Top 10 games of Week 8

GAC wide receiver Ty James (13) celebrates a touchdown reception with offensive lineman Addison Nichols (72) in the first half of their game against Westminster at Greater Atlanta Christian Friday, August 24, 2018, in Norcross, Ga. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Caption
GAC wide receiver Ty James (13) celebrates a touchdown reception with offensive lineman Addison Nichols (72) in the first half of their game against Westminster at Greater Atlanta Christian Friday, August 24, 2018, in Norcross, Ga. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Athens Academy at George Walton Academy

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Don Williams Stadium, Monroe

Records, rankings: Athens Academy is 5-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 8-A South and No. 2 in Class A private; George Walton Academy is 6-0, 1-0 and No. 7.

Last meeting: Athens Academy won 36-3 in 2017.

Things to know: With a win, Athens Academy almost certainly will win the subregion and advance to the region title game Nov. 2. George Walton Academy still must reckon with third-ranked Prince Avenue Christian, which lost to Athens Academy 31-27 last week. A year ago, Athens Academy's Len'Neth Whitehead and Payton Bowles each rushed for more than 100 yards against GWA, and both are back. But this GWA defense has been stouter, allowing just 7.2 points per game, second-best among Class A private schools. On offense, GWA attempts to control the ball with a wing-T, run-based offense. Omar Daniels (413 yards passing) has not thrown more than 10 times in a game this year. The leading rushers are Will Wolf (49 carries, 334 yards, one touchdown), Andre Payne (35-416-7) and Darius Barnum (31-321-5). Athens Academy is also more of a running team. Whitehead ran for 243 yards against Prince Avenue. But QB Palmer Bush, who threw the game-winning TD late in last week's game, is dangerous, completing 33 of 47 passes for 650 yards and eight TDs. Athens Academy's strength of schedule is fifth-best so far among Class A private schools. GWA's is 33rd.

Coffee at Northside (Warner Robins) 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins

Records, rankings: Coffee is 6-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 2; Northside is 3-3, 0-0 and No. 6.

Last meeting: Coffee won 14-12 in 2017.

Things to know: Coffee beat Northside for the first time last season (1-4 overall record). Coffee built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, then stopped Northside's conversion attempt for the tie with 1:08 left. Coffee remains stout on defense (No. 2 in scoring defense in AAAAAA). Younger on offense, Coffee is breaking in a talented dual-threat sophomore quarterback, A.J. Wilkerson (604 yards passing, 170 rushing). Coffee gets two-thirds of its offense on the ground. FB/DT Josiah Killiebrew has rushed for 407 yards and six touchdowns and has four sacks on defense. All but 68 yards of Coffee's total offense can be credited to underclassmen. Sophomore Arlis Sutton has a team-leading five sacks. Northside has found its offense this season (No. 6 in scoring at 34.8 points). New starting QB Jadin Daniels (722 yards passing, 660 rushing) is a region player-of-the-year candidate. The defense is allowing 19.7 points per game, the most since 1994. Northside has lost to three lower-classification teams (Peach County, Jones County, Warner Robins), but all three are ranked, and Northside's strength of schedule is No. 3 in AAAAAA, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings. Coffee's is 49th.

Dawson County at Greater Atlanta Christian 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Spartan Stadium, Norcross

Records, rankings: Dawson County is 6-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 7-AAA and No. 10; Greater Atlanta Christian is 4-2, 2-0 and No. 6.

Last meeting: Greater Atlanta Christian won 49-10 in 2017.

Things to know: Dawson County is 6-0 for the first time since starting varsity football in 1967. Dawson had its first winning season in 1986, its first playoff victory in 1999 and first region title in 2015. A victory over GAC would be its first in history over a ranked opponent from the same classification (0-31 record in those games). Dawson County is averaging 45.5 points (first in AAA) and 385.5 yards rushing per game at 9.6 yards per carry. Ahmad Kamara has rushed for 669 yards and nine touchdowns. QB Sevaughn Clark has run for 479 yards and passed for 481. DE Zac Bologa has 11 tackles for losses and six sacks. GAC is more of a passing team, averaging 223 yards in the air. Josh Rose has thrown for 933 yards and rushed for 383. Ty James (586 yards receiving) and Jake Floyd (405) have 11 TD receptions between them. GAC has won four consecutive region titles. The winner of this game is the front-runner in 7-AAA.

Dutchtown at Jones County 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Greyhound Field, Gray

Records, rankings: Dutchtown is 6-0 overall, 3-0 in Region 4-AAAAA and No. 9; Jones County is 6-0, 3-0 and No. 4.

Last meeting: Jones County won 23-12 in 2017.

Things to know: Dutchtown and Jones County are two of the three undefeated and top-10 teams from Region 4-AAAAA. The other is third-ranked Stockbridge, which has won four consecutive region titles. Jones County has won two region titles (most recently in 2001), and Dutchtown is seeking its first. Stockbridge plays both teams in the final three weeks of the season. This game matches the No. 2 offense in AAAAA (Jones County averages 42.2 points per game, second to Rome's 47.2) against the No. 1 defense (Dutchtown allows 3.8 points per game). The Dutchtown defense is led by Kevon Glenn, who is the No. 38 inside linebacker nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He has a reported 44 Division I offers. LB Devon Glenn, LB Trimarcus Cheeks, DB Ja'Shaun Poke and three-star junior DE Will Anderson also have D-I offers. Jones County QB Hunter Costlow was the No. 2 passer in Class AAAAA last week on GHSF Daily's Leaderboard. He is 82-of-123 for 1,543 yards and 23 touchdowns. Jontavis Robertson (30 catches, 636 yards, eight touchdowns) and Maleek Wooten (25-464-8) are his top targets. Semaj Ingram (449 yards on 68 carries) is the leading rusher.

Eastside at Woodward Academy 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Colquitt Stadium, College Park

Records, rankings: Eastside is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAAA and No. 10; Woodward Academy is 3-2, 2-0 and No. 9.

Last meeting: Woodward Academy won 28-21 in 2017.

Things to know: Tahj Gary rushed for 195 yards and two TDs, the last one a 21-yarder with 1:32 left to give Woodward the lead for good, in the last year's game, which decided the region champion. Gary is back. The all-state running back has 449 yards rushing and 239 receiving and is averaging 14.7 yards per touch. He also returned a punt for a touchdown. QB Mike Wright has thrown for 635 yards and rushed for 309. Woodward starts no seniors on defense, and there have been growing pains. Woodward ranks fifth in AAAA scoring (42.2) but 37th in scoring defense (28). The young defense was torched in losses to Westminster (56-31) and Blessed Trinity (43-21). Eastside is in the top 10 in both categories - sixth in scoring (39.8), eighth in defense (11.8). Taylor Carter has a team-leading 479 yards rushing, including a 126-yard, two-TD effort against Newton, which is Eastside's best win to date. Noah Cook, who is replacing 2017 region offensive player of the year Brayden Harper, has thrown for 781 yards. He's generally a pocket passer but ran for 103 yards against Ola. WR/DB Jamari Brown (268 yards receiving, 25 tackles) is probably Eastside's best all-around player.

Mays at Douglas County 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium, Douglasville

Records, rankings: Mays is 3-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA and No. 9; Douglas County is 5-1, 4-0 and No. 10.

Last meeting: Mays won 35-3 in 2017.

Things to know: Mays and Douglas County were the top two teams in 5-AAAAAA last year, and they are the only remaining unbeaten teams in region play. Mays is the two-time defending champion and has won 19 consecutive region games. Douglas County's 10-2 season in 2017 was its best since 2005. Mays gave up 42 points each game in season-opening losses to Norcross and Central-Phenix City (Ala.) but bounced back with three consecutive shutouts to open region play, although those came against opponents with a combined record of 2-15. Tyree Nelson had 171 of the Raiders' 330 rushing yards in a 32-0 victory over Tri-Cities last week. QB Jahquez Evans has committed to South Florida. Douglas County opened the season with a 17-0 loss to AAAAAAA No. 9 Hillgrove but has outscored its opponents 115-44 during its current five-game winning streak. QBs Marquise Collins and J.J. Richards are a combined 65-of-128 passing for 742 yards. Richards has gotten more of the action lately, with 37 of his 41 attempts coming in the past two games. Michael Oldfield (292 yards) and Tyren Curd (223) are the rushing leaders for a team that averages 154.2 on the ground.

McEachern at Hillgrove 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Cobb Energy Hillgrove Stadium, Powder Springs

Records, rankings: McEachern is 4-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 3-AAAAAAA and No. 7; Hillgrove is 5-0, 0-0 and No. 9.

Last meeting: Hillgrove won 14-7 in 2017.

Things to know: McEachern and Hillgrove, located less than 3 miles apart in west Cobb County, have won seven of the eight titles in their region (four by McEachern) since Hillgrove moved up to the highest class in 2010. McEachern is 47-5 in region games since then - going 4-4 against Hillgrove and 43-1 against everybody else. Hillgrove, the defending champ, is 37-7 against region opponents other than McEachern during that same period. McEachern was held to 192 total yards (28 rushing) in a 41-7 loss to Colquitt County in the opener but has averaged 42.5 points during its four-game winning streak. RB Paris Brown, a 1,000-yard rusher last year, has 330 yards (unofficially) on 55 carries. QB Carlos Delrio-Wilson is 60-of-106 passing for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hillgrove ranks No. 2 in Class AAAAAAA scoring defense, giving up just 7.4 points and 130.6 yards per game. The unit is led by DB Jaylen McCollough (committed to Tennessee), DB Lance Wise (Mercer), LB Zach Stewart (leader in total tackles), LB Isaiah Grant (6.5 sacks) and DE Myles Murphy (five-star junior). The inexperienced but improving offense is averaging 183.8 yards rushing and 123.6 passing.

Savannah Christian at Calvary Day 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Specialty Sports Complex, Savannah

Records, rankings: Savannah Christian is 4-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 3-A Div. A and No. 9 in Class A private; Calvary Day is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 4.

Last meeting: Calvary Day won 35-10 in 2017.

Things to know: Calvary Day is the computer Maxwell Ratings' favorite to win Region 3-A, but its 40.6-percent chance is the second-lowest of any projected region champion in any classification. The Cavaliers share a subregion with Claxton, Savannah Christian and Savannah Country Day, all of which are 4-1 overall. Calvary Day won region titles three of the past five years and lost to ECI in the region championship game last year. Savannah Christian last won a region title during its 2011 state championship season. Savannah Christian averages 252.4 yards rushing and spreads the workload primarily among Nate Moon (49 carries, 421 yards, seven touchdowns), Jordan Grant (45-376-7) and Marquell Brown (36-253-4). QB Spencer Robicheaux is 46-of-79 passing for 632 yards and had a season-high 208 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-0 victory over Portal last week. Calvary Day is averaging 253.4 yards rushing after running for a season-high 383 in a 52-0 victory over St. John's (S.C.) last week. William Griffin ran for 195 of those on 16 carries and has a team-leading 583 for the season. QB Thomas Carver is 37-of-62 passing for 666 yards and seven touchdowns.

Thomasville at Brooks County 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman

Records, rankings: Thomasville is 4-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 1-AA and No. 7; Brooks County is 4-2, 0-0 and No. 10.

Last meeting: Thomasville won 23-20 in 2017.

Things to know: Every team in 1-AA has a winning record heading into region play, but Thomasville and Brooks County are the only ones in the top 10, and the winner will emerge as the favorite to win the title. Thomasville is the defending region champion, and Brooks County won it most recently in 2015. Both teams have relatively balanced offenses, although Thomasville is more of a passing team (193.5 yards per game passing, 160.7 rushing), while Brooks County leans more on the running game (139.5 yards rushing, 110.5 passing). Thomasville QB Chad Mascoe is 76-of-132 passing for 1,143 yards and nine touchdowns. Jakarius Tillman (23 catches, 450 yards, six touchdowns) and Kevin Cochran (23-324-0) are the primary receivers. Tan Gellin is the leading rusher with 446 yards, but Ma'lek Miller had a season-high 144 yards on 19 carries in a 42-38 loss to Crisp County last week. Brooks County's leading rusher is Deon Fountain (50 carries, 257 yards), but Omari Arnold and quarterbacks Jacolby Brown and Ni'tavion Burrus all have at least 30 carries. Burrus and Brown are a combined 61-of-105 passing for 663 yards and eight touchdowns.

Westminster at Pace Academy 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Riverview Walsh Field, Mableton

Records, rankings: Westminster is 3-2 overall, 1-0 in Region 5-AAA and No. 5; Pace Academy is 4-2, 2-0 and No. 9.

Last meeting: Westminster won 15-14 in 2017.

Things to know: In the 2017 game, Westminster went for two in overtime and won on Chance Loeffler's pass to Truman Jones. Westminster trailed 7-0 until 1:43 left in regulation, when Joe Egan scored on a 38-yard run. These schools are a mile apart, but this is only their third meeting. Pace began football in 2008 and was in lower classifications until 2016. The current Pace team is without the big-name recruits of recent seasons (Andrew Thomas, Jemaree Salyer, Trey Blount, all at Georgia), but is not without weapons. Keashawn Perryman has rushed for a team-leading 546 yards and six touchdowns, Freshman RB Lawrence Jordan has come on lately with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. Pace doesn't pass that well, but WR Jayden Thomas (18 catches, 388 yards) must be checked. Westminster is passing better than it has since the days of Gordon Beckham. Parks Harber, a Georgia baseball commit, has thrown for 1,029 yards, which was second in AAA entering last week's games. Paul Weathington has run for 521 yards, an average of 102.8.

Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.