Top 10 games of Week 5
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Martin E. Kilpatrick Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: Cedar Grove is 2-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 5-AAA and No. 3; Lovett is 2-1, 0-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Cedar Grove won 14-7 in 1997.
Three things to know: 1. Cedar Grove and Lovett are two of the four Region 5-AAA teams that are ranked in the top 10 (the others are No. 2 Pace Academy and No. 8 Westminster). Lovett (2013), Pace Academy (2015) and Westminster (2015) have won state titles in the past three seasons, while Cedar Grove was 27-10-1 during that stretch and reached the semifinals last year. 2. Cedar Grove has 817 yards of total offense this season despite running just 130 plays (6.3 yards per play). QB Jelani Woods is 30-for-43 passing for 347 yards and four touchdowns, and RB Grant Walker has 270 yards rushing and three TDs on 41 carries. DL/OLB Deangelo Malone has 30 tackles (nine for losses) and three sacks. 3. Lovett has scored nine touchdowns this season, and QB Brady Tindall has had a hand in all of them, rushing for five and passing for four. He is 43-for-72 passing for 498 yards and is the team’s leading rusher with 196 yards on 46 carries. The Lions have given up 181 yards per game rushing but just 65.7 passing.
Creekside at Northgate
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Henry Seldon Field, Newnan
Records, rankings: Creekside is 3-0 overall, 1-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA and No. 5; Northgate is 3-0, 1-0 and No. 6.
Last meeting: Creekside won 41-13 in 2013.
Three things to know: 1. Creekside and Northgate are two of the three 5-AAAAAA teams that are undefeated overall (Alexander is the other). The winner will emerge in no worse than a tie with Mays for first place in the region, a half-game ahead of idle Alexander. Creekside won its most recent region title in 2014; Northgate did it in 2011. 2. Creekside is led by preseason all-state selection RB Rico Frye, a transfer from Starr’s Mill. He has rushed for 378 yards and five touchdowns on 54 carries. RB Gino Appleberry has 287 yards on 41 carries. QB Khalil McClain is 37-for-56 passing for 375 yards and two TDs and has rushed for 213 yards and four TDs on 40 carries. 3. Northgate also has a preseason all-state running back, Ton Evans, but he has missed two games because of an ankle injury. Kyle Cater has picked up the slack with 470 yards on 79 carries. QB Kyle McLaren attempts less than seven passes per game. LB Jack Eskew has 31 tackles, including 14 in a 14-13 region-opening victory over Douglas County last week.
Deerfield Beach (Fla.) at Grayson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson
Records, rankings: Deerfield Beach is 1-1 and No. 8 in Florida’s Class 8A (MaxPreps); Grayson is 1-1 and No. 3 in Class AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know: 1. Deerfield Beach is just north of Fort Lauderdale and about 650 miles from Grayson High School. Deerfield is one of four out-of-state opponents on Grayson’s schedule. The others are IMG Academy of Florida (lost 26-7 on Aug. 27), Ramsay of Alabama (Sept. 23) and Hoover of Alabama (Oct. 28). Grayson had trouble finding willing Georgia opponents to fill out its five non-region games. 2. Deerfield was 10-2 in 2015 and advanced a round in Florida’s Class 8A playoffs. Eight seniors are rated three-star recruits or better by Scout.com, four that are projected as college wide receivers. The best is Jerry Jeudy, who is committed to Alabama. He had nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Blanche Ely last week. 3. Grayson’s offense has managed only two touchdowns, albeit against strong competition (IMG Academy, McEachern). Chase Brice is 27-of-44 passing for 323 yards. Kurt Taylor has rushed for 91 yards on 26 carries. The defense held fourth-ranked McEachern to 100 yards and no touchdowns. McEachern’s scores came punt and interception returns.
Irwin County at Clinch County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Donald Tison Field at Panther Stadium, Homerville
Records, rankings: Irwin County is 1-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 2-A and No. 6 in Class A public; Clinch County is 2-1, 0-0 and No. 3.
Last meeting: Clinch County won 24-7 in the 2015 Class A public-school championship game.
Three things to know: 1. This is the 22nd regular-season rematch of a previous year’s state-title game. The reigning champion is 13-8 in the rematches. The 2015 title game was actually a rematch of a regular-season game from the same season (the 23rd time that had happened). Irwin won the regular-season contest 28-12 but lost the final. 2. Clinch County’s run game is superb. QB Charles McClelland has rushed for 429 yards and six touchdowns on 50 carries. Shannon Young has 171 yards rushing after running for more than 1,500 last year. But Clinch was 2-of-13 passing against Brooks County (a 35-21 loss) and claims only five completed passes on the season. 3. Irwin County has lost to Fitzgerald 56-19 and Macon County 57-15. Both opponents were ranked No. 1 at the time. Irwin County returned four all-region players on defense, including first-teamers DL Zyon Ross and LB Nathan Tucker, but misses LB D.J. Pollard, the region player of the year who doubled as a 1,500-yard rusher.
Marist at Woodward Academy
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Colquitt Stadium, College Park
Records, rankings: Marist is 2-1 and No. 10 in Class AAAA; Woodward Academy is 2-1 and No. 5 in AAAA.
Last meeting: Woodward Academy won 42-14 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. Marist has completed only eight of 26 passes but is out-rushing its opponents 250.7 yards to 96.7. QB Jack Dingles is the leading rusher with 355 yards on 52 carries. RB Michael Addicks has rushed for 263 yards. Marist has committed only 12 penalties and one turnover. 2. Woodward QB Ryan Glover is 30-of-44 passing for 473 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also his team’s leading rusher with 151 yards as Woodward hasn’t established a feature back to replace Elijah Holyfield, now at Georgia. LB K.J. Phillips has started since he was a freshman. 3. Marist and Woodward played each other for the first time in 20 years last season, when Woodward ended a 10-game losing streak in the series. It once was one of metro Atlanta’s best rivalries as the two played against each other in three region-title games and one state final between 1976 and 1980.
Mary Persons at Peach County
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Anderson Stadium, Fort Valley
Records, rankings: Mary Persons is 3-1 and No. 6 in Class AAAA; Peach County is 2-1 and No. 4 in AAA.
Last meeting: Peach County won 18-3 in 2011.
Three things to know: 1. Peach County WR/RET Kearis Jackson, who has 291 all-purpose yards, is rated the No. 15 Georgia recruit among juniors. WR Devonte Howards (11-181-4) has been the busier receiver so far, however. RB Chris Gibson and RB James Jackson each rushed for more than 100 yards against Houston County in a 49-31 loss. QB Antonio Gilbert has thrown for 423 yards. 2. Mary Persons is primarily a running team that features RB Zach Harvey (533 yards rushing). Caleb Speir (19-of-41 for 250 yards) is a solid game-manager. DL Malik Herring, an uncommitted four-star recruit, has eight tackles for losses and three sacks. 3. Peach County has won five consecutive games in the series, though the teams haven’t played since Mary Persons hired Brian Nelson as head coach in 2012. Mary Persons is 43-10 under Nelson.
Newton at Lowndes
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Martin Stadium, Valdosta
Records, rankings: Newton is 2-0-1 and unranked in Class AAAAAAA; Lowndes is 3-1 and No. 8 in AAAAAAA.
Last meeting: Lowndes won 56-7 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. This is the fifth consecutive season in which Newton has traveled to Lowndes for a non-region game. Lowndes leads the series 3-1, but Newton’s 15-14 upset in 2013 was a big surprise – Lowndes was ranked No. 7, and Newton hadn’t won a playoff game since 1987. Newton is now more well-established, having won three playoff games the past two seasons. 2. Both teams get more yardage passing than rushing. Lowndes averages 184.8 yards passing, 165.8 rushing. Newton averages 259.0 yards passing, 140.7 rushing. Lowndes QB Michael Barrett has thrown for 655 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 174 yards. Newton QB Myron Middlebrooks, in one fewer game, has thrown for 714 yards and rushed for 104. 3. Both teams have major Division I wide-receiver recruits. Newton’s Jeremiah Holloman (6-2, 185) is the state’s top-rated recruit at the position. He has 17 catches for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Lowndes WR Xavier Jenkins (6-3, 195), formerly committed to Georgia, has 10 receptions for 234 yards.
Sprayberry at Dalton
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Harmon Field at Bill Chappell Stadium, Dalton
Records, rankings: Sprayberry is 3-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 6-AAAAAA and unranked; Dalton is 3-0, 0-0 and No. 7.
Last meeting: Dalton won 27-21 in 2009.
Three things to know: 1. Sprayberry is 3-0 for the first time since 1989. The Yellow Jackets are led by QB London Roberson and RB Trey Sermon. Roberson doesn’t throw a lot but is efficient, completing 12 of 19 passes for 269 yards and three TDs. He also has rushed for 239 yards and six TDs on 25 carries. Sermon, an Oklahoma commitment who is rated the top senior RB prospect in Georgia, has rushed for 250 yards and five TDs on 34 carries. 2. Dalton averages 144.7 yards rushing and 139.3 passing. Junior QB J.P. Tighe is 24-for-43 passing for 362 yards and four TDs. Ahmaad Tanner, a transfer who ran for more than 1,000 yards at Christian Heritage last season, is Dalton’s leading rusher with 153 yards on 30 carries. He didn’t play in a 43-7 victory against Sonoraville last week but is expected back this week. 3. This is the region opener for both teams. Dalton and Sprayberry spent the past two seasons together in Region 7-AAAAA, but they were in opposite subregions and did not play each other. Dalton has won all eight meetings in the series.
Valdosta at Thomas County Central
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Jackets’ Nest, Thomasville
Records, rankings: Valdosta is 4-0 and No. 3 in Class AAAAAA; Thomas County Central is 4-0 and No. 4 in AAAAA.
Last meeting: Valdosta won 59-35 in 2015.
Three things to know: 1. Thomas County Central won the first meeting with Valdosta 21-6 in 1976, but Valdosta has won all 12 games since. In last year’s contest, the teams combined for 94 points and 1,054 yards of total offense, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. 2. Valdosta has three of the top seven rushers in Region 1-AAAAAA – Hunter Holt (34 carries, 242 yards, three TDs), Tevin Gray (37-211-3) and Josh Belton (35-184-4). Belton and Holt are quarterbacks who have combined for 51-of-72 passing for 713 yards and seven TDs. Joseph Ingram averages a region-leading 27.6 yards per catch on 11 receptions. 3. Thomas County Central QB Kelias Williams is passing a bit more than last year (13 attempts per game vs. 6.4), but the Yellow Jackets still depend on a running game that averages 355 yards per game. Williams is the leading rusher with 503 yards and 10 TDs on 61 carries. Tyrice Cloud (187 yards), Carlie Dismuke (139) and Will Hopkins (80) all average at least seven carries per game.
Ware County at Northside (Warner Robins)
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Ware County is 2-1 and No. 7 in Class AAAAA; Northside is 4-0 and No. 2 in AAAAAA.
Last meeting: Ware County won 16-7 in the first round of the 2015 Class AAAAA playoffs.
Three things to know: 1. This will be the fifth all-time meeting between Ware County and Northside but the first in the regular season. Ware County won three of the previous four, but Northside’s victory was a big one, a 20-14 win in the 2007 Class AAAA final that capped off back-to-back 15-0 seasons. 2. Ware County is playing its fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent, with AAAAAAA No. 8 Lowndes on deck in two weeks. The team’s leader has been QB Jemar Lincoln, who has passed for 364 yards, rushed for a team-leading 237 yards and had a hand in seven touchdowns. Senior LB Ronnie Adams has 19 tackles (six for losses) and five sacks for 41 yards in losses. 3. Northside’s run-oriented offense has four players averaging at least 47 yards rushing per game. They are led by Daniel Neal (44 carries, 330 yards, 4 TDs), who shares the workload with DeSean Dinkins (32-266-3), QB Tobias Oliver (46-218-4) and Trayvon Willis (21-189-3). Oliver is 41-for-68 passing for 479 yards and five TDs. Jaylan Sandifer (16 catches, 178 yards) is the leading receiver.
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.