By Brooks Burns

Are you ready for some Friday night high school Football? Well, get ready for some exciting region action in the GBP Featured Game of the Week. The 4-4 Norcross Blue Devils travel to Brookwood to battle the 6-2 Broncos. Brookwood last week squeaked by region rival Parkview 30-27 when Jonah Randle kicked a short field goal with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. Coach Phillip Jones relied heavily on RB Dane Black who carried the ball 40 times for a whopping 229 yards. The Broncos defense however will need to tighten things up this week after allowing 460 yards against Parkview. As for Norcross, don’t sleep on the Blue Devils. Despite their 4-4 record, they are 3-1 in region play sitting just a game behind 1st place Brookwood. Coach Keith Maloof’s team knows that with a victory Friday they could move into first place in region 7. The Blue Devils have been solid on defense. They shut down 4-star dual-threat QB Jarren Williams and Central Gwinnett 31-7 just a couple of weeks ago. Norcross vs. Brookwood should be an exciting matchup. We’ll have all the action on Football Fridays in Georgia: Inside Edition beginning at 7 pm on GPB.

Now to show some love to South Georgia… just like in the metro area, fans in the southern part of the state love some high school football!  This week I’m shining some light on one of my favorite South Georgia teams – the Valdosta Wildcats. For this community, Wildcat football is the most exciting time of the year. Season tickets are bought 7 months in advance and trying to get a ticket on game day is nearly impossible.  The Wildcats are in region 6A-1, where every game is close. Teams like Coffee County, Houston County, Northside, and Lee County battle it out each week. This year, Valdosta is 3-5 overall and 1-1 in region play. They have an outside shot at the playoffs. Right now, they’re sitting 3rd behind 2-1 Lee County and 2-0 Coffee. Every team in this region has made a great run in the GHSA playoffs in the last 5 years. Coach Alan Rodemaker guided Valdosta to the 6A State Championship in 2016.  I was fortunate enough to be at the Georgia Dome last year and was amazed at the way the fan base turned out for their Wildcats.  I mean the entire first section of the Georgia Dome was filled! The community of Valdosta and quite frankly all of those teams in region 6A-1, represent the best of what Georgia high school football has to offer. Your unwavering support for your teams and your communities does not go unnoticed.

Cartersville’s QB Trevor Lawrence - as expected - broke the state career passing record last week as the Hurricanes continued their multi-season winning streak.

Harrison’s top-rated QB Justin Fields is done after a season-ending injury. Earlier this week, Fields had surgery on his index finger on his throwing hand. The next time we see Fields will be in a UGA uniform.

Central Gwinnett QB Jarren Williams continues to shine throwing for a career high 401 yards in a lost to Meadowcreek.  Right now, Central Gwinnett is out of the playoffs but with a win this week against Parkview they could still slip back into the picture.

Rome’s Knox Kadum has gone 16-16 in passing over the last 2 games. The junior QB has been very consistent the entire season, and with another year ahead of him, he still has a lot of potential to get even better.

Arms Race:

1.     Justin Fields. Harrison. DUAL. Last Game: rushed for 207 yards and was 7-11 for 185 yards and 2 Total TDs. Season-ending injury Next Game: Sequoyah

2.     Trevor Lawrence. Cartersville.PRO. Last Game: 16-22 for 288 4 TDs. Next Game: Troup.

3.     Jarren Williams. Central Gwinnet. DUAL. Last Game: 25-43 for 401 yards with 2 TDs. Next Game: Parkview.

4.     Emory Jones. Heard County. DUAL. Last Game: Rushed for 101 yards and 1 TD was 7-15 for 149 yards for 2 TDs. Next Game: Lamar County.

5.     Knox Kadum. Rome. PRO. Last Game: 5-5 passing for 106 yards and a TD. (Kadum hasn’t had an incomplete in 2 full games.) Next Game: East Paulding. 

6.     Michael Barrett. Lowndes. DUAL. Last Game: threw for 246 and 3 TDs rushed for 140 yards and 2 TDs.

7.     Steven Krajewski. Colquitt County. PRO. Last Game: 19-24 passing yards. Next Game: Forsyth Central.

8.     Gunnar Watson. Taylor County. PRO. Last Game:  Threw for 377 yards and 3 TDs

Others to Watch:

Harrison Bailey. Marietta. PRO. Next Game: McEachern.

Cordell Littlejohn. Roswell. Dual. Next Game: Woodstock.  

Bailey Fisher. Rabun County.  PRO. Next Game: Oglethorpe County