Class 3A blog: Region contests highlight Week 8 schedule

Six ranked teams are competing in region contests, one ranked team is playing a higher-classed program and top-ranked Cedar Grove (4-2), No. 4 Sandy Creek (6-1) and No. 8 Peach County rest.

Welcome to Week 8.

Carver-Atlanta (4-1) is ranked No. 2 and is coming off an 8-6 victory over then-No. 6 Peach County (3-3) last week. The Panthers will face Class 6A Mundy’s Mill (5-1, 3-1) Friday before entering Region 5 play on Oct. 14 alongside No. 4 Sandy Creek (6-1), No. 1 Cedar Grove and Douglass (3-4).

No. 3-ranked Calvary Day (4-0, 2-0) will host Groves Thursday in a Region 3 game after beating Savannah Christian (5-1, 2-1) 34-28 last week. The Cavaliers are led by junior quarterback Jake Merklinger who is 24-of-41 passing for 507 yards and eight touchdowns. Antonio Butts Jr. leads the rushing game with 32 carries for 227 yards and five touchdowns.

Newly ranked Hebron Christian (6-0, 1-0) hosts Monroe Area (2-4, 0-1) Friday in a Region 8 game after an upset victory over then-No. 5 Oconee County (3-3, 0-1) last week 35-28. The Lions went from unranked to No. 5 after beating the Warriors and are enjoying the best start in school history at 6-0. Hebron began playing football in 2007 and its best finish was a 9-1 effort in 2010 under head coach Brian Smith.

Dougherty (6-0, 1-0) moved up to No. 6 from No. 8 in this week’s poll after a 25-9 victory over then-No. 7 Crisp County (3-3, 0-1) last week, which sent the Cougars out of the top 10. The Trojans play Columbus (2-4, 0-1) at home in a Region 1 game. Junior quarterback Kameron Davis has passed for 12 touchdowns and rushed for five touchdowns to lead the Dougherty offense. He’s 79-of-137 passing for 1,266 yards with just one interception. Senior Jacob Stallworth has 48 carries for 479 yards and seven touchdowns and Kadarryion Johnson has 39 carries for 226 yards and three touchdowns.

Carver-Columbus (4-1, 1-0) beat Columbus 45-7 to more to 1-0 in Region 1 and entered the top 10 at No. 10 after the victory. Carver will host Thomasville (3-3, 1-0) Friday for another region game.

Alongside Hebron Christian, two more ranked Region 8 teams – No. 7 Stephens County (5-1, 1-0) and No. 9 Oconee County – play region games Friday. Stephens hosts Franklin County (0-6, 0-1) and Oconee hosts Hart County (4-2, 1-0).

Class 3A Top 10 Week 8 schedule

1. (1) Cedar Grove (4-2) is off.

2. (2) Carver (Atlanta) (4-1) hosts Mundy’s Mill Friday

3. (3) Calvary Day (4-0) hosts Groves Thursday for a Region 3 game.

4. (4) Sandy Creek (6-1) is off.

5. (NR) Hebron Christian (6-0) hosts Monroe Area Friday for a Region 8 game.

6. (8) Dougherty (5-0) hosts Columbus Friday for a Region 1 game.

7. (9) Stephens County (5-1) hosts Franklin County for a Region 8 game.

8. (6) Peach County (3-3) is off.

9. (5) Oconee County (3-3) hosts Hart County for a Region 8 game Friday.

10. (NR) Carver-Columbus (4-1) hosts Thomasville Friday for a Region 1 game.