Showdown for Dodge ... Decatur, Morgan takes aim at upsets ... Hephzibah gets tested

Dodge County’s first big step toward securing first place in Region 1-AAA Div. A begins this week when it travels to Appling County.

Dodge is 6-0 for the first time since 2005. The Indians hope things turn out better this time, as that team lost three of its final four regular-season games and was one-and-done in the playoffs. This year coach Rex Hodges’ club is ranked No. 10 in Class AAA against a light schedule, but finishes against Region 1 big boys Appling County, Cook and Pierce County.

Dodge is averaging 34.3 points per game and no opponent has come closer than 14 points, that coming in a 34-20 win over Brantley County on Aug. 29.

The Dodge offense is led by quarterback Landon Martin, who has been accurate when given a chance to throw. He completed 5 of 7 for 57 yards and two touchdowns last week against Toombs County. He’s thrown for seven touchdowns.

Kyle Glover and Roscoe Wilcox helped the team run for 225 yards against Toombs, with each player running for a touchdown and catching another. Wilcox leads the team with 413 yards and Gerard Davis has gained 271 yards.

Appling (4-1) faces the same dilemma as Dodge. The Pirates play three straight against Dodge, Cook and Pierce before finishing with Brantley County. Appling is led by quarterback Vernon Dasher and running back Maurice Paulk, who had two long touchdown runs against Toombs County. Dasher’s favorite target is Brandon Jones. Devon Moore is a dangerous kickoff return man.

The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs a year ago, with Appling rolling to a 30-8 win. Appling leads the series 13-9 and won the last seven meetings.

 In other games to watch this week:

Jefferson at Morgan County: The No. 4 Dragons (6-0) flexed their muscles last week against Elbert County and can't afford a letdown against an above-average Morgan County (3-2) team. Jefferson has been a juggernaut, outscoring the opposition 253-45.

Jefferson’s attack is led by quarterback Evan Shirreffs, who has thrown for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. Dalton Hill has four touchdowns and T.J. Skelton has four. The running game is led by Sammy Williams (560 yards, nine TDs) and Colby Wood (492 yards, 9 TDs).

Morgan County leads the series 11-4-2, but the two sides haven’t played since 1969.

Westminster at Decatur: The only team with a legitimate chance to prevent Blessed Trinity and/or  Westminster from being the No. 1 seed in Region 4-AAA is Decatur, which hosts the first of the Big Two this week. The Bulldogs beat B.T. a year ago.

Decatur (3-2) has been inconsistent and lost to Washington before the break. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Devontae Carter and running back Elijah Rachell.

No. 6 Westminster (5-0) used the idle week to get healthy. The Wildcats are led by quarterback Rankin Woley and running back Zay Malcome.

Westminster leads the series 10-1 but the sides haven’t played since 2011.

Westside-Augusta at Hephzibah: Hephzibah has quietly won its last four games after losing the season opener and the Rebels are looking more like a playoff contender. That may be determined this week after meeting an inconsistent Westside (2-3-1) team.

Hephzibah is coming off a 48-10 win over North Cobb Christian. D’Angelo Stokes had 139 yards, with two teammates also topping the 100-yard mark. The Rebels (4-1) are off to their best start since the 2009 team that went to the playoffs.

Westside leads the series 25-5-2, but Hephzibah has won three of the last four, including last year’s by forfeit.

About last week: The game between rivals Johnson and Savannah scheduled for last week was postponed. It will be played but the date has yet to be determined.