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High school football previews: Week 12

POSTED: November 7, 2013 11:51 p.m.

West Hall at Dawson County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville
Coaches: West Hall, Tony Lotti; Dawson County, Jeff Lee
Records: West Hall (5-4, 3-3 Region 7-AAA); Dawson County (5-4, 3-3).
Key Players: West Hall, QB Zach English (5-10, 180 Sr.); TE/DE Hunter Atkinson (6-6, 250 Sr.); RB/DB Kwon Williams (6-0, 185 So.). Dawson County, WR/DB Jackson Putnam (6-1, 180 Sr.); WR Chris Sayler (5-9, 171 Sr.); LB Keaton Toal (6-1, 225 Sr.).
Outlook: No game in Region 7-AAA has more clear-cut ramifications than the one in Dawsonville. The winner goes into the postseason as the No. 4 seed, while the loser misses the postseason. Dawson County was the No. 4 seed in 2012, while the Spartans last made the playoffs with a 9-2 mark in 2002.
West Hall and Dawson County both lost all three head-to-head matchups against the top three in Region 7-AAA: Buford, White County and North Hall. The outcome of the Region 7-AAA championship game between top-ranked Buford and No. 6 North Hall at The Brickyard will shape how they are seeded along with White County.

Chestatee vs. Madison County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: War Eagles Stadium, Gainesville
Coaches: Madison County, Chris Smith; Chestatee, Stan Luttrell
Records: Madison County (4-5, 2-4 Region 8-AAAA); Chestatee (7-2, 5-1)
Key players: Madison County, LB Dustin Howard (6-1, 210 Sr.); OLB/FB Trey Watkins (5-8, 180 Jr.); TE Beau Gentry (6-1, 170 Jr.). Chestatee, TE/DL Khalil Cantrell (5-10, 260 Sr.); RB Zac Cheshire (5-7, 140 Sr.); QB Wyatt Burgess (5-11, 155 Sr).
Outlook: Chestatee still has plenty to be excited about, even though last Friday’s Region 8-AAAA title game didn’t go as the team would have liked. The War Eagles would love a region win against the Red Devils to get momentum back as they prepare to open the Class AAAA state tournament in Gainesville on Nov. 15. Chestatee already owns head-to-head advantage over its nearest competitor in 8-AAAA, Lanier, who sits at 4-2 in region play.
Madison County is coming off a 41-6 win against Walnut Grove, but is already eliminated from playoff contention.

East Hall vs. Fannin County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Vikings Stadium, Gainesville
Coaches: Fannin County, Greg Chambers; East Hall, Bryan Gray
Records: Fannin County (2-7, 1-5 Region 7-AAA); East Hall (4-5, 1-5)
Key players: Fannin County, QB Trevor Stone (6-0, 205 Sr.), RB/CB Jacob Greer (5-8, 160 Jr.), WR Dominik Leben (6-0, 150 So.). East Hall, QB Devin Watson (5-10, 170 Jr.); WR/DB Milton Whelchel (5-9, 170 Sr.); LB Corey Reece (5-10, 185 Sr.).
Outlook: The Vikings have an opportunity to finish a disappointing season on a high note tonight. After winning all three nonregion matchups this year, East Hall has dropped four of its last five in region play. A win would give East Hall a .500 record for the third consecutive season.
Watson has had an amazing season for the Vikings, passing for 2,297 yards and 19 touchdowns, while rushing for 524 yards and nine scores. Whelchel is the Vikings’ leading receiver with 39 catches for 583 yards and 10 scores. Tight end Junior Lee has 29 catches for 352 yards and six touchdowns.
Fannin County’s only region win was against winless Banks County 6-0 on Oct. 18.

Lafayette at Johnson

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood
Coaches: Lafayette, Chad Fisher; Johnson, Jason Roquemore
Records: Lafayette (1-8, 1-4 Region 7-AAAA), Johnson (2-7)
Key Players: Lafayette, WR/DB Cameron Marsh (5-11, 150 Sr.); TE/DE Austin Whitten (6-4, 235 Jr.); WR/DB Ethan Tripp (5-9, 145 Jr.). Johnson, RB/DB Luis Hernandez (6-1, 185 Sr.); RB/DL Jesse Griggs (5-9, 210 Jr.); OL/DL Devan McClay (6-3, 245 Sr.).
Outlook: Johnson concludes the season against its second Region 7-AAAA opponent, Lafayette. The Ramblers finished last in Subregion B of 7-AAAA, and therefore did not qualify for a region play-in game.
The matchup is a favorable finale for the Knights, as Lafayette has won just once this season. The Ramblers surprised 2012 state finalist Ridgeland with a 32-29 upset over their Walker County rival.
Should the Knights win, they’ll take a 3-7 campaign and a young team into the offseason to begin preparing for
2014, when they’ll return to a full region schedule.

Riverside Military at Greene County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Tigers Stadium, Greensboro
Coaches: Riverside Military, Gary Downs; Greene County, Robert Edwards
Records: Riverside Military (4-5, 2-4 Region 8-AA), Greene County (3-6, 2-4)
Key Players: Riverside Military, LB John-Mark MacFarlane (5-10, 190 Sr.); QB Collin Pettell (6-3, 220 Sr.); RB/DB Raleigh Beougher (5-9, 165 Jr.). Greene County, DE/FB Demone Kemp (6-3, 232 Jr.); DE Jonathon Cleveland (So.); QB Christian Whitner (Jr.).
Outlook: Riverside Military’s final contest of the season could be a close one on the road. The Eagles have weapons on offense that have become prominent toward the end of the season. Riveside Military is looking for their first five-win season since going 5-6 and making the Class AA state playoffs in 2009.
Beougher’s (40 catches, 810 yards) speed is an asset for Riverside Military, and Pettell (1,674 yards, 17 TDs) has found a number of receivers to rely on, such as J.J. McCalston and Avery Cagle.
Cagle is a dual threat, scoring on the run as well for the Eagles, and Sage Jordan is another leader on the ground.
Greene County and Riverside Military both have region wins against Social Circle and Oglethorpe County and losses to the remainder of 8-AA.

Jefferson at Union County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium, Blairsville
Coaches: Jefferson, Ben Hall; Union County, Brian Allison
Records: Jefferson (7-2, 5-1 Region 8-
AA); Union County (6-3, 4-2).
Key players: Jefferson, QB Evan Shirreffs (6-4, 175 Jr.); RB Tristen Jackson (5-8, 190 Sr.); RB Isaiah Blake (5-9, 180 Sr.). Union County, OL/DL Luther Jones (6-0, 290 Sr.); LB/RB Chase Barnett (5-11, 190 Jr.); WR/DB Robert Prunier (5-9, 175 Jr.).
Outlook: Union County already clinched its first playoff berth since 2001 with a win over Social Circle last week. Now the Panthers are in contention for a home playoff game with a win tonight over 10th-ranked Jefferson. If the Panthers win and Rabun County beats Oglethorpe County, they will be in a three-way with for second place with Rabun County and Jefferson.
The tie will be broken by the Region 8-AA tiebreaker.
Jefferson can clinch the No. 2 seed outright with a win over Union County, avoiding the dreaded three-way tie for the seed. A No. 2 seed secures the reigning Class AA champion Dragons a home game Nov. 15 against either Wesleyan (2-8) or Westminster (4-5).
Last week, Jefferson cruised to a win over Riverside Military Academy, using a five-touchdown second quarter to pull away from the Eagles, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the 62-23 loss.
Union County earned its sixth win of the season last week, beating Social Circle 47-6.

White County at Banks County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Leopards Stadium, Homer
Coaches: White County, Bill Ballard; Banks County, Biff Parson
Records: White County (7-2, 5-1 Region 7-AAA); Banks County (0-9, 0-6)
Key players: White County, RB/LB Dalton Whitfield (6-3, 230 Sr.); WR/DB Will Flowers (5-11, 180 Sr.); DB/WR Coley Loudermilk (5-11, 180 Sr.). Banks County, RB/DB Wes Faulkner (5-9, 165 Sr.); WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell (5-10, 155 Jr.); OL/DL Trent Cape (5-10, 200 Jr.).
Outlook: White County has a great opportunity to lock up its first home playoff game since its current crop of seniors were freshmen in 2010. The Warriors simply need a victory against the winless Leopards, and hope that North Hall doesn’t upset top-ranked Buford at The Brickyard.
White County seems to have gotten better as the season progressed, highlighted by a tough three-game sweep in region against North Hall, Dawson County and West Hall leading into tonight’s game. Since Buford owns head-to-head advantage over White County, a North Hall win would make Buford No. 2 and the Warriors No. 3 in the postseason. However, don’t expect White County to worry about what’s going on in other games. Led by a steady ground game, the Warriors have shut out three opponents (Lumpkin County, East Hall and West Hall) and held North Hall to just a touchdown in a 21-7 win Oct. 18 in Cleveland.
Banks County is out of playoff contention.

Lumpkin County at Stephens County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: The Reservation, Toccoa
Coaches: Lumpkin County, Brad Waggoner; Stephens County, Travis Noland.
Records: Lumpkin County (1-8, 1-5 Region 8-AAAA); Stephens County (5-4, 3-3).
Key Players: Lumpkin County, RB/DB Gunner Wood (5-10, 170 Jr.); OL Caleb Stepp (6-1, 280 Sr.); WR/DB Johnathan Gilreath (6-2, 190 Sr.). Stephens County, OL Ben Cleveland (6-7, 320 So.); OL Thomas Lowery (6-3, 220 Sr.); WR/DB Will Smith (5-10, 152 Sr.).
Outlook: Stephens County secured the No. 4 seed out of Region 8-AAAA with a victory against Eastside last week, and hopes to improve their record with a win in the final week of the regular season.
Lumpkin County is searching for an upset win to close out the season on a high note on the road. Gilreath is one of the leading receivers in Class AAAA with 901 yards, including 155 yards against Lanier last Friday.

Morgan County at Jackson County

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Panther Stadium, Jefferson
Coaches: Morgan County, Bill Malone; Jackson County, Benji Harrison
Records: Morgan County (6-3, 3-3 Region 8-AAA); Jackson County (3-6, 3-3)
Key players: Morgan County, QB Trent Hawk (5-11, 180 Sr.); WR/DB Melvin Davis (5-11, 190 Sr.); RB Marquis Benton (5-8, 171 Sr.). Jackson County, WR Xavier Harper (6-0, 185 Sr.); QB Jacob Lewis (6-1, 173 Jr.); WR Ben Brissey (6-3, 195 Sr.).
Outlook: It’s win or go home tonight for the visiting Morgan County Bulldogs and the host Jackson County Panthers. The winner of tonight’s game will secure the No. 4 seed out of Region 8-AAA, while the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.
Morgan County is 6-3 on the season, with all three of its losses coming against the region’s top three teams — Elbert County, Hart County and North Oconee. Jackson County, meanwhile, has also lost to the top three in the region and has overcome non-region losses to Winder-Barrow, Jefferson and Athens Christian.
A win tonight and the Panthers can secure their second straight playoff berth, the first time the school would earn back-to-back berths in the playoffs since 1986-87.
Morgan County, which began playing football in 1948, can clinch its fourth straight playoff berth.
Morgan County won last season’s meeting with Jackson County in Madison, 44-28.

Commerce at Pinecrest Academy

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Paladins Stadium, Cumming
Coaches: Commerce, Michael Brown; Pinecrest Academy, Todd Winter
Records: Commerce (6-3, 4-1 Region 8-A); Pinecrest Academy (5-4, 2-3)
Key players: Commerce, RB/DB Jamir Walton (5-10, 175 Sr.); FB/LB Chance McClure (6-1, 215 Sr.); QB Caleb Brooks (Jr.). Pinecrest Academy, LB Adam Guard (6-0, 190 Jr.); WR/DB Adam Ettmueller (6-3, 160 So.); WR/DB Alex Brenner (6-0, 180 Sr.).
Outlook: Although both programs play in Region 8-A, neither has played for the same prize this season as a result of the split playoff pools for private and public schools in Class A. The Tigers are on the brink of earning their 17th consecutive playoff berth, while the Paladins are out of the running in the private school ranks for one of the 16 playoff spots.
Commerce has won four of five in region play with the only loss coming against No. 6 Prince Avenue Christian, 28-14, on Oct. 11. The Tigers are currently ranked No. 9 in the public school rankings in Class A, according to the Georgia High School Association website.
The Commerce run game is led by McClure (626 yards, 5 TDs) and Walton (627, 8 TDs). McClure is also the team’s leading tackler with 62 stops.
The Tigers put up 437 yards of offense in their last outing against Hebron Christian on Oct. 25, a 48-12 victory, followed by a bye last week.

Towns County at Hebron Christian

When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Hebron Christian Academy, Dacula
Coaches: Towns County, Blair Harrison; Hebron Christian, Kevin Shaffer
Records: Towns County (3-6, non-region schedule); Hebron Christian (2-7)
Key players: Towns County, QB Jackson Noblet (5-10, 205 Sr.); OL/DL Jaryd Gurley (6-2, 303 Sr.); WR/DB Cruz Shook (5-7, 170 Jr.).
Outlook: Towns County can clinch a school-record fourth win with a visit to Hebron Christian Academy tonight in Dacula.
The Indians earned their third win in the past four weeks last Friday night, edging Lakeview Academy 10-7 in Hiawassee. Now, the Indians go on the road to close out their season against the struggling Hebron Lions, who are 2-7 on the season and enter the matchup riding a 7-game losing streak.
The Lions opened the season with a 23-7 win over Lakeview Academy and a 36-20 win over Cross Keys, but have been beaten up the past seven weeks, including last week when they lost to Athens Academy 21-7.



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