AROUND THE STATE

Will Hall was hired as the coach at West Georgia less than a year ago, but already has the Wolves in contention for a Division II playoff spot.

That’s an impressive accomplishment considering the program hasn’t qualified for the tournament since 2000.

The Wolves (6-2) are sixth in the first NCAA Division II Super Region Two ranking released earlier this week, but must hold onto that spot or improve on it if they want to qualify for the playoffs, which begin Nov. 22.

Super Region Two consists of teams from the Gulf South Conference, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the South Atlantic Conference.

The three conference champions and the next three highest ranked teams in the super region will qualify for the playoffs.

North Alabama (7-0) is No. 1 in the super region, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne (7-0), Delta State (6-1), Tuskegee (6-2) and Valdosta State (6-2), which defeated West Alabama 24-17 on Thursday for its fourth consecutive victory.

Carson-Newman (6-1), Albany State (5-2), Miles (5-3) and Fort Valley State (6-2) are ranked seventh through 10th.

West Georgia upset Delta State on Oct. 18 and would benefit from a North Alabama victory over the Statesmen on Saturday. The Wolves’ position also would be strengthened by a Lenoir-Rhyne victory over Carson-Newman, which also is Saturday.

Valdosta State lost consecutive games to North Alabama and Delta State, but defeated nationally ranked Winston-Salem State in September and West Georgia on Oct. 11.

The Blazers have won three Division II championships in the past 10 years, most recently in 2012.

Secret weapon: Georgia Military College coach Bert Williams likes what he’s seen from freshman quarterback Tyler Herman (Collins Hill).

Herman has completed 53.8 percent of his attempts for 2,183 yards and 23 touchdowns, which ranks ninth in the NJCAA.

“We think Tyler is a definite FBS prospect,” Williams said. “He was an overlooked student-athlete who has demonstrated a high level of ability. He has done a remarkable job running the offense, understands defenses, can make all the throws and has deceptive running ability. (He) stays very controlled in the face of pressure.”

Herman led Gwinnett County with 2,968 yards passing last season.

Punter on Point: Point’s David Strickland has had plenty of recognition for his punting and could receive more after this season.

He has averaged 44.1 yards per punt, which is second in the NAIA, and just behind the leader, Southeastern’s Caleb Winter, who is at 44.3.

Strickland has twice been selected to the National Christian College Athletic Association’s first team and was NAIA preseason All-American this season after averaging 44.3 yards in 2013.

The Skyhawks (1-8) are off this week and will conclude their season at Ave Maria next week.

Around the state: West Georgia quarterback Dallas Dickey (Carrollton) will start Saturday’s game against Mississippi College after missing last week with a hip pointer. … Albany State has given up 33 points in its past five games and is tied for fourth in Division II in scoring defense, with an average of 13 per game. … Clark Atlanta freshman Matthew Daniels (Dutchtown) is the SIAC newcomer of the week after he had 93 all-purpose yards and scored both TDs in a loss to Albany State. He has 291 yards rushing this season. … West Georgia defensive end Darrius Caldwell (Mays), who began his collegiate career at Illinois, is the latest of three Wolves to be selected as the GSC defensive player of the week this year. He had 2 1/2 sacks, nine tackles and forced a fumble in the loss to North Alabama. Caldwell leads the GSC with 6 1/2 sacks. … Reinhardt running back L.J. Stegall (Jeff Davis) continues to lead the NAIA in total all-purpose yards (1,635) and all-purpose yards per game (204.4).

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