cavaliers' 34-0 win over defending state champions Heard County, which brought home the Pulpwood Classic Trophy. The Cavs are 8-1, 5-0 in Region 5; Heard County is 3-5, 3-1.
  • Temple beat Spencer 23-6 to move to 5-4, 2-3 in Region 5, which sets the Tigers (5-4, 2-3) up for a season-finale matchup with Lamar County (6-2, 2-2) to determine the fourth and final playoff spot in 5-AA.
  • Here's a glossy production of Bremen's rain-soaked 34-7 win over Lamar County in Region 5 action. The Blue Devils are 5-3, 3-1.
  • Metter is in good shape for a playoff berth after beating Bryan County 56-3, improving to 7-1, 3-1 in Region 2.
  • Here are the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane celebrating their 42-17 win over Early County, which moved them to 7-2, 2-1 in Region 1.
  • Hapeville Charter, Jefferson County and Swainsboro can all clinch their region with a win this week.
  • AA players earning GHSF Daily top performers honors include Dublin running back JaQues Evans (180 rushing yards, six touchdowns that tied a 100-year school record), Metter defensive end T.J. Davis (six tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble, blocked punt returned for a touchdown, intercepted screen pass returned for a score), Screven County linebacker Anthony Blount (four sacks for 35 yards in losses), Swainsboro receiver Ja'von Brown (four receptions, 124 yards, two touchdowns), Thomasville quarterback Ronnie Baker (20-of-26 passing for 236 yards and four touchdowns, 97 rushing yards and two touchdowns, 20-yard touchdown reception) and Toombs County running back D.J. Mincey (148 rushing yards on 25 carries).

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