Cedartown at Cartersville
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Weinman Stadium, Cartersville
Records, rankings: Cedartown is 4-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 5-AAAA and No. 10; Cartersville is 4-0, 0-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Cartersville won 44-6 in 2016.
Things to know: Cedartown is ranked this week for the first time since Nick Chubb was its star player in 2013. Cedartown is under a first-year coach, Doyle Kelley, who had been a Cedartown assistant for 26 years. He replaced Scott Hendrix, who became the school’s principal. Cedartown is 3-13 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams. The last win came in 1999 against Mitchell-Baker in the Class AA quarterfinals. Cartersville (47.8) and Cedartown (45.0) rank second and third in AAAA scoring offense. Cedartown’s playmakers are Trevon Wofford and Tony Mathis Jr. Wofford is a lanky 6-foot-4 dual-threat quarterback who threw for 169 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-10 victory over Pepperell. Mathis rushed for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also has a kickoff-return touchdown this season. Cartersville is seeking to win its 35th consecutive game, a streak that would be tied for 10th all-time in Georgia. Cartersville has been challenged only once this season, in a 52-45 victory over Bartram Trail of Florida. Cartersville has beaten Allatoona (35-14), Calhoun (58-6) and Westlake (38-5), all teams that have been ranked in their classifications. With five-star QB Trevor Lawrence at the controls, Cartersville averages 303 yards passing and 123 yards rushing per game. The run game is no weakness, though, as RB Rico Frye has 571 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns.
Coffee at Tift County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Brodie Field, Tifton
Records, rankings: Coffee is 3-0 and No. 3 in Class AAAAAA; Tift County is 5-0 and No. 10 in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Tift County won 31-20 in 2016.
Things to know: Coffee and Tift County have played each other 28 times since 1988, but this is the first time both teams have been ranked since the 2006 meeting, which Coffee won 23-20. Coffee leads the series 15-13, but Tift County has won the past two meetings. Coffee has the No. 2 passer, No. 2 rusher and No. 3 receiver in Region 1-AAAAAA. QB Wade Sumner is 34-of-51 passing for 466 yards and four TDs. RB Jameon Gaskins has rushed for 382 yards and five TDs on 58 carries, and WR Dalrone Donaldson has 10 catches for 214 yards and three TDs. Coffee’s game last week against University Christian of Jacksonville, Fla., was canceled because of Hurricane Irma. Tift County QB Griffin Collier is the leading passer in Region 1-AAAAAAA by a wide margin. He is 65-of-103 for 1,089 yards and 12 TDs with just one interception. That’s 469 yards more than second-place Steven Krajewski of Colquitt County. Collier also has run for 106 yards and a TD on 25 carries, but the team’s leading rusher is Mike Jones (54-309-4). Leading receiver Rashod Bateman (28-642-9) had six catches for 248 yards and three TDs in a 50-37 victory over Parkview last week.
Douglas County at Hughes
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Panthers Stadium, Fairburn
Records, rankings: Douglas County is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA and No. 8; Hughes is 3-1, 1-1 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Hughes won 41-21 in 2016.
Things to know: Douglas County and Hughes are two of the three ranked teams from Region 5-AAAAAA, along with No. 4 Mays, the defending region champion. Hughes lost to Mays 32-20 on Sept. 8, and a loss this week would wipe out any chances for the Panthers to win or share the region title. A Douglas County victory likely sets up a showdown with Mays on Oct. 6 for the region title. The Tigers last won a region title in 2002. Both teams run the ball about 70 percent of the time. Douglas County’s workhorse has been RB Uriah West, who has 829 yards and eight TDs on 76 carries. He has been particularly good the past two weeks, with 312 yards in a 21-0 victory over Northgate and 238 yards in a 49-0 win over South Paulding. QB Marquise Collins is 28-of-51 passing for 365 yards. Douglas County has recorded three shutouts in its four games. The main threat for Hughes has been RB Christian Royalston, who has 535 yards and four TDs on 73 carries. His best game was a 186-yard effort against Mundy’s Mill in the opener, but he has had at least 96 yards in every game. Junior LB Dequavious Parker has a team-leading 55 total tackles, with six for losses and four sacks.
Greater Atlanta Christian at Union County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium, Blairsville
Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 7-AAA and No. 3; Union County is 4-0, 0-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Greater Atlanta Christian won 35-12 in 2016.
Things to know: Union County has rolled through a relatively weak pre-region schedule while averaging 47.3 points and allowing 10.3. Senior QB Cole Wright has thrown for 656 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 477 yards (on just 31 attempts) and eight touchdowns. He has scored two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns in every game, giving him eight of each. Union County also was 4-0 last season at this time and fell behind GAC 28-6 at halftime and couldn’t recover. GAC’s only loss came to Valor Christian, rated Colorado’s No. 1 overall team. The final was 28-22. GAC has thrashed Lovett, Westminster and St. Pius, scoring more than 40 points in each game. GAC’s offense, despite the graduation of five-star QB Mills (Stanford), is averaging 7.0 yards per rush and 7.2 yards per pass. Josh Rose is 38-of-68 passing for 458 yards and six touchdowns. CB/RB Kyler McMichael, an AJC Super 11 pick who is committed to Clemson, has rushed for 350 yards and four touchdowns on 39 carries. He also catches passes, returns kicks and roams GAC’s secondary.
Harrison at Allatoona
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Buccaneer Stadium, Acworth
Records, rankings: Harrison is 2-2 overall, 1-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA and No. 5; Allatoona is 2-2, 1-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Harrison won 43-19 in 2016.
Things to know: Harrison and Allatoona are located about nine miles apart in west Cobb County, but they had never played each other until last season. That’s primarily because Allatoona, which opened in 2008, played in lower classifications and was in big regions that left little schedule flexibility. The winner of this game will be the favorite to win the 6-AAAAAA title, although both still must play defending region champ Dalton. Harrison QB Justin Fields, the nation’s top-rated senior recruit, has run or passed on 72 percent of his team’s plays and accounted for 80 percent of its yardage. He has passed for 821 yards, rushed for 476 yards and had a hand in 18 touchdowns. WR Steven Peterson (18-487-8) had his best game of the season in a 49-0 victory over River Ridge last week, catching seven passes for 231 yards and three TDs. Allatoona is a running team, and senior Adrian Boyd is the latest in a long line of outstanding Buccaneers running backs. He has rushed for 421 yards and four TDs on 72 carries. QB Dante Marshall is 25-of-51 passing for 345 yards, and his top target is Mario Gambaccini (10-125-0). LB/S Payton Eeles has a team-leading 29 solo tackles.
Lassiter at South Forsyth
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, War Eagle Stadium, Cumming
Records, rankings: Lassiter is 4-0 and unranked in Class AAAAAAA; South Forsyth is 4-0 and unranked in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Lassiter won 35-21 in 2016.
Things to know: Lassiter and South Forsyth are among five undefeated, unranked teams in the highest classification. The others are North Paulding, Mountain View and Meadowcreek. South Forsyth was ranked for two weeks but dropped out this week. But the War Eagles are no strangers to winning. They won a region title and reached the quarterfinals as an unranked team in 2015. South Forsyth averages 173 yards rushing, 121 passing. Cal Morris is 29-of-54 passing for 398 yards and three touchdowns. Jared Honey has rushed for a team-leading 242 yards. LB/DE Ryan LaFlamme has five sacks. While South Forsyth has no major Division I recruit, Lassiter has a couple of them in its secondary. They are Chris Jackson (Michigan State) and Derrik Allen (Notre Dame). Both have two interceptions. Lassiter averages 189.8 yards passing, 159.5 rushing. Bradley Riopelle is a dual-threat quarterback with 759 yards passing and 208 rushing.
Macon County at Taylor County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Viking Stadium, Butler
Records, rankings: Macon County is 2-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 4-A Div. B and No. 4 in Class A public; Taylor County is 3-0, 0-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Macon County won 63-27 in 2016.
Things to know: This game matches the top two teams in Region 4-A Div. B, and the winner will be the favorite to take the subregion title and earn a berth in the region championship game. Macon County was the region champ last year and went on to claim the Class A public-school title. Taylor County, which went 9-1 in the regular season in 2016, last won a region title in 1998. Macon County is averaging 425.7 yards (263.3 rushing, 162.3 passing) per game. Akeevious McLendon (54 carries, 401 yards, one TD) leads the running game. QB Jadarrius Hicks has passed for 487 yards, run for 295 and had a hand in 12 TDs. The top receiver is Trey Brown with 14 catches for 269 yards and four TDs. Taylor County RB Lyn-J Dixon was limited by injury to five carries for 32 yards in a 57-16 victory over Central of Talbotton on Sept. 8, but he is expected back for this game. He has rushed for 364 yards and seven touchdowns on 24 carries (15.2 yards per carry) this season. Tre’ci Boyington ran for 100 yards against Central. QB Gunnar Wilson is 22-of-33 passing for 416 yards with three TDs. The Vikings averaged 51.3 points in wins over Terrell County, Greenville and Central.
North Gwinnett at Mountain View
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mountain View High School Stadium, Lawrenceville
Records, rankings: North Gwinnett is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 6-AAAAAAA and No. 6; Mountain View is 4-0, 0-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: North Gwinnett won 38-14 in 2016.
Things to know: Mountain View opened in 2009 and had its first winning football season (8-3) last season. The 4-0 record matches last year’s start and is not surprising given the schedule. The Bears need a signature win, and this one would do it. Mountain View is 0-7 against North Gwinnett. Mountain View has a balanced offense (227.5 yards passing per game, 201.5 rushing), but the key offensive players are WR Malachi Carter (23 catches, 384 yards, six touchdowns) and QB Matthew Edwards (43-of-74, 862 yards, nine touchdowns, no interceptions). Carter is committed to Georgia Tech. LB Blake Carroll (eight tackles for losses, four touchdowns as a short-yardage back) and CB Jaydon Patterson (three interceptions) are impact players on defenses. Carroll has Big Ten offers. Patterson is committed to Western Kentucky. North Gwinnett has a new coach, Bill Stewart, and is now more of a running team. Tyler Goodson has rushed for 464 yards and eight touchdowns on 60 carries. CB Warren Burrell (six major Division I offers) figures to be matched up against Mountain View’s Carter.
West Hall at Rabun County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Frank Snyder Stadium, Tiger
Records, rankings: West Hall is 4-1 and unranked in Class AAAA; Rabun County is 3-0 and No. 4 in AA.
Last meeting: Rabun County won 34-10 in 2016.
Things to know: West Hall and Rabun County have played challenging non-region schedules, and this will be each team’s final tune-up before region play (Rabun County vs. Banks County in 8-AA next week, and West Hall vs. Chestatee in 7-AAAA on Oct. 6). West Hall has won four consecutive games since losing to Gainesville 20-0 in the opener. But now the Spartans are hitting the heart of the schedule, facing opponents in their final five games that have a combined record of 18-4. Sophomore QB Michael Thompson is coming into his own behind an experienced offensive line. He rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown in a 13-10 victory over previously unbeaten Dawson County last week. PK Israel Lopez kicked two field goals last week, including a game-winning 20-yarder with 16 seconds left. Rabun County averages 255.7 yards passing and 157 rushing. QB Bailey Fisher is 37-of-54 passing for 730 yards and seven TDs and is the team’s leading rusher with 267 yards and seven TDs on 50 carries. No other back has more than 11 carries. Cole Keener and Austin Jones are the leading receivers with 10 catches each, and both are dangerous returning kicks.
Westminster at Cedar Grove
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Buck Godfrey Stadium, Decatur
Records, rankings: Westminster is 1-3 overall, 1-0 in Region 5-AAA and No. 9; Cedar Grove is 4-0, 1-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Westminster won 42-21 in 2016.
Things to know: Cedar Grove will be Westminster’s fourth opponent that is ranked in the top five (and third ranked in the top two). Westminster’s schedule is the toughest in Class AAA, according to the Maxwell Ratings. Westminster was the lower-ranked team, yet the winner, in both its previous meetings with Cedar Grove. Westminster was unranked in 2015 when it beat third-ranked Cedar Grove in the AAA semifinals. Led by preseason all-state DL Truman Jones, Westminster is more established defensively and allows just 258.5 yards per game despite the schedule. But the offense averages only 278.0 per game. Cedar Grove has won every game by at least 21 points. Its best wins are against Stephenson (34-13) and Lovett (41-14). The Saints are a run-first team. Darrell Neal has 440 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 59 carries. QB Xavier Dennis is 41-of-53 passing for 405 yards and eight touchdowns. Jadon Haselwood, the top-rated junior WR prospect nationally, has 15 catches with five touchdowns, albeit for only 117 yards. Roderic Forts has 10.5 sacks.
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