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High School Football: Week 6 previews
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Game of the Week: East Hall at Lumpkin County


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: The Burial Grounds, Dahlonega

Records: East Hall (2-2); Lumpkin County (1-2)


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: War Eagle Stadium, Gainesville

Records: Chestatee (3-2); Habersham Central (3-1)

Who to watch: Nick Lyles has been the driving force for Chestatee, but last week it was the arm of junior Storm Yarbrough that got the War Eagles past Lumpkin County. Yarbrough threw for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The QB also scampered for a score in the 38-33 win. Lyles had 69 yards on 11 carries for a score. For Habersham Central, running back Michael Babers was a no-go against Stephens County last Friday. Aaron Galloway stepped up with 17 carries for 73 yards. QB Cole Wilbanks completed 50 percent of his passes for 168 yards and a score.

Game notes: Chestatee has never played Habersham Central. The War Eagles are coming off of back-to-back victories and are trending in the right direction after winning one game in the last two seasons. The Raiders are coming into the game after suffering their first loss of the season, a 27-7 decision against rival Stephens County. Chestatee will look to continue momentum and pull out a win before heading into an off week, then beginning region play. Habersham will also have an off week next week before hosting Gainesville to kick off its first game in Region 8-AAAAAA.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch

Records: Flowery Branch (1-3); Johnson (0-4)

Who to watch: Quarterback Nick Lance could have a big day for the Falcons as they look to spread the field. Before taking a week off, Johnson allowed 526 yards through the air in its last three games. For Johnson, Cody Long is the workhorse for the Knights’ offense. If the offensive line can get some push, look for Long to take advantage of open space.

Game notes: Flowery Branch is 5-3 against Johnson all-time. Both teams are coming in looking to get back on track as the Falcons have lost three of their last four and Johnson hasn’t found the win column yet this season. Flowery Branch has won the last five matchups in the series. The Falcons will be hoping to reverse last week’s 33-0 loss to Class AAAA Jefferson. Lance was able to complete 6-of-9 passes for 55 yards, but also threw an interception a week ago. This contest will be the first for either team in Region 8-AAAAA play.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: West Hall Stadium, Oakwood

Records: West Hall (4-1); Rabun County (2-0)

Who to watch: Tyrese Osborne picked up just 45 yards on 13 carries in a double-overtime win against Dawson County a week ago. Osborne scored the final touchdown to put the Spartans up for good.

Game notes: Rabun County owns the series between the two schools 4-1. West Hall is on a roll, winning the last four games. The Wildcats have played just two contests, topping a strong Stephens County team and knocking off White County 49-7. The Spartans will look to Tyrese Osborne to get things going for them on the offensive side. On the defensive side of the ball, West Hall will have to contend with junior quarterback Bailey Fisher and senior running back Cal Drummond. In just two games, Fisher has completed 37-of-52 passes for 643 yards and six touchdowns. Fisher has also rushed 31 times for 139 yards and four scores. Drummond has rushed 32 times for 260 yards. The Spartans allowed 188 yards rushing to Dawson County, the most allowed by West Hall so far this season.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

Records: Buford (2-1); International School of Broward (0-3)

Who to watch: TD Roof did it all for the Wolves against Jefferson Davis last week. Roof (6 carries, 81 yards) led the defense with 10 tackles, two sacks, a caused fumble and a blocked field goal. He even rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns, including the Wolves’ final score of the game in the fourth quarter to keep a scrappy Volunteers squad out of reach.  The senior linebacker currently leads the team in tackles with 19 total (2 TFL) and three sacks in three games.

Game notes: Coming off its second bye already, the Wolves’ latest victory over yet another out-of-towner Jefferson Davis proved to be a little close for comfort. They shot themselves in the foot with a fumble on their own 2-yard-line in the fourth quarter to let the Volunteers sneak within one score, but still managed to pull off the 38-30 edge over their Alabama visitors in the end. Besides that fourth-quarter hiccup, the Wolves have proven that the Corky Kell Classic loss is far in the past. Coach Jess Simpson’s squad has averaged 31.3 points and 325.7 total yards through three games thus far. The offense has been headlined by a stout running game with a combined 616 yards on 100 carries split among 10 ball carriers. Anthony Grant leads that category with 307 yards and four scores on 42 carries. They now welcome Hollywood, Fla.-based charter school, International School of Broward, a squad that’s coming off a 42-6 loss to ninth-ranked Florida Class 6A Crestview. This is the first-ever meeting of the programs.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson

Records: Jefferson (3-1); Gainesville (2-1)

Who to watch: Jefferson junior fullback Colby Wood rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 6.4 yards per carry for the Dragons in a 33-0 shutout of Flowery Branch last Friday night. Wood is now up to 442 yards and seven scores through four games, and is on pace for 1,105 rushing yards this season. Red Elephants quarterback D.J. Irons doesn’t have to look very far for viable options in the passing game. Senior wide receiver Red Davis currently leads the receiving group with 10 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown. Junior wideout Jim Barnett, who leads the team in receptions, caught seven passes for a team-high 97 receiving yards and a touchdown in week 3.

Game notes: Gainesville coach Butch Miller said at the conclusion of the Red Elephants’ 21-14 redemption win over Clarke Central that they’ll take a win any way they can get them. Gainesville jumped right into back-to-back bye weeks following a three-turnover outing at City Park Stadium in week 3, plenty of time to improve and recover from various injuries. Big Red’s front seven is led by senior linebacker Kris Montague, who recorded back-to-back sacks during Clarke Central’s final drive of the game in week 3, will have a large task ahead of them when they enter Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Jefferson’s sturdy offensive line led by Division I prospect Caleb Chandler proved to be an issue for Flowery Branch in week 5, as the as the Dragons ran for 273 yards and three touchdowns out of their 80 offensive plays.
Gainesville’s dual-threat quarterback Irons may be under some duress as well. The Dragons defensive front shut down a speedy Falcons backfield and cashed in two of four Falcons turnovers, which included a pair of interceptions in the second half. This will be the first meeting between the programs.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville

Records: Dawson County (1-1); White County (1-3)

Who to watch: Junior quarterback Coey Watson overcame his own physical limitations in the second half to lead the Tigers in a double-overtime thriller last week. Despite suffering an injury to his throwing shoulder during the first half, Watson rushed for three scores, this third coming on a 12-play, four-minute drive midway through the fourth quarter. He racked up 56 yards — all quarterback keepers — on 10 carries, then added the 2-point conversion to give the Tigers a three-point lead with 5:20 left in the game. The Tigers may have to rely on backup Connor Bearden to lead the offense in the event Watson’s shoulder is not at 100 percent.

Game notes: Both squads are coming off overtime thrillers, Dawson County falling short in double overtime to Region 7-AAAA West Hall last Friday night.  Spartans defensive back Ashun Favorite batted down a Coey Watson pass in the back of the endzone on fourth-and-9 for final play of the game, preserving the Spartans’ 30-23 win. White County, however, snuck past the North Hall in extra time to get win No. 1 on Homecoming night. The Trojans got a 1-yard rushing score from Kyle Bacus to come within one point of the Warriors in OT, but were stuffed on a 2-point conversation attempt to follow, ending the wild contest by a 24-23 decision. The Warriors’ currently own the series 5-1, with their last loss to the Tigers occurring in 2000. But this will be the first meeting since 2013.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge

Records: North Hall (3-1); Fannin County (2-2)

Who to watch: It’s still no secret who continues to pace the Trojans’ run game. Kyle Bacus ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojans’ OT loss to White County. Meanwhile Fannin County’s Brad Davis (67 of 115) has 1,072 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three picks through the Rebels’ first four games. Davis threw three touchdown passes — a season high — against Andrews last week.

Game notes: In addition to having its first three games decided by eight or fewer points, North Hall’s failed gamble on a late 2-point conversion attempt cost it in double overtime against White County in a 24-23 loss. Given their playing history with Fannin County, the Trojans may have an opportunity for some wiggle room in week 6. The Trojans enter the ninth installment of this series as winners of seven straight against the Rebels, with the Rebels only managing a single touchdown in the previous two meetings. However, the Rebels are no slouches on the offensive side, putting up 30-plus points in the last three games — 42 points against western N.C.-based Andrews last week.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Maginnis Field, Gainesville

Records: Riverside Military Academy (1-3); Hebron Christian Academy (2-1)

Who to watch: Starting quarterback Isaac Teasley currently steers Riverside’s offense. Teasley led Riverside to a convincing come-from-behind victory over Providence Christian in week 2, rushing for 84 yards and touchdown on 16 carries, and threw for 76 yards and another score. Through four games, Teasey has thrown for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and adds 127 yards on 32 carries in the run game. Hebron Christian Academy running back B.J. Riley failed to find the endzone in the Lions’ 19-7 victory over rival Providence Christian Academy last week, though he put his offense in good position for scores on multiple occasions with six runs of 20 or more yards. His longest run of 45 yards set up the Lions for a 27-yard field goal before the half. Riley wound up finishing with 217 yards on 21 carries.
Game notes: The Eagles took Towns County to double overtime before losing 13-6 in week 5. Lyle Lopez put the Eagles on the board with a touchdown in the closing seconds, but a blocked extra point sent both teams into overtime. Two of Hebron Christian Academy’s scores came on the defensive side in the Lions’ latest win over rival Providence Christian Academy. The Lions had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown to go up 17-7 with 10:07 left in the game, then got a safety later in the quarter for their final score. This will be the first-ever meeting for the programs. In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Eagles joined forces with Touchdowns for Cancer, a national program created by Maxpreps, PLEDGE IT and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every touchdown scored between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1 will directly benefit the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.


When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Vaught Stadium, Lilburn

Records: Lakeview Academy (0-3, 0-2 Region 8-A); Providence Christian (1-2, 0-2 Region 8-A)

Game notes: The Lions are 2-0 against the Storm with both wins coming in each of the last two years. Last year’s contest between the two was a low-scoring 8-7 affair. The Storm are on a two-game losing streak and the Lions are looking for their first win of the season after falling to Commerce on Sept. 9. Both teams took a week off last Friday and will be ready to go tonight in Lilburn.

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