Alpharetta at West Forsyth
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Wolverine Den, Cumming
Records, rankings: Alpharetta is 1-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; West Forsyth is 2-1, 0-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: West Forsyth won 63-42 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. The 2012 game between these two teams essentially decided the region championship. West Forsyth QB A.J. Erdely rushed for 189 yards and passed for 159, while Alpharetta QB Josh Dobbs passed for 514 yards and five touchdowns. Erdely is now at Middle Tennessee. Dobbs is at Tennessee. 2. West Forsyth junior QB Hampton McConnell is a dual-threat player much like Erdely. He is averaging 125 yards passing and 91 yards rushing per game and has had a hand in five touchdowns this season. 3. Alpharetta lost to fourth-ranked Lovejoy 24-23 last week, failing on a two-point conversion in the final minute that might've won the game. Vito Priore, playing in place of injured starter Austin King, completed 27 of 50 attempts for 429 yards with a touchdown. He was intercepted three times. The week before, Priore threw four TD passes in a 36-7 victory over Harrison in a relief role.
Burke County at Statesboro
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Womack Field, Statesboro
Records, rankings: Burke County is 1-1 and No. 6 in Class AAAA; Statesboro is 3-0 and No. 9 in AAAA.
Last meeting: Burke County won 35-14 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. Burke County QB Donquell Green, an AJC Super 11 pick, was credited with only 41 yards on 18 carries in a 32-14 loss last week to Coffee, a Top 10 team in AAAAAA. But Burke had several bad snaps in the shotgun, meaning some of that lost yardage should've been charged against the team. Green was 10-of-17 passing for 148 yards. Burke also committed 15 penalties. 2. Statesboro is traditionally one of the more run-oriented teams in the state, but junior Colin Chance is helping balance the offense this season. He passed for 188 yards in a 42-13 victory over Richmond Academy and for 110 in a 25-15 win over Lakeside, completing 70 percent of his attempts in the two wins. 3. In the 2012 game between the two, Statesboro entered ranked No. 4, and Burke County was No. 5. Statesboro took a 14-0 lead, but Burke score the final 35 points and held Statesboro to fewer than 200 yards in total offense and 10 first downs. Green rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
Harris County at Callaway
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange
Records, rankings: Harris County is 2-1 and unranked in Class AAAAA; Callaway is 2-0 and No. 7 in AAA.
Last meeting: Callaway won 24-21 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. Callaway has three high-profile recruits. QB/DB Tez Parks (6-1, 185) favors Georgia Tech and Tennessee. DE KeShun Freeman (6-2, 225) has committed to Georgia Tech. WR/CB Terry Godwin is rated the No. 3 class-of-2015 prospect in Georgia in 247Sports' composite rankings. 2. Harris County RB Esaias Chapman is a preseason all-state pick after rushing for 2,124 yards last season. He's run for 443 yards in three games this season, but QB TaQuon Marshall was the leading rusher with 155 yards on 13 carries in a 30-20 victory over Veterans last week. 3. In the 2012 game between the two, Callaway scored its final touchdown with 3:13 left on a drive kept alive by a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a punt and won 24-21. That dropped Harris County to 0-4, but the Tigers won eight straight games before losing to eventual AAAAA champion Gainesville in the quarterfinals. Callaway didn't lose until the second round of the AAA playoffs against Washington County.
McEachern at Marietta
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, French Johnson Field at Northcutt Stadium, Marietta
Records, rankings: McEachern is 3-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA and No. 2; Marietta is 2-1, 0-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: McEachern won 29-28 in 2012.
Three things to know:
1. The Region 4 championship in 2012 essentially was decided by the game between these two. McEachern trailed 21-7 in the fourth quarter but won 29-28 after driving 65 yards for the winning touchdown and conversion in the final two minutes. Ty Griffin, since graduated, scored four touchdowns and rushed for 168 yards. 2. There might not be a better running back in Class AAAAAA than McEachern junior Taj Griffin, younger brother of graduated Ty Griffin. Taj, whose main asset is speed, has rushed for 456 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries. McEachern has a handful of other Division I recruits that include OL Chuma Edoga, LB Henry Famurewa (committed to Louisville), TE Trey Scott (Tulane) and QB Ty Clemons.2. Marietta's offense starts with RB KirVonte Benson (463 yards rushing, four TDs), but QB Brenton Martin (30-of-54 passing, 463 yards) threw five TD passes in a 52-21 opening win against Newnan. Also watch for all-state candidates LB Tyrell Tomlin and PK/P Ian Shannon.
Peachtree Ridge at Mill Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mill Creek Community Stadium, Hochston
Records, rankings: Peachtree Ridge is 3-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 7-AAAAAA and No. 7; Mill Creek is 3-0, 1-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Mill Creek won 20-10 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1.Mill Creek graduated Class AAAAAA's leading rusher from 2012, Jacory Lewis (2,317 yards), but remains deep at running back as DeVozea Felton (202 yards rushing), Carter Governale (164) and Johnathan Hawkins (123) each have scored at least one touchdown in all three games. QB Daniel David (24-of-32 passing, 378 yards) has thrown for at least one TD pass in every game. 2. Peachtree Ridge RB Jordan Ellis (committed to Virginia) has rushed for 314 yards and four touchdowns on 58 carries (5.4 ypc), but the Lions are getting more yardage passing than running. Junior QB Chance Thrasher is 36-of-66 for 674 yards and five touchdowns. 3. Both teams have all-state candidates at linebacker. Peachtree Ridge's Dru Moody has eight tackles for losses. Mill Creek's Andrew Sciara had a career game last week in a victory against Mountain View when he made 10 tackles and returned two fumbles for touchdowns.
Ridgeland at Cedartown
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Doc Ayers Field at Cedartown Memorial Stadium, Cedartown
Records, rankings: Ridgeland is 1-1 and unranked in Class AAAA; Cedartown is 3-0 and unranked in AAAA.
Last meeting: Ridgeland won 42-21 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. Cedartown RB Nick Chubb is leading the state in rushing, as he did last season when he ran for 2,721 yards in just 10 games. This season, Chubb has 730 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in three games. He is committed to Georgia. 2. Ridgeland won every region game a year ago by at least 15 points but graduated two exceptional all-state players, DB/WR Vonn Bell and RB Darrell Bridges. Playing without some injured starters, the Panthers lost 37-0 in their opener to Calhoun. They beat River Ridge 42-14 last week as Noah Cooper scored three touchdowns and Chase Crawford intercepted three passes. 3. Ridgeland contained Chubb in last season's 28-14 victory. Chubb rushed for 116 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries. Only one other team, Gilmer, held Chubb to a lower total (74 yards) last season.
St. Pius at Lovett
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium/Conley-Oakley Field, Atlanta
Records, rankings: St. Pius is 3-0 and No. 2 in Class AAA; Lovett is 3-0 and No. 2 in AA.
Last meeting: St. Pius won 24-0 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. St. Pius won last year's game by holding Lovett to 143 yards of total offense. St. Pius didn't complete a pass. QB Jack Spear, since graduated, rushed for 121 yards. It was the first time that these metro Atlanta private schools had played each other in 29 years. 2. St. Pius is averaging 260.3 yards rushing per game. QB Joey Connors is the leading rusher with 185 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries, but he has done damage in the rare times that he does pass. He's 10-of-12 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. 3. Lovett has beaten three consecutive ranked teams from higher classifications. The sweetest victory was last week's two-overtime win against Marist. QB Willie Candler (13-of-27 passing, 182 yards) passed for a touchdown and scored another in the overtimes. Lovett has earned its highest state ranking in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll since 1989.
Seminole County at Pelham
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hornet Stadium, Pelham
Records, rankings: Seminole County is 3-0 and No. 8 in Class A; Pelham is 3-0 and unranked in AA.
Last meeting: Seminole County won 20-13 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. Pelham is 3-0 for the first time since 2000. Third-year coach Frankie Carroll led Madison County, Fla., to a state title in 2007. He has rebuilt with youth. Leading rushers are Darren Jackson (295 yards, five TDs), Demonte Franklin (249, three) and Desmond Parker (265, three). On defense, Parker has six tackles for losses and Jackson has four. 2. Seminole County RB Robert Speight has rushed for more than 125 yards in each of the last two games and has 288 yards rushing on the season. The team's most dynamic player is Danny Rambo, brother of Washington Redskins safety Bacarri Rambo. Danny Rambo has 227 all-purpose yards from rushing, receiving and returning. He has intercepted one pass and recovered two fumbles. 3. Seminole County has won nine consecutive games in the series, which dates to 1947. The 2012 game was tight, with Seminole winning after a scoreless fourth quarter. Seminole didn't lose another regular-season game, and Pelham didn't win another one.
Tift County at Thomas County Central
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Jackets' Nest, Thomasville
Records, rankings: Tift County is 3-0 and unranked in Class AAAAAA; Thomas County Central is 3-1 and No. 6 in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Thomas County Central won 34-14 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. Tift County WR/DB Malik Henry had six receptions for 129 yards, scored three touchdowns and made 10 tackles in a 47-21 victory over Houston County last week. The week before against Henry County, he scored every time he handled the ball - a 90-yard kickoff return, a 70-yard punt return and 40-yard reverse. And in the opener, he scored two touchdowns, one on the return of a blocked punt, in a 19-3 win over Westover. 2. Thomas County Central attempts fewer than 10 passes per game, so the first goal of every defense is to stop the tandem of QB Adam Choice (589 yards rushing) and RB Deondre Cooksey (363). 3. Tift County is undefeated, but most don't consider the Blue Devils a serious playoff contender because they haven't won a Region 1-AAAAAA game since 2010. Thomas Central has handled Tift pretty easily the past two seasons, winning 34-14 and 32-13, so Tift is looking to make a statement against a team whose only loss is to Tift's region rival Valdosta.
Vidalia at Benedictine
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Savannah State University's T.A. Wright Stadium, Savannah
Records, rankings: Vidalia is 3-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 2-AA and No. 7; Benedictine is 3-0, 2-0 and No. 9.
Last meeting: Vidalia won 12-7 in 2012.
Three things to know: 1. These are two of the three unbeaten teams in Region 2-AA after only two weeks of region play. The other is Bryan County. The 2012 Benedictine-Vidalia game was the first between these southeast Georgia rivals because Benedictine typically has been a larger school or has chosen to play in a higher classification. Vidalia led 12-0 at the half and held on for a 12-7 victory and went on to win the region. Benedictine went on to win its first playoff game in 16 years. 2. Vidalia's main offensive weapon is RB Tra Hardy, who has rushed for 441 yards on 39 carries and scored seven touchdowns, but Vidalia also can pass. QB Dejarius Mincey is 22-of-38 for 430 yards. WR Jordan Black has 10 catches for 253 yards. Vidalia is allowing only 119 yards in total offense per game. 3. J.J. Gaines (102 yards, 10 carries) and Mike Huggins (112, five) each rushed for more than 100 yards in Benedictine's 42-7 victory over Metter last week. The score was 7-0 before Benedictine scored five touchdowns in the third quarter. While Benedictine is primarily a running team, junior QB Stevie Powers is 21-of-27 for 396 yards and five touchdowns.
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