By Brooks Burns

The GPB ‘Game of The Week' features the long time region rivals Walton versus Lassiter. The Raiders are undefeated at 7-0 and are in first place in Region 4-7A. Coach Daniel Brunner’s team beat Roswell 42-21 last week. The Trojans of Lassiter are 1-1 in region play and enter Friday’s showdown with a shot at moving into a first place tie with Walton if they can pull off the region victory. But Coach Jep Irwin’s team knows it will be tough trying to stop, or at least contain, a very solid Walton offense that has been on fire all season long.  The Raiders are in the top 5 in almost every major category in Region 4. In the past, this duel has been a shootout and many don’t believe this week’s game will be any different. In recent years, this has been a region dominated by Roswell but not this year. With only 2 games remaining for both squads, Friday’s game could very well determine the region championship.  It will an exciting game to watch so make sure you tune in for ‘Football Fridays in Georgia: Inside Edition’ at 7pm for highlights of this game plus other key matchups across the state.  

It’s finally happening… all teams are now in region play. What does this mean? Well, it means these games count a lot more than they used to. With the playoffs just around the corner, GHSA officials will start to look at who’s in and who’s out. One thing that many fans might not realize is that only the top teams from each region make the playoff bracket. Your team might have started the season 6-0 but if they can’t get out of region play without 2-3 wins, your team likely won’t make the playoffs.

Region play is one of the greatest things Georgia football has to offer. It pits some of the state’s best rivalries against each other. There are old ones like the ‘Battle for The Chest’ where the Allatoona Buccaneers would battle the East Paulding Raiders in the final game of the regular season. The players for both teams looked forward to this game each year and understood how important it was.  The bottom line was that the winner took the region and locked down home field advantage in the playoffs. Unfortunately, this region rivalry ended in 2016 because of reclassification. Allatoona moved up to 6A while East Paulding stayed in 5A. Nevertheless, region play is where the real action is. Where everything gets put on the line… Where the best teams show up and play their hearts out.

Now that’s exciting…  

Now to the ‘Arms Race…’ Colquitt County’s standout QB Steven Krajewski has announced he’ll attend UConn next year. At the beginning of the season, many thought the pro-style QB would stay local and attend Georgia State, he instead committed to the Huskies. Throughout this season, Krajewski has taken some giant steps towards improving his overall game. Meanwhile, Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence keeps moving ever so close to breaking the state career passing record. He looks to break it this week against Chapel Hill. 

Arms Race:

1.     Justin Fields. Harrison. DUAL. Last Game: 19-25 for 266 Passing Yards and 3TDs. Next Game: Dalton.

2.     Trevor Lawrence. Cartersville. PRO. Last Game: 15-19 for 284 Passing Yards and 4TDs. Next Game: Chapel Hill

3.     Jarren Williams. Central Gwinnett. DUAL. Last Game: 316 passing yards. Next Game: Meadowcreek.

4.     Emory Jones. Heard Country. DUAL. Last Game: 206 total yards. Next Game: Jordan.

5.     Knox Kadum. Rome. PRO. Last Game: 11-11 for 196 passing yards and 1TD

6.     Steven Krajewski. Colquitt County. PRO. Last Game: defeated Camden County. Next Game: Tift County.

7.     Mark Wright. Carrollton. DUAL. Last Game: loss to unranked Hiram. Next Game: Kell

8.     Gunnar Watson. Taylor County. PRO. Last Game: 12-16 206 Passing Yards. Next Game: Dooly County.

9.     Michael Barrett. Lowndes, DUAL. Last Game: 12-20 170 Passing Yards. Next Game: Camden County.

10.  Cordel Littlejohn. Roswell. DUAL. Last Game: Rushed for 175 2 TDs. Next Game: Etowah.

Others to Watch:

1.     Harrison Bailey. Marietta. PRO.Next Game: North Cobb.