Centennial at Johns Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Colosseum, Johns Creek
Records, rankings: Centennial is 5-2 overall, 5-0 in Region 7-AAAAAA and unranked; Johns Creek is 6-1, 5-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Centennial won 21-17 in 2017.
Things to know: Centennial and Johns Creek are the only remaining unbeaten teams in 7-AAAAAA, so the winner will move into sole possession of first place. Johns Creek won the region title in 2016, and third-place Alpharetta, the Gladiators' opponent next week, won it last year. Centennial finished in second place both seasons. This game matches the top passing offense (Centennial) against the top scoring offense (Johns Creek) in AAAAAA. Centennial's Max Brosmer (committed to New Hampshire) is 146-of-216 passing for 2,419 yards (345.6 per game), including a season-best 480 yards in a 49-6 victory over Dunwoody last week. Richard Shaw (38 catches, 680 yards, seven TDs) and Drake Mason (34-582-5) are his top targets. Cal Dickie has run for 816 yards for a team that rushes for 175.3 per game. Johns Creek is averaging 42.6 points, and that includes a 49-0 loss to a St. John's (Washington, D.C.) team that's ranked in the top five nationally in several polls. The Gladiators also lean on the passing game. QB Zach Gibson is averaging 250 yards passing per game and had a season-high 373 in a 38-20 victory over Cambridge last week. It was Gibson's fourth consecutive 300-yard game. Nate Hope and Will Watson have combined for more than 1,000 yards rushing.
Dutchtown at Stockbridge
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium/The Jungle, Stockbridge
Records, rankings: Dutchtown is 7-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 4-AAAAA and No. 5; Stockbridge is 7-0, 4-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Stockbridge won 13-7 in 2017.
Things to know: This is the second time in history that two ranked teams from Henry County Schools have played each other. The first came in 2016 when No. 2 Stockbridge beat No. 10 Woodland 26-10. Expect a low-scoring game as Dutchtown ranks No. 1 in AAAAA scoring defense (4.7 points per game) and Stockbridge is No. 3 (8.1). Dutchtown is allowing just 69.5 yards rushing and 81.0 passing per game. DE William Anderson, a three-star recruit among juniors, has 13 tackles for losses and nine sacks. Dutchtown is conservative on offense and averages 167.7 yards rushing, 136.1 passing. Stockbridge has won 29 consecutive region games and four straight region titles. The current team lacks the star power of the past two, which produced five major-college prospects, including Brenton Cox, a five-star who signed with Georgia. It's an establish-the-run, stop-the-run kind of team. QB Jevon McDonald (5-10, 170) is the leading rusher with 650 yards. He has passed for only 754. Steve Bonner, with 359 yards rushing, is the top running back. DE/LB John Prince (8.5 TFL, seven sacks) and DE Brice Bass (5.5 sacks), both juniors, bring pressure. DT Steven Esan (10 tackles for losses) helps make for a strong defensive line.
Flowery Branch at Marist
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hughes Spalding Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Flowery Branch is 6-1 overall, 2-1 in Region 7-AAAA and No. 7: Marist is 7-1, 4-0 and No. 8.
Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.
Things to know: Flowery Branch almost turned Class AAAA upside down last week but lost in overtime to No. 1 Blessed Trinity 21-20 after failing to convert a two-point try for the win. Now comes Marist, another top-10 team from the region. This will be a contrast in styles as Flowery Branch is one of the class's top passing teams. Elijah Gainey has thrown for 1,566 yards. Jalin Strown has 36 catches for 827 yards and nine touchdowns. Marist averages 214.1 yards rushing per game and 125.1 passing, which represents more balance than usual out of the option offense. That's partly because of DB/WR Kyle Hamilton, a Notre Dame commit with 541 receiving yards (25.8 per catch). Hamilton also has a team-best 25 solo tackles. Connor Cigelske has passed for 982 yards and has a team-leading 472 yards rushing. Both teams are in the top 10 of both scoring offense and scoring defense in AAAA. Marist's average score is 38.1-11.5. Flowery Branch's average score is 40.0-11.4.
Monroe Area at Jefferson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
Records, rankings: Monroe Area is 8-0 overall, 4-1 in Region 8-AAA and No. 3; Jefferson is 7-1, 4-0 and No. 8.
Last meeting: Monroe Area won 26-0 in 1948.
Things to know: Monroe Area is trying to win its first region title in five years. It cleared one hurdle by routing defending champion Morgan County 39-0 last month, avenging a tough 2017 loss. But next is Jefferson, which dropped into the region in the offseason after going 10-3 in Class AAAA. Jefferson has won six straight since a 20-13 opening loss to Oconee County. That's despite injuries. QB Colby Clark, still the leading rusher and passer, has been out since the fifth game. Sophomore Carter Stephenson was 0-for-7 for the year when he took Clark's place, but was 8-of-9 for 147 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 35-14 win over Morgan. Jefferson is a run-first team averaging 280.3 yards on the ground. The Dragons' best all-around player is probably TE/DE Garmon Rudolph (six tackles for losses, three receiving touchdowns). He has SEC offers. Monroe Area is averaging a remarkable 362.1 yards rushing per game. QB Chandler Byron has run for 1,632 yards and thrown for 898. Led by linebackers Jayden Davis (6-1, 240) and Jaquaris Booker, Monroe Area has shut out all four of its region opponents so far.
Parkview at Brookwood
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Brookwood Community Stadium, Snellville
Records, rankings: Parkview is 7-0 overall, 3-0 in Region 7-AAAAAAA and No. 4; Brookwood is 6-1, 3-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Brookwood won 30-27 in 2017.
Things to know: Brookwood won the 2017 game on Jonah Randle's 29-yard field goal with 24 seconds left. That win ultimately gave Brookwood the region title. This year's game likely will do the same as the winner will be the only unbeaten team in region play. Brookwood returned only two full-time starters. It showed in an opening 37-2 loss to North Gwinnett, but the Broncos have won six straight since. Parkview is the first ranked opponent that Brookwood has seen since then. Brookwood's strengths are the offensive line and running backs Chris Carter and Eli Kohl. Each rushed for 100 yards or more in last week's 42-7 victory over Central Gwinnett, and Kohl returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Parkview, after its first region title since 2004, has an explosive offense led by QB Jordan Williams (1,352 yards passing), RB Cody Brown (770 rushing) and WR Malik Washington (899 all-purpose). The Panthers are averaging 41.7 points per game, third-best in AAAAAAA. Brookwood is fifth in scoring defense (13.1 allowed per game).
Ridgeland at Pickens
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dragon Stadium, Jasper
Records, rankings: Ridgeland is 5-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 6-AAAA and No. 10; Pickens is 8-0, 4-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Ridgeland won 55-21 in 2017.
Things to know: Ridgeland and Pickens are the only remaining unbeaten teams in 6-AAAA. A Pickens win would clinch the first region championship in the history of a program that began in 1957. Ridgeland would still need one more victory to clinch the title, which would be its third straight and seventh in 11 years. Ridgeland is passing more under first-year coach Courtney Braswell than it has in the past, but the Panthers still rely heavily on the run. Ridgeland ran for 455 yards on 23 carries (19.8 yard per carry) in a 69-7 victory over LaFayette last week. Six players ran for more than 40 yards, led by the team's top rushers for the season, Jordan Blackwell (four carries for 65 yards) and A'zavier Black (3-77). Ridgeland has won five consecutive games since its 0-2 start. Pickens is the highest-scoring team in AAAA, averaging 48.1 points. Junior QB C.J. Streicher is the key for an offense that averages 334.9 yards rushing and 134.9 passing. Streicher has passed for 951 yards on 80 attempts, leads the team in rushing with 731 yards on 98 carries, and had a hand 28 touchdowns. Other offensive leaders include Robert Davis (556 yards rushing) and Zach Goss Jr. (402 yards receiving). Pickens is outstanding on the offense line.
Roswell at Walton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Raider Valley, Marietta
Records, rankings: Roswell is 6-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAAAAAA and unranked; Walton is 7-0, 2-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Walton won 42-21 in 2017.
Things to know: Roswell and Walton, the only remaining unbeaten teams in 4-AAAAAAA, have combined to win the last three titles in their region (Roswell in 2015 and 2016, Walton last year), and the winner of this game is likely to earn the championship this season. Roswell's balanced offense averages 196.4 yards rushing and 171.1 passing. QB Ethan Roberts is 70-of-129 passing for 1,198 yards and 15 touchdowns. RB Kamonty Jett has 856 yards rushing and nine TDs on 160 carries (22.9 carries per game). Jacob Jarrett (23 catches, 442 yards, seven TDs) and John Copenhaver (22-438-13) lead the receivers. Walton QB Austin Kirksey ran for four touchdowns and passed for two more and RB D.J. Soyoye ran for 182 yards in the Raiders' victory last year that ended a three-game losing streak against Roswell. Kirksey has battled injuries this season but has passed for 1,043 yards. Freshman Zak Rozsman has filled in well at quarterback with 693 passing yards. Soyoye has run for 472 yards and three TDs. Dominick Blaylock, a five-star WR recruit, has 601 yards and seven touchdowns receiving and five TDs rushing. Kendall Alford leads the team in receiving with 752 yards.
Southeast Bulloch at Benedictine
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, T.A. Wright Stadium/Savannah State, Savannah
Records, rankings: Southeast Bulloch is 7-0 overall, 5-0 in Region 3-AAA and unranked; Benedictine is 6-1, 5-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Benedictine won 48-7 in 2017.
Things to know: Southeast Bulloch and Benedictine are the only remaining unbeaten teams in 3-AAA, and the winner will have the inside track to the region title, although third-place Jenkins (5-1 in the region) remains in the mix. Southeast Bulloch hasn't won a region title since 1994. Benedictine, which moved up from AA this season, has won region titles the past five years. Southeast Bulloch, off to its best start since 1993, hasn't played since a 40-0 win over Savannah on Oct. 9 that capped off three games in nine days because of schedule reshuffling in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Junior RB Jamari Daniel led the run-first Yellow Jackets to key victories over Windsor Forest (16-9 in overtime) and Jenkins (9-8) during that stretch with 70 and 73 yards rushing. He has about 650 yards for the season. LB Logan Gomez has 40 tackles for a defense allowing just 11.4 points per game. Benedictine has won 29 consecutive region games. The Cadets are averaging 220.4 yards rushing and 165.1 passing. Rico Powers leads the team in rushing (58 carries, 561 yards, nine TDs) and receiving (19-353-2). QB Carter Geriner is 55-of-84 passing for 927 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tift County at Lowndes
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Tift County is 5-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 1-AAAAAAA and No. 10; Lowndes is 6-1, 0-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Lowndes won 51-38 in 2017.
Things to know: This game was moved back a week because of Hurricane Michael, meaning the region's four-team round-robin will take place over the final three weeks with no byes. Lowndes has won this game the past three seasons while scoring no fewer than 42 points. Lowndes is ranked first in Class AAAAAAA scoring again at 50.1 per game. Tift is sixth in scoring defense (14.4). A key for Tift is getting its passing game going under new starter Patrick Felton, who has thrown for more than 100 yards and at least one touchdown each of the past four games. Meanwhile, Mike Jones (838 yards rushing) will be the focal part of the offense. LB K.D. McDaniel has a team-leading six sacks and eight QB hurries. McDaniel is committed to Kentucky, as is Lowndes' marquee player, Travis Tisdale, who has rushed for 1,201 yards and 17 touchdowns. Like Tift, Lowndes is more tentative to throw this season. Freshman Jacurri Brown has started the past two games and was 17-of-25 for 263 yards. He has two 100-yard rushing games this season.
Valdosta at Lee County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Leesburg
Records, rankings: Valdosta is 5-3 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 3; Lee County is 7-0, 1-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Valdosta won 31-28 in 2017.
Things to know: The winner of this game will be alone in first place in 1-AAAAAA but will need at least one more win to clinch the region title. Lee County likely would clinch with a victory in either of its final two games. Valdosta would need to beat Northside of Warner Robins next week to avoid a potential three-way tie for first place. Valdosta handed Lee County its only loss during its 2017 state championship season. Valdosta QB Tate Rodemaker (153-of-227 for 2,313 yards and 23 TDs) is the leading passer in the region, and Aalah Brown (44 catches, 737 yards, nine TDs), Jaheim Bell (30-426-5) and Tarrell Roberts (19-371-4) are the top three receivers. Rajaez Mosley (128 carries, 766 yards, eight TDs) is second in rushing. Lee County is best known for its defense, which ranks No. 1 in AAAAAA and No. 2 in the state in points allowed, at 3.29 per game. The Trojans have given up just 48 rushing yards for the season, and that includes the 61 gained by Northside last week. Jammie Robinson is a four-star recruit at cornerback but is also a huge weapon returning kicks. QB Kyle Toole (1,238 yards passing) and RB Shaun Kimbrough (251 yards rushing) are the offensive leaders.
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