Stephenson's Gartrell going for 200th win

The only Class AAAAA region that has yet to begin league play is 6-AAAAA, which will get things started this weekend with two high-profile games among four of its best teams.

Credit: Craig Sager

Credit: Craig Sager

In Division A, Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell will go for his 200th career victory when the Jaguars take on Miller Grove at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Buck Godfrey Stadium (formerly Panthersville). Gartrell has a career record of 199-107 in 28 seasons at Stephenson and Shamrock, and a win against the Wolverines would make him just the second DeKalb County Schools coach to reach 200. Godfrey, 273-89-1 in 30 seasons at Southwest DeKalb, is the all-time leader.

Stephenson is 3-1 this season, its only loss coming against American Heritage (Fla.), which is ranked No. 13 nationally by USA Today. Miller Grove, also 3-1, is searching for the first playoff berth in the program’s 11-year history.

The big game in Division B matches Creekside (4-1) against Mays (5-0) at 8 p.m. Friday at Lakewood Stadium. Creekside and Mays tied with Carver-Atlanta for first place in the subregion last season. Creekside was declared the subregion champion using the region’s tiebreakers and went on to beat Stephenson for the region title. Mays finished as the No. 3 seed for the playoffs but won four consecutive playoff games (three on the road) to reach the state championship game. Creekside beat Mays 13-7 in 2014.

Here are some of the other top games involving Class AAAAA teams this weekend:

- Alexander (4-0, 3-0) at Allatoona (4-1, 3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Defending 5-AAAAA champion Allatoona has won four consecutive games since losing to East Paulding in the opener, and the Buccaneers have a chance to move into first place when they meet the region's only remaining unbeaten team. Alexander and Allatoona are followed closely by four teams – East Paulding, New Manchester, Paulding County and South Paulding – that are 2-1. Alexander was undefeated last year until it lost to Allatoona 62-21.

- Gainesville (3-1, 3-0) at Salem (4-1, 3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Salem suffered its first loss of the season last weekend when it fell 35-34 in overtime against Winder-Barrow, and the Seminoles look to rebound against one of the two unbeaten teams in 8-AAAAA play. Gainesville will try to avoid looking ahead to next weekend's showdown with defending region champion Lanier (5-0, 4-0).

- Riverwood (4-1, 2-0) at Sprayberry (4-1, 2-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Defending 7-AAAAA champion Kell's loss to Cambridge last week has opened the door in Division B, and Sprayberry and Riverwood are poised to take advantage. The winner of this game will move into first place, a half-game ahead of Cambridge (if it beats North Atlanta).  Sprayberry won 31-24 in two overtimes in 2014.

- Starr's Mill (4-0, 1-0) at Drew (3-1, 1-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday (Southern Crescent Stadium): Northgate (5-0, 2-0) is the leader in 4-AAAAA Division A, but Drew and Starr's Mill are right behind the Vikings. Drew won the subregion last year and faced Stockbridge in the region championship game. Starr's Mill finished third in the subregion but won a play-in game to reach the state playoffs.