Class 4A Blog: Expect a log-jam in crowded Region 4 playoff race

The depth in Region 4 is apparent after the first three weeks of regular season action with Starr’s Mill, Troup and Whitewater opening up 3-0 starts, LaGrange getting off to a 2-0 start and the potential of the remaining region counterparts that includes Riverdale (1-2), Trinity Christian (1-2), Fayette County (0-3) and North Clayton (1-2). Region contests will pick up in earnest next week, but there will be three non-region games this weekend until things heat up. Undefeated LaGrange will host Upson-Lee on Thursday, North Clayton visits Chattahoochee County on Friday and Riverdale hosts Drew. Riverdale actually already is 1-0 in the region after scoring a 69-0 win over North Clayton in its season opener.

Troup improved to 3-0 with a solid 23-14 win over rival Callaway. Troup led visiting Callaway 3-0 after the first quarter and fell behind 7-3 midway through the second period after a Deshun Coleman touchdown run. Qua Moss returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to put the Tigers back up 9-7 and then quarterback Taeo Todd completed a jump pass to Qua Birdsong with 15 seconds left in the half to give Troup a 16-7 lead. Callaway used a Jordan King touchdown run late in the third quarter and trailed 16-14 heading into the final frame. A Troup fumble gave Callaway the football at its own 20-yard line with 9:58 left, but the Troup defense got the stop and Todd executed another red zone jump pass that went to Elijah Mathis with 5:37 left to grow the lead to 23-14.

Whitewater head coach Chad Frazier will appear on Wednesday’s episode of the Georgia Farm Bureau: Georgia Prep Sports Drive for the GHSA State Title podcast and you can tune in here:

Here’s a look back at some other big result from this past week’s games.

. There were five cross-region matchups within the classification in addition to a pair of Region 8 matchups. In the lone Region 8 game that impacted the standings, East Forsyth made history by topping Cedar Shoals 22-14 and winning the young two-year-old program’s first-ever region game. The Broncos debuted last year in Class 3A and did not participate in the region standings, and as a result, were able to win the program’s first region game in its first-ever region contest. East Forsyth is 2-0 on the year after winning 48-0 over Seckinger Week 1 and will have a bye this week before facing Johnson-Gainesville. The team went 2-8 last season, so West Forsyth needs just one more victory to surpass that win total.

There are plenty of other teams that have enjoyed successful starts to the season and among those is Pace Academy. The Knights opened the season with a win over Holy Innocents, defeated Westminster for the first time in school history and then picked up a 31-0 win over Greater Atlanta Christian this past Friday. Now, the 3-0 Knights will get set for their region opener this Friday against Lovett and attempt to sweep the private school gauntlet. In the Knights’ latest win, Terrence Kiel scored all three of his touchdowns in the first quarter, giving visiting Pace Academy a 21-0 halftime lead. Kiel took the opening kickoff 71 yards for a touchdown, caught a short pass from quarterback Conner Phelan and raced to a 63-yard touchdown, and took a handoff from Phelan for an 11-yard touchdown rush. Phelan added a 1-yard QB sneak for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Andrew Swann made a 36-yard field goal for Pace in the third quarter.

The defending champion Benedictine Cadets bounced back from last week’s loss to Miami’s Christopher Columbus with a polished 28-0 win over Westminster. Benedictine took a commanding lead over visiting Westminster — despite having a pair of first-half touchdowns called back on penalties — and the Cadets’ 28-0 lead was called final after 30 minutes of waiting for the weather to cooperate. Quarterback Luke Kromenhoek found Thomas Blackshear in the opening frame for a 15–yard touchdown and found the end zone himself on the following Benedictine drive for a 14-0 lead, and Za’Quan Bryan (2 yards) and Na’Seir Samuel (70 yards) added rushing scores in the third.

Cedartown is also off to a 3-0 start and the Bulldogs look like a top contender this season. The No. 3 ranked Bulldogs cruised to a 21-0 halftime lead over Sequoyah with three Patrick Gardner touchdown runs (3, 3, 6 yards). The Bulldogs completed the shutout and added to the lead with a pair of Harlem Diamond touchdown runs in the second half (2, 3). The Bulldogs improve to 3-0 and have tallied 13 total rushing scores so far this season. Cedartown is joined in Region 7 with Heritage-Catoosa (3-0), Northwest Whitfield (3-0), Central-Carroll (2-1), Sonoraville (2-1) and Southeast Whitfield (2-1), making it the only region in Class 4A with all of its teams having a winning record at this point.

Sonoraville recorded a 27-21 win over Dalton on Friday. Pate threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Zach Lyles on the first play from scrimmage and the Phoenix overcame a three-touchdown effort by Dalton running back Tyson Greenwade to close out the victory. Greenwade gave Dalton a 7-6 lead with his first touchdown run, but Sonoraville regained the lead minutes later with a Ty Brown fumble recovery and touchdown return. The team’s traded touchdowns before the half with Greenwade’s second touchdown and a 5-yard run by Pate that gave Sonoraville a 20-14 edge. Lyles escaped for a 38-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes left to push Sonoraville’s lead to 27-14 before Greenwade’s third touchdown run.

As for Northwest Whitfield, The host Bruins opened up a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter with a field goal and touchdown passes from Owen Brooks to Hudson Gray and Braxton Floyd in their 30-17 win over Ringgold. Ringgold answered and sparked a wild finish to the half. Quarterback Ross Norman found Ty Gilbert for a 22-yard touchdown with about a minute left in the half and then Ringgold forced a three-and-out to set up the duo for another touchdown with just nine seconds left to cut the deficit to 16-14. Northwest Whitfield, however, returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and went to the locker room with a 23-14 lead. Northwest’s final touchdown came on a 29-yard touchdown from Brooks to Floyd before Ringgold tacked on a field goal late for the final tally.

CLASS 4A WEEK 3 RESULTS

REGION 1

Shaw 2-1

Bainbridge 1-2

Cairo 1-2

Hardaway 0-3

Westover 1-2

Thursday, Sept. 1

Westover 45, Spencer 10

Friday, Sept. 2

Thomas County Central 35, Bainbridge 14

Thomasville 36, Cairo 27

Northside-Columbus 34, Hardaway 7

Harris County 21, Shaw 14

REGION 2

Howard 2-0

Westside 3-0

West Laurens 1-1

Spalding 2-1

Baldwin 0-3

Griffin 0-3

Perry 1-1

Friday, Sept. 2

Baldwin vs. Ware County 41, Baldwin 3

Whitewater 45, Griffin 21

Perry 42, Jones County 14

Spalding 44, Fayette County 7

Houston County 58, Houston County 0

Westside-Macon 40, Morrow 14

REGION 3

Burke County 2-0

New Hampstead 3-0

Benedictine 2-1

Wayne County 2-1

Islands 0-3

Southeast Bulloch 0-2

Friday, Sept. 2

Benedictine 28, Westminster 0

South Effingham 24, Islands 0

New Hampstead 27, Bradwell Institute 0

Wayne County 7, Appling County 0

REGION 4

Riverdale 1-2, 1-0 LaGrange 2-0

Starr’s Mill 3-0

Troup 3-0

Whitewater 3-0

Fayette County 0-3

Trinity Christian 1-2

North Clayton 1-2

Friday, Sept. 2

Spalding 44, Fayette County 7

McNair 24, North Clayton 0

Mundy’s Mill 53, Riverdale 21

Starr’s Mill 43, Luella 12

Trinity Christian 31, Mary Persons 20

Troup 23, Callaway 14

Whitewater 45, Griffin 21

REGION 5 Hampton 3-0

Pace Academy 3-0 McDonough 1-1

Stockbridge 1-2

Woodland-Stockbridge 2-1

Lovett 0-2

Luella 0-3

Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 0-2

Friday, Sept. 2

Hampton 34, Central-Carroll 33

Starr’s Mill 43, Luella 12

Union Grove 11, McDonough 0

Pace Academy 31, Greater Atlanta Christian 0

Dougherty 33, Stockbridge 30

Woodland-Stockbridge 17, McIntosh 14

REGION 6

Holy Innocents’ 2-1

Miller Grove 2-1

Westminster 1-2

Hapeville Charter 0-3

Southwest DeKalb 1-2

Stephenson 1-1

Druid Hills 1-1

Clarkston 0-2

Stone Mountain 0-3

Thursday, Sept. 1

Southwest DeKalb 50, Decatur 27

Friday, Sept. 2

Therrell 32, Clarkston 0

Berkmar 14, Druid Hills 13

Pebblebrook 42, Hapeville Charter 28

Holy Innocents’ 40, Christ Church 0

Miller Grove 16, Douglass 9

Stephenson 20, Arabia Mountain 6

Discovery 20, Stone Mountain 14

Benedictine 28, Westminster 0

REGION 7

Cedartown 3-0

Central-Carroll 2-1

Heritage-Catoosa 3-0

Northwest Whitfield 3-0

Southeast Whitfield 2-1

Sonoraville 2-1

Friday, Sept. 2

Cedartown 35, Sequoyah 0

Hampton 34, Central-Carroll 33

Heritage-Catoosa 48, Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe 14

Northwest Whitfield 30, Ringgold 17

Sonoraville 27, Dalton 21

Gordon Lee 46, Southeast Whitfield 22

REGION 8

East Forsyth 2-0, 1-0

East Hall 2-0

North Oconee 2-0

Walnut Grove 2-0

Madison County 1-1

Cedar Shoals 0-3, 0-1

Cherokee Bluff 0-2

Chestatee 0-2

North Hall 0-2

Johnson-Gainesville 0-3

Seckinger 0-2

Friday, Sept. 2

East Forsyth 22, Cedar Shoals 14 (REGION GAME)

White County 34, Chestatee 7

East Hall 14, Johnson-Gainesville 13

Dawson County 30, North Hall 13

North Oconee 7, South Forsyth 6

Walnut Grove 20, Chattahoochee County 14