Class AA blog: What to watch in Week 5

Troup Tigers at Callaway Cavaliers *

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange

Records, rankings: Troup is 3-0 and No. 3 in Class AAAA; Callaway is 2-1 and No. 3 in AA.

Last meeting: Troup won 37-20 in 2018.

Watch the game: Online at NFHS Network.

Maxwell’s projection: Troup by 4

Notes: Troup's victory last season gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead in the series against its county rival. None of the past five games have been decided by less than 10 points. Troup quarterback Kobe Hudson, committed to Auburn as a wide receiver, is 34-of-49 passing for 640 yards and nine touchdowns and has rushed for 411 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries. Last season, he passed for 3,386 yards and rushed for 1,410 with a hand in 50 touchdowns. Thanks in part to two blowout victories, the Tigers have put up big rushing numbers this year, averaging 385.7 yards per game and 9.9 per carry. Trey Williams is the leader with 479 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries. Callaway's loss came against Alabama power Opelika 10-7 in the opener. Callaway's Tank Bigsby, also committed to Auburn, is the state's top-rated running back. He has rushed for 465 yards and seven touchdowns on 36 carries (12.9 yards per carry). In the past two games, quarterback Demetrius Coleman is 16-of-21 passing for 337 yards and four TDs. Callaway also has a deep group of receivers.

*Courtesy of GHSF Daily

Dublin Fighting Irish at Brooks County Trojans

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman

Records, rankings: Dublin is 2-0 and No. 4; Brooks County is 1-2 and No. 7.

Last meeting: Brooks County won 13-10 in 2018.

Maxwell's projection: Even

Notes: For the second time in as many weeks, Maxwell’s projections are unable to calculate a favorite in a matchup involving an AA school. Last week, it had Fitzgerald at Upson-Lee even and for good reason — the final score was 21-18 in favor of Fitzgerald. The Fighting Irish-Trojans game is shaping up to be a close one as well. For starters, last year’s matchup in Dublin — the first-ever between the two schools, located 160 miles apart — was a nail-biter, with the Trojans scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown to bring the score to its final margin. The Irish had kicked a field goal earlier in the quarter to give them a 10-7 lead. That loss for the Irish would turn out to their only of the regular season. The Irish are hoping to run the tables this season, and are fresh off a bye after beating No. 8 Swainsboro, 35-13. The week before, they beat A-Public’s then-No. 10 Emanuel County Institute, 21-0. They are led by senior linebacker Romello Height, a three-star recruit committed to Miami, and senior athlete Jaques Evans, a three-star with a Power 5 offer from Arizona State. The Trojans’ two losses are against No. 1-ranked teams from other classifications. They lost 38-14 to A-Public’s Clinch County two weeks ago, and 27-26 to Bainbridge last week — the close margin knocked Bainbridge to No. 2.

Swainsboro Tigers at Washington County Golden Hawks

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, House of Pain, Sandersville

Records, rankings: Swainsboro is 2-1 and No. 8; Washington County is 3-0 and No. 6.

Last meeting: Washington County won 47-45 in 2018.

Maxwell's projection: Washington County by 12

Notes: If last year’s game was any indication, this one could be a high-scoring affair. In that game, both teams scored 19 points in the final quarter. The Golden Hawks amassed 538 rushing yards, led by Dylan Bloodshaw (21 carries, 178 yards, two touchdowns), Malik Hall (12-155-2) and Shamarcus Poole (21-126-3). Swainsboro quarterback Kade Youmans had 457 passing yards and five touchdowns and R.J. Phillips had eight catches for 313 yards — nine yards short of the state record — and four touchdowns. Bloodshaw, Hall and Phillips are gone, but Poole and Youmans remain to keep the possibility of another ground vs. air game alive. The Tigers are led by Youmans’ 582 yards on 38-of-68 passing with eight touchdowns to five interceptions and Robert Allen’s 352 yards and five touchdowns on 63 carries. Poole is the workhorse for the Hawks now, in place of Bloodshaw, and he’s coming off a 165-yard, three touchdown performance last week against Greenbrier. The all-time series is nearly even, with the Hawks holding a 17-16 edge dating back to 1959, though the Hawks have won five in a row dating back to 2004.

Dodge County Indians at Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jaycee Stadium, Fitzgerald

Records, rankings: Dodge County is 1-2 and unranked; Fitzgerald is 3-1 and No. 9.

Last meeting: Dodge County won 29-8 in 2018.

Maxwell's projection: Fitzgerald by 13

Notes: The Indians beat AAAAAA’s Bradwell Institute 49-37 in their season opener to earn the No. 10 spot in the rankings but then proceeded to lose two straight, including a 42-28 defeat at the hands of AAAA’s then-unranked West Laurens. Last week, AAA’s then-No. 9 Appling County walloped them, 42-7, to punt them from the rankings. Now they face a Fitzgerald team on the road and their first 1-3 start since 2016, when the current senior class were freshmen. They are a young team, with their quarterback, Kade Harpe, a sophomore and their leading rusher Daylon Gordon and receiver Mikhail Carr both juniors. Defensive back Keldrick Beck, a junior, had a team-high three interceptions heading into last week. The Purple Hurricane are coming off a thrilling 21-18 win over AAAA’s Upson-Lee in which Rashad Davis threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Chance Gamble on a post route with 12 seconds left to win it. The Indians lead the all-time series 15-9, including eight of the last 10 dating back to 1985.

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