Class 2A blog: What to watch — Week 5

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For a preview of the Pierce County-Fitzgerald game, see the GHSF Daily’s top 10 games here.

In COVID-19 news, the Chattooga Indians announced on Wednesday that they’re entering a two-week quarantine, which comes on the heels of Region 7 play. Their games against Model (Friday) and Gordon Central (Oct. 16) have been postponed.

Also, check out the latest episode of The Class 2A Blogcast, where I first discuss Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s refusal to fire Dan Quinn, the Braves and their postseason futility, and then my predictions of who will be region champions in 2A, as well as who makes the playoffs from each region. You can listen here, and on Apple and Spotify.

Callaway Cavaliers at Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jackets' Nest, Thomasville

Records, rankings: Callaway is 3-0 and No. 1 in 2A; Thomas County Central is 1-2 and unranked in 4A.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Callaway by 13

Notes: The Cavaliers have been dominant on defense, allowing a total of 13 points in three games. Last week against Douglass, in a rematch of last season’s quarterfinals, they earned their first shutout of the season, winning 35-0. The Cavs will have traveled three hours to play this game, located 15 miles from the Florida border. The Cavs' plethora of talent on both sides of the ball was chronicled in Week 2′s previews. The Yellow Jackets have already played a 2A school in Thomasville — those schools, located three miles apart, play every season. Thomasville won that game 34-7 on Sept. 11. The Jackets have a pair of sophomore Power 5 prospects in defensive end Gabriel Harris, whose offers include Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Penn State and Tennessee, and receiver Adam Hopkins (Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Penn State, South Carolina).

Dodge County Indians at Bleckley County Royals

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Royal Stadium, Cochran

Records, rankings: Dodge County is 1-2, 0-0 in Region 3 and unranked; Bleckley County is 3-1, 0-0 and No. 6.

Last meeting: Bleckley County won 41-34 in 2019.

Maxwell’s projection: Bleckley County by 4

Notes: This will be the fifth year in a row these teams have met as region rivals. The Royals' win over Dodge County last year broke a five-game losing streak in the series, which began in 1977 and which Dodge County leads 32-12. The Royals' only loss this season was 21-20 to 1A Public’s No. 7 Wilcox County, which won at the last second. They’re coming off a bye and before that they beat Vidalia 21-14 on the road. Senior 5-star lineman Amarius Mims, ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the country by Rivals, has yet to commit. The Indians opened the season with a 26-20 loss to Toombs County, shocked 1A Public’s Dublin — the defending 2A champions that reclassified ahead of the season — by a score of 33-20. Then, last week, they lost to 1A Private’s Whitefield Academy, 17-14. The Indians have a preseason all-state selection in senior running back Daylon Gordon, who holds offers from Coastal Carolina and Western Kentucky.

South Atlanta Hornets at Pace Academy Knights

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Riverview Athletic Complex, Mableton

Records, rankings: South Atlanta is 1-3, 1-1 in Region 6 and unranked; Pace Academy is 2-1, 1-0 and No. 7.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Pace Academy by 24

Notes: The Hornets are coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the program began in the 1994-95 seasons, and they’ve reached the playoffs three consecutive seasons — a program-first — all under Brad Stephens, in his fifth season with the program. They’ve been challenged early, with their first two games losses against Heard County (20-6) and Bleckley County (44-6). They beat Washington 20-19 in their opener but then lost 31-12 to No. 4 Lovett. Should the Hornets pull off the upset, they would be in the driver’s seat for a No. 2 seed and the right to host their first-ever playoff game. Pace Academy beat 1A Private’s No. 5 Holy Innocents' in their season opener, lost 7-3 to 3A’s unranked Westminster and last week beat McNair 55-0 in their region opener. It’s unclear if the Knights' 4-star quarterback, M.J. Morris — who sat out the team’s first two games — played last week, or if he’ll play Friday.

Toombs County Bulldogs at Macon County Bulldogs

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Adams-Maffett Field, Montezuma

Records, rankings: Toombs County is 3-1 and unranked in 2A; Macon County is 3-0 and No. 3 in 1A Public.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Maxwell’s projection: Macon County by 4

Notes: Toombs County will make the two-hour trip west for their first-ever meeting with Macon County, fresh off a 49-0 win over Berrien. The Bulldogs have also beaten Dodge County (26-20) and 3A’s Tattnall County (37-14), which earned them a spot in the rankings for the first time since 2001. However, they promptly lost to 4A’s West Laurens 27-7 the next week, which cost them their spot in the rankings. They have a preseason all-state selection in kicker Julian Marin-Vital, a junior. The Bulldogs began the season unranked, but burst into the polls at No. 3 when they beat then-No. 3 Clinch County 21-19. They’ve held that spot with Region 5 wins over Marion County (38-0) and Central-Talbotton (63-6).

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