Carrollton at Rome
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Barron Stadium, Rome
Records, rankings: Carrollton is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 7-AAAAA and No. 4; Rome is 4-0, 2-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Rome won 45-28 in 2016.
Things to know: Carrollton and Rome are the two remaining unbeaten teams in 7-AAAAA. They finished in a tie with Kell for first place last year, but Rome got the No. 1 seed and went on to win the state championship. Rome has beaten Kell this season, so a victory over Carrollton would put the Wolves firmly in control of the region. Carrollton likely would still need to beat Kell on Oct. 20. Both also still must face one-loss Villa Rica. Carrollton has a balanced offense that averages 255.8 yards passing and 202.5 rushing. QB Mark Wright has completed 70.3 percent of his passes (64-of-91) for 901 yards and nine TDs and has rushed for 204 yards and three scores. The leading rusher is Jaylan Thomas (30 carries, 355 yards, six TDs). The Trojans are giving up just 216 yards per game. Rome has a star-filled offense led by QB Knox Kadum (699 yards passing, 166 rushing) and the RB tandem of Jalynn Sykes (36-373-5) and Jamious Griffin (52-365-5). But the more well-known names are on defense. Adam Anderson is the nation’s No. 2 OLB prospect; three-star DT Jamarcus Chatman is committed to Tennessee; and three-star DE Jaquon Griffin is committed to LSU.
Clarke Central at Buford
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
Records, rankings: Clarke Central is 4-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Buford is 2-1, 0-0 and No. 2.
Last meeting: Buford won 44-13 in 2016.
Things to know: Buford has won 47 consecutive region games dating to 2009 (Lovett). Clarke Central and Flowery Branch (both 4-1) are probably the Wolves’ major challengers. Clarke is seeking its first win over a top-10 opponent since 2011 (Flowery Branch). Clarke has won four straight since an opening loss to Winder-Barrow. Jack Mangel is 67-of-122 passing for 929 yards and eight touchdowns. Jonathan Sewell is the leading rusher for 578 yards at 9.8 yards per carry. Sewell is a top-300 national recruit among juniors. Sophomore O’Brien Barnett has 392 yards from scrimmage. DE Sam Tardits leads Clarke with six sacks. He is the son of former University of Georgia all-time sacks leader Richard Tardits. Buford’s loss was a 33-27 decision to South Pointe, the No. 1 team in South Carolina. Buford’s strength is its backfield of Christian Turner (44 carries, 354 yards) and Anthony Grant (37-244). Freshman QB Aaron McLaughlin is 31-of-60 passing for 333 yards. Buford has played only three games because of a Hurricane Irma cancellation.
Coffee at Warner Robins
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Coffee is 3-1 and No. 3 in Class AAAAAA; Warner Robins is 5-0 and No. 5 in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Coffee won 56-22 in 2016.
Things to know: Coffee and Warner Robins were in the same region from 2006 to 2009 but did not meet again until a 2015 first-round playoff game, which Coffee won 37-10. Last year’s 34-point victory for Coffee was the most-lopsided game in the series. Coffee suffered its first loss of the season last weekend when Tift County kicked a field goal (on its third try because of penalties) in the closing seconds to win 33-31. The Trojans had a season-high 407 yards in the loss and were led by QB Wade Sumner, who passed for 211 yards, rushed for 53 and accounted for four TDs. Sumner is 48-of-71 passing this season for 677 yards with seven TDs. Jameon Gaskins (76-438-6) and Marquavius Jefferson (42-287-0) are two of the top six rushers in 1-AAAAAA. Warner Robins was just 1-4 at this point against the same schedule a year ago. A big part of the turnaround has been the arrival of Houston County transfer Dylan Fromm, who has completed 67 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,277 yards. His top targets have been Julius Cobbs (21-395-4) and fellow Houston County transfer Jaeven West (27-351-3). The Demons average about 27 carries and 109 rushing yards per game.
Crisp County at Brooks County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman
Records, rankings: Crisp County is 4-0 and No. 4 in Class AAA; Brooks County is 4-0 and No. 7 in AA.
Last meeting: Crisp County won 16-14 in 2016.
Things to know: These south Georgia schools, located about 90 miles apart, met for the first time last season. The low-scoring game might be an indicator of what’s to come this week, as both teams have outstanding defenses. Crisp County has allowed 9.0 points per game and recorded shutouts the past two games. Brooks County has given up a Class AA-best 3.5 points per game with four shutouts. The only 14 points the Trojans have allowed came in a 17-14 victory over Clinch County. Brooks County has given up just 390 total yards in five games and held three of five opponents below 50. Both teams also have balanced offenses. Crisp County has passed for 179.3 yards per game and rushed for 144.5. QBs Patrick Felton and Myles Napier are a combined 41-of-84 passing for 711 yards and eight TDs, and Jammie Robinson leads the running game with 364 yards on 49 carries. Brooks County averages 177.4 yards rushing and 167.2 passing. QB Mac Perry is 38-of-67 passing for 576 yards and has run for 186 yards. The workload in the running game has been spread around. Last week, Jonathan White had 69 yards and Ce’Darius Arnold had 58 in a 49-0 victory over Monroe.
Irwin County at Charlton County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field, Folkston
Records, rankings: Irwin County is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 2-A and No. 2 in Class A public; Charlton County is 4-0, 2-0 and No. 8.
Last meeting: Irwin County won 36-13 in 2016.
Things to know: Charlton and Irwin are the lone unbeaten teams in region play, and each has knocked off another major contender as Charlton beat Turner County 35-14 last week and Irwin beat Clinch County 21-7 two weeks ago. Charlton County is getting 60 percent of its offense passing. A.J. Bell has thrown for 841 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also the team’s leading rusher with 237 yards. The second-leading rusher is a wide receiver, Raykwon Anderson, who has 161 rushing, 182 receiving. He’s committed to Florida. Irwin is a run-first team. D.J. Lundy has rushed for 354 yards on 63 carries despite missing last week’s game. Steven Thomas has run for 345 yards. Marlon Jackson, a 6-foot-5 defensive end, has been a playmaker on defense with four sacks, seven tackles for losses and three forced fumbles. Charlton County is ninth in scoring (33.3) and second in scoring defense (11.5) among Class A public schools. Irwin is 25th (23.0) and 11th (16.0), though against a much tougher schedule. The series between these schools is tied 19-19.
Macon County at Northside (Warner Robins)
When, where: 7 p.m. today, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Macon County is 3-1 and No. 3 in Class A public; Northside is 4-1 and No. 6 in AAAAAA.
Last meeting: Northside won 45-6 in 2016.
Things to know: These middle Georgia schools are about 41 miles (but five classifications) apart and had never met until last season. Northside’s victory was one of two losses for Macon County during its state championship season, the second in school history. Northside led last year’s game 45-0 at halftime. Macon County comes into the game off its biggest victory of the season, a 27-22 win over No. 6 Taylor County that put the Bulldogs in control of their subregion in Region 4-A. RB Akeevious McLendon had his best game of 2017 with 173 yards on 22 carries. He leads the team with 574 yards on 76 rushes. QB Jadarrius Hicks is 44-of-74 passing for 597 yards and 13 TDs and has rushed for 366 yards and three TDs. Northside is averaging an unusually low 208.3 yards and 24.6 points per game, but its typical stout defense has given up just 58 points, 28 of which came in a loss to Warner Robins in the opener. Jadin Daniels has taken over at quarterback after the graduation of Tobias Oliver (1,581 yards rushing, 1,724 passing in 2016). Daniels is 20-of-40 passing for 202 yards and has run for 103. Daniel Neal is the leading rusher with 307 yards and four TDs on 56 carries.
Mill Creek at North Gwinnett
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee
Records, rankings: Mill Creek is 4-1 overall, 1-0 in Region 6-AAAAAAA and No. 5; North Gwinnett is 4-1, 1-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Mill Creek won 44-17 in 2016.
Things to know: These are the only two Region 6 teams with state rankings, winning records and unbeaten marks in region play. The winner will be the clear front-runner. Mill Creek, the defending 6-AAAAAAA champion, has won 18 consecutive region games. North Gwinnett beat previously undefeated region rival Mountain View 27-14 last week after trailing 14-12 in the fourth quarter. RB Tyler Goodson (495 yards rushing), was injured in the first half and did not return. Devin Crosby rushed for 96 yards on 17 carries in his place. North already has lost its star QB Cade Fortin to injury, but John Urzua (50-of-89, 373 yards) has filled in well. Mill Creek is known for its team defense. Fourteen players have at least one tackle for a loss. LB Shaka Heyward, a Duke commit, is the leading tackler. On offense, Mill Creek averages 160.4 yards rushing, 115.4 passing. Uriah Leverette ran for 143 yards last week in a 45-13 win over Collins Hill. Neither team is among the top 20 scoring offenses in this classification. North Gwinnett averages 30.8 points per game. Mill Creek averages 26.4. Mill Creek is seventh in scoring defense (13.6). North Gwinnett is 16th (19.2).
Prince Avenue Christian at Commerce
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Ray Lamb Stadium, Commerce
Records, rankings: Prince Avenue Christian is 5-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 8-A and No. 2 in Class A private; Commerce is 4-0, 3-0 and No. 5 in Class A public.
Last meeting: Prince Avenue Christian won 21-14 in 2016.
Things to know: Prince Avenue Christian, Commerce and Athens Academy are the three remaining undefeated teams in Region 8-A, although Prince Avenue holds a half-game lead because it has played one more game than the other two. Athens Academy plays Commerce and Prince Avenue in the final two weeks of the regular season. Prince Avenue is the four-time defending region champion and has won 31 consecutive regular-season games. The Wolverines are throwing the ball a little more (about four attempts per game) in coach Greg Vandagriff’s second year than they did in 2016. QB Grant Roland is 62-of-92 passing for 990 yards with 10 touchdowns. Junior WR/S Christian Parrish is perhaps the team’s top weapon. He has 526 yards on 21 receptions, 134 yards rushing, three interceptions and a blocked field goal. Commerce remains primarily a running team, averaging 319.8 yards on the ground and 75.8 passing. Six players have rushed for at least 100 yards this season, led by Tyelon Brock (35-235-3), DaJuan Wood (17-193-2) and Dylan Deaton (33-183-3). QB Nate Ray is 11-of-19 passing for 303 yards and three TDs. Chase Forrester lead the team with 21 tackles.
Sandy Creek at Troup
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange
Records, rankings: Sandy Creek is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 5-AAAA and No. 8; Troup is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Troup won 28-20 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner of this game figures to be the chief challenger to No. 1 Cartersville in 5-AAAA. Troup beat then-No. 3 Sandy Creek last season for the first time in six meetings. Troup is 5-0 for the first time since 2004. Troup averages 355.0 yards passing and 72.8 rushing. Montez Crowe is 82-of-123 passing (.667) for 1,680 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. The top receiver is Jamari Thrash with 21 catches for 564 yards and six touchdowns. Troup is third in AAAA scoring (42.6) and seventh in scoring defense (12.8). Sandy Creek’s lone defeat came against Starr’s Mill, a ranked team from a higher classification. Sandy Creek is 31st (23.3) in AAAA scoring but fourth in scoring defense (9.5). LB/DB T.J. Peavy is by far the leading tackler. He has mid-major scholarship offers. The Sandy Creek offense is balanced. The yardage leaders are Jordan Clarke (521 rushing), Matthew Williams (699 passing) and Judah Johnson (380 receiving). Williams, a sophomore, got the QB job this season when 2016 starter Bryant Walker left for Newnan with his dad and head coach, Chip. Sandy Creek promoted 16-year assistant Brett Garvin to take Chip’s place.
Wesleyan at Eagle’s Landing Christian
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Commitment Field, McDonough
Records, rankings: Wesleyan is 5-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-A and No. 3 in Class A private; Eagle’s Landing Christian is 5-0, 1-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Eagle’s Landing Christian won 35-13 in the 2016 Class A private-school quarterfinals.
Things to know: ELCA and Wesleyan are among three undefeated teams in the region. The other is unranked Mount Vernon Presbyterian (5-0). ELCA won this game a year ago 34-31, then won more easily in the playoff rematch. Banks Ramsey, who threw for 375 and 220 yards last year against ELCA, is having a player-of-the-year type season. He’s 66-of-92 passing (.717) for 876 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has a team-leading 294 rushing yards and a team-leading five sacks on defense and has one of the team’s four interceptions. Zach Peterson has 30 catches for 325 yards and five touchdowns and is big in the return game. ELCA’s strength is defense. Starters have allowed only 23 points (4.8 per game). Harrison Taylor (six sacks, four tackles for losses) and George Shockley are the leading tacklers. CB Tre Douglas is committed to Vanderbilt. On offense, Brayden Rush has thrown for 519 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions. Josh Mays is the leading rusher with 496 yards on 64 carries. Khaleb Hood, a star in the secondary, has returned a kickoff for a touchdown and averages 20 yards per punt return.
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