Class 4A Blog: Top Week 7 Matchups

Region battles make up the bulk of the Week 7 schedule and my Tuesday Blog gave a region-by-region preview of the action. Today’s blog will highlight my five favorite matchups.

Cairo at Bainbridge

These two Region 1 opponents have faced ranked teams every single week heading into this matchup. Cairo has gone 0-3 and Bainbridge has emerged from its non-region gauntlet with a 1-3 record. Bainbridge observed a bye last week and is coming off a competitive 35-30 loss to Class 5A powerhouse Ware County. Cairo has not played a game since Sept. 18 as a result of its Dothan (AL) game getting called off due to COVID concerns. As for the matchup itself, Bainbridge quarterback Quayde Hawkins had a valiant performance in the Bearcats' narrow loss to Ware County. The senior completed 25-of-39 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown while accounting for three rushing touchdowns off of his nine carries. Bainbridge took last year’s meeting 14-10, has won three-straight against Cairo and five of the last six contests.

Carver-Columbus vs. LaGrange

Region 2 is the largest in the classification with nine teams and both Carver-Columbus and LaGrange are a perfect 3-0 in region play heading into this matchup. Hardaway is also still unbeaten at 2-0 in region play—making this matchup even more impactful in the race for the region title. Carver-Columbus is currently ranked No. 5 and the Tigers have dominated their three region opponents Spencer, Kendrick and Shaw with a whopping 161-19 advantage (47.3 average margin of victory). LaGrange is 1-4 overall and has won four-straight games heading into Friday’s matchup. This is the Grangers' longest winning streak since the 2009 season. Carver and LaGrange have split the all-time series 8-8, but it has trended heavily in Carver’s direction with the Tigers winning the last seven meetings and eight of the last nine. The last meeting came in 2015 and Carver-Columbus scored a 51-50 win.

Hapeville Charter at Marist

Region 6 will feature the only top 10 Class 4A Week 7 matchup with No. 1 Marist hosting No. 8 Hapeville Charter. Marist is coming off a prolonged two-week bye after having to cancel its matchup with Chapel Hill following a strong 3-0 start that features a 111-3 total margin of victory. Hapeville Charter, meanwhile comes off an impressive 21-0 win over Mays in last week’s region opener. Hapeville Charter opened its season with back-to-back losses to Class 7A opponents (North Forsyth and Milton) before its shutout victory over Mays. Marist opened its season with a 43-0 win over Holy Innocents' and then toppled Woodward Academy 23-3 and Hampton 45-0. This will be the first-ever meeting between the programs.

Northwest Whitfield at Central-Carroll

No. 6 ranked Northwest Whitfield will open up its Region 7 schedule at Central-Carroll with an opportunity to post its first 5-0 start to a season since 2013. The Bruins' strong start has seen sophomore quarterback Owen Brooker burst to the scene with his 64-of-100 passing for 912 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. Receivers Ray Morrison and Matt Redmond have each hauled in four touchdowns and Morrison set a school-record with his 99-yard touchdown reception in Northwest Whitfield’s 20-7 win over North Murray. Last week, Northwest Whitfield observed its bye week. As for Central-Carroll, the Lions opened the season with a 14-7 loss to Temple before stringing together a three-game winning streak. In last week’s victory, Central-Carroll defeated Class 2A No. 10 Heard County 32-13. Running back Narada Levett has been the Lions' workhorse so far this season and has racked up 800 yards (200 yards per game) and eight touchdowns off of his team-high 118 carries. The senior has taken 69 carries for 531 yards and seven touchdowns in just the past two games.

Howard at West Laurens

West Laurens picked up a Region 4 victory last week in a 14-7 win over Spalding. Howard was off on a bye and so this will be the Huskies first region matchup. Howard opened its season with a 28-7 loss to Northside-Warner Robins before scoring a 37-20 win over Central-Macon and a 17-14 win over Effingham County before last week’s bye. These two programs have split the last two meetings, but West Laurens dominated the matchup 43-7 last season and owns a 10-2 all-time advantage in the series.

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