Class 2A blog: What to watch in Week 6

Pace Academy, South Atlanta meet in a crucial Region 6 game
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For a preview of the Bleckley County-Dodge County and Fitzgerald-Pierce County games, check out the GHSF Daily’s top 10 games here.

Pace Academy Knights vs. South Atlanta Hornets

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Midtown High, Atlanta*

Records, rankings: Pace Academy is 1-3, 0-1 in 6-2A and unranked; South Atlanta is 2-1, 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: South Atlanta won 22-14 in 2020.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: South Atlanta by 6

Notes: Hornets senior quarterback John Lawton is 25 of 37 passing for 448 yards and four touchdowns to one interception, while rushing for 255 yards and two scores on 30 carries. Junior running back Keyjuan Brown is one of the state’s leading rushers with 582 yards and eight touchdowns on 52 carries, adding five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. On special teams, he has an 86-yard kickoff return touchdown and also kicks off and punts. First-year Hornets coach Michael Woolridge said Brown, who holds Power 5 offers from Arkansas and Virginia, is the most underrated player in the state. On defense, junior defensive end Cevan Edwards leads the Hornets with 22 tackles, 11 for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery. The Knights, who have 4-star defensive lineman Hevin Brown-Shuler, are looking for their first win on the field after McNair forfeited against them last week. They’re off to their worst start since 2014, when they started 1-3 but rallied to reach the quarterfinals. The Knights have never had a losing season under Chris Slade, who took over in 2013.

*Correction: A previous version of this story had a different start time for the Pace Academy-South Atlanta game.

Putnam County War Eagles at Laney Wildcats

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Laney Memorial Stadium, Augusta

Records, rankings: Putnam County is 4-0, 1-0 in 4-2A and No. 10; Laney is 3-1, 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Putnam County won 24-8 in 2020.

Maxwell’s projection: Putnam County by 4

Notes: For the second year in a row, the War Eagles are 4-0, this time outscoring opponents by a combined 167-29, including two season-opening shutouts over Morgan County (37-0) and Jasper County (69-0). After beating Westside 19-7 in their region opener last week, the War Eagles made their debut in the polls at No. 10. It was their first time being ranked since November of last year, when they debuted at No. 7 and lost 50-12 to unranked Jefferson County. History could repeat itself in that the Wildcats are unranked, but already have beaten two teams ranked No. 5 from Class 1A Public. In their opener on Aug. 20, the Wildcats beat Washington-Wilkes 26-20, then on Sept. 10 they edged Lincoln County 20-14. They’re coming off a region-opening 42-0 win over Glenn Hills, shutting out the Spartans for the second year in a row. However the Wildcats were forced to forfeit last year’s Glenn Hills win, along with two others over ineligible players and finished 1-8, with their coach Rashad Dunn leaving after just two seasons. The region forfeits knocked them out of the playoffs, and so far this season they’ve been on a redemption tour under first-year coach Ronnie Baker. Their lone loss was on the road, 24-14 to 3A’s Jackson (1-3).

Stockbridge Tigers at Vidalia Indians

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buck Cravey Field, Vidalia

Records, rankings: Stockbridge is 2-2 and unranked in 5A, Vidalia is 1-2 and unranked in 2A.

Last meeting: Never met

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Stockbridge by 6

Notes: The Indians are looking to build momentum from last week’s 22-3 win over 3A’s Richmond Academy, which stopped an opening two-game skid that saw them drop out of the polls from their No. 9 ranking. The last time they started 1-3 was 2017, when they finished 5-5 and reached the playoffs. Senior quarterback Bryce Davis is 27 of 47 passing for 341 yards and two touchdowns to one interception, and has rushed 51 times for 320 yards and three touchdowns. His leading receiver, sophomore Antonio Barron, has 17 catches for 214 yards and two scores. The Tigers are coming off a 42-9 loss to Jones County. They finished 3-7 last season for their first losing finish since 2009, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010. From 2012-2018 they either finished in the quarterfinals or semifinals. First-year coach Thomas Clark is the Tigers’ third coach in four years.

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