Aquinas at Lincoln County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Larry Campbell Stadium at Buddy Bufford Field, Lincolnton
Records, rankings: Aquinas is 3-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 7-A Div. B and No. 6 in Class A private; Lincoln County is 2-1, 0-0 and unranked in Class A public.
Last meeting: Aquinas won 14-7 in 2018.
Things to know: Aquinas ended a 32-game losing streak against Lincoln County in 2013 and has won five of the past six meetings in a series Lincoln County leads 33-7-1. The winner of this game will emerge as the favorite to capture the subregion title. Don't expect to see much passing from either team. Aquinas has completed just eight of 29 attempts for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Lincoln County is just 7-of-11 for 78 yards. For these teams, running is the name of the game. Aquinas has rushed for 787 yards and 10 touchdowns on 117 carries. Ashlon Williams Jr. is the leader with 337 yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries, but sophomore QB James Schlegel (22 carries, 159 yards, no touchdowns) and junior Joseph Welch (18-118-4) are big contributors. Kolbi Ferguson is Lincoln County's leader with 323 yards and nine touchdowns on 46 carries. He ran for 164 and 147 the past two games, both Lincoln County victories. Cotton Willis has added 212 yards and three TDs on 27 carries. The Red Devils are allowing 3.3 points per game, eighth-best in the state.
Clinch County at Irwin County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field, Ocilla
Records, rankings: Clinch County is 3-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 2-A and No. 1 in Class A public; Irwin County is 2-0, 0-0 and No. 2 in Class A public.
Last meeting: Clinch County won 27-20 in the 2018 Class A public-school championship game.
Things to know:These schools have played seven times since 2015, each time with both ranked. Irwin is 3-1 in the regular-season matchups. Clinch is 3-0 in the playoffs, all championship games, each avenging a regular-season loss. Both teams have been impressive so far, each with a blowout victory over a top-10 Class AA team. (Irwin beat Fitzgerald 35-8; Clinch beat Brooks County 38-14.) QB/DB Tyler Morehead, a junior four-star recruit, has rushed for 511 yards and seven touchdowns on just 46 carries. Jeremiah Jonson, a 6-foot-7 wide receiver, also is a major Division I recruit, although Clinch rarely passes (just 6-of-17 this season). Irwin is still without all-state RB D.J. Lundy (knee) but has gotten 100-yard rushing games from Kam Ward and Gabriel Benyard. Irwin passes better than Clinch, as Zach Smith is a returning starter who had 19 TD passes in 2018. Iwin's best all-around player is probably Jamorri Colson, a cornerback, receiver and occasional running back who has several major Division I offers.
Dalton at Creekview
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grizzly Stadium, Canton
Records, rankings: Dalton is 3-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA and No. 9; Creekview is 3-1, 1-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Creekview won 21-17 in 2018.
Things to know: Dalton lost to the four 6-AAAAAA playoff teams and finished in fifth place last season, missing the postseason for the first time since 2010. The Catamounts avenged one of those losses last week, beating Sequoyah 42-14. Creekview is defending the first region title in school history but currently sits in fifth place after losing to Allatoona 37-7 in the region opener two weeks ago. Three big names to watch are Dalton's Jahmyr Gibbs and Creekview's Brody Rhodes and Ethan Dirrim. Gibbs, a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago who has committed to Georgia Tech, has rushed for 825 yards and 16 touchdowns on 57 carries and returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score. Creekview's Rhodes is 47-of-90 passing for 536 yards and six touchdowns and is the team's leading rusher with 247 yards and a TD on 28 carries. Dirrim leads the team in catches with 20 for 252 yards and four touchdowns, but he also has rushed for 24 yards, completed a 38-yard pass on his only attempt, made eight tackles, intercepted a pass and caused a fumble.
Miami Northwestern (Fla.) at Lowndes
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Miami Northwestern is 3-1 and ranked No. 1 in Florida's Class 5A and No. 22 nationally by MaxPreps; Lowndes is 4-0 and No. 2 in Georgia's Class AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.
Things to know: Lowndes has been playing Florida teams routinely since Randy McPherson, a Florida native, became head coach in 2002. The Vikings are 8-0 against them in that time. Northwestern, Florida's defending Class 6A champion, presents the greatest Florida challenge to date. The Bulls' loss this season came to IMG Academy, a consensus top-five team nationally. LB Terrence Lewis is a five-star prospect. Wide receivers Marcus Fleming and Romello Brinson are committed to Miami. Lowndes has reverted to its running ways this season to suit the skills of QB Jacorri Brown, who has rushed for 432 yards and seven touchdowns on 47 carries. He's 17-of-29 passing for 244 yards. Michael Israel has 259 yards rushing. RB/LB Gary Osby is the team's best all-around player. He has 133 yards rushing, five touchdowns and 5.5 tackles for losses. Lowndes, vulnerable on defense in recent years, is allowing just 7.5 points per game compared to 20.8 over the previous five seasons.
Milton at Roswell
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Ray Manus Stadium, Roswell
Records, rankings: Milton is 1-2 and No. 7 in Class AAAAAAA; Roswell is 2-0 and unranked in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Roswell won 22-20 in 2018.
Things to know: In the 2018 game, Milton entered ranked No. 3 - its highest to that point in history - but was ambushed when Roswell overcame a 20-10 fourth-quarter deficit with a pair of TD passes from Ethan Roberts, who is back for his senior season. Roswell also returns WR Jacob Jarrett, TE John Copenhaver, OL Trey Zimmerman and LB Will Troutman, all first-team all-region players. Copenhaver and Zimmerman are committed to North Carolina. Roswell has beaten Campbell (35-0) and Centennial (49-10) handily. This will be the Hornets' first home game, as last week's West Forsyth game was canceled because of weather. Milton, which recovered from the Roswell defeat last year to win its first state title, remains ranked despite losses to Buford (No. 1 team in AAAAA) and JSerra Catholic (No. 8 overall in California, per MaxPreps). Ahmad Junearick has rushed for 344 yards and four touchdowns against the stiff competition and behind one of the state's best offensive lines. Milton graduated star QB Jordan Yates to Georgia Tech and is rotating Jackson Weaver (senior, better passer) and Devin Farrell (sophomore, better runner, also plays cornerback) at the position.
Rome at Carrollton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grisham Stadium, Carrollton
Records, rankings: Rome is 2-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 7-AAAAA and No. 7; Carrollton is 3-0, 1-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Rome won 65-51 in 2018.
Things to know: Rome won a shootout last year in a game that featured 1,253 yards of total offense, and the 116 combined points were the most in either school's history. Rome's biggest yardage producers in that game - Knox Kadum (286 passing), Jamious Griffin (285 rushing) and Xavier Roberts (247 receiving) - have graduated. New starting QB Caleb Ellard threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-20 victory over 10th-ranked Kell last week. Another win this week would put the Wolves in control in their quest for a fourth consecutive region title. Much like Rome's, most of Carrollton's offensive leaders this season weren't factors in last year's game. Mecose Todd, a transfer, has rushed for 147 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries; QB Myles Morris is 32-of-60 passing for 459 yards; and Austin Waldrop has 135 yards and two TDs on six receptions. One player to watch is senior WR/RB Brandon Marenco, who leads the team in all-purpose yards with 227 (134 rushing, 91 receiving, 2 on a kick return). He ran for 55 yards and had 120 receiving yards against Rome last year.
Troup at Callaway
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange
Records, rankings: Troup is 3-0 and No. 3 in Class AAAA; Callaway is 2-1 and No. 3 in AA.
Last meeting: Troup won 37-20 in 2018.
Things to know: Troup's victory last season gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead in the series against its county rival. None of the past five games have been decided by less than 10 points. Troup QB Kobe Hudson, committed to Auburn as a wide receiver, is 34-of-49 passing for 640 yards and nine touchdowns and has rushed for 411 yards and four TDs on 32 carries. Last season, he passed for 3,386 yards and rushed for 1,410 with a hand in 50 touchdowns. Thanks in part to two blowout victories, the Tigers have put up big rushing numbers this year, averaging 385.7 yards per game and 9.9 per carry. Trey Williams is the leader with 479 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries. Callaway's loss came against Alabama power Opelika 10-7 in the opener. Callaway's Tank Bigsby, also committed to Auburn, is the state's top-rated running back. He has rushed for 465 yards and seven TDs on 36 carries (12.9 yards per carry). In the past two games, QB Demetrius Coleman is 16-of-21 passing for 337 yards and four TDs. Callaway also has a deep group of receivers.
Veterans at Houston County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Freedom Field, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Veterans is 3-1 and unranked in Class AAAAA; Houston County is 4-0 and No. 5 in AAAAAA.
Last meeting: Houston County won 35-33 in 2018.
Things to know: Houston County is 4-0 and ranked in the top 10 for the first time since 2016 after rallying from a 24-10 deficit to stun Class AAA No. 1 Peach County 32-31 in overtime last week. Veterans' bid for its second consecutive 4-0 start ended when it let a 19-7 fourth-quarter lead slip away in a 29-19 loss to Statesboro. Veterans beat Houston County last year for the first time in five tries. Houston County has the top passer, fourth-leading rusher and four of the top nine receivers in 1-AAAAAA. Max Rigby is 68-of-110 passing for 938 yards and nine TDs. Corey Chaisson has rushed for 238 yards on 28 carries. Jaylen Mills leads the receivers with 17 catches for 228 yards, but Leeshoen Jarrett (18-219), Kyah Plummer (10-198) and Isaiah Harris (14-187) are major contributors. Veterans runs the ball about 70 percent of the time and is led by Julian Barnes (62 carries, 371 yards, two touchdowns) and Lebron Fields (39-293-5). QB Blake Etheridge is 35-of-58 passing for 442 yards, and Nate Boehm has nine catches for 134 yards. All but Barnes, a senior, are juniors.
Walton at North Gwinnett
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee
Records, rankings: Walton is 2-1 and unranked in Class AAAAAAA; North Gwinnett is 2-1 and No. 9 in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Walton won 27-24 in 2018.
Things to know: In the 2018 game, Dominick Blaylock scored on an 11-yard run with 32 seconds left for the game-winning touchdown. Blaylock, now at Georgia, is one of Walton's 13 departed seniors who were first- or second-team all-region last year. Coincidentally, North Gwinnett also graduated 13 first- or second-team all-region players. Both teams returned two all-region linemen - Walker Hurst and Tal Brill at Walton, Chris Miles and Jared Ivey at North Gwinnett. The difference is that North is more proven in the backfield, as QB J.R. Martin (20 TD passes last season), WR Josh Downs (North Carolina commit) and RB Devin Crosby (220-pound power runner) are back. For Walton, Zak Rozsman, who played significantly as a freshman, is now starting at quarterback and is 25-of-44 passing for 435 yards and two touchdowns. K.D. Stokes has rushed for 342 yards and five touchdowns. The teams have a common opponent. Walton edged Norcross 21-20 in the opener at the Corky Kell Classic. North Gwinnett defeated Norcross 51-21 in a game that was completed on Monday night, meaning North will be playing on three days' rest.
Warner Robins at Colquitt County
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium, Moultrie
Records, rankings: Warner Robins is 3-0 and No. 4 in Class AAAAA; Colquitt County is 2-1 and No. 5 in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Colquitt County won 41-14 in 2018.
Things to know: Colquitt County sacked Warner Robins QB Dylan Fromm eight times in the 2018 game. Daijun Edwards scored four touchdowns. Edwards (452 yards from scrimmage in three games) is back, along with QB Jaycee Harden, who has thrown for 883 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Packers put up 601 yards of total offense last week in a 50-49 loss to Valdosta, but Colquitt endured a similar debacle in 2017, losing to Lowndes 51-47, while still reaching the state finals. Warner Robins is so-far, so-good in the post-Fromm era under first-year coach Marquis Westbrook with wins over Tift County, Locust Grove and Baldwin. The Demons returned 10 all-region players. New QB Jalen Addie is 40-of-72 passing for 613 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions. He has rushed for 131 yards. Jahlen Rutherford, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, has run for 189. Marcayll Jones, whose 2,046 yards receiving set a state record last year, has 202 this season.
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