By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
HS Football Previews: Week 7
Placeholder Image

Read a preview of this week's Game of the Week here:

East Hall at West Hall

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: West Hall Stadium, Oakwood

Coaches: East Hall, Bryan Gray; West Hall, Tony Lotti

Records: East Hall (2-3, 1-1 Region 7-AAA); West Hall (4-1, 1-0)

Key players: East Hall, QB/DB Devin Watson (5-11, 185 Sr.); DL Alan Silva (5-10, 240 Sr.); DL Abraham Sepulveda (5-9, 210 Sr.). West Hall, DB/RB Tyquan Statham (6-2, 200 Jr.); RB/DB Kwon Williams (6-0, 185 Jr.); OL/LB Ty Statham (6-1, 205 Sr.).

Outlook: West Hall can take one step closer to a Region 7-AAA playoff spot tonight by defeating Hall County rival East Hall. The Spartans are coming off a bye week after trampling region opponent Dawson County 26-3, thanks to a healthy Williams scoring two touchdowns. East Hall also defeated Dawson County last week, a 36-29 decision that ended a three-game losing streak that stretched back to Sept. 5.
Devin Watson had a memorable night by throwing three scoring TDs to three different receivers, including two in the first quarter.

However, the Vikings gave up 301 yards of offense in the win. They’ll have to be more efficient in the run defense if they hope to contain the likes of running back duo Williams and Tyquan Statham.

East Hall holds the slimmest of 10-9 advantages in the rivalry, but lost last year’s matchup 27-7 in Oakwood. The last time East Hall beat West Hall at West Hall Stadium was in 2006, a 34-14 victory.

 

North Hall at Buford

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford

Coaches: North Hall, David Bishop; Buford, Jess Simpson

Records: North Hall (0-5, 0-2 in Region 8-AAAA); Buford (5-0, 2-0 in Region 8-AAAA)

Key players: North Hall, Austin Perry (RB/DL, 6-4, 220 Sr.); Hayden Hughes (OL/DL, 6-2, 230 Sr.), Maddox Turner (QB/DB 5-9, 155 So.); Buford, Joshua Thomas (RB/OLB 6-1, 200 Sr.); Xavier Gantt (RB/DB 5-10, 163 Jr.); Luke Humphrey (QB, 6-0, 155 Sr.)

Outlook: Buford is the No. 1 team in Class AAAA for a reason, as Chestatee knows well by now. Simpson’s Wolves scored 54 points on the War Eagles last week in a dominant display of power, even with second-team players in the mix.

North Hall (0-5) may meet the same fate, if numbers tell the tale.

Buford has given up 37 total points on the season, while the Trojans have scored just 43 in five games.

The Wolves are riding a 30-game winning streak and will have no intention on losing momentum in the region schedule. Running back Kyle Bacus notched 111 yards on 23 carries for the North Hall against North Oconee last Friday, but his efforts were not enough to stop the Trojans from beginning the season 0-5 for the first time since 2001.

 

Chestatee at Madison County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Red Raider Stadium, Danielsville

Coaches: Chestatee, Bill Forman; Madison County, Chris Smith

Records: Chestatee (1-4, 0-2 Region 8-AAAA); Madison County (3-2, 1-1)
Key players: Chestatee, RB/LB Kris Pierce (5-8, 210 Sr.); RB/LB Tray Bryant (6-2, 210 Sr.); RB/LB Marvin Rosario (6-2, 215 Sr.). Madison County, QB/DB Ethan South (5-9, 160 Jr.); DL/OL Tyler Gary (6-1, 210 Sr.); OL/LB Phillipe Claytor (6-0, 210 Sr.).

Outlook: The War Eagles need a victory to keep any legitimate shot of making the postseason intact.
Chestatee has scored a touchdown and allowed more than 50 points in each of its past two region games, losses to North Oconee and Buford.

Meanwhile, Madison County has its first winning record at the midway point of the regular season since 2009.
Claytor is a leader on defense for the Red Raiders with 12 tackles and four sacks, while Gary has a team-high 28 tackles.

South is Madison County’s leading ball carrier with 33 carries for 229 yards and three touchdowns. The Red Raiders are coming off a 34-27 region loss at White County on Oct. 3.

 

Flowery Branch vs. Clarke Central

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Falcon Field, Flowery Branch

Coaches: Flowery Branch, Chris Griffin; Clarke Central, Ahren Self

Records: Flowery Branch (2-3, 1-3 Region 8-AAAAA); Clarke Central (2-3, 2-2).
Key players: Flowery Branch, RB Jeremiah Goss (5-8, 200 So.); WR/DB Cortez Davis (5-11, 175 Jr.); LB/RB Cole Ford (6-0, 215 Sr.). Clarke Central, RB JaQua Daniels (6-2, 212 Jr.); QB Jack Mangel (6-2, 190 Fr.); TE/MLB Anthony Smith (Jr.).

Outlook: While Clarke Central comes to Hall County after a bye week, Flowery Branch will have to quickly adjust to face the Gladiators after last week’s disappointing 24-7 loss to Winder-Barrow.

The Falcons gave up four interceptions, two sacks and were held to just two first downs in the first half last week.

Clarke Central is led primarily by running back Daniels, who scored five total touchdowns on Sept. 26 against Apalachee. One was on an 88-yard kickoff return, and another came when Mangel connected with Daniels on a 39-yard passing TD.

Coach Griffin will need his Flowery Branch team to be up for tonight’s game. With a loss, Flowery Branch would drop to 1-4 in the region, making a comeback attempt at a playoff spot very difficult.

 

Johnson vs. Osborne

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood

Coaches: Osborne, Byron McCall; Johnson, Jason Roquemore

Records: Osborne (1-4); Johnson (1-5)

Key players: Osborne, QB/DB Ayo Ashi (5-9, 160 Jr.); WR Adarian Alston-Thompson (6-5, 175 Jr.); RB/DB Tra Wynn (5-8, 187 Sr.). Johnson, FB/DE Jesse Griggs (5-8, 215 Sr.); QB Chase Sims (6-0, 190 Sr.); WR/DB Orion Pittman (6-0, 170 Jr.).

Outlook: The Knights had a bye week after their first win of the season, which came 16-7 at Riverside Military Academy on Sept. 26. They step back into action tonight against a team playing a non-region schedule like Johnson this year.

The Cardinals have struggled early, as well, with their lone 20-7 victory coming against Lakeside (Atlanta) on Aug. 29.

Johnson has a chance to make it a winning streak if it can get Griggs and Hunter Johnson going in the running game and Sims can connect with Pittman and Kavin Hopkins through the air.

 

Lakeview at George Walton

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Keith Henderson Stadium, Monroe

Coaches: Lakeview Academy, Matthew Gruhn; George Walton, Don Williams

Records: Lakeview Academy (2-3, 2-1 Region 8-A); George Walton (3-2, 2-1)

Key players: Lakeview Academy, RB/DB/KR Tae Turner (5-11, 175 Jr.); QB/DB David Abee (6-1, 170 Sr.); OL/DL Kyle Larsen (6-1, 190 Sr.). George Walton, MLB/FB Paul Kouassi (5-10, 180 Sr.); QB/WR/FS Tucker Shull (6-0 Sr.); T/DT Robert Testa (6-1, 225 Jr.)

Outlook: George Walton is back in action following a bye week. It won two straight against Providence Christian and Towns County before the off week, putting up 42 points per game in each contest.

Meanwhile, the Lions are on a two-game winning streak of their own, after handing losses to Providence Christian and Hebron Christian. The winner of tonight’s game will decide who advances to 3-1 in the region and who will be fighting for a playoff spot at 2-2 in Region 8-A.

 

Riverside Military vs. Washington-Wilkes

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Maginnis Field, Gainesville

Coaches: Riverside Military Academy, Gary Downs; Washington-Wilkes, Robby Robinson

Records: Riverside Military Academy (1-4, 0-1 Region 8-AA); Washington-Wilkes (3-2, 0-1)

Key players: Riverside Military Academy, QB Hunter Sims (5-9, 185 So.); C/MLB Cole Garcia (6-2, 230 Sr.); S/WR J.J. McCalston (6-0, 180 Sr.). Washington-Wilkes, QB Deandre Harris (6-4, 196 Jr.); WR/CB Devarious Smith (5-9, 175 Sr.); FS Kemble Laguines (6-2, 180 Jr.).

Outlook: After a quick 2-0 start, Robinson’s Washington-Wilkes team has won just one of the last three games, including a loss in its region opener against Greene County.

However, things are looking more bleak for the Riverside Military Academy Eagles, who have lost four straight, including losses against previously winless Johnson and Hapeville Charter.

Riverside’s offense, which has averaged less than six points per game in the last three games, must step up against the Tigers tonight.

 

White County at Stephens County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: The Reservation, Toccoa

Coaches: White County, Bill Ballard; Stephens County, Frank Barden

Records: White County (3-2, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA); Stephens County (4-1, 2-0)

Key players: White County, CB/RB Maurice Sutton (6-0, 195 Sr.); OL/TE/DT Sean Freeman (6-1, 220 Sr.); DE/WR/TE Tucker Cook (6-3, 195 Sr.). Stephens County, QB Mason Long (6-0, 185 Sr.); RB Jai Brown (Jr.); OL Ben Cleveland (6-7, 314 Jr.).

Outlook: Confidence is soaring for the Warriors after their 34-27 win over Madison County last week. They’ll travel to the Reservation with high hopes of knocking off one of the region’s threats for a playoff spot.

White County pulled off a thrilling comeback victory over Madison County last week when senior fullback Max Taylor scored with less than a minute to go. Stephens County defeated Monroe Area last week, despite allowing 34 points to the winless Purple Hurricanes. A win away from home would set up an even bigger region matchup against North Oconee (3-2, 2-0) back in Cleveland next week.

 

Lumpkin County at Fannin County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge

Coaches: Lumpkin County, Ty Maxwell; Fannin County, Jim Pavao

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

Key players: Lumpkin County, QB/MLB Zach Matthews (6-1, 195); RB Gunner Wood (5-11, 170 Sr.); RB/OLB Bradley Womack (Sr.). Fannin County, QB Brad Davis (6-1, 160 So.); RB Tyler Beaver (5-11, 180 Sr.); WR/DB/P Cooper Earls (6-0, 172 So.).

Outlook: The Indians have won three of their past four games and are off to a 2-0 start in Region 7-AAA.

They have also shown they can win close games, including a 38-35 victory at East Hall and a 27-21 win over Franklin County last week.

Matthews, Wood and Womack lead an offense that can pile up yards in chunks or grind out long drives.

Davis, a sophomore signal-caller, leads Fannin County, which edged Banks County 30-23 a week ago. He has thrown for 1,387 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions, while Beaver has combined for 866 yards rushing and passing.

 

Dawson County at Franklin County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Ed Bryant Stadium, Carnesville

Coaches: Dawson County, Jeff Lee; Franklin County, Jerry Underwood

Records: Dawson County (0-5, 0-2 Region 7-AAA); Franklin County (2-3, 1-1)

Key players: Dawson County, QB Coey Watson (Fr.); RB/OLB Kyle Hayes (5-10, 180 Sr.); WR Dalton Edwards (6-0, 170 Sr.). Franklin County, QB Tyrique David (5-11, 160 So.); RB/CB Bud Woods (5-4, 150 Jr.); FS/SB Brooklon Wright (6-2, 180 Jr.).

Outlook: The Tigers will look to pick up their first victory and build off their strongest performance of the season in a 36-29 loss to East Hall last week. They nearly recovered from a 26-7 deficit.

Watson, Dawson County’s freshman quarterback, threw for 137 yards and three touchdowns to ignite an offense that had scored a total of 16 points in its first four losses.

Franklin County is coming off a 27-21 loss to Lumpkin County, a week after it edged Banks County by a point.

 

Jackson County vs. Elbert County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Panther Stadium, Jefferson

Coaches: Elbert County, Sid Fritts; Jackson County, Benji Harrison

Records: Elbert County (3-3, 0-2 Region 8-AAA); Jackson County (1-5, 0-2)

Key players: Elbert County, QB/CB Mecole Hardman (5-11, 170 Jr.); RB/OLB Rantious Reed (5-9 Sr.); WR/DE/P Montavious Tinch (6-3, 195 Jr.). Jackson County, QB Jacob Lewis (6-1, 180 Sr.); RB Malik Tuck (Jr.); WR Chase Wester (5-11, 175 Jr.)

Outlook: The Panthers could break through for their first Region 8-AA win against the Blue Devils. Both teams are coming off lopsided losses, with Jackson County falling to 42-21 to much-improved Oconee County and Elbert County dropping a 52-6 decision to Jefferson.

Tuck and Lewis are playmakers for Jackson County, and Wester had nine receptions for 93 yards last week.

 

Jefferson at Morgan County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Legion Field at Bill Corey Stadium, Madison

Coaches: Jefferson, Ben Hall; Morgan County, Bill Malone

Records: Jefferson (6-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAA); Morgan County (3-2, 1-0)

Key players: Jefferson, DB Tradd Porter (6-0, 180 Sr.); QB Evan Shirreffs (6-5, 195 Sr.); RB Colby Wood (5-9, 165 Fr.). Morgan County, DE/TE MJ Webb (6-4, 260 So.); DT Tevin Waller (6-1, 280 Sr); RB/WR/DB Bancs Bowers (6-1, 170 Sr.).

Outlook: The fourth-ranked Dragons continue to put up points at a feverish pace, going over 40 in four games already this season. Senior Sammy Williams (95 carries, 560 yards) and Wood (56 for 492) both have nine rushing scores on the season. Shirreffs has completed 66 of 99 throws for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Dalton Hill has 20 catches for 540 yards for Jefferson, which is 6-0 for the first time in five seasons. The Dragons are coming off a 52-6 region win against Elbert County at Memorial Stadium.

With 40 tackles, Porter is one of Jefferson’s leaders on defense, along with Sorrells, who has 38 stops.

Morgan County is led by Webb, who is one of the nation’s top prospects for the Class of 2017, according to Rivals.com.

He holds offers from Georgia, Alabama and Clemson, among others. The Bulldogs are coming off a solid 49-6 region win against East Jackson.

 

Habersham Central at Lambert

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Longhorn Stadium, Suwanee

Coaches: Habersham Central, Michael Pollock; Lambert, Louis Daniel

Records: Habersham Central (0-5, 0-4 Region 6-AAAAAA); Lambert (2-3, 2-2)

Key players: Habersham Central, QB Bennett Black (6-1, 185 Sr.); RB Michael Babers (5-10, 205 So.); WR/DE John David Herrin (6-2, 200 Sr.). Lambert, RB/OLB Trevor O’Brien (5-8, 185 Sr.); CB Patrick Noble (6-1, 170 Sr.); MLB A.J. Schimmelpfennig (5-11, 218 Sr.)

Outlook: Lambert came into the 2014 season with a number of county leaders on both sides of the ball and have managed to make it through some tough teams with an even region record. The Longhorns and Raiders each had a week off to prepare for tonight’s game.

Habersham Central took last week to look for new ways that might help it score against Lambert, while the Longhorns look for a way to gain momentum and win their second in a row.

The Raiders continue aiming for their first win of the season, but Lambert will not be easy to get it from.

 

Towns County at Athens Christian

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Eagle Field, Athens

Coaches: Towns County, Billy Barnhart; Athens Christian, Chris Williams

Records: Towns County (1-5, 1-3 Region 8-A); Athens Christian (3-3, 3-1)

Key players: Towns County, FB/DB Cruz Shook (5-9, 205 Sr.); OL/LB Kyle Davis (5-10, 210 Sr.); TE/DL Daulton Rogers (6-1, 200 Jr.). Athens Christian, QB/DB Cody Lee (5-10, 140 So.); RB/DB Marquez Henson (5-8, 175 Sr.); WR/DB Demetrius McWhorter (Sr.).

Outlook: Athens Christian is stuck in a three-way tie at the top of the region and is coming off of a big win as it defeated Providence Christian 54-7 last Friday. The Eagles have alternated wins and losses this season and are looking to put together a streak by defeating Towns County for their first home win of the year.

Towns County earned its first-ever region win against Lakeview Academy in Week 3 but hasn’t been able to find a way to win since.

This Athens Christian team will be no easy feat for the Indians, who fell to Athens Academy 41-0 last week.

 

Union County at Greene County

When: 7:30 Friday night

Where: Greensboro

Coaches: Union County, Brian Allison; Greene County, Robert Edwards

Records: Union County (6-0, 2-0 Region 8-AA); Greene County (3-3, 2-0)

Key players: Union County, QB Joseph Mancuso (6-4, 200 Jr.); MLB Chase Barnett (Sr.); WR Jacob Rogers (6-2, 185 Sr.). Greene County, DB/WR/RB Terez Norman (5-10, 180 Sr.); RB/WR/DB Marquavius Grable (5-10, 180 Sr.); DE/FB Marquavius Barnes (5-10, 200 Sr.).

Outlook: This should be one of the toughest tests yet for the Panthers, whose 6-0 start continues their best opening to a season since starting 9-0 in 2001.

Greene County is coming off a 16-7 victory against defending Region 8-AA champion Washington-Wilkes. A win here could cement Union County’s credentials as a serious region title contender.

Mancuso and the Panthers have totaled at least 46 points in four of their six victories.

Regional events