Class A Football Blog: Publics, Privates battle for region titles for last time this fall

Public and private schools will vie for region titles in five of the eight regions. Beginning in 2020, publics and privates will compete in separate regions.
Public and private schools will vie for region titles in five of the eight regions. Beginning in 2020, publics and privates will compete in separate regions.

With this coming season being the last for the foreseeable future where public and private schools will compete against each other in the same regions during the regular season, we take a look at the five regions – 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 – where public and private schools will battle each other for a title.

Region 3

2018 Champion: Savannah Christian

2019 Favorite: Savannah Christian

Watch out for: Calvary Day, Emanuel County Institute, Montgomery County

The Skinny:  The Raiders won their first region crown since 2011, defeating Emanuel County Institute in the title game, 29-14. Though Savannah Christian loses all-state OL/DL Dylan McMahon to N.C. State, all-state rising senior LB Nate Moon and a talented group of seniors return. Calvary Day gave Savannah Christian all it could handle when the teams met in the regular season, but fell 24-21. The Cavaliers' only other loss was to eventual state runner-up Athens Academy, 25-19, in the quarterfinals. They lose two dominant defensive linemen to the ACC, Sayyid Stevens (Duke) and D'Quon Douse (Georgia Tech), but rising senior DLs Ryan Merklinger and Fuches Lewis II return. ECI and Montgomery County will battle it out again for the Division B title.

Region 4

2018 Champion: Marion County

2019 Favorite: Marion County

Watch out for: Schley County

The Skinny:  The Eagles won their sixth region crown in nine seasons on the strength of a deep and talented senior class, led by all-state players WR Josh Rodgers and RB Travon Mathews. But Marion should be favored to repeat with all-state QB Trice McCannon and DE/TE Tyleak Broadaway leading the way. However, watch out for upstart Schley County. The Wildcats went 9-3 last season, tying the best record in program history (2007). All three loses were to Marion County, but Schley narrowed the gap each time – 28-7 in the season opener, 21-6 in the regular-season ending region title game and 34-27 in the state quarterfinals. The Wildcats return all-state players OL Archer Hathaway and DL Zykeivous Walker, both rising seniors, and rising junior RB Zamon Ross, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season.

Region 6

2018 Champion: Mt. Zion-Carroll

2019 Favorite: Mt. Zion-Carroll

Watch out for: Fellowship Christian, North Cobb Christian, Mt. Paran Christian

The Skinny:  The Eagles are the defending champs, but Fellowship Christian and North Cobb Christian are just as capable of winning the title this fall. Mt. Zion-Carroll won its first region title since 1996. Since registering back-to-back 0-10 seasons in 2010 and 2011, Mt. Zion-Carroll has become one of the most consistent programs in Class A going 45-15 over the past five seasons. The Eagles are the favorites to win back-to-back region championships for the first time 1990-1991. Rising senior RB/LB Lane Ackles will lead the way. North Cobb Christian had a breakout season, finishing 10-2 en route to the first playoff appearance and first playoff victory in school history. A big senior class led the way last season. Rising senior linemen Austin Mathis and Zachery Hamby lead this year's squad.

Region 7

2018 Champion: Greene County

2019 Favorite: Mt. de Sales

Watch out for: Greene County, Tattnall Square, Aquinas

The Skinny:  Larry Milligan returned to Greene County last season, nine years after he left the program, and led the Tigers to their first region championship since 2005, during Milligan's first stint as head coach (2002-2008). Mt. de Sales may return the region's best player in all-state rising senior QB Dexter Williams.

Region 8

2018 Champion: Athens Academy

2019 Favorite: Athens Academy

Watch out for: Prince Avenue Christian, Commerce

The Skinny:  Athens Academy went 3-0 last season against the two other region favorites, Prince Avenue and Commerce, en route to finishing as the state runner up. But all three games were settled by a touchdown or less. The three teams are the clear front runners for the region crown, as they compiled a combined record of 34-6. Athens Academy and Prince Avenue return their best players, both all-state performers: rising senior RB/LB Len'Neth Whitehead for Athens Academy, and rising junior QB Brock Vandergriff. Rising seniors RB/LB Trahvon Wiggins, DL Jonathan Parr and WR/DB TJ Trudnak return to lead Commerce.

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