A look at 9 good games in Week 5
Pretty good schedule this week in Class 7A. None is what you might call a blockbuster, and none counts toward region standings, but nine involve teams that both have winning records or have been ranked at some point this season.
Archer (1-2) at Norcross (3-0) – Archer is rebuilt and not the same as its 11-win teams from 2013 to 2015 but still should test fifth-ranked Norcross. Archer’s losses are to top-five teams McEachern (27-14) and Mill Creek (31-10). Norcross QB Baron Radcliff (40-of-72 passing, 640 yards, six TDs, 0 INT in three games) is hugely improved from 2015, just as Norcross is, no coincidence.
Brookwood (2-1) at Colquitt County (0-4) – Colquitt County is either going to be 0-5, or bidding to re-enter the Top 10 with a 1-4 record. Brookwood is No. 7. All of Colquitt’s losses are to ranked teams. Brookwood, with a victory, is probably assured of its first winning season since 2012 under second-year coach Philip Jones, an alumnus.
Deerfield Beach (1-1) at Grayson (1-1) – Grayson faces a Florida team that has eight senior players rated as three-star recruits or better by Scout.com. Grayson has eight of its own. Those include one five (DeAngelo Gibbs) and four fours (Jamyest Williams, Tony Gray, Chase Brice, Breon Dixon). That’s a pretty strong hand.
McEachern (2-1) at Westlake (1-2) – McEachern’s first five opponents have a combined record of 3-12. Who would’ve thought that about Archer (1-2), Grayson (1-1), Jonesboro (0-4), Westlake (1-2) and Camden County (0-3)? Westlake, a quarterfinal team last season, misses QB Malik Willis, now at Roswell, but is very talented on defense. So is McEachern. Expect a low-scoring game from at least one of the teams, if not both.
Newton (2-0-1) at Lowndes (3-1) – Is Lowndes now the team to beat in Region 1? Shouldn’t have written off the Vikings after the Valdosta debacle in the opening week. Lowndes is now a balanced team with a good defense. The Vikes actually get more yards passing these days. So does Newton. Both these teams have top-rate WR – Jeremiah Holloman of Newton (probably the best WR prospect in Georgia) and Xavier Jenkins of Lowndes.
North Cobb (2-1) at East Coweta (3-0) – North Cobb has beaten a pretty good Etowah team (24-20) and lost to up-and-coming Harrison (25-13). East Coweta has beaten Lovejoy 34-6 and LaGrange 42-0, and while those teams are down, those are some pretty good scores. Steve Pardue, East Coweta coach, was LaGrange’s coach in the glory days of the early 2000’s.
North Paulding (3-0) at Woodstock (2-1) – North Paulding has a sophomore, Ross Malmgren, who is throwing for 237.3 yards per game. Woodstock junior Garrett Bass is throwing for 255.0 per game. Should be fun to watch.
Parkview (2-1) at Tift County (3-1) – Parkview’s only loss is to Lowndes 35-34. Tift’s loss is to Valdosta 42-13. This would be the best victory for either team so far.
Walton (0-3) at Wheeler (2-1) – Schools are just five minutes from each other, but in different regions. Strange, that. Defense has been a major struggle for Walton, which is giving up 39.7 per game. Walton has won nine straight 16 of 17 in the series.