Top 10 games of Week 7

Southwest DeKalb quarterback Sadir Ryan (13) runs for a touchdown in the Panthers' season opener against Tucker on Oct. 2, 2020. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Athens Academy at Wesleyan

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Henderson Stadium, Peachtree Corners

Records, rankings: Athens Academy is 5-0 and No. 1 in Class A Private; Wesleyan is 4-1 and No. 5 in Class A Private.

Last meeting: Wesleyan won 35-14 in the second round of the 2010 Class A playoffs.

Things to know: This is the final non-region game for both teams. Wesleyan, the 2019 Class A Private runner-up, suffered its only loss this season to No. 3 Prince Avenue Christian 52-26 last week. Griffin Caldwell rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the defeat. He has run for 614 yards on the season. Wesleyan also passes well, as Ryan Rose has thrown for 1,005 yards while completing 68 percent of his attempts. Preseason all-state WR/DB Cooper Blauser, who had 229 yards receiving in the opening game, remains out with an injury. Wesleyan is 1-11 all-time vs. No. 1-ranked teams, its last victory in the 2008 Class A championship game against Emanuel County Institute. Athens Academy has a balanced offense. Charlie Chisholm has rushed for 446 yards. Palmer Bush has passed for 780. WR/DB Deion Colzie, recently committed to Notre Dame, has 253 yards receiving. LB Charlie O’Neill leads the team in solo tackles (23) and sacks (two) and has forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. Athens Academy allows only 66.8 yards rushing per game. No opponent has scored more than 14 points.

Camden County at Warner Robins

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins

Records, rankings: Camden County is 4-2 and unranked in Class 7A; Warner Robins is 4-1 and No. 3 in 5A.

Last meeting: Camden County won 20-3 in 2007.

Things to know: This is Warner Robins' sixth opponent out of six from a higher classification. Every team on the Demons' 10-game schedule is in the top 100 overall in Georgia, according to the Maxwell Ratings, and seven are in the top 40. Warner Robins has lost only to No. 1 Lee County of Class 6A, although a 28-25 loss to Valdosta was overturned as a forfeit. QB Jalen Addie has passed for 827 yards and rushed for 344. WR Armon Porter is averaging 28.8 yards per his 13 receptions for five touchdowns. Warner Robins has 22 sacks, seven by sophomore DE Vic Burley. Camden County, ranked No. 6 in preseason, has lost to Richmond Hill and Coffee, a pair of top-10 teams, but injuries have played a role in the slow start. RB Jamie Felix, a four-star RB recruit, has barely played and remains doubtful. QB Joshua Brown, who has thrown for 785 yards, and AJC Super 11 tackle Micah Morris were out last week but will go Friday. WR Shawn Hardy, with 396 receiving yards, has been outstanding. He’s committed to Nebraska.

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Cartersville at Cass

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Doug Cochran Stadium, White

Records, rankings: Cartersville is 4-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 7-5A and No. 4; Cass is 5-0, 0-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Cartersville won 41-0 in 2015.

Things to know: These might be called crosstown rivals, although Cass is a county school about 10 miles north of downtown Cartersville. They’ve played each other since 1956. Cartersville leads the series 41-5, but Cass beat Cartersville in 2007, the last time the two were in the same region, and lost in overtime in 2006. Cass, 5-0 for the first time since 2004, has a freshman quarterback, Devin Henderson, who has thrown for 830 yards and eight touchdowns with only two interceptions. He has rushed for 280 yards. Jaiden Avalos and C.J. Pipkin have 242 yards receiving apiece. Cass has created 12 turnovers and averages three sacks per game. Kaleb Speights is 10-of-11 on field goals and has made five at 40 yards or longer. Cartersville is an outstanding passing team. Seniors Devonte Ross (300 yards receiving) and Sam Phillips (245) are talented two-way starters who also figure in the return game. Stratton Tripp is 52-of-85 passing for 716 yards and seven touchdowns. Carlos Del Rio, a quarterback committed to Florida, has transferred to Cartersville and could make his debut in this game.

Carver (Columbus) at LaGrange

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange

Records, rankings: Carver is 3-0 overall, 3-0 in Region 2-4A and No. 5; LaGrange is 4-1, 3-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Carver won 51-50 in 2015.

Things to know: The winner of this game will be in sole possession of first place in 2-4A, but Hardaway (3-1, 2-0) also is undefeated in the region and remains a threat. LaGrange has been rejuvenated under first-year coach Matt Napier. The former state power has struggled in recent years, going 6-34 over the past four seasons. The Grangers' last region title came in 2006. Since then, Carver has won nine region titles (including last year) and a state championship. Carver has the top offense (53.67 points) and No. 4 defense (6.33) in Class 4A. QB Devin Riles has completed 74.3 percent of his passes for 439 yards, rushed for 163 yards and had a hand in 12 touchdowns. Junior Jaiden Credle has rushed for 283 yards and five TDs. LaGrange has the No. 4 offense in 4A, averaging 37.6 points. The Grangers have a sophomore quarterback, Jaylan Brown, who was 12-of-15 passing for 222 yards last week in a 47-7 victory over Shaw. RB Kale Gibbs scored four touchdowns in the game and had 175 yards rushing, bringing his season total to 707.

Eastside at Clarke Central

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Billy Henderson Stadium/Death Valley, Athens

Records, rankings: Eastside is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 8-5A and unranked; Clarke Central is 3-2, 2-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Clarke Central won 14-7 in 2007.

Things to know: Eastside and Clarke Central are the only remaining unbeaten teams in 8-5A games, and the winner will emerge as the heavy favorite to win the eight-team region. Clarke Central is the defending region champion. Eastside won a region title in 2018 and finished second to Woodward Academy in 4-4A last season. Eastside runs the ball about 78 percent of the time, and junior Dallas Johnson gets most of the work. He has rushed for 693 yards, including 253 on 30 carries in a 27-14 victory over Winder-Barrow in the season opener. QB Dayton Green has been efficient, completing 30 of 50 passes for 549 yards with eight TDs and no interceptions. Clarke Central also relies on the run. Will Richardson carried the load in the first four games, averaging 15 carries and 55.3 yards, but sophomore Felix Braddy had a breakout game in a 38-10 victory over Jackson County last week, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. WR Jairus “Nono” Mack (three-star committed to Charlotte) is the Gladiators' best-know player. He has 298 yards on 15 receptions.

Houston County at Veterans

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Freedom Field, Warner Robins

Records, rankings: Houston County is 4-2 and unranked in Class 6A; Veterans is 4-1 and No. 7 in 5A.

Last meeting: Veterans won 7-2 in 2019.

Things to know: These county rivals have played each other every season since 2014, four years after Veterans opened. Houston County won the first four meetings by an average of 20.8 points, but Veterans has won close games the past two years. Houston County, now four years past the pass-happy era of coach Von Lassiter and QB Jake Fromm, is a running team. Tyler Williams is the second-leading rusher in 1-6A with 438 yards. His 100 carries are 21 more than any other player in the region. Simeon Askew (24 carries, 166 yards), Corey Chaisson (53-148) and QB Christian Lawhorn (57-127) also get their share of work. Lawhorn has completed 14 passes for 138 yards. Veterans is coming off a 9-3 season that set a school record for victories, and the Warhawks were 4-0 until a 14-6 loss to 3A No. 3 Oconee County last week. Lebron Fields rushed for a season-high 189 yards on 28 carries and has 611 yards for the season. He is also the team’s second-leading receiver. QB Blake Ethridge was limited to 83 passing yards last week but has 1,052 this season.

Macon County at Taylor County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Viking Stadium, Butler

Records, rankings: Macon County is 3-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-A Public and No. 6; Taylor County is 4-0, 3-0 and No. 7.

Last meeting: Macon County won 34-28 in 2019.

Things to know: Macon County, Taylor County and Chattahoochee County are the three remaining unbeaten teams in region play in eight-team 5-A Public. Macon County won region and state championships in 2016 and reached the quarterfinals the next year but was 11-11 over the past two seasons. Taylor County is 4-0 for the first time since 2002. Macon County averages 143 yards passing and 123.8 rushing. Davion Clark (22 carries, 233 yards, four touchdowns) and Branden Cochran (24-162-3) lead the running game. QB Jakalen Williams, who has passed for 484 in three games, had his best game in a 17-14 loss to Toombs County last week. He was 15-of-33 for 245 yards and a touchdown. Taylor County is more run-oriented, averaging 290.5 yards rushing and 81.8 passing. QB Jabin Ford has rushed for 589 yards and 13 touchdowns on 70 carries, and Nathan Patterson (252 yards), Travin Gooch (122) and Dontae Reynolds (101) have combined for 475 yards. Ford attempts just seven passes per game. He is 12-of-28 for 327 yards and two TDs.

Mill Creek at North Gwinnett

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee

Records, rankings: Mill Creek is 2-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 8-7A and unranked; North Gwinnett is 4-2, 0-0 and No. 9.

Last meeting: North Gwinnett won 45-3 in 2019.

Things to know: North Gwinnett has won three consecutive region titles and 18 straight region games and enters region play as 8-7A’s team to beat, especially after defeating then-No. 6 North Cobb 16-0 last week, ending a two-game winning streak. That hoisted North Gwinnett back into the top 10. The Bulldogs have been dominant defensively with two shutouts against top-10 teams. (Parkview was the other.) And that’s with Clemson-committed LB Barrett Carter limited to two games because of injury. He’s back. So is Jordan Hancock, an Ohio State-committed cornerback who rejoined the team after originally opting out. On offense, Marcus McFarlane has rushed for 476 yards. The Bulldogs have struggled in the passing game, completing only 45.3 percent of their throws. Mill Creek has lost only to No. 4 Brookwood and No. 2 Grayson, the latter in overtime last week. Rewarding the strength of schedule, the Maxwell Ratings actually have Mill Creek at No. 6 in 7A, ahead of North Gwinnett. Like North, Mill Creek has been more impressive on defense. Jack Clayton leads the team in solo tackles (21) and tackles for losses (four). Also similar to North, Mill Creek has been a better running team. Josh Battle has rushed for 298 yards.

St. Pius at Southwest DeKalb

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, James R. Hallford Stadium, Clarkston

Records, rankings: St. Pius is 3-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 5-5A and No. 10; Southwest DeKalb is 1-1, 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: St. Pius won 25-7 in 2007.

Things to know: These are the two highest-rated teams in Region 5-5A, according to the Maxwell Ratings, which give St. Pius a 78.7 percent chance of winning the title and Southwest DeKalb a 16.7 percent chance. Southwest won this region in 2018 and 2019, when St. Pius was not a member. Both lost their only games Oct. 2, Southwest DeKalb to Tucker 29-12 and St. Pius to Westminster 27-24. St. Pius is 4-0 all-time against Southwest DeKalb. Both are predominantly rushing teams, especially St. Pius. The Lions are 2-for-17 passing but average 354.3 yards rushing at 7.0 yard per carry. They’ve gone over 400 yards rushing twice this season. Mason Benefield has rushed for 309 yards and eight touchdowns on just 24 carries (12.9 ypc). St. Pius also blunts the run well, allowing only 82.5 yards on the ground. Southwest DeKalb’s James Carswell has rushed for 91 and 70 yards in his two games, each on 19 attempts. Billy Johnson rushed for 94 on 12 carries in a victory over Lithonia last week. Sadir Ryan is 11-of-24 passing for 105 yards.

Westlake at Hughes

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Panthers Stadium, Fairburn

Records, rankings: Westlake is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 4-6A and No. 6; Hughes is 4-0, 0-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Hughes won 16-13 in 2017.

Things to know: This is the region opener for these south Fulton County rivals. Westlake has moved down from Class 7A this year after winning six consecutive region titles there. Sophomore QB R.J. Johnson has passed for 1,021 yards to a talented group of receivers that includes three players rated among the top 50 in Georgia – No. 16 Dacari Collins (Clemson), No. 19 Jaquez Smith (Indiana) and No. 46 Leo Blackburn (tight end, Georgia Tech). The Lions' highest-rated player is No. 13 Nathaniel Wiggins, a cornerback committed to LSU. Hughes has been on a downward trajectory since winning region titles in 2012 and 2013, bottoming out at 2-8 last year, but second-year coach Daniel Williams has the Panthers at 4-0 for the first time since the school opened in 2009. Junior QB Xavier Smith has passed for 401 yards and run for 364. Antonio Martin has run for a team-leading 443 yards on 67 carries. Robert “C.J.” Lockhart (250 yards and three TDs on 15 catches) is the leading receiver. Hughes is giving up 10.25 points per game, allowing no opponent more than 14.

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