Creekside, Northgate look to emerge as Region 5 leaders

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

(Daniel Varnado/Special to AJC)

(Daniel Varnado/Special to AJC)

Five of the nine teams in 5-AAAAAA were undefeated going into region play, which began last weekend. That number was reduced to three when Douglas County and Hughes suffered their first losses, and it will be cut by at least one more on Friday when Creekside travels to Northgate for the big region’s game of the week.

Northgate trailed Douglas County 13-0 in the second half on Friday before rallying for a 14-13 victory. Creekside had an easier time, rolling past New Manchester 35-0. The winner of this game will be no worse than tied for first place with Mays, a half-game ahead of Alexander, which also won its region opener and has the week off. Mays will try to improve to 2-0 in the region when it plays Friday at New Manchester.

Here are five questions hanging over the heads of AAAAAA teams this week, along with the games that will begin to answer them. All games are Friday.

1. Will Region 1’s strong run continue?

– Ware County at Northside-Warner Robins and Valdosta at Thomas County Central: Northside, Valdosta and their three 1-AAAAAA colleagues have a combined record of 17-1. The region is rated as the state’s best in any classification by the computer Maxwell Ratings. This week’s challenges come from Ware County (No. 7 in AAAAA) and Thomas County Central (No. 4 in AAAAA).

2. Who will challenge Tucker in Region 4?

– Stephenson at Lovejoy: These two perennial playoff teams were a combined 1-5 in non-region games against difficult schedules, but now come the games that matter. Lovejoy has one region victory in its pocket, defeating Mundy’s Mill, while it is the region opener for Stephenson. Whichever team wins is likely to be the one in the best position to stop 10th-ranked Tucker’s march to the region title.

3. Has anybody heard from Region 3?

– Washington County at Evans: The six teams in 3-AAAAAA have a combined record of 11-8, and four have winning records, but no region in the classification has been more under the radar in the season’s first four weeks. This game provides Evans an opportunity to give the region a signature win against a big-name opponent. Washington County is labeled a one-point favorite by Maxwell Ratings.

4. Can Dalton withstand the Cobb attack?

– Sprayberry at Dalton: Four of the eight teams playing a region schedule in 6-AAAAAA come from Cobb County, including reigning state champ Allatoona and undefeated Harrison and Sprayberry. But nobody in the region is rated higher than Dalton, which is No. 7 heading into this week’s region openers. The first shot at the Catamounts goes to Sprayberry, which seeks its first 4-0 start since 1989.

5. Who takes the lead in Region 7?

– Johns Creek at Centennial: Centennial will be looking to carry over the momentum from its 31-30 overtime victory against preseason region favorite Alpharetta when its hosts Johns Creek, which beat Pope 39-13 last week. The winner of this game likely will be tied with Cambridge for first-place in the region, a half-game ahead of idle Dunwoody. Cambridge will be at Centennial next week.

*Worth noting: Georgia High School Football Daily has more complete previews of some of this weekend’s top games involving Class AAAAAA teams. Click here to read more about Creekside-Northgate, Ware County-Northside, Valdosta-Ware County and Sprayberry-Dalton.

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