Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 games to watch in the high class: 3 could decide region titles

There are five games that stand out prominently this week in Class AAAAAAA.

Let’s get to them:

Tift County (5-2, 0-0) at Lowndes (6-1, 0-0): Region 1 gets its round-robin underway after a week’s delay prompted by Hurricane Michael. Some see this is the playoff to determine which team will challenge No. 1-ranked Colquitt County for the region title. Lowndes has beaten Tift County he past three seasons while scoring no fewer than 42 points each time. Lowndes is ranked first in Class AAAAAAA scoring again at 50.1 per game. Tift is sixth in scoring defense (14.4). Both teams have first-year starting quarterbacks who are developing. And both have great running backs, Travis Tisdale at Lowndes and Mike Jones at Tift.

Camden County (6-1, 0-0) at Colquitt County (7-0, 0-0): This is your other Region 1 game. Camden is 6-1, but only one victory came against a same-class opponent, and that was 27-20 against West Forsyth (2-5). No one is expecting Camden to contend for the region title yet, but the Wildcats are much better in year two under Bob Sphire and the transition into a more balanced offense. Logan Watson has thrown for 1,269 yards and 17 touchdowns. 

Newnan (4-3, 2-0) at Westlake (6-2, 2-0): This probably will decide the title in Region 2. Westlake has won four straight region titles. Westlake has good balance with the likes of QB Jalyn Williams (1,401 yards passing), RB Darrell Nichols (924 rushing) and WR Amir Spivey (435 receiving). Remember that Westlake’s losses are to nationally ranked teams, including Grayson 21-15. Newnan, not a real factor at the state level since about 2009, is trying to re-emerge under second-year coach Chip Walker, who built a state power at Sandy Creek. 

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Roswell (6-1, 2-0) at Walton (7-0, 2-0): These are remaining unbeaten teams in Region 4. Roswell's balanced offense averages 196.4 yards rushing and 171.1 passing. QB Ethan Roberts is 70-of-129 passing for 1,198 yards and 15 touchdowns. Walton QB Austin Kirksey ran for four touchdowns and passed for two more and RB D.J. Soyoye ran for 182 yards in the Raiders' victory last year that ended a three-game losing streak against Roswell. They’re all back. But Roswell is much better this season. RB Kamonty Jett has 856 yards rushing and nine TDs on 160 carries (22.9 carries per game). Jacob Jarrett (23 catches, 442 yards, seven TDs) and John Copenhaver (22-438-13) lead the receivers.

Parkview (7-0, 3-0) at Brookwood (6-1, 3-0): This one should decide Region 7. Brookwood won the 2017 game on Jonah Randle's 29-yard field goal with 24 seconds left. Brookwood returned only two full-time starters. It showed in an opening 37-2 loss to North Gwinnett, but the Broncos have won six straight since. Brookwood's strengths are the offensive line and running backs Chris Carter and Eli Kohl. Each rushed for 100 yards last week. Parkview, after its first region title since 2004, has an explosive offense led by QB Jordan Williams (1,352 yards passing), RB Cody Brown (770 rushing) and WR Malik Washington (899 all-purpose). The Panthers are averaging 41.7 points per game, third-best in AAAAAAA. Brookwood is fifth in scoring defense (13.1 allowed per game).

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