Georgia is one round into the state playoffs, and the state’s highest classification is as clear as dirt.
Five games in metro Atlanta tonight will help sort out Class AAAAA, but also keep an eye on the Georgia coast, where Lowndes will play at Camden County. Those South Georgia schools have won five of six state titles in AAAAA.
In metro Atlanta, fans will want answers to these questions:
Is Grayson really that good? Grayson is 11-0 and ranked No. 1, but the scores haven’t been convincing. The Rams beat mediocre Marietta 21-14 in the first round. Star running back Ean Pemberton and defensive end Joseph Champaign are banged up entering Grayson’s game against Roswell (10-1), the best team Grayson has seen in two months.
Can anyone stop Hutson Mason? The Lassiter quarterback set the Georgia single-season passing record of 3,714 yards and threw seven touchdown passes last week as his team put up 62 points in a rout of North Forsyth. South Gwinnett (10-1) is the next challenger for a team that is 11-0 has scored at least 42 points in each of its past eight games.
Is Stephenson overrated? Stephenson is 11-0 and leads the state in high-profile recruits, with at least five who will sign major Division I-A scholarships. But that’s not unusual for Stephenson, which is still looking to reach a state final for the first time. Stephenson has been eliminated by South Georgia teams six of the past eight seasons, which is reason to dread Colquitt County (9-2).
Will Peachtree Ridge make a run? Peachtree Ridge, the 2008 runner-up, is 9-2, a disappointment to some. Quarterback Nick Lombardo has been battling injuries, and Peachtree Ridge trailed 7-0 in the final minutes last week before pulling out a 14-7 victory over Kell. The Lions are playing Brookwood (6-5).
Who is metro Atlanta’s best player? The consensus in preseason seemed to be that it was Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, who has committed to Georgia, or M.L. King running back Mack Brown, who has committed to Florida. Ogletree’s team is 11-0 and ranks third in AAAAA in scoring defense, allowing 6.4 points per game. Brown has battled injuries and has 975 yards rushing. Their teams play tonight in Newnan.
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