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Friday, October 29, 2010 - 11:46am

The Rundown on Key Friday Night Matchups

Marist vs. Mays

The Marist War Eagles (6-2) travel to Lakewood Stadium to play the Mays Raiders (6-2) in a Region 6, Class 4A showdown that has playoff ramifications. The Raiders secured a playoff spot last week beating Carver (Atlanta) 56-0 while Marist must win one of its remaining two games to extend its 27-year playoff string dating back to 1982. Mays has made the playoffs five of the last eight years. Either team could finish with a two, three or four seed behind region champion Tucker.

Savannah Country Day at Calvary Day

In a subregion 3-E, Class A showdown, the Hornets of Savannah Country Day (6-2, 3-1) take on the Cavaliers of Calvary Day (6-2, 3-1) in which the loser is put into a must-win situation in the region play-in game to make the state playoffs. A win by Calvary Day secures the subregion championship and their first playoff berth since the 2003 season. Country Day has made the playoffs eight straight years dating to 2002. Wide receiver Kevin Blackburne caught eight passes for 212 yards last week against Metter.

Stephenson at Newnan

The Jaguars are led offensively by Mike Davis and Willie Davis, who each gained over 100 yards rushing for the fourth time last week. Ron Gartrell’s squad is undefeated and poised to win their third consecutive region championship. The Jags (8-0, 5-0) have 42 former players on college rosters, the most of any team in the state of Georgia. With a win tonight, the Cougars (5-3, 4-1) could play for their fifth straight region championship with a win over the Jags. Stephenson and Newnan were in separate regions prior to the 2010 realignment.

Thomasville at Cook

The winner of this Region 1-AA clash will likely secure the top seed in the state playoffs. The Hornets of Cook County (8-0, 4-0) can secure the title outright with a victory, but a Bulldog victory would leave Cook, Thomasville and Fitzgerald in a three way tie in which Thomasville would have the advantage. Cook’s offense has scored over 50 points the last three games. Thomasville (6-2, 3-1) lost a key region game last week in overtime to Fitzgerald 28-21. Cook is led by Alabama commitment LB/RB Shannon Brown, while the Bulldogs are led by two-way starter Jeffery Dyson.

Westminster at Lovett

The winner of “the Battle of Buckhead” takes the 6B-AA crown and earns the chance to play Buford for the region title and playoff seeding next week. The loser likely will face Decatur for a chance to earn a playoff slot. Lovett QB Hunter Budd leads the Lions with 24 touchdowns: 13 passing and 11 rushing on 1,118 yards passing and 259 yards rushing. The Wildcats are led by preseason all-state running back Ralph David Abernathy IV; Abernathy had 234 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s Wildcat 21-6 victory. Westminster leads the series 14-8, but Lovett has won four of the last seven games.

Marion County at Brookstone

These two Region 4-A programs have met only twice. The Eagles won both matchups, which came in 2008 and 2009. Marion County, who is ranked No. 10, is undefeated at 8-0 and are coming off a narrow 7-6 win over Greenville. The Cougars have lost just one game, a 20-14 decision to Hawkinsville in Week 3. With a win, the Eagles would clinch the region title. Brookstone faces a challenge against Greenville next week and would need to win both games for a share of the region title.

Elbert County at North Oconee

This is for all the marbles in Region 8S-AA. The winner will be subregion champ and face the North champion next week for the region title. Elbert County will try to become only the fourth team to score on the Titans this season, North Oconee has posted five shutouts already. If Elbert County can win the region it will be first-year head coach Sid Fritts’ third different school that he has led to a region championship. This is the first time that the Blue Devils have faced North Oconee, as they each played in separate regions in prior seasons.

Grayson at Brookwood

Region 8-AAAAA is up for grabs. Grayson, Brookwood and South Gwinnett all have one loss in the region. If Brookwood can beat Grayson and Berkmar, they will be crowned champs because they beat South Gwinnett head-to-head. If Grayson, which had their 23-game region winning streak snapped last week by South Gwinnett, can beat Brookwood and Central Gwinnett they will still need South Gwinnett to be upset by Archer if they are going to win the region for a third consecutive year. The Rams are 2-4 against Brookwood all-time, but have won the last two in the series.

Jefferson County at Dublin

Neither team has much hope of winning Region 3-AA with Swainsboro still being undefeated and both teams having one loss, especially when both teams’ loss came to the Tigers. Jefferson County fell in overtime 38-37 and Dublin lost 7-3. But second place is on the line when Jefferson County travels to Dublin to face the Fighting Irish for the fourth time in school history, all since 2007. The Warriors lost the first two meetings before winning 17-10 last season. Each team will rely heavily on the run; Dublin has only completed 30 passes all season while Jefferson County has two running backs with over 800 yards.

Lovejoy at Creekside

These two undefeated teams will vie for first place in Region 4-AAAA. If the Wildcats win, they will clinch the region championship. If Creekside wins, they will need to beat North Clayton next week to earn the region championship. The four region playoff spots have all been decided. Now Lovejoy, Creekside, North Clayton and Tri-Cities are jockeying for position. Lovejoy brings with them a stout defense having accumulated 31 sacks and 54 tackles for loss by the team. They have also limited opposing offenses to 83 points this season. The Seminoles will counter that with an offense that has put up 113 points the last three weeks.


Stephen Black

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