Class 3A No. 7 Monroe Area will play at home against quarterback Aaron Philo and Class A Division I No. 1 Prince Avenue Christian Friday in arguably the most interesting game in Week 4 of the high school football season.
Philo, who has committed to Georgia Tech, has had one of the most impressive starts of any quarterback in the state.
“You just hope you can corral them and slow them down enough to win,” said Monroe Area coach Kevin Reach. “(Philo) is going to get his. There is not a weak link out of that bunch. They are good across the offensive front; they are good at receivers, and the quarterback … he’s the best in the state.”
Monroe Area is 3-0 after victories against Loganville (10-0), Cedar Shoals (41-0) and Eagle’s Landing (50-12) last week. Prince Avenue is also 3-0 after beating South Carolina’s Hammond (41-13), Tennessee’s Nashville Christian (42-0) and Athens Academy (52-21) last week.
Reach said there’s a personal connection to the game because of who he pulls for on Saturdays in the fall.
“I’m a Georgia Tech fan,” Reach said about trying to stifle Tech’s future quarterback. “My brother, my uncles, my nieces and my nephews, and that’s where my son wants to go. We are definitely Tech people.”
The teams favor differing approaches to offense, with Monroe Area averaging 265 rushing to 84 passing yards per game. Prince Avenue is averaging 269 passing to 195 rushing yards per game.
Monroe Area quarterback Dylan Hamby is 15-of-26 passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns and has run for another. Darrion Manuel has 52 carries for 519 yards and six touchdowns.
Prince Avenue’s Philo is 56-of-82 passing for 765 yards and 12 touchdowns and has rushed for four touchdowns. He has passed to seven different receivers for touchdowns.
“We’ll have to play very well,” Reach said. “But we have tough kids and coachable kids, and we have a good kicking game and a good offense and defense so we like where we are coming from. That’s why you play the game.”
In other games to watch:
-- No. 8 Thomasville will host Class 4A No. 6 Bainbridge: Thomasville lost to Bainbridge 31-7 last season.
-- No. 9 Carver-Columbus will host Class 2A No. 5 Northeast-Macon: Carver lost to Northeast 26-8 last season.
-- No. 1 Cedar Grove will host Class 7A Collins Hill: Cedar Grove beat Collins Hill 40-6 last season when the Eagles were ranked No. 5 in Class 7A.
-- No. 3 Sandy Creek will travel to Class 7A East Coweta: East Coweta defeated Sandy Creek 23-20 last season after Sandy Creek missed a possible game-winning field goal.
Class 3A schedule
1. (1) Cedar Grove (1-2) Friday vs. Class 7A Collins Hill
2. (2) Calvary Day (2-0) Friday vs. Charlotte Christian (NC)
3. (3) Sandy Creek (3-0) Friday at Class 7A East Coweta
4. (4) Stephens County (3-0) Friday vs. Dawson County
5. (5) Savannah Christian (2-1) Off.
6. (6) Carver-Atlanta (1-1) Friday vs. Class 4A Stephenson
7. (7) Monroe Area (3-0) Friday vs. Class A Division I No. 1 Prince Avenue Christian
8. (8) Thomasville (1-2) Friday vs. Class 4A No. 6 Bainbridge
9. (9) Carver-Columbus (2-0) Friday vs. Class 2A No. 5 Northeast-Macon
10. (NR) Mary Persons (2-1) Friday vs. Haralson County