Five to watch: Dutchtown defense vs. Jones County’s offense

This week’s Region 4 showdown between No. 9 Dutchtown and No. 4 Jones County promises to be a classic battle of offense vs. defense.

Dutchtown (6-0) has posted three shutouts and not allowed more than 10 points in a single game. Coach Clifford Fedd called in a “sledgehammer” approach. They’ve even got a few sledgehammers on the sidelines to remind the players to take a hard-hitting approach to the game. Defensive tackle William Anderson and linebackers Kevon Glenn and Adonis Butler lead the defense.

Jones County (6-0) is an offensive machine. The Greyhounds have not scored fewer than 34 points and have surpassed 50 in two games. Junior quarterback Hunter Costlow has thrown for 1,241 yard and 19 touchdowns, with Jontavis Robertson (25 catches, five TDs) and Maleek Wooten (22 catches, seven TDs) doing much of the damage.

Both teams must still No. 3-ranked Stockbridge, meaning the winner of this game is headed for a likely showdown with the Tigers for the region title.

Buford at Cedar Shoals: This will help determine the Region 8 championship. No. 2 Buford has been unstoppable within its division again this year and Cedar Shoals ended a 10-year losing streak to rival Clarke Central a week ago. Cedar's ground-game tandem of Osiris Walker (487 yards, five TDs) and Devontaye Bankston (443 yards) will see if they can find a crack in Buford's daunting defense that blanked Johnson in the season opener.

Veterans at Bainbridge: Veterans (6-0) has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season and will be tested in the Region 1 opener. Bainbridge (2-4) has lost four straight, but that includes Brooks County and Tift County. The Bearcats are a young team with a predominantly sophomore backfield – quarterback Quayde Hawkins and running backs Rashad Broadnax (399 yard) and Caleb McDowell (245 yards). Veterans is led by senior QB Sebastian Verger (596 yards passing, 410 yards rushing) and running back Cyrus Zuell (614 yards rushing, nine TDs).

New Hampstead at South Effingham: The winner of this game will be looking good in the Region 2 standings. New Hampstead (3-2) went toe-to-toe with Brunswick two weeks ago before losing by four. The Phoenix get good production out of quarterback DeAndre Ruffin (806 yards passing, 197 yards rushing), with Dontre Wallace (543 yards, seven TDs) leading a balanced ground attack. South Effingham ( 2-3) run the spread behind quarterback Taylor Jackson, a two-way threat.

Fayette County at McIntosh:  This is the oldest rivalry between Fayette County schools. Neither Fayette County (0-5) nor McIntosh (1-4) are playoff contenders, but there's a lot of pride on the line. Fayette County has won the last two years and leads the all-time series 24-8.