Week 7 matchups: Model travels to Darlington

A top 10 showdown between the No. 6 Model Blue Devils and No. 8 Darlington Tigers headlines the week.

Position in the rankings is at stake, but more importantly, playoff position is on the line in this Region 7 showdown. The Tigers have home field advantage and the benefit of winning last year's matchup on the road, 21-14, in overtime. They also lead the all-time series 22-6, with Model last winning in 1997.

There are no other matchups between top 10 teams this week, but one ranked Region 6 team will be tested in league play. No. 4 Wesleyan plays a 4-1 Hapeville Charter. This is where the pretenders and contenders separate themselves, because on paper, at least record-wise, the Wolves play a winning team. But Hapeville's lone loss was a 43-15 blowout to No. 3 GAC.

Speaking of GAC, the Spartans take on winless K.I.P.P. and should handle business with relative ease.

One final note on Region 6: No. 7 Pace Academy has a bye this week, coming off its loss to Wesleyan. The Knights will have a week of rest and preparation heading into next week's matchup against GAC, which should provide a clear picture of where the region stands from a state playoff standpoint.

Every other ranked team plays a region opponent, save No. 1 Benedictine. The Cadets take on AAAA's Wade County - a team that is 2-4.

No. 2 Fitzgerald plays a 1-3 Thomasville team in a Region 1 showdown. The Purple Hurricanes it lost 22-19 to Thomasville last year. In Region 8, No. 5 Rabun County takes on a 2-2 Social Circle team it beat 49-21 last season.

Jefferson County, which enters the rankings this week at No. 9, faces former top 10 team Dublin - a team coming off an upset loss to Metter. Look for Dublin to fight its way back into the rankings in this Region 3 matchup.

Finally, No. 10 Union County stands to build on its momentum by playing a winless Oglethorpe County team in Region 8.

Historical reference: GHSFHA.org.