The Lee County-Houston County game is the headliner. Sixth-ranked Lee County (4-1) gave Thomas County Central its toughest game of the regular season last year, losing 39-30 on its way to earning the region’s No. 3 seed, ending the Trojans’ streak of consecutive region titles at five.
Houston County, 5-0 this season and ranked No. 3, finished tied with Lee County and Northside-Warner Robins for second place in the region last year but ended up as the No. 4 seed after tiebreakers, despite their 8-2 overall record. The Bears advanced to the quarterfinals and now have their eyes set on their first trip to the semifinals since 1993.
Here are some of the other top Class 6A games this weekend. All games are Friday.
*Lanier at Gainesville: Gainesville rolled to a 10-0 regular season and state-finals appearance in its first season under coach Josh Niblett. The Red Elephants have kept up the momentum with a 5-0 start and the No. 1 ranking in 6A, and they are heavily favored to repeat as Region 8 champions. Their biggest threat in region play, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings, appears to be Lanier, which has improved to 4-1 after a 4-7 season in 2022. The Longhorns finished with four victories in each of the past three seasons.
*Marist at Dunwoody (North DeKalb Stadium): Dunwoody is 5-0 for the first time since 2008, but the Wildcats have yet to face an opponent as talented as the one they’ll take on this week in the Region 4 opener. Eighth-ranked Marist won the region championship last season and beat the Wildcats 42-3, and the War Eagles are projected as 39-point favorites by the Maxwell Ratings. Still, the Wildcats have high hopes for their first playoff berth since 2009, and two wins in the final five games probably gets them there.
*Mundy’s Mill at Jonesboro (Twelve Oaks Stadium): The winner of this game emerges as the top challenger to defending champion Woodward Academy in Region 3. They are the three remaining unbeaten teams in region play. Mundy’s Mill is 5-0 for the first time in its 21-year history and has avenged a 2022 loss to Lovejoy that ultimately decided second place in the region. Jonesboro is one of the most improved teams in 6A, sitting at 4-1 after going 3-7 last year and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
*Roswell at Blessed Trinity: These two Region 7 rivals, located about a mile apart in north Fulton County, had never met until last season, primarily because Blessed Trinity played in lower classifications. Roswell won last year’s game 41-10 and went on to claim its fifth region championship in eight seasons. The winner of this game will establish itself as the team to beat, although Alpharetta could keep pace at the top of the region with a victory against Sprayberry this week. Those were the region’s four playoff teams last year.
*Sequoyah at River Ridge: Sequoyah and River Ridge are among four teams that are 1-0 in Region 7 play, and the winner will emerge in no worse than a three-way tie for first place with Rome and Creekview, who are both favored this week. All made the playoffs last year except Creekview, which already matched its 2022 win total. Sequoyah beat River Ridge 13-7 last year in a game that ultimately decided third place. Sequoyah has won three consecutive games after losing to Lambert and Rabun Gap in August.