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High school football previews: Week 10
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Dawson County at White County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: White County Stadium, Cleveland

Coaches: Dawson County, Jeff Lee; White County, Bill Ballard

Records: Dawson County (4-3, 2-2 Region 7-AAA); White County (5-2, 3-1)

Key players: Dawson County, WR/DB Jackson Putnam (6-1, 180 Sr.); WR Chris Sayler (5-9, 171 Sr.); LB Keaton Toal (6-1, 225 Sr.). White County, RB/LB Dalton Whitfield (6-3, 230 Sr.); DB/WR Will Flowers (5-11, 180 Sr.); QB A.J. Vandiver (So.).

Outlook: White County put itself right in the thick of the Region 7-AAA playoff race with a 21-7 win over eighth-ranked North Hall last Friday night. With the win, the Warriors are now in a tie with West Hall for second place in the region and own the tiebreaker over the Trojans with three games remaining.

White County will visit West Hall on Nov. 1, while the Spartans visit North Hall tonight. White County, meanwhile, hosts Dawson County tonight, as the Tigers look to keep pace with the rest of the region’s playoff contending teams.

Currently, Dawson County is on the outside of the playoffs looking in, but a win over White County tonight can put it right back in the thick of the chase.

With a win tonight, White County would improve to 4-1 in region play, with games remaining on the road against West Hall and Banks County (0-7). If the Warriors are able to win their final three games, they would likely secure the No. 2 seed in the region and a home playoff game in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs. Top-ranked Buford (7-0, 4-0), which has games remaining against Fannin County, East Hall and North Hall, owns the tiebreaker over the Warriors for first place, after the Wolves won the head-to-head matchup 42-6 two weeks ago.

White County narrowly edged past Dawson County, 47-42, a season ago. In 2011, the Warriors won another closely fought game, beating the Tigers 50-43.


Banks County at East Hall

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Vikings Stadium, Gainesville

Coaches: Banks County, Biff Parson; East Hall, Bryan Gray

Records: Banks County (0-7, 0-4 Region 7-AAA); East Hall (3-4, 0-4)

Key players: Banks County, DB/DB Wes Faulkner (5-9, 165 Sr.); WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell (5-10, 155 Jr.); FB/LB Matt Dilbeck (6-1, 210 Jr.). 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: East Hall remains winless in region play this season, despite losing a pair of contests by a combined eight points. Tonight, the Vikings look to get into the win column in Region 7-AAA when they host the winless Leopards.

Banks County enters in a tie with the Vikings for last place in the region, following a 6-0 loss to Fannin County last week. On the season, Banks County has been outscored by its opponents 233-65.


Buford at Fannin County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge

Coaches: Buford, Jess Simpson; Fannin County, Greg Chambers

Records: Buford (7-0, 4-0 Region 7-AAA); Fannin County (2-5, 1-3)

Key players: Buford, LB Korie Rogers (6-2, 215 Sr.); DB/RB Thomas Wilson (5-11, 185 Sr.); RB/LB Joshua Thomas (6-0, 200 Jr.). Fannin County, QB Trevor Stone (6-0, 205 Sr.), RB/CB Jacob Greer (5-8, 160 Jr.), WR Dominik Leben (6-0, 150 So.).

Outlook: No. 1 Buford can inch closer to securing the Region 7-AAA championship tonight with a win in Blue Ridge.

The Wolves are the last remaining undefeated team in 7-AAA and are the favorites to win the region championship. So far this season, Buford is outscoring its opponents 357-37.

Not only is Buford on track to break the state’s all-time scoring record, which was set at 682 points by Dublin in 2006, but they are also on track to have one of the most dominating defensive units in school

The Wolves’ 37 points allowed through the first seven games is the second-lowest that a Buford team has allowed since 2000. Buford allowed just 22 points through its first seven games in 2003, when it shutout its first five opponents.

The Wolves will likely not face a challenge tonight, facing a Fannin County team that has allowed over 60 points in a game twice this season and has scored fewer than 15 points on five occasions this season.
Last week, the Rebels edged Banks County, 6-0, while Buford beat Dawson County 42-10.


Habersham Central at Duluth

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Widcats Stadium, Duluth

Coaches: Habersham Central, Michael Pollock; Duluth, Jason Conner

Records: Habersham Central (0-8, 0-6 Region 7-AAAAAA); Duluth (1-6, 1-4)

Key players: Habersham Central, RB Sydnee Mulligan (5-9, 192 Sr.); OL/WR Gunner Hedden (6-0, 156 Sr.); RB/DB Brandon Moore (5-11, 160 Sr.). Duluth, ATH Tyler Davis (6-0, 165 Sr.); QB Thad Bell (6-1, 215 Jr.); S Sam McNair (5-10, 155 Sr.).

Outlook: Habersham Central has just two more chances to get a win this season.

Duluth’s lone win came over Meadowcreek, which ended its 52-game losing streak against Habersham Central earlier this month.

Last week, Habersham Central held top-ranked North Gwinnett to 41 points, its lowest point total since Sept. 13.

If the Raiders are unable to secure a win tonight, they will have one more chance next week against Mill Creek, a team that is clinging to its playoff hopes.


Pickens at Johnson

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood

Coaches: Pickens, Chris Parker; Johnson, Jason Roquemore

Records: Pickens (4-3, 1-2 Region 7-AAAA); Johnson (2-6)

Key players: Pickens, RB Shannon Brooks (5-11, 193 Jr.); QB Tanner Brumby (6-2, 188 Sr.); DB Jake Dean (5-10, 170 Sr.). Johnson, RB/DL Jesse Griggs (5-9, 210 Jr.); OL/DL Devan McClay (6-3, 245 Sr.); RB/DB Luis Hernandez (6-1, 185 Sr.).

Outlook: Coming off a close loss to Druid Hills last week, Johnson wraps up its home schedule with a matchup against former region foe Pickens.

The two teams competed together in Region 7-AAA from 2000-2009, with the Knights winning six of those meetings. They reunited in 2012 after a three-year absence in the series, with Pickens coming out on top 49-21.

Johnson will have its hands full containing the Dragons’ running game, which features standout Shannon Brooks. The junior eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in his team’s loss to Gilmer last week, and has 1,161 yards on 163 carries this season.

After tonight, the Knights have one game remaining on their schedule, but the opponent has yet to be determined. They will play a team from Region 7-AAAA on Nov. 8 once the region’s play-in games have been scheduled.


Rabun County at Union County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium, Blairsville

Coaches: Rabun County, Lee Shaw; Union County, Brian Allison

Records: Rabun County (5-2, 2-2 Region 8-AA); Union County (5-2, 3-1)

Key players: Rabun County, WR/DB Charlie Woerner (6-4, 205 So.); QB Wes Holcombe (6-0, 200 Sr.); WR/DB Alden Wright (6-3, 195 So.). Union County, WR Robert Prunier (5-9, 175 Jr.); WR Jacob Rogers (6-3, 185 Jr.); OL/DL Luther Jones (6-0, 290 Sr.).

Outlook: Union County can clinch its first playoff berth since 2001 with a win over Rabun County tonight in Blairsville. The Panthers would secure at least the No. 3 seed with games remaining against Social Circle and at 10th-ranked Jefferson.

Rabun County, meanwhile, can put itself in position to secure a playoff spot next week with a win over Union County tonight.

If the Panthers are unsuccessful tonight, they can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Social Circle (0-7) next Friday night.

Union County enters tonight’s game riding a three-game winning streak, which includes wins over Oglethorpe County, Riverside Military and Greene County. The Panthers have scored 40 or more points in all three wins, while holding their opponents to an average of just 16.6 points per game.

Rabun County enters on a two-game losing streak, with both losses coming to the top two teams in the region.

The Wildcats, under the direction of former Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw, lost to Jefferson, 26-20 in overtime, before falling on the road at Washington-Wilkes, 52-7, last week.

Prior to the two losses, the Wildcats won their first five games of the season by an average of 47.6 points, scoring 50 or more points on four occasions and more than 60 points twice.


Lumpkin County at Chestatee

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: War Eagles Stadium, Gainesville

Coaches: Lumpkin County, Brad Waggoner; Chestatee, Stan Luttrell

Records: Lumpkin County (1-6, 1-3 Region 8-AAAA); Chestatee (6-1, 4-0)

Key players: Lumpkin County, OL Caleb Stepp (6-1, 280 Sr.); RB/DB Gunner Wood (5-10, 170 Jr.); QB Daniel McCrary (6-1, 175 Sr.). Chestatee, Zac Cheshire (5-7, 150 Sr.); RB/LB William Fayson (5-7, 187 Sr.); TE/DL Khalil Cantrell (6-0, 260 Sr.).

Outlook: The opportunity for the War Eagles to earn the region title is still right there on the table. After an exciting double-overtime win against Lanier last Friday, Chestatee looks primed to face undefeated Monroe Area (7-0, 4-0) in a rematch of the 2012 region title game, this time in Monroe on Nov. 1.

Zac Cheshire heads the War Eagles’ running attack with his 737 yards, while Tray Bryant is second on the squad with 367 yards. With three remaining region games and a two-game lead over three teams tied for third place, a win tonight assures Chestatee home field advantage to open the state playoffs on Nov. 15.

The War Eagles are seeking their first region title in school history and hope to establish the best position to earn their first playoff win.

Meanwhile, Lumpkin County is a long shot to make the postseason after losing consecutive region games against Madison County and Eastside. The Indians’ only region win was 31-19 against Walnut Grove on Sept. 27.
Chestatee has won 5 of 7 previous meetings against Lumpkin County.


Commerce at Hebron Christian

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Lions Stadium, Dacula

Coaches: Commerce, Michael Brown; Hebron Christian, Kevin Shaffer

Records: Commerce (5-3, 3-1 Region 8-A); Hebron Christian (2-5, 0-4)
Key players: WR/DB Jamir Walton (5-10, 175 Sr.); RB/LB Chance McClure (6-1, 215 Sr.); QB Drew Whitfield (5-9, 175 Sr.). Hebron Christian, WR/DB Trey Selman (6-1, 160 Jr.); DB/WR Lew Stephens (6-1, 180 Sr.); WR/RB/DB Hunter Johnson (5-7, 140 So.).

Outlook: Commerce is a near lock to make its 17th consecutive playoff appearance in 2013, a bracket that is drawn up, in the Tigers’ case, of the top 16 public schools in Class A. After tonight’s game against the Lions, Commerce has a bye week before traveling to Pinecrest Academy for the regular season finale on Nov. 8 in Cumming.

In last week’s win against Athens Academy, Jamir Walton had a pair of touchdown grabs, while Chance McClure rushed for a touchdown. For the season, Walton has a team-high 591 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, while McClure is a close second with 576 yards and four touchdowns. This season, Commerce has rushed for 1,713 yards (4.1 yards per attempt) and passed for 250.

At 0-4 in region play, Hebron Christian is likely out of contention for the private school playoff bracket.


Oconee County at Jackson County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Panthers Stadium, Jefferson

Coaches: Oconee County, Mitch Olson; Jackson County, Benji Harrison

Records: Oconee County (1-6, 1-3 Region 8-AAA); Jackson County (2-5, 2-2)

Key players: Oconee County, RB Ikwaan Jones (5-7, 170 Sr.); LB Jaleel Laguins (6-2, 200 So.); WR Frank Finch (5-9, 190 So.). Jackson County, WR Xavier Harper (6-0, 185 Sr.); QB Jacob Lewis (6-1, 175 Jr.); WR Ben Brissey (6-3, 195 Sr.).

Outlook: Oconee County earned its first win of the season last week against Franklin County, mostly due to Jones, who is finding his stride and leading the Warriors.

Jones recorded 244 yards and three scores on 35 carries and also returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.


Jefferson vs. Social Circle

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson

Coaches: Jefferson, Ben Hall; Social Circle, Ron Sebree

Records: Jefferson (5-2, 3-1 Region 8-AA); Social Circle (0-7, 0-4)
Key players: Jefferson, QB T.J. Skelton (6-0, 180 Jr.); RB Tristen Jackson (5-9, 190 Sr.); DL Tyler Bowen (5-10, 220 Sr.).

Outlook: After dropping a tight one in region play to Washington-Wilkes earlier in the season, it looks like a long shot for the Dragons to repeat as region champions. After a bye this week, Washington-Wilkes (8-0, 5-0) faces Oglethorpe County and Social Circle (a combined 1-13 record) and need to win just one of the two to claim their first region title since 2006.

Still, Jefferson is in the driver’s seat to earn the No. 2 seed from the region and a home game to start the postseason.

The Dragons’ toughest game remaining is against Union County (3-1 in region play) on the final night of the regular season in Blairsville.

Skelton had a pair of touchdown throws last week against Oglethorpe County, and has now thrown for 268 yards in a pair of starts at quarterback. Jackson is leading Jefferson in rushing with 508 yards and seven touchdowns, while Isaiah Blake is second on the team with 284 yards on the ground. At 0-4 in the region, Social Circle is out of playoff contention.


Lakeview Academy at North Cobb Christian

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: North Cobb Christian School, Kennesaw

Coaches: Lakeview Academy, Matthew Gruhn; North Cobb Christian, Scott Ryle

Records: Lakeview Academy (1-6); North Cobb Christian (1-6)

Key players: Lakeview Academy, QB Jackson Strickland (5-10, 160 Sr.); RB Drake Hollander (5-10, 170 Sr.); WR/DB David Abee (Jr.). North Cobb Christian, LB Reese Park (5-11, 163 So.); WR John Towne (6-4, 195 Sr.); RB David Brittingham (5-8, 160 So.).

Outlook: Lakeview Academy fell in a close game to St. Francis last week, and this Friday’s battle against North Cobb Christian should be a perfect game for the Lions to bounce back and earn their second win of the season.

Abee and running back J.B. Britte have become frequent names on the scoring sheet, sometimes helping the Lions run creative plays that get them on the board.

They’ve also become prominent in the Lakeview secondary, strengthening the Lions’ defense and pressuring the opponent to yield turnovers and give Lakeview more chances.

North Cobb Christian is coming off of a 48-10 loss to Towns County last week.

The two teams’ only common opponent so far this season has been Cross Keys. Lakeview Academy won 42-0, while North Cobb Christian fell 47-29.

Riverside Military at Glascock County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Panthers Stadium, Gibson

Coaches: Riverside Military, Gary Downs; Glascock County, Chris Kelly

Records: Riverside Military (3-4, 2-3 Region 8-AA); Glascock County (1-6)

Key players: Riverside Military, QB Collin Pettell (6-4, 215 Sr.); WR Raleigh Beougher (5-9, 170 Jr.); WR/DB C.J. Howard (6-2, 185 Jr.). Glascock County, WR/RB Avery Frost (5-7, 150 Sr.); RB/LB Austin Justice (6-2, 185 Sr.); LB Jarvis Tarr (6-2, 200 Jr).

Outlook: In a non-region game, Riverside Military has the opportunity to move to .500 for the third time this season. The game is a tune-up for the final two in region play: versus Jefferson on Nov. 1 at Maginnis Field, followed by the regular season finale against Greene County on Nov. 8 in Greensboro.

After losing to Glascock County 22-13 last season, Riverside Military has more momentum this year after last week’s 56-14 win against Social Circle. Pettell threw for five touchdowns last week, and now stands at 1,051 passing yards on the season.

After a 200-yard receiving game against the Redskins, Beougher now has 613 receiving yards with four touchdowns.

Avery Cagle is the Eagles’ leading running back with 38 carries for 248 yards.

Glascock County is playing a non-region schedule out of 7-A. Its lone win came against Warren County 28-6 on Aug. 30.


Towns County at St. Francis

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: St. Francis High, Alpharetta

Coaches: Towns County, Blair Harrison; St. Francis, Brennen Booth

Records: Towns County (2-5), St. Francis (6-2).

Key players: Towns County, QB Jackson Noblet (5-10, 205 Sr.); OL/DL Jaryd Gurley (6-2, 303 Sr.); RB/DB Zach Sewell (5-7, 165 Jr.). St. Francis, WR/SS Lance Pecot (5-10, 160 Sr.); RB/DB Knox Edenfield (5-11, 155 Jr.); OL/DL Seth Cecil (6-0, 260 Jr.).

Outlook: Towns County earned its second win of the season last week, but now the Indians must face a St. Francis team that is on a roll. The Knights have out scored their opponents 120-10 over the past three weeks and have won five straight.