Top 10 games of Week 5

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

ACE Charter at Northeast

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Harry B. Thompson Stadium, Macon

Records, rankings: ACE Charter is 4-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 2-2A and unranked; Northeast is 2-1, 0-0 and No. 5.

Last meeting: Northeast won 47-21 in 2022.

Things to know: These are the highest-rated teams in Region 2-2A, according to the Maxwell Ratings, though defending champion Spencer is in the mix. In the 2022 game, Nick Woodford rushed for 257 yards on 27 carries and had 79 yards receiving, and freshman QB Reginald Glover rushed for 102 yards and was 13-of-17 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Those two are back. ACE’s problem last season was its defense. The Gryphons allowed 26.7 points per game and lost their playoff game to Cook 77-35. They haven’t played a tough schedule to date, but they have allowed only eight points total compared to 90 against the same four opponents last season. ACE’s best players are probably RB Aaron Davis, who rushed for 1,498 yards last season, and WR/DB Brice Whitley, who had more than 1,000 all-purpose yards last season and had five TD receptions against Jordan this season. Whitley has an offer from Georgia Southern.

Cedar Grove at Mill Creek

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Markham Field at Mill Creek Community Stadium, Hochston

Records, rankings: Cedar Grove is 2-2 and No. 1 in Class 3A; Mill Creek is 3-0 and No. 3 in 7A.

Last meeting: Mill Creek won 52-36 in 2022.

Things to know: Cedar Grove’s schedule so far is the 11th-toughest in any class, according to the Maxwell Ratings, and that’s not counting this game against the defending Class 7A champions and the one next week at Colquitt County. The Saints’ offense is keeping up. QB E.J. Colson, a four-star recruit in his third season as a starter, is 57-of-82 passing for 640 yards. Bo Walker, a sophomore with several Division I offers, has more than 500 yards from scrimmage. Cedar Grove is averaging 38.5 points but allowing 38.8. Mill Creek’s average score is 39-11 against three Class 7A opponents, including Region 7 favorite Norcross (won 27-13). New starting QB Sam Throgmartin has been efficient (41-of-54 passing, 444 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions). Running backs Cam Robinson and Daniel Smith each have 100-yard rushing games. Trajen Greco has four TD receptions. The defense has four seniors, including cornerback Greco (Georgia Tech), who are Power 5 Conference recruits.

East Coweta at Lowndes

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta

Records, rankings: East Coweta is 4-0 and unranked in Class 7A; Lowndes is 3-0 and unranked in 7A.

Last meeting: East Coweta won 49-34 in 2022.

Things to know: These are two of the most conspicuous among the 11 undefeated, unranked teams in Class 7A. In the 2022 game between them, East Coweta got 362 yards passing from a sophomore quarterback who has transferred to Buford. The new guy, Cohen Peeples, is 39-of-72 passing for 740 yards and seven touchdowns. Seth Gritton (18 receptions, 372 yards) is among the top five receivers in 7A. Dionte Jones rushed for 137 yards while Dural Thompson ran for 110 last week in a 31-14 victory over Sandy Creek. Lowndes QB Marvis Parrish passed for 253 yards in the 2022 East Coweta game, but Lowndes couldn’t get its run game going. Parrish is back, and the run game is better. Jacarre’ Fleming rushed for 111 and 186 yards with three touchdowns each in his first two games. He was limited to one carry last week in a win over Rock Creek Christian of Maryland but will be ready Friday. Lowndes hasn’t been swept in a non-region home-and-home series since McEachern did it in 2010-11.

Marist at Blessed Trinity

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Blessed Trinity Stadium, Roswell

Records, rankings: Marist is 3-1 and No. 7 in Class 6A; Blessed Trinity is 3-0 and No. 10 in 6A.

Last meeting: Marist won 21-17 in 2022.

Things to know: These Catholic schools began playing each other in 2016. Blessed Trinity leads the series 4-3, though Marist has won the most recent two. The coaches – Marist’s Alan Chadwick and Blessed Trinity’s Ed Dudley – rank in Georgia’s top 10 in career wins among active coaches, but this will be their first meeting. This is Dudley’s first season at Blessed Trinity and Chadwick’s 39th at Marist. Blessed Trinity also started 3-0 last season and entered the Marist game ranked No. 2 but lost four games from there, one in the first round, leaving the Titans unranked in the final poll for the first time since 2011. Dudley’s new edition is more pass-friendly than those of the past. Junior QB Brooks Goodman is 41-of-65 passing for 502 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The leading tackler is a freshman, D.J. Jacobs, a 6-foot-5 defensive end and a son of former Georgia player David Jacobs. Marist holds to its run-first philosophy. Jackson Hughes is the leading rusher with 260 yards. Marist has been vulnerable to the pass (allowing 189 yards), but Luke Harpring and Afton Mosley have five sacks each.

McIntosh Co. Academy at Lanier Co.

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Roquemore Field, Lakeland

Records, rankings: McIntosh County is 2-1 and No. 9 in Class A Division II; Lanier County is 3-0 and unranked in A Division II.

Last meeting: McIntosh County Academy won 18-10 in 2022.

Things to know: Lanier County could be on the brink of its first state ranking in history and perhaps more. A victory would be the Bulldogs’ first in 55 tries against a top-10 team and make them 4-0 for the first time in history. They won their first playoff game in history last season. In the 2022 game between these two, McIntosh County Academy rallied from a 10-0 second-half deficit and returned a fumble for a key touchdown. Expect another low-scoring game as these teams rank 1-2 in points allowed per game in Class A Division II. MCA has two shutouts and one 14-6 loss to Glynn Academy, a Class 6A school. Lanier County’s Nehemiah Davis has rushed for 319 yards in three games, never fewer than 95. MCA, the defending Region 3 champion, has attempted only 15 passes, and its leading rusher is a freshman, Earnest McIntosh, with 166 yards.

North Oconee at Madison County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Red Raider Stadium, Danielsville

Records, rankings: North Oconee is 2-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 8-4A and No. 2; Madison County is 3-0, 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: North Oconee won 42-0 in 2022.

Things to know: Madison County was the No. 4 seed from this region last season and avenged one region loss, to Cherokee Bluff, last week with a 27-26 overtime victory. According to the Maxwell Ratings, Madison County and North Hall are the top contenders to defending champion North Oconee in this region. Madison County QB Camden Smith has rushed for 518 yards and six touchdowns. Zahmerius Shiflet has rushed for 399 yards and seven touchdowns. Madison County has attempted only 11 passes. Madison County hasn’t been 4-0 since 2016 nor beaten a top-10 team from the same class, such as North Oconee, since 1996 (Monroe Area). North Oconee led 21-0 in the first quarter of last season’s game. North Oconee County QB Max Wilson, a two-year starter, has rushed for 129 and 136 yards in his team’s two games. He’s 12-of-17 passing for 130 yards.

Rockmart at Irwin County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buddy Nobles Stadium, Ocilla

Records, rankings: Rockmart is 1-2 and No. 8 in Class 2A; Irwin County is 2-1 and No. 3 in A Division I.

Last meeting: Irwin County won 28-14 in 2022.

Things to know: Rockmart’s losses are against bigger schools Cedartown and Dalton, both by seven points or fewer, and the Yellow Jackets beat Class 5A Cass, thus their resiliency as a top-10 team. Irwin County’s loss was 28-0 against 2A Fitzgerald, the team that beat Rockmart in overtime in the 2022 quarterfinals. In the 2022 game between these two, Irwin County passed for 251 yards. A recurrence isn’t likely, as Irwin is more grounded these days. In a 48-36 victory over Turner County last week, Irwin had three 100-yard rushers – Shane Marshall (151 yards), Wesley Walters (139) and Jaken Thomas (130) – with Caleb Barnett not far behind with 78 yards. Each scored at least one touchdown. Rockmart’s Brent Washington, who has a handful of Division I offers, is his team’s leading rusher (152 yards) and tackler (21 tackles, four tackles for losses). These schools are 230 miles apart, Rockmart in northwest Georgia, Irwin County in south Georgia. Both are in the top 25 statewide in victories since 2018.

Stratford Academy at St. Anne-Pacelli

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Deimel Field, Columbus

Records, rankings: Stratford Academy is 3-0 and No. 1 in GIAA Class 4A (MaxPreps); St. Anne-Pacelli is 3-1 and No. 2 in GIAA Class 4A (MaxPreps).

Last meeting: St. Anne-Pacelli won 10-0 in the 2022 GIAA Class 4A championship game.

Things to know: After 62 seasons in the GHSA, St. Anne-Pacelli moved into the Georgia Independent School Association last year and won it first state football championship. Stratford also moved to the GIAA (now the athletics division of the GISA), but it had been in that league for most of its existence and won eight state titles there. These two had never played until last season, and Pacelli beat Stratford twice. In the championship game, Pacelli recovered a muffed punt, setting up the game’s only touchdown. This season, Pacelli has lost only to Glenwood, an Alabama school. Corvee James has rushed for 452 yards. Jason Nelson has run for 347. Pacelli averages 292.8 rushing yards and 82.0 passing per game. Stratford is even more run-centric, averaging 287.3 yards rushing with only 13 pass attempts total. The Maxwell Ratings rank these teams among the GIAA’s best four overall with John Milledge Academy at No. 1, Pacelli at No. 2, First Presbyterian at No. 3 and Stratford at No. 4.

Trion at Model

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Woodard-Tuggle Stadium, Rome

Records, rankings: Trion is 3-0 and No. 5 in Class A Division I; Model is 2-0 and unranked in 2A.

Last meeting: Model won 31-27 in 2022.

Things to know: These are two of northwest Georgia’s better small-school teams. Model is 2-0 after an 0-2 start last season and can be 3-0 for the first time since 2016. Trion is 3-0 as it was last season entering this game but is ranked No. 5, its highest mark since 2004. In the 2022 game, Model QB Jake Sanders came off the bench and threw a 44-yard TD pass with 57 seconds left for the game-winner. He was 17-of-26 passing for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Sanders now is the established starter. Model’s best all-around player might be Amir Pinkard. In a victory over Woodland of Cartersville, he had a TD reception, forced fumble and interception. Trion is a well-balanced team. Toby Maddux has rushed for 195, 97 and 179 yards. Kade Smith passed for 276 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-14 victory over Gordon Lee last week. Trion has a 26-18 lead in the series, which began in 1947.

Westlake at Newton

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Homer Sharp Stadium, Covington

Records, rankings: Westlake is 4-0 and No. 7 in Class 7A; Newton is 4-0 and unranked in 7A.

Last meeting: Westlake won 42-14 in 2022.

Things to know: Newton is 4-0 for the first time since 2015 and can become 5-0 for the first time since 1950, its second full varsity season. The Rams have allowed only 14 points total, although the competition has been three smaller schools, then McEachern, a 13-7 victory that was stopped in the second quarter and not finished. The offense is led by Zion Johnson, a junior with Division I offers and 464 yards rushing in the three completed games, and Georgia Southern-committed WR Keon Davis. Sophomore QB Deron Benson had 442 yards passing, 92 rushing. Westlake can roll out seven defensive players who are seniors committed to Division I schools. They include DB Christian Peterson (Central Florida), CB Rae’mon Mosby (Louisville) and DL DeMarius Hines (East Carolina). They go with an offense that’s averaging 51.3 points per game. In the 2022 game between these two, Newton was within 21-14 at halftime before it got away.

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