It has been difficult to pick a front-runner in Region 5, arguably the toughest region in Class AAA.
The league features four top-10 teams — No. 4 Westminster, No. 2 Pace, No. 6 Lovett (4-2, 2-1), and No. 9 Cedar Grove (4-2, 2-1). Westminster is the defending Class AAA champion; Pace is the defending Class AA champion, and Lovett and Cedar Grove made it to the playoffs last year.
Perhaps some of the questions about supremacy were answered Friday night when the Westminster Wildcats (4-2, 3-0) defeated the Pace Academy Knights (4-2, 2-1), 49-36.
After starting falling 0-2 and scoring just 33 points in the two games, the Wildcats found their stride, scoring 40-plus points in each of the last four games.
Against Pace, Westminster relied on Zay Malcolme, who totaled nearly 400 yards on offense, defense and special-teams play. Malcome scored four touchdowns (two rushing), returned an interception 66 yards and had a 99-yard kickoff return. Quarterback Ward Croft scored two rushing touchdowns.
In two weeks, Westminster will face its next big region test against Mike Muschamp and the Lovett Lions.
In other top games:
— Top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian (6-1, 3-0) continued showing off its offense in a 69-12 romp of East Hall (2-5, 0-3). Quarterback Davis Mills, a Stanford commitment, passed for three touchdowns and finished the night with 196 yards passing. Running back Kyler McMichael scored four touchdowns, one on an 80-yard kickoff return. The Spartans have outscored opponents 156-34 in their first three region games.
— No. 3 Peach County (5-1, 2-0) handled Central-Macon (5-2, 1-2), 48-0, in a Region 4 game. The Trojans are leading the Region 4 pack, but still faces tough challenges against Pike County (4-2, 1-1) and Jackson (5-2, 3-0). Quarterback Antonio Gilbert passed for 213 yards and five touchdowns. Shamarcus Redding scored the game’s final points with an interception return for a touchdown.
How the others fared:
— No. 5 Calhoun (5-2, 2-0) beat Adairsville 29-3 in a Region 6 game.
— No. 7 Crisp County had the week off.
— No. 9 Cedar Grove (4-2, 2-1) beat Towers (2-4, 1-2) 28-0 in a Region 5 game.
— Two games — No. 10 Appling County (3-1, 0-0) vs Long County and No. 8 Liberty County (4-1, 0-0) vs. Tattnall County — were postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.