When Greater Atlanta Christian (3-2) played North Hall (5-0) last season, North was 3-5 after going winless in pre-region play. This season, the Trojans are undefeated through five games and have scored 60 points twice with one shutout – Jackson County (35-0) on Aug. 24. The Trojans are coming off a 60-6 victory against Cherokee Bluff last week.
But Greater Atlanta Christian awaits.
GAC is the favorite ... this year and historically. The programs have played twice, once in each of the past two seasons, with GAC winning both contests – 42-14 in 2016 and 56-6 last year.
But if there was a year that North Hall ever had the pieces to challenge the Spartans, this is it.
North Hall's rush-heavy approach is led by Daniel Jackson, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, who has rushed for 423 yards and eight touchdowns on 41 carries. Senior Drew Faulkner has rushed for 291 yards on 58 carries with five rushing touchdowns. Quarterback David Seavey has 276 yards on 33 carries with eight touchdowns. Seavey has completed 15 of 27 passes with two touchdowns, both to Jackson.
GAC, which won the Region 7 title in 2016 and 2017 following its ascension from 6-AA where it won region titles in 2014 and 2015, features a balanced and potent offense. The Spartans' dual-quarterback attack creates several issues for opponents.
GAC can pass and run.
Quarterbacks Josh Rose and Jackson Hardy lead the way. Rose, a 6-0, 160-pound senior, has passed for 746 yards and seven touchdowns on 40-of-78 passing. Hardy, a 6-4, 215-pound junior, has passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-41 passing. Rose has two interceptions; Hardy one.
Rose also can create and utilize space once he is flushed from the pocket. He has run for 312 yards and five touchdowns. Montae Bailey, a 5-foot-7, 160-pound junior, has rushed for 346 yards and two touchdowns.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at The Brickyard in Gainesville.
Another top-game of the week features No. 4 Peach County (3-2) on the road against undefeated Pike County (4-0).
Historically, Peach County has not had trouble with the Pirates since the inaugural game, a 14-14 tie in 1984. Peach won the next season (20-6 in 1985) before the programs took a 27-year break in the series. Since rekindling the rivalry in 2012, Peach County has won four straight – 2012 (24-14), 2013 (38-14), 2016 (45-7), 2017 (49-21).
Pike has defeated Central-Talbotton (35-0), Fayette County (43-16), Greenville (40-0) and Lamar County (31-14). Peach County stumbled against its stacked opening schedule. After defeating Class AAAAAA Northside-Warner Robins (27-24), Peach lost two of its next three to Class AAAAAA No. 1 Lee County (33-0) and Class AAAA Mary Persons (35-14). In its region-opener, Peach defeated Kendrick 49-0.
Class AAA Top-10 schedule
1. (1 last week) Calhoun (5-0): Off this week; will travel to Adairsville on Oct. 5.
2. (2) Cedar Grove (4-1): Will face Redan (0-5) in a Region 5 game.
3. (4) Monroe Area (5-0): Will travel to East Jackson (1-4) for a Region 8 game.
4. (3) Peach County (3-2): Will travel to Pike County (4-0) for a Region 4 game.
5. (5) Westminster (3-2): Off this week; will face No. 9 Pace Academy (3-2) on Oct. 5.
6. (6) Greater Atlanta Christian (3-2): Travels to North Hall (5-0) for a Region 7 game.
7. (7) Benedictine (3-1): Will face Johnson-Savannah (1-2) on Thursday.
8. (8) Jefferson (4-1): Travels to Franklin County (1-3) for its Region 8 opener.
9. (9) Pace Academy (3-2): Will travel to Stone Mountain (0-4) for a Region 5 game.
10. (10) Dawson County (5-0) – Travels to East Hall (1-4) for a Region 7 game.
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