It was circled on the calendar before the season even began. It seems destined to happen. No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian and No. 4 Lovett for the 6-AA title on Oct. 31.
GAC dropped No. 9 B.E.S.T. Academy, 58-28, on Friday, a week after Lovett edged the Eagles 42-28. Though Wesleyan is riding a three-game winning streak after its 23-17 overtime win over Pace Academy on Friday, both Lovett and GAC have passed the most difficult phases of their regular-season schedule at this point, and both will be expected to win the rest of their games. If they do, we could have another classic in the making.
As a refresher: Lovett, the defending state champ, defeated GAC last year, 17-14. The Lions have won six straight in the series, but each of the last three have been decided by a touchdown or less. GAC, ranked No. 1 since the preseason, is unbeaten and loaded with talent. Lovett is rebuilding on the fly and seemingly getting stronger each week.
Who’s ready for Halloween?
Screven scrapes by with win over ranked region foe
Screven County scored the only upset among the state’s top 10 Friday night, though the Gamecocks’ 12-7 win over No. 7 Jefferson County wasn’t wholly unexpected. Screven County is undefeated, after all, but even so, it was an impressive and pivotal win for the Gamecocks’ region title hopes.
Playing without leading rusher Tavarius Johnson, Screven County (5-0, 1-0 Region 3-AA) scored twice in the fourth quarter, winning on Malik Prescott’s 3-yard touchdown run with just over a minute remaining. Prescott led all rushers with 131 yards on 26 carries, according to the Augusta Chronicle, and helped the Gamecocks dominate time of possession.
Meanwhile, the Screven County defense did its part, holding the Warriors to 101 yards of total offense. It was the fourth time in five games Jefferson County (2-3, 0-1) has scored 14 points or fewer. A big game with Dublin (3-2, 1-0) now looms for the Warriors.
Thomasville takes out newcomer, sets up 1-AA clash
It took a little while, but Thomasville appears to be hitting its stride at the right time. The Bulldogs got their first win of the season last week, 19-18 over Baldwin, in the final stanza of a taxing non-region schedule.
In the 1-AA opener Friday night, things came a little easier, as Thomasville (2-3, 1-0) rolled up more than 300 rushing yards in the first half of a 48-21 win over Class AA newcomer Seminole County (2-2, 0-1). Jalandin Jones ran for 217 yards (154 in the first half) in the win, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.
But if Friday night was easy, next week likely won’t be. The Bulldogs travel to No. 2 Fitzgerald (5-0, 1-0), which edged past Early County, 34-20 on Friday.
Fifth-ranked Benedictine is proving the heartbreaking, season-opening loss to No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian is far behind them – either that, or it’s ever-present in the back of Cadets’ minds spurring them on.
They made quick work of Bryan County on Friday leading 42-0 at the half en route to a 56-6 win. In three games since the opener, Benedictine is winning by an average margin of 49-6. The combo of quarterback Stevie Powers and wide receiver Brad Stewart is proving to be as dangerous as any in AA, hooking up for their fourth touchdown in Friday night’s win.
Powers was 8 of 11 for 96 and two scores on the night, according to the Savannah Morning News. Unofficially, that puts him at 746 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception on the season while completing 64 percent of his passes at over 10 yards per attempt.
7-AA showdown ahead for Model, Darlington
At 5-0, Model is off to its best start since 1981. If the Blue Devils can move to 6-0, they’d be in good position to compete for their first region title since 1979 and just the fourth in program history.
But it won’t be easy. Model shut out Dade County, 24-0, on Friday night, but perhaps the biggest test of the season awaits when No. 10 Darlington visits next week. The Tigers, led by standout athlete Trey Edge, have won five straight since a season-opening loss to Murphy (N.C.), and appear to be one of 7-AA’s top teams in their first year after moving up from Class A.
And don’t sleep on Coosa in 7-AA. The Eagles shut out Pepperell 28-0 Friday night for their second straight win.
Defense getting it done
Brooks County may not have the offense that led it to a semifinal appearance last season, posting nearly 34 points per game along the way, but the sixth-ranked Trojans are finding a way to win. Namely, with defense.
After shutting out Pelham, 20-0, on Friday, the Trojans have now given up just three points in the last two weeks, and have allowed eight points or fewer in all three of its wins.
How the top 10 fared
1. Greater Atlanta Christian def. No. 9 B.E.S.T. Academy, 58-28
2. Fitzgerald def. Early County, 34-20
3. Vidalia def. Groves, 38-0
4. Lovett def. KIPP, 42-6
5. Benedictine def. Bryan County, 56-6
6. Brooks County def. Pelham, 20-0
7. Jefferson County lost to Screven County, 12-7
8. Lamar County def. Alcovy, 45-0
9. B.E.S.T. Academy lost to No. 1 GAC, 58-28
10. Darlington def. Gordon Lee, 25-14