Alexander at Mays
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Alexander is 8-0 overall, 6-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA and No. 5; Mays is 7-1, 6-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Alexander won 17-14 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. Alexander and Mays are the only unbeaten teams in 5-AAAAAA. Alexander would clinch its first region title since 1996 with a victory, but Mays likely would need to beat Northgate in the regular-season finale to avoid a tie for first place among the three teams. Mays won its only region title in program history in 2003. 2. Alexander has one of the state’s most balanced offenses, averaging 179.4 yards rushing and 169.9 passing per game. Junior QB Mason Wood has passed for 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns. RB Daetrich Harrington has 1,036 yards and 13 TDs rushing on 147 carries. Justin Hall has 55 yards and seven TDs on 38 receptions and has run for 177 yards and three scores. 3. Mays averages 389.5 total yards per game (221.4 passing, 168.1 rushing), and QB B.J. Phillips makes the offense go. He has passed for 1,628 yards, rushed for 402 yards and had a hand in 24 touchdowns. Armis Stokes is the leading rusher with 427 yards, and Jamarcus McCoy leads the receivers with 398 yards on 26 catches.
Brookwood at Norcross
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Norcross Stadium, Norcross
Records, rankings: Brookwood is 6-2 overall, 4-0 in Region 7-AAAAAAA and No. 9; Norcross is 8-0, 4-0 and No. 5.
Last meeting: Norcross won 17-13 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. This game will decide the champion in 7-AAAAAAA. Brookwood last won a region title in 2010, the season of its last state championship. Norcross last won a region title in 2013, the season of its last state championship. 2. Norcross averages 199.6 yards passing and 147.0 rushing per game, which goes against tradition, as Norcross typically is a run-first team. QB Baron Radcliff is 94-of-164 passing for 16 touchdowns to nine receivers. CB Dameon Williams and DE Jalen Pinkney (3-star recruits) and LB Monty Montgomery (22 tackles for losses) are defensive leaders. 3. Brookwood averages 198.3 yards passing, 187.1 rushing. That balance was evident in last week’s critical 24-23 victory over Parkview. Angelo DiSpigna was 16-of-29 passing for 196 yards, and Dante Black rushed for 136 yards. Also watch for Matthew Hill, who has 1,220 all-purpose yards (423 rushing, 494 receiving, 303 returning), and LB Leonard Warner, a 4-star recruit.
Burke County at Thomson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Brickyard, Thomson
Records, rankings: Burke County is 7-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 3-AAAA and No. 8; Thomson is 8-0, 3-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Thomson won 35-28 in 2015.
Three things to know:1. The Thomson-Burke County game will decide a region championship for the fifth time in seven seasons, or each of the past five times they’ve shared a region. Burke won three of the previous four games for the title. 2. Thomson is a run-first team that features RB Mike Thomas, who has 1,063 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Sophomore RB Bubba Murray also has two 100-yard rushing games. QB Mills Ridings has thrown for 845 yards. DB Christian Tutt is a four-star recruit. 3. Burke County, also a run-first team, averages 335.0 yards rushing, 92.5 passing. QB Damari Kelly has rushed for a team-leading 741 yards and is one of four backs with at least six rushing touchdowns. He is 29-of-47 passing for 557 yards.
Coffee at Valdosta
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Coffee is 5-3 overall, 1-1 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 10; Valdosta is 7-1, 2-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Coffee won 38-17 in 2013.
Three things to know: 1. Valdosta is the only unbeaten team in 1-AAAAAA and can clinch its 36th region championship (first since 2011) with a victory this week. Coffee still has a shot at an outright region title but would need help. If the Trojans lose, their game against Lee County next week likely decides the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the playoffs. 2. Valdosta’s three leading rushers – RB Tevin Gray (371 yards) and QBs Hunter Holt (370) and Josh Belton (293) – have combined for 1,034 yards and 14 touchdowns on 199 carries. Belton and Holt have passed for 1,324 yards and 14 touchdowns with four interceptions. The Wildcats forced six turnovers in a 27-7 victory over Lee County last week. 3. Coffee could finish the regular season with a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver. RB Demetrius Davis has 959 yards and 13 TDs rushing on 126 carries. QB Max Hughes is 156-of-240 passing for 2,180 yards and 15 TDs. His top target is Milton Jackson, who has 654 yards and three TDs on a region-leading 51 catches.
Grayson at Hoover (Ala.)
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Hoover, Ala.
Records, rankings: Grayson is 7-1 and No. 3 in Georgia’s Class AAAAAAA; Hoover is 8-1 and No. 1 in Alabama’s Class 7A (MaxPreps).
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Hoover, the largest high school in Alabama with 2,775 students, has won 11 state titles in football, five during the coach Rush Propst era (1999-2007) and the most recent in 2014. Hoover is 2-2 against Georgia teams – 1-1 vs. Colquitt County under Propst (2013-14) and 1-1 vs. Camden County under current Grayson coach Jeff Herron (2008-09). 2. Grayson is allowing only 8.1 points per game and just 1.4 over its last five games. LB Owen Pappoe leads the defense in a points system Grayson uses to evaluate its players. Pappoe, who is 247Sports’ No. 1 sophomore prospect in the country, has 10.5 tackles for losses, 15 QB pressures, three sacks, four pass breakups and a blocked kick. 3. Grayson averages 37.8 points, but 46.7 over the past five games. QB Chase Brice, a Clemson commit, is 85-of-131 passing for 1,359 yards and 17 touchdowns. Other weapons include RB Jamyest Williams (committed to South Carolina), RB Kurt Taylor (Michigan), WR/CB DeAngelo Gibbs (5-star recruit), OL Will Taylor (Duke) and OL Tony Gray (4-star).
Lanier at Dacula
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Barron Field, Dacula
Records, rankings: Lanier is 6-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 8-AAAAAA and unranked; Dacula is 4-4, 3-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Lanier and Dacula are the only unbeaten teams in 8-AAAAAA, and Dacula would clinch the region title with a victory. Lanier likely would need to beat Gainesville in the finale to avoid a tie for first place among the three teams. Lanier and Dacula were in the top five in at least one poll early in the season but dropped out after slow starts. Lanier lost two of its first three and was 3-2 in non-region games. Dacula started the year 1-4. 2. Lanier’s Tywon Reaves is the leading rusher (133 carries, 699 yards, eight touchdowns) for a team that runs the ball about 70 percent of the time. QB Noah Fritz is 60-of-126 passing for 772 yards and is the second-leading rusher with 448 yards and eight TDs on 115 carries. 3. Dacula also relies heavily on the run, averaging 200.6 yards rushing and 72.5 passing. Ty Harris (109-615-5) gets the most carries, but Tre McMillan (65-553-5) and QB Shayne Buckingham (77-256-1) get their share of the workload. The Falcons’ leading tacklers are LB Babila Fomuteh (76 total) and DB Jaylon Jones (64).
Loganville at Buford
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
Records, rankings: Loganville is 7-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 8-AAAAA and No. 10; Buford is 7-1, 4-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Buford won 44-0 in 2001.
Three things to know: 1. Loganville and Buford are the only unbeaten teams in 8-AAAAA. The winner will be the region champion, and the loser will get the No. 2 seed. Their closest pursuers – two-loss teams Clarke Central and Walnut Grove – lost to both Loganville and Buford. A victory would give Buford its 14th region title in 16 years and its 27th overall. Loganville has won two region titles (1991 and 2008). 2. Loganville averages 188.4 yards per game rushing and 121.8 passing. RB Darryl Giles has rushed for 970 yards and 17 touchdowns on 149 carries. QB Cameron Perkins-McLeod is 69-of-127 passing for 801 yards and seven TDs and has 289 yards rushing. Shy Kim has 44 catches for 603 yards. 3. Buford has its typical powerful running game. Anthony Grant is the leading rusher with 788 yards, but Derrian Brown, Christian Turner and T.D. Roof average about 50 yards per game each. QB Mic Roof passes for about 100 yards per game. Buford has won 45 consecutive region games (not including forfeits) in a streak that dates to 2009.
Lowndes at Colquitt County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mack Tharpe Memorial Stadium, Moultrie
Records, rankings: Lowndes is 8-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAAAAA and No. 6; Colquitt County is 5-4, 2-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Colquitt County won 42-20 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. This game will decide the region champion. Lowndes has not won a region title since 2010. Colquitt County has won two straight. Lowndes leads the series 24-16. It is 4-4 since Rush Propst was hired as Colquitt County’s coach in 2008. 2. Colquitt County is noted for passing, and QB Jay Saunders has delivered 1,793 passing yards, but freshman RB Daijun Edwards leads the region in rushing with 668 yards. Colquitt County is averaging 34.4 points per game, but 49.2 during the current five-game winning streak. 3. Lowndes QB Michal Barrett is second to Edwards in Region 1 rushing with 664 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also the second-leading passer with 1,876 yards and 18 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Lowndes is averaging 43.2 points per game, the most in the highest classification.
Northside (Warner Robins) at Houston County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Freedom Field, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Northside is 8-1 overall, 2-1 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 2; Houston County is 6-2, 0-2 and unranked.
Last meeting: Houston County won 34-13 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. Houston County must defeat No. 2 Northside and then No. 1 Valdosta to make the playoffs, an ironic turn given the Bears’ 6-0 start and No. 1 ranking on Oct. 2. The other four teams in Houston County’s region are now ranked in the top 10. Houston County’s victory over Northside last season was a first. Northside leads the series 17-1. 2. Houston County leads Class AAAAAA in scoring at 42.3 points per game. Northside leads in scoring defense at 8.0 and is the only school holding teams below 12.0 points. Houston County is allowing 31.0 points per game and hasn’t held a team to less than 24 since the opener. 3. Both teams’ offenses revolve around their quarterbacks. Houston County QB Jake Fromm has thrown for 3,245 yards and 35 touchdowns. Receivers Eli Watson (37-876-10) and Amari Colbert (49-863-16) also are having big seasons. Northside QB Tobias Oliver has passed for 981 yards rushed for 852.
Stephens County at Jefferson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
Records, rankings: Stephens County is 7-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 8-AAAA and No. 9; Jefferson is 7-1, 3-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Stephens County won 27-7 in 1955.
Three things to know: 1. Stephens County and Jefferson are the only unbeaten teams in 8-AAAA, and Stephens County would clinch the region title with a victory. Jefferson likely would need to beat Oconee County in the finale to avoid a tie for first place among the three teams. Stephens County is seeking its 15th region title but first since 2007. Jefferson has won seven region titles, most recently in 2014. 2. Stephens County gets about 61 percent of its offense from a running game led by RB A.J. Howard and QB Jackson Bell. Howard had the big game last week, rushing for 127 yards and both of his team’s touchdowns on 14 carries in a 16-9 victory over Oconee County. Bell passed for 93 yards and rushed for 35. 3. Jefferson averages 242.1 yards rushing and attempts less than 10 passes per game. RB Colby Wood has rushed for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns on 140 carries. He is also the leading receiver with 14 catches for 244 yards and two TDs. Zack Boobas and Colby Clark have combined for another 823 yards and 15 TDs rushing.
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