The high school bloggers at include Todd Holcomb (Class AAAAAA), Chip Saye (AAAAA), David Purdum (AAAA), Stan Awtrey (AAA), Adam Krohn (AA) and S. Thomas Coleman (A).

Here’s what to look for during Week 9 of the high school football season.


McEachern won Region 4 last season only to lose in the first round of the playoffs while also-ran North Cobb made it to the semifinals.

At 7-0 and ranked No. 2, the Indians will be eager to re-establish the region pecking order Friday when the teams meet again. North Cobb is 5-1 and unranked but coming off an impressive victory against Hillgrove.

The quarterbacks will be a focal point. McEachern’s Ty Clemons has rushed for 851 yards, which ranks third in AAAAAA. He has passed for 759 yards. North Cobb’s Tyler Queen, who committed to Auburn, has thrown for 1,120 yards.

In 2012, McEachern beat North Cobb 49-27. McEachern had 490 yards of offense and led 35-6 in the second quarter.

Here are other things to watch in AAAAAA and the other classifications this week:

  • Four weeks ago, Coffee was 4-0 and ranked in the Top 10. After three consecutive region losses, the Trojans need to beat Lowndes or probably miss the playoffs. Coffee last beat Lowndes in 2001. That's 11 consecutive losses.
  • Also in Region 1, the Valdosta-Tift County game could be an elimination bout, especially for Valdosta (4-2, 0-2). You don't want four region losses, and Valdosta plays at third-ranked Colquitt County next week.
  • Newnan (4-2) plays at Hughes (5-1) in a game between the teams with the best records in Region 3. That could decide the region title, although East Coweta (3-3, 1-0) also contends.
  • Defending Region 5 champion Lassiter was virtually written off after losing to Woodstock 44-43 last month, but the following week's victory against Walton was good for Trojans' souls. Lassiter will recapture the region by winning out, but Milton (5-1, 2-1) will be a tough out Friday.


  • The Region 3 championship essentially will be decided Friday when Richmond Hill plays at Ware County. Both teams are undefeated in region play and will be favored in their remaining games. Ware County won 27-24 last season on its way to winning the region title.
  • McIntosh can clinch a spot in the Region 4 play-in games if it can beat Fayette County rival Starr's Mill for the second consecutive season. That would put the Chiefs within one victory (in a win-or-go-home game on Nov. 8) of reaching the state playoffs for the first time since 1987. "They've worked and they've worked," third-year McIntosh coach Lee Belknap said of his team after its 35-15 victory against Whitewater last week. "Their work ethic is second to none. I couldn't be more proud of the way they've played on Friday nights. They play like they worked in the weight room and the way they practice."
  • Clarke Central hopes to do a better job against Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson than it did in a 49-28 loss last year. Watson, the state's all-time leader in career passing yardage, finished the game with 239 yards and six touchdowns passing and 174 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Class AAAA

  • Alexander hasn't been to the playoffs since 1997. But, after a 4-2 start that includes region victories against LaGrange and Shaw, the Cougars are in the hunt this season. "I think our team has confidence," coach Matthew Combs said. "They're definitely walking around the hallways, around the community feeling like they have a shot. That confidence will be tested during the next two weeks. Alexander is at defending state champion and top-ranked Sandy Creek, then hosts No. 2 Carrollton next week. The Cougars have never beaten Sandy Creek or Carrollton.
  • After back-to-back 1-9 seasons, Eagle's Landing has raced to a 5-2 start. The Golden Eagles have never won more than six games in a season and have had only two winning seasons and one playoff berth in their program's 22-year history. Eagle's Landing (5-2, 1-1 4-AAAA, Division A) travels to Woodland-Stockbridge.
  • Four teams sit at 1-1 in Region 6, Division A — Chamblee, Columbia, Lithonia and Stone Mountain. Only two of the four will reach the region play-in round. All four teams are looking up at Marist, the favorite to grab the top seed out of the division. Columbia, which knocked off Chamblee last week, plays host to Lithonia on Saturday at Avondale Stadium. Stone Mountain and Chamblee meet Friday at Avondale Stadium. Stone Mountain and Chamblee still have to play Marist, which hosts winless Redan on Friday.

Class AAA

Cedar Grove vs. St. Pius: Cedar Grove moved into the state rankings this week. The Saints (6-1) have lost only to Tucker, the No. 1-ranked team in AAAAA, in the opener. But if No. 10 Cedar Grove wants to avoid a road game in the playoffs, it will have to win at least two of its final three games against the elite teams in Region 6. The road begins against defending region champion and No. 7-ranked St. Pius at Panthersville Stadium. St. Pius (5-1) has outscored their past two opponents 83-14. The Golden Lions won 38-28 last season.

East Hall at West Hall: These two teams have the same problem. Neither is good enough to beat Buford or North Hall, so they join the four teams (Dawson County and White County) playing for the two remaining playoff spots. East Hall is in the hole, since the Vikings already have lost to White County. West Hall closes the season against White County and Dawson County. Dawson County and White County also play each other. It likely means the matter won’t be settled until the final week.

Elbert County at North Oconee: The No. 8 Titans (5-1) will try to eliminate their last major obstacle before the season-ending showdown against Hart County that will determine the Region 8 championship. North Oconee is led by junior tailback Kawon Bryant, who has rushed for 1,551 yards and 30 touchdowns. The state record for touchdowns is 58 set by Washaun Ealey of ECI in 2007. Elbert County (4-2) has losses to Buford and Evans.

Class AA

  • Only three Top 10 teams play opponents with winning records this week. One is No. 4 Washington-Wilkes, 7-0 and 4-0 in 8-AA, which faces Rabun County (5-1, 2-1) in what likely is the last challenge standing in the way of its first region title since 2006. Although the Tigers beat Rabun County last year 41-12, the Wildcats are a better team. They had a lead against defending-state champion Jefferson last week before losing 26-20. If the Wildcats pull off the upset, there will be a three-way tie atop the region between Washington-Wilkes, Rabun County and Jefferson.
  • The Bowdon Red Devils moved into the top 10, arriving at No. 9 after winning their first seven games, including five in 5-AA. They'll take on Spencer (4-2, 3-1). Both are still in the mix for the No. 1 seed with Heard County (5-1, 4-0). All three teams have yet to play each other. Spencer will look to close the gap on Bowdon from last year when the Red Devils won 61-28.
  • Vidalia also moved into the top 10 this week after a 5-1 start, including 4-1 in 2-AA. They take on Bryan County (5-1, 4-1) in what could determine the region's No. 2 seed. No. 6-ranked Benedictine has all up wrapped up the region title.

Class A

Pace Academy at No. 4 Landmark Christian: Coming off of a bye week, Pace Academy (4-2, 1-1) will try to spoil Landmark Christian’s homecoming and keep its Region 5 title hopes alive. After a 3-0 start, Pace dropped games to First Presbyterian Day and Our Lady of Mercy, but righted the ship two weeks ago with a 40-0 thumping of Strong Rock. Landmark Christian (7-0, 3-0) defeated Strong Rock Christian last week 34-12.

Dooly County at No. 7 Marion County: After a rough 0-2 start, Dooly County (4-2, 3-0), the defending public school runner-up, has won four consecutive games with the defense leading the charge. The Bobcats are allowing six points per game during the winning streak. Marion County (6-0, 3-0) has yielded an average of seven points per game with two shutouts. The winner likely will be the Region 4 champion.

Athens Academy at Commerce: Both teams already have lost to No. 6 Prince Avenue Christian, so the Region 8 championship probably is out of reach. Commerce (4-3, 2-1) appears to be returning to form after a rough couple of seasons. Athens Academy (4-2, 2-1) needs a victory to increase its power ranking points. The Spartans are No. 14, with the top 16 advancing to the state playoffs.