What to watch: Week 6

No. 1 Thomson visits Washington County in Region 4, Fitzgerald-Dodge County opens Region 1 play, undefeated Banks County travels to Commerce

In Week 6, top-ranked Thomson visits Washington County in Region 4, Fitzgerald and Dodge County kickoff Region 1 play in Eastman, and Banks County puts its undefeated record on the line as underdogs at Commerce in a cross-classification game.

Thomson Bulldogs at Washington County Golden Hawks

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, House of Pain, Sandersville

Records, rankings: Thomson is 3-1, 1-0 in Region 4 and No. 1; Washington County is 2-2, 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Thomson won 54-14 in 2022.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Thomson by 12

Notes: The Golden Hawks are coming off a 49-0 win over Glenn Hills in their region opener, and their other win came against Dodge County, 27-23, on Sept. 1. Both games were at home. Their losses came on the road to A Division I’s No. 2 Swainsboro (46-6) and 4A’s No. 10 Baldwin (20-10). Under second-year coach Robert Edwards, the Golden Hawks are seeking their first winning season since 2020, and their first playoff win since 2018. The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-14 win over Laney in their 4-2A opener. Anthony Jeffery had 96 yards on 15 carries and Jamere Roberts and quarterback Jahkiaus Jones each had rushing touchdowns. Jones threw for another touchdown on 4-for-10 passing, with his leading receiver, Kasai Jones, totaling three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. At defensive back, Kasai Jones also recovered a fumble for a touchdown. The defending-champion Bulldogs moved up two spots to No. 1 in the polls after their 38-0 win over 6A’s Grovetown. AJC preseason all-state selection Storm Hunt, a senior defensive back, has 10 tackles, an interception and three pass deflections. On offense, he leads the team in pass percentage (1.000) after completing his only attempt for a 70-yard touchdown in a 46-7 win at Jefferson County on Aug. 25. He also has three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Commerce Tigers at Banks County Leopards

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

Records, rankings: Commerce is 3-1 and unranked in A Division I, Banks County is 4-0 and unranked in 2A.

Last meeting: Commerce won 17-14 in 2022.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Commerce by 15

Notes: These crosstown schools, about 10 miles apart, have played 35 times since 1970, and the Tigers hold a 33-2 edge in the series, including 3-0 since 2020. The Leopards’ wins came in 1990 and 1992, though last year was the closest the Leopards have come to beating Commerce since 1992. They also started 4-0 last year before playing Commerce, the start of a five-game skid including 1-4 in 8-2A, which caused the Leopards to finish 5-5 and miss the playoffs. The Tigers have finished 6-5 the last two seasons and opened this year with a 21-19 win over South Carolina’s Southside Christian, followed by a 56-13 win over North Carolina’s Murphy. They lost 31-21 to 3A’s Hebron Christian on Sept. 1, then rebounded with a 17-10 over A Division II’s Lincoln County last week, following a bye. Tigers junior running back Jaiden Daniels is the lone AJC preseason all-state selection among these teams. He rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries against Murphy.

Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane at Dodge County Indians

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium at John M. Peacock Field, Eastman

Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 2-2, 0-0 in Region 1 and No. 7; Dodge County is 1-3, 0-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Fitzgerald won 20-12 in 2022.

Watch the game: NFHS Network

Maxwell’s projection: Fitzgerald by 13

Notes: The last four meetings have been single-digit wins by the Purple Hurricane, who haven’t lost to the Indians since 2018. The Cane opened the season No. 1 and 2-0 with wins over A Division I’s No. 3 Irwin County and Turner County, then lost 27-20 to unranked Northeast, and 30-16 to Florida’s Madison County, No. 3 in Division 1R on MaxPreps before heading into last week’s bye. The Cane have two preseason all-state selections in offensive lineman Gabe Pearce and defensive lineman Roderick Morgan. All of the Indians’ losses have come by four points or less. They lost 10-7 to A Division I’s No. 7 Bleckley County, 27-23 to Washington County, and 11-7 to A Division 1′s No. 2 Swainsboro. Their win came at West Laurens, 20-10, on Aug. 25. The Indians are led by Darrell “Duke” Johnson, who has 40 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups and an interception. Listed as a 4-star athlete by recruiting services, he holds 24 offers, including Alabama.

Sources: Georgia High School Football Historians Association, MaxPreps, GHSF Daily

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