For the Cedartown-Callaway game, see GHSF Daily’s top games of Week 3.
Northeast-Macon Raiders vs. Carver-Columbus Tigers
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Odis Spencer Stadium, Columbus
Records, rankings: Carver is 2-0 and No. 9 in 3A, Northeast is 1-1 and No. 5 in 2A.
Last meeting: Northeast beat Carver 26-8 in 2022.
Maxwell’s projection: Carver by 6
Notes: Last year was the first these schools have met since 1977. The Raiders are 3-0 all-time in the series. The Tigers have an AJC preseason all-state selection in Kam Dawkins, an offensive lineman. The Tigers won their opener 47-6 over 4A’s Hardaway and 2A’s Spencer 21-0 on Aug. 25, before going on bye last week. Their last three finishes have been quarterfinals, finals and quarterfinals. They’re in their second year under Pierre Coffey. The Raiders entered the season No. 10, lost 20-14 to 4A’s unranked Mary Parsons in their opener, but then turned around and stunned top-ranked Fitgzerald 27-20 on the road. They are led by preseason all state selection and junior running back Nick Woodford on offense, with lineman Malachi Hancock joining him on the preseason all-state team. They’ve won at least one a playoff game each of the last three seasons, a feat that hasn’t been matched since 2000-2003.
Dalton Catamounts at Rockmart Yellow Jackets
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Rock, Rockmart
Records, rankings: Dalton is 2-0 and unranked in 5A, Rockmart is 1-1 and No. 8 in 2A.
Last meeting: Rockmart won 63-42 in 2022.
Maxwell’s projection: Dalton by 2
Notes: The Yellow Jackets’ win in the series last year was the first since 1948. These teams rarely meet, with the other five matchups taking place by 1979. A lot has changed for the Catamounts since then. They’d once been known for having the nation’s record for consecutive winning high school football seasons, which reached 51 before they were forced to forfeit games for using a player that transferred from nearby Southeast but didn’t make a bona fide move. Now, the Cats are trying to avoid a fourth consecutive non-winning season. They’re just 11-20 over the past three seasons, though went 6-6 last year with a playoff win, their first since 2016. Rockmart edged Cass 24-23 on Aug. 25 before going on bye last week. The Jackets are led in tackles and rushing by preseason all-state selection Brent Washington. At linebacker, he has 16 tackles. Jake Bailey has two interceptions. At running back, he has 127 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Jefferson County Warriors at Toombs County Bulldogs
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Pit at Booster Stadium, Lyons
Records, rankings: Jefferson County is 0-2 and unranked in A Division I, Toombs County is 2-0 and No. 10 in 2A.
Last meeting: Jefferson County won 22-20 in 2022.
Maxwell’s projection: Toombs County by 13
Notes: Aside from last year, these teams met two other times, in 2008 and 2009, and the Warriors won those games as well. The momentum in the series could swing toward the Bulldogs this year, despite both programs adapting to a first-year coach who is succeeding a long-time predecessor. Mario East takes over for JB Arnold, who led the Warriors to a 168-89-3 record and seven region titles in 22 seasons, begnning in 2001. Richie Marsh left Toombs County after last season, his seventh, after a 46-31 record. The Warriors went 2-9 last year for their first losing season since 2012. Already, they face an uphill battle to avoid consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2001-2002. They’ve lost their first two games to A Division II’s unranked Aquinas and 2A’s then-No. 3 Thomson a combined 95-27. Meanwhile, Toombs County, which was 6-5 last year, has played its way into the rankings at No. 10 by beating 3A’s Long County and A Division II’s Wheeler County a combined 78-28. Bulldogs senior defensive lineman Brock Nobles is a preseason all-state selection.
Sources: Georgia High School Football Historians Association, MaxPreps, GHSF Daily