Class A Division I/II blog: Irwin vs. Fitzgerald highlights opening weekend of play

There are seven games between ranked programs in Division I and II of Class A, and you can expect playoff-quality matchups from the newly minted classes throughout the season.

One of the best games in Week 1 has Class A Division I No. 4 Irwin County playing against Class 2A No. 2 Fitzgerald in the 68th edition of a storied rivalry that dates to 1954.

Fitzgerald holds a 46-19 lead in the series, and the teams have tied three times. Irwin County won back-to-back games against Fitzgerald in 2018 (16-10) and 2019 (35-8), but Irwin previously had not beaten Fitzgerald since 1999. The teams tied 20-20 in 2013.

In Class A Division I, No. 5 Metter will travel to No. 6 Swainsboro for another meeting between highly ranked opponents. The programs have played 27 times, with Swainsboro holding a 19-7-1 margin in the series. Metter, however, has won the past two games – 32-30 in 2021 and 28-0 in 2020.

Whitefield Academy is ranked No. 8 in Division I and will travel to Class A Division II No. 2 Macon County for the first-ever meeting between the programs. Last season, Whitefield finished 13-1 before losing to eventual champion Brooks County 49-7 in the Class A Public semifinals.

Lamar County is ranked No. 10 in Class A Division I and will travel to Division II No. 3 Wilcox County for the first-ever meeting between the teams. Last season, Lamar County went 6-4 and missed the playoffs; Wilcox County finished 10-4 and advanced to the semifinals before losing to Irwin County 41-27.

Class A Division I rankings/schedule

1. Prince Avenue Christian (13-2) Friday vs. Hammond (S.C.)

2. Brooks County (12-2) Friday vs. Class 3A Thomasville

3. Rabun County (11-2) Friday at Class 2A Haralson County

4. Irwin County (12-3) Friday at Class 2A No. 2 Fitzgerald

5. Metter (13-1) Friday at Class A Division 1 No. 6 Swainsboro

6. Swainsboro (11-3) Friday vs. Class A Division 1 No. 5 Metter

7. Bleckley County (11-1) Friday vs. Class 2A Dodge County

8. Whitefield Academy (6-5) Friday at Class A Division II No. 2 Macon County

9. Darlington (11-2) August 26 at Class 4A Sonoraville

10. Lamar County (6-4) Friday at Class A Division II No. 3 Wilcox County

Class A Division II rankings/schedule

1. Schley County (10-2) Friday at Tattnall Square

2. Macon County (11-1) Friday vs. Class A Division I No. 8 Whitefield Academy

3. Wilcox County (10-4) Friday vs. Class A Division I No. 10 Lamar County

4. Turner County (6-7) Friday vs. Class 2A Worth County

5. Bowdon (10-2) Friday vs. Manchester

6. Clinch County (3-7) Friday at Class 2A Berrien

7. Charlton County (7-4) Friday at Class 2A Jeff Davis

8. Lincoln County (8-4) Friday vs. Class A Division I Bryan County

9. GMC Prep (10-1) Friday at Wheeler County

10. Johnson County (7-4) August 26 at Jenkins County