Here’s a look at the top games this weekend:
No. 1 (Public) Clinch County (3-0) at No. 2 (Public) Irwin County (2-0). (Preview courtesy of Georgia High School Football Daily.) These schools have played seven times since 2015, each time with both ranked. Irwin is 3-1 in the regular-season matchups. Clinch is 3-0 in the playoffs, all championship games, each avenging a regular-season loss. Both teams have been impressive so far, each with a blowout victory over a top-10 Class AA team. (Irwin beat Fitzgerald 35-8; Clinch beat Brooks County 38-14.) QB/DB Tyler Morehead, a junior four-star recruit, has rushed for 511 yards and seven touchdowns on just 46 carries. Jeremiah Jonson, a 6-foot-7 wide receiver, also is a major Division I recruit, although Clinch rarely passes (just 6-of-17 this season). Irwin is still without all-state RB D.J. Lundy (knee) but has gotten 100-yard rushing games from Kam Ward and Gabriel Benyard. Irwin passes better than Clinch, as Zach Smith is a returning starter who had 19 TD passes in 2018. Irwin's best all-around player is probably Jamorri Colson, a cornerback, receiver and occasional running back who has several major Division I offers. Clinch County won the last meeting, 27-20 in the 2018 Class A public-school championship game.
No. 1 (Private) Eagle’s Landing Christian (3-0) at No. 10 (Private) Holy Innocents. It’s the region opener for both teams. ELCA is off to a fast start in search of its 10th consecutive region championship and fifth straight private school state title. Senior QB Gabe Wright has taken over as the starter this season and has completed 33-of-56 passes for 444 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. Player of the Year candidate senior RB Keaton Mitchell is averaging 10 yards per carry, with 456 yards and eight touchdowns. The Chargers were off last week after throttling Class AAAAAA Heritage-Conyers 42-0. Holy Innocents’ is 3-0 for the first time in the 14-year history of the program, and back in the top 10 for the first time since 2011. In last week’s 31-0 win over Class AAA Rutland, located in Bibb County, Holy Innocents’ outgained Rutland 288-119, even though the Bears only completed one pass in the game. ELCA won last season’s meeting 48-14.
No. 6 (Private) Aquinas (3-0) at Lincoln County (2-1). (Preview courtesy of Georgia High School Football Daily.) Aquinas ended a 32-game losing streak against Lincoln County in 2013 and has won five of the past six meetings in a series Lincoln County leads 33-7-1. The winner of this game will emerge as the favorite to capture the subregion title. Don't expect to see much passing from either team. Aquinas has completed just eight of 29 attempts for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Lincoln County is just 7-of-11 for 78 yards. For these teams, running is the name of the game. Aquinas has rushed for 787 yards and 10 touchdowns on 117 carries. Ashlon Williams Jr. is the leader with 337 yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries, but sophomore QB James Schlegel (22 carries, 159 yards, no touchdowns) and junior Joseph Welch (18-118-4) are big contributors. Kolbi Ferguson is Lincoln County's leader with 323 yards and nine touchdowns on 46 carries. He ran for 164 and 147 the past two games, both Lincoln County victories. Cotton Willis has added 212 yards and three TDs on 27 carries. The Red Devils are allowing 3.3 points per game, eighth-best in the state. Aquinas won the last meeting, 14-7 in 2018.
No. 8 (Private) North Cobb Christian (3-0) at No. 7 (Public) Trion (3-0). Last week, North Cobb Christian won “late” on two accounts to move to 3-0 for the first time in school history. Senior RB/DB Ryan Pruitt capped an 85-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds left in regulation, to give the Eagles a 28-21 win over Class AA Monticello (0-3). The game took a total of 26 hours to complete. Lengthy lightning delays on Friday night forced it to be continued on Saturday evening. Trion started last season 3-0 as well, before running in to the Eagles and losing 28-7. The Bulldogs had won the previous two meetings by a combined score of 59-6.
No. 9 (Private) Calvary Day (1-1) vs. Treutlen (3-0). This will be the second game in five days for Calvary Day. The Cavaliers fell to Class AAA Island (3-0) on Monday, 42-21, in a game that was to have been played on Sept. 6, but was moved due to Hurricane Dorian. Treutlen is 3-0 for the first time since 2009, which was the last time the Vikings knocked off Calvary Day (21-7). The Cavs have won five straight in the series, including 55-6 last season.
Other games to watch:
No. 3 (Private) Darlington (3-0) vs. Gordon Lee (2-1)
No. 3 (Public) Pelham (3-0) at Terrell County (2-1)
No. 10 (Public) Johnson County (2-0) at Savannah Country Day (2-0)
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.