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High school football: Week 3 capsules
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West Hall's Cameron Shirley (16) runs with the ball on Friday during the Battle of Oakwood in Oakwood. - photo by David Barnes

Former colleagues Shaun Conley, Ben Hall face off in our Game of the Week, Chestatee vs. Flowery Branch 

West Hall vs. Washington-Wilkes

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Spartan Field, Oakwood

RECORDS: West Hall (1-1); Washington-Wilkes (1-0)

LAST WEEK: West Hall cruised past Johnson in a 59-7 win last week at Spartan Stadium in Oakwood. The Tigers, meanwhile, opened 2017 with a 33-15 win at Elbert County.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Spartans senior running back Cooper Adams notched two touchdowns last week, while sophomore quarterback Michael Thompson had 94 yards and a touchdown. West Hall coach Tony Lotti was particularly pleased with his special teams unit, which totaled 131 return yards and scored on a blocked punt against the Knights. 

Coincidentally, Washington-Wilkes also thrived on special teams a week ago — Deondre Lester returned a pair of punts for touchdowns, and teammate Terrell Turner scored twice on kickoffs. Tigers running back D’mytri Wiggs also ran for 105 yards in the season opener, but special teams play might end up deciding tonight’s contest.


Gainesville at Clarke Central

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Clarke Central High, Athens

RECORDS: Gainesville (1-1); Clarke Central (1-1)

LAST WEEK: Gainesville’s offense struggled to get on track, resulting in a 29-7 loss at Alpharetta. Clarke Central rebounded from a season-opening loss to defeat Oconee County 27-11.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Red Elephants appear to still be getting settled with junior quarterback Tre’ Luttrell running the show, and his progress will be key for how the offense performs tonight. Senior middle linebacker Keith Harris is the heart of a defense that boasts speed all over the field and aims to shut down a Clarke Central offense that has scored four touchdowns in each of its first two games.

Jack Mangel, the Gladiators’ senior quarterback, notched touchdowns both rushing and passing last week. Class 5A Clarke Central also displayed explosiveness on special teams, with Kapres Forbes returning a punt 50 yards for a score. 


Lakeview Academy at Athens Academy

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Athens Academy, Athens

RECORDS: Lakeview Academy (1-0); Athens Academy (1-0)

LAST WEEK: The Lions opened 2017 with a convincing, 42-13 win against Class 3A East Jackson. Athens Academy had an open date following a 42-7 beatdown of Walker.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Lakeview Academy is out for revenge after suffering a 54-14 defeat at the hands of Region 8-A foe Athens Academy last season. Quarterback Alec Bornhorst began his senior season with four total touchdowns (two rushing, two passing), and the Lions will often perform as well as he does. Dillon Knepp scored both on offense and defense last week.

The Spartans enter tonight’s game with plenty of offensive weapons — four different players scored in their season opener. Henry Trapnell and Payton Bowles each scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, and Athens Academy even reached the end zone on a fumble recovery. 

The Lions defense, however, might be able to capitalize against new quarterback Jack Thomas, who recorded a 32-yard touchdown pass against Walker two weeks ago.


Johnson at Banks County

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Banks County High, Homer

RECORDS: Johnson (0-2); Banks County (0-2)

LAST WEEK: Johnson struggled in all phases of its 59-7 loss at West Hall, while Banks County dealt with its own issues in a 42-13 loss to Commerce.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: One team will walk away from tonight’s matchup with its first win of the year, and Johnson is still looking for its first since 2015. Quarterback Sam Corbett will be key for the Knights improving on last week’s 74-yard showing.

After giving up 344 rushing yards last Friday, the Leopards are at risk of getting shredded by Johnson’s option attack. Banks County counters with senior quarterback Trev Thomas, who found classmate Blake Segars for both of his touchdown passes against Commerce.


Riverside Military Academy at Providence Christian Academy

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Providence Christian Academy, Lilburn

RECORDS: Riverside Military (0-1); Providence Christian (0-1)

LAST WEEK: The Eagles opened the year with a 56-13 loss to Region 8-A opponent Prince Avenue in Bogart. Providence Christian had an open date after kicking the year off with a loss as well, falling to Strong Rock 33-13 on Aug. 18.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Riverside Military’s Stephen Aleandre rushed for 116 yards and one touchdown in last week’s loss, and Charles Dimnwaobi had the other touchdown for the Eagles on a kick return. First-year coach Nick Garrett will certainly be looking for more production out of his new-look, hurry-up offense tonight as it continues region play.

The Storm received their two touchdowns from David Sloan and Mitchell Miller in their season opener. Miller, who collected 857 yards of offense and scored nine touchdowns last year, has the potential to get Providence Christian’s offense going as both a rusher and receiver.


Dawson County vs. Chattooga

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Dawsonville

RECORDS: Dawson County (1-0); Chattooga (0-1)

LAST WEEK: Tigers kicker Peyton Allen connected on three field goals as Dawson County started the season with a 9-0 win against Class 7A Forsyth Central. Chattooga came up short in a 30-28 loss to Fort Payne (Ala.).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Despite losing standout middle linebacker Luke Martin to graduation, the Tigers managed a shutout in their first showing of 2017. Senior quarterback Coey Watson, a threat on the ground and through the air, will be looking to engineer Dawson County’s first touchdown drive of the year tonight.

Chattooga, which advanced to last year’s Class 2A quarterfinals, looks like a solid challenge for the Tigers’ defense. Senior quarterback C.J Martin threw three touchdowns for the Indians last week, while senior running back Dee Price ripped off a 91-yard scoring run.


White County at Habersham Central

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Raider Stadium, Mt. Airy

RECORDS: White County (2-0); Habersham Central (1-0)

LAST WEEK: White County topped last year’s win total just two weeks into the season with a 66-14 victory against Lumpkin County last Friday. Habersham Central, meanwhile, sat through an open date after beating East Hall 72-55 in the season opener.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Warriors have looked like a dominant team early this season, winning their first two games by a combined score of 99-14. Senior running back Kaleb Crane has been a steadying presence on the ground with 227 yards and three touchdowns, while freshman quarterback J. Ben Haynes passed for 197 yards and four scores last Friday.

AJ Curry leads a potent Habersham Central offense into this matchup after the team compiled 853 yards in its opening game. Curry threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns on just nine completions, but the rushing tandem of Daniel Matkovic and Baylor Hinshaw piled up 489 yards and found the end zone six times. The Raiders’ defense, though, should be in for a stiff test.


Lumpkin County at Jackson County

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. tonight

WHERE: Jackson County High, Jefferson

RECORDS: Lumpkin County (0-1); Jackson County (2-0)

LAST WEEK: In their season opener, the Indians got off to a bumpy start with a 66-14 loss at White County. The Panthers’ defense stood tall time and time again to eke out a 12-6 victory against Madison County.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Lumpkin County started 2017 with a bang, scoring on its first two possessions before committing seven turnovers and going scoreless the rest of the way. Senior quarterback Chandler Woodham still got to showcase his athleticism and playmaking ability by rushing for a 27-yard score before connecting with Jonas Ramirez for another touchdown from 20 yards out.

The Indians will need to take better care of the ball against Jackson County, which has given up just 23 points across its first two games. The Panthers’ offense hasn’t exactly dazzled this season, but it showed big-play potential last week when Chad Pittman hauled in a 73-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Grey Akins.

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