Class AAAAA teams Stephenson and M.L. King will be among four DeKalb County schools that will host some of Florida’s best teams on Saturday in the Battle of the Borders Showdown at Hallford Stadium.
M.L. King (0-0) will open its season with a 2:30 p.m. game against Norland of Miami, and second-ranked Stephenson (1-0) will face Miami Central at 5:30 p.m. The event begins at 11:45 a.m., when Class AAAA Marist (0-0) takes on Godby (0-1) of Tallahassee, and concludes with an 8:30 p.m. game between Class AAAAAA Tucker (0-1) and defending national champion Booker T. Washington (1-0) of Miami.
Norland will play in DeKalb County for the second consecutive season after losing to Stephenson 29-12 in the event last season. The Vikings are coming off a 28-7 opening-game loss to Flanagan (Fla.) last weekend. M.L. King, which went 7-4 last season, defeated Ely of Pompano Beach, Fla., in the 2013 Showdown.
Miami Central is ranked in the top 10 in several national polls. The Rockets opened their season on Saturday with a 24-21 victory against Hoover (Ala.), ending the Buccaneers’ 30-game winning streak. Stephenson beat Arabia Mountain 41-6 in its opener on Friday.
Here are some of the other top stories to watch this weekend in Class AAAAA:
– LaGrange will try to avoid going 0-2 against its county rivals when it takes on Troup at Callaway Stadium on Friday. The Grangers opened the season with a 20-14 overtime loss to Callaway last weekend. It was the Cavaliers’ first victory in three meetings with LaGrange, which moved up to Class AAAAA this year. Troup is 7-19 all-time against LaGrange but has won three of the past four.
– Warner Robins will be replacing QB Caden Johnson (1,466 yards passing last season) and leading rusher Danny Hite Jr. (1,227 yards) when it hosts Peach County on Friday. Three players have been battling for the quarterback spot, according to the Macon Telegraph, but the rushing load will be in good hands with the return of Jacquan Burns, who ran for 1,116 yards in 2013.
– Rivals Brunswick and Glynn Academy have met at least once every season since Brunswick began playing football in 1968, and this year’s game kicks off the Region 3-AAAAA schedule. Brunswick, which played in Class AAAAAA the past two seasons, has won seven of the past eight meetings and leads the series 37-31-2.
– Allatoona jumped out to an early lead in 5-AAAAA with a 27-21 victory last week against East Paulding, one of the early favorites to win the region. A victory on Friday against Villa Rica would give the Buccaneers a 2-0 region record while everyone else would be either 0-0 or 0-1 in league play. The region schedule begins in earnest next weekend.
– Gainesville will be breaking in a new quarterback at Grayson on Friday following the graduation of Deshaun Watson, the state’s all-time career passing leader. The job will fall to Mikey Gonzalez, who completed 11 of 13 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in a little more than a quarter in a 47-21 scrimmage victory against White County two weeks ago, according to the Gainesville Times.