Valdosta at Lowndes: This is the first time these teams have played as ranked opponents from the same region since 2010. That didn’t seem likely about a month ago. Valdosta was 4-6 last season in Class 6A. Lowndes was No. 8 in preseason but started 2-2 until beating then-No. 2 Grayson 24-14 in the Vikings’ most recent game. Lowndes held Grayson to 30 rushing yards, and sophomore QB Marvis Parrish was 8-of-9 passing for 131 yards. Parrish, a sophomore taking over for four-year starter and all-state QB Jacurri Brown, has passed for 707 yards and rushed for a team-leading 281 yards and nine touchdowns. Unlike Brown, the Miami freshman who was 6-4, 210 pounds, Parrish is 5-10, 165. Valdosta also has a dual-threat sophomore quarterback, Todd Robinson. He’s thrown for 462 yards and rushed for a team-leading 346. Valdosta’s strength is its defensive front. Eric Brantley Jr. and Omar White have 32 tackles for losses between them. Valdosta is allowing 4.8 points per game, lowest in 7A. Lowndes has won the past five games in the series but trails 37-23 all-time.
East Coweta at Carrollton: These two, plus Westlake, are the region teams that have been ranked this season, though only Carrollton remains in the top 10. Up from Class 6A this season, Carrollton was unranked in preseason, but the Trojans are perfect so far, averaging 46 points per game behind freshman quarterback Julian Lewis. A top college prospect, he’s thrown for 1,598 yards and 23 touchdowns. RB Bryce Hicks has 927 yards from scrimmage on 96 touches. The Trojans’ best victories came against South Paulding and Rome, Class 6A teams that were ranked when Carrollton played them. East Coweta has victories over Lowndes and Sandy Creek and losses to Starr’s Mill and Lambert. East Coweta, like Carrollton, gets about 60% of its total yards by passing. East Coweta sophomore QB Christian Langford has thrown for 1,430 yards and 18 touchdowns, though he’s been intercepted nine times. WR Brady Tillman is having an all-state season with 35 receptions for 605 yards and 11 touchdowns. Carrollton leads the series 4-0 with games played in 1988-89 and 2018-19.
Maxwell Ratings projections for this week’s 12 Class 7A games:
Valdosta at Lowndes -14
Richmond Hill vs Camden County -19
Carrollton vs East Coweta -13
Westlake at Pebblebrook -10
Marietta vs Hillgrove -21
McEachern at Harrison -10
Kennesaw Mountain at Osborne -23
Walton vs North Cobb -10
Wheeler vs Cherokee -7
Denmark vs West Forsyth -9
Lambert at Forsyth Central -44
Milton at South Forsyth -11