Bainbridge at Warner Robins
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Bainbridge is 7-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 1-AAAAA and No. 5; Warner Robins is 9-0, 3-0 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Bainbridge won 24-21 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner of this game will be the 1-AAAAA champion, and the loser will be the No. 2 seed. Bainbridge is seeking the fifth region title in school history and second in three years. Warner Robins has won 24 region titles but only one (2013) since 2004. A victory would give the Demons their first 10-0 regular season since 2000. Bainbridge is primarily a running team that averages 291.7 yards rushing and 88.6 passing. The leader is Dameon Pierce, a Florida commit who is the nation’s No. 9 running back prospect in 247Sports’ Composite rankings. He has 1,709 of the team’s 2,625 rushing yards, along with 26 touchdowns on 166 carries. QB Mark Loeffler attempts about 14 passes per game and has thrown for 788 yards. Bainbridge is tied for third in AAAAA scoring with 39.67 points per game, while Warner Robins is sixth at 36.33. Warner Robins is more of a passing team, averaging 245.8 yards passing and 159.3 rushing. QB Dylan Fromm is 174-of-282 for 2,169 yards with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. His top targets are Julius Cobbs (40 catches, 768 yards, 11 TDs) and Jaeven West (38-505-5). Jarius Burnett has rushed for 774 yards, and West has run for 323.
Buford at Flowery Branch
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Falcon Field, Flowery Branch
Records, rankings: Buford is 7-1 overall, 5-0 in Region 8-AAAAA and No. 2; Flowery Branch is 8-1, 5-0 and No. 9.
Last meeting: Buford won 49-13 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner is the region champion. Buford has won 14 region titles in 16 seasons, failing only because of two forfeits in 2012 and one loss to Lovett in 2009. Buford is 108-0 in region play otherwise since 2001. Flowery Branch is seeking its first region title since 2012. Both teams have new head coaches. John Ford came to Buford from Roswell. Ben Hall came to Flowery Branch from Jefferson. Buford’s only loss this season is to South Pointe, the No. 1 team in South Carolina. Buford gets about 60 percent of its offense running the ball with Anthony Grant (76-596-14), Christian Turner (55-435) and Derrian Brown (56-527). All three have 100-yard rushing games. Each also has major Division I offers, as do offensive linemen Harry Miller, Carter Colquitt and Riley SImonds. Freshman QB Aaron McLaughlin is 81-of-145 passing for 1,015 yards. Grant is the leading tackler. Flowery Branch also gets about 60 percent of its offense running the ball. Its top backs are Malik Damons (183-1,144-18) and Malik Drayton (100-742-13). Drayton has another 228 yards receiving. Sophomore QB Elijah Gainey is 64-of-131 passing for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns.
Calvary Day at Emanuel County Institute
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Rountree Stadium, Twin City
Records, rankings: Emanuel County Institute is 8-1 and No. 5 in Class A public; Calvary Day is 8-1 and No. 9 in Class A private.
Last meeting: Calvary Day won 42-7 in the 2014 Region 3-A championship game.
Things to know: This is a region championship between subregion winners. Calvary and ECI also won their subregions last year, but the championship game was canceled weeks before to accommodate an unprecedented number of weather-postponed games in southeast Georgia. Calvary and ECI were declared co-champions. Calvary is seeking its fourth region title in five years. It would be four in six years for ECI. Both are run-oriented teams with quarterbacks who distribute and rarely run. Calvary relies on a feature back, Jalen Leary, who rushed for 156 yards last week in a 35-10 victory over Savannah Christian. Leary has rushed for 1,105 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. ECI averages 335.7 rushing yards and rarely passes (21 of 51 attempts). The leading rushers are Ty Carswell (118-937-10), Eric Dixon (122-919-13) and Bobby McNear (71-695-13). All three could finish with more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage, as McNear has another 176 receiving. ECI has scored at least 31 points against every Class A opponent this season. Calvary has not allowed a Class A opponent to score more than 14 points in seven games since a 55-25 win over Montgomery County.
Coffee at Lee County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Leesburg
Records, rankings: Coffee is 6-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA and No. 3; Lee County is 8-1, 2-1 and No. 4.
Last meeting: Lee County won 31-20 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner of this game will be the 1-AAAAAA champion. Coffee would be the No. 2 seed if it loses. Lee County, if it loses, could finish as the No. 2 seed (if Houston County beats Valdosta) or drop all the way to No. 4, based on a point-differential tiebreaker, if Valdosta wins. A victory would give Coffee its second region title in three years. Lee County is seeking its first region title since 2013 and third overall. Coffee is more the running team and Lee County relies more on the pass, but both teams are productive in both aspects. Coffee averages 201.8 yards rushing and 166.9 passing. RB Jameon Gaskins is the region’s leading rusher (142 carries, 809 yards, 13 TDs), but QB Wade Sumner is also second in the region in passing (93-of-139 for 1,322 yards and 14 TDs). Lee County averages 228 yards passing and 124 rushing. Lee has the region’s leading passer (Jase Orndorff is 131-of-202 for 1,924 yards and 17 TDs) and receiver (Ty Terrell has 52 receptions for 867 yards and seven TDs), but also the No. 4 and No. 5 rushers – Nikko Cruz (83-417-13) and Shaun Kimbrough (87-415-6). Lee ranks fourth in Class AAAAAA defense, giving up just 11.2 points per game.
Jefferson County at Screven County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Kelly Memorial Stadium, Sylvania
Records, rankings: Jefferson County is 9-0 overall, 6-0 in Region 4-AA and No. 6; Screven County is 8-0, 6-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Screven County won 49-34 in 2016.
Things to know: Jefferson County and Screven County are tied for first place and two games ahead of their closest pursuer, so the winner will be the 4-AA champion and the loser will be the No. 2 seed. This game matches the top offense against the top defense in Class AA. Jefferson County averages 52.4 points per game, second-best in any classification behind only AAAAAAA Lowndes (53.6). Screven County is allowing a state-best 4.1 points per game and has recorded six consecutive shutouts, the longest streak of its kind since Newnan in 2008. Jefferson County quarterbacks C.J. Hales (61-of-107 passing, 1,230 yards, 18 TDs) and Jaden Jenkins (65-of-94 for 1,071 and 14) both have more than 1,000 yards passing. They also are the team’s leading rushers – Jenkins with 823 yards and 11 TDs on 77 carries, and Hales with 394 yards and five TDs on 62 carries. Senior WR Ty King has 960 yards and 19 TDs receiving. Screven County’s defense is led by DEs Kashawn Robinson (61 total tackles, 13 for losses, four sacks) and Kendrick Cox (52-11-4). The Gamecocks average 313 yards rushing, led by Kim Hunter (607 yards) and QB Armani Bunbury (578 yards rushing, 1,013 passing).
Manchester at Macon County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Adams-Maffett Field, Montezuma
Records, rankings: Manchester is 9-0 and No. 1 in Class A public; Macon County is 7-2 and No. 3 in Class A public.
Last meeting: Macon County won 28-14 in the 2016 Class A public-school quarterfinals.
Things to know: This is the Region 4-A championship game, matching the winner of subregion A (Manchester) and the subregion B winner (Macon County). It is also a rematch of last year’s championship game, which Macon County won 55-13. The teams met again three weeks later in the playoffs, with Macon County winning a much closer game. Macon County has won nine of the past 10 meetings and leads the series 12-4. Manchester is a running team that averages 310.6 yards per game on the ground and has attempted just 42 passes this season. Kelvin Turner (114 carries, 1,035 yards, 12 TDs) is the leading rusher, but the Blue Devils also get big contributions from Deenizeo Gamble (108-850-12) and Kalil Brawner (51-504-7). LB Jontavious Ferguson leads the team in total tackles (96) and tackles for losses (21). Macon County is more balanced but also relies heavily on the run, averaging 222.7 yards per game rushing and 125.8 passing. Most of the running game comes from RB Aukeeveous McLendon (119-1,018-6) and QB Jadarrius Hicks (91-674-8). No other player has more than nine carries. Hicks is 78-of-146 passing for 1,120 yards and 21 touchdowns.
McEachern at Hillgrove
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Cobb Energy Hillgrove Stadium, Powder Springs
Records, rankings: McEachern is 7-2 overall, 4-0 in Region 3-AAAAAAA and unranked; Hillgrove is 6-3, 3-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: McEachern won 47-23 in 2016.
Things to know: Both teams have recovered from 0-2 starts against ranked opponents, and the winner of this game will be the champion of 3-AAAAAAA. McEachern would be the No. 2 seed if it loses. A loss would make Hillgrove the No. 2 seed (if North Paulding beats Marietta) or No. 3 seed (if Marietta wins). This is the fifth consecutive year in which both teams came into the game with a chance for at least a share of first place. Hillgrove has scored one more point than McEachern (274 to 273) this season but also has given up almost twice as many (235 to 123). McEachern’s offensive leaders are RBs Paris Brown (104-640-6) and Jalen Thornton (79-522-2) and QB Malik Evans (60-of-127, 774 yards, nine TDs). Brown ran for 202 yards in a 34-14 victory over Marietta last week and had 147 yards and two TDs against Hillgrove last season. Hillgrove averages 196.1 yards rushing and 177.7 passing. RB Trevor Smith is the leading rusher with 701 yards, including 134 and three touchdowns last week in a 42-10 win over North Cobb. QB Hunter Arters is 120-of-211 passing for 1,405 yards and 16 TDs. His primary targets are Jalen Jackson (39-533-7) and Chigoziem Okonkwo (23-237-2).
Prince Avenue Christian at Athens Academy
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Slaughter Field, Athens
Records, rankings: Prince Avenue Christian is 9-0 overall, 8-0 in Region 8-A and No. 2 in Class A private; Athens Academy is 9-0, 8-0 and No. 4 in Class A private.
Last meeting: Prince Avenue Christian won 28-0 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner is the region champion. It would be the fifth consecutive title for Prince Avenue. Athens Academy last won a region championship in 2012, also the last time that the Spartans beat Prince Avenue. Prince Avenue is fifth in Class A private scoring (37.8) and scoring defense (10.9). Athens Academy is first in scoring (42.8) and second in scoring defense (7.1). Prince Avenue averages 249.7 yards passing and 150.9 rushing per game. QB Grant Roland is 128-of-193 passing for 1,983 yards and 19 touchdowns. WR/DB Christian Parrish has 45 catches for 1,033 yards and 13 touchdowns. LB/RB Sam Wessinger is the leading tackler (56 solo stops) and rusher (389 yards). Athens Academy gets two-thirds of its offense running the ball. RB/DB Payton Bowles has rushed for 829 yards and 12 touchdowns and has another 217 yards and three touchdowns receiving. He also has five tackles for losses on defense. RB Henry Trapnell has more than 800 all-purpose yards and is excellent in the return game. Both teams have strong offensive lines. Athens Academy’s Joe Colley and Prince Avenue’s Daniel Parrish are returning first-team all-region players, and Prince Avenue’s Harrison Jump has committed to Georgia Tech.
Stephenson at Tucker
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, James R. Hallford Stadium, Clarkston
Records, rankings: Stephenson is 7-2 overall, 6-0 in Region 4-AAAAAA and No. 6; Tucker is 8-1, 6-0 and No. 1.
Last meeting: Tucker won 31-0 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner is the region champion. For Tucker, it would be four in the past five seasons, including last year. Stephenson last won in 2015. Tucker averages 270.9 yards rushing per game and only 129.6 passing, but its best all-around player is WR/RET Josh Vann, who has 42 catches for 758 yards and 13 touchdowns. Taurean Taylor (Kent State commit) has rushed for 810 yards and 12 touchdowns on 73 carries. QB Travon Ford has completed 72 of 118 attempts and doesn’t run much. Stephenson also gets about two-thirds of its offense running the ball. The leading rushers are sophomores Deandre Jackson (107-663-5) and Ryan Ingram (80-417-5). Stephenson protects the ball well but completes only 47 percent of its passes. Both teams are outstanding defensively. Tucker allows just 73.3 yards rushing and 50.7 passing per game. Stephenson allows 81.1 rushing, 93.4 passing. Stephenson has relatively few Division I recruits, unlike many past seasons. Tucker has an abundance of them, including at least six defensive starters. They include defensive ends Antonio Showers (Troy commit) and Derrick McLendon (four-star junior), linebackers Michael Harris (Auburn), Tra Leslie (Western Kentucky) and Cam’Ron Carter and safety Malachi Buckner.
Woodstock at Walton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Raider Valley, Marietta
Records, rankings: Woodstock is 6-3 overall, 3-1 in Region 4-AAAAAAA and unranked; Walton is 9-0, 4-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Woodstock won 35-24 in 2016.
Things to know: The winner will be the region champion. A region title would be Woodstock’s first. Walton last won in 2011, when it reached the state finals. In 2016, this game determined a playoff berth, and Walton was knocked out and finished 4-6. This season, Walton averages 40.8 points per game, third-best in Class AAAAAAA, and has an almost perfectly balanced offense. QB Austin Kirksey is 98-of-166 passing for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. D.J. Soyoye has rushed for 935 yards. But the key to the offense is WR Dominick Blaylock, a five-star junior recruit who is committed to Georgia. He has 33 catches for 552 yards and six touchdowns and requires constant minding from the defense, which opens lanes elsewhere. Walton’s defense has allowed 19 or more points to all six opponents that are likely to make the playoffs. Woodstock gets two-thirds of its offense passing. Garrett Bass is 161-of-277 passing for 2,313 yards and 24 touchdowns, although with 13 interceptions. Bass had more than 300 yards of total offense against Walton last year. Noah Frith has 53 catches for 863 yards and 13 touchdowns. Preseason all-state WR Louis Hall, a Furman commit, had 682 yards receiving through six games but was lost to injury.
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