Friday night preview

Photo by North Oconee football

Zero week gave us a glimpse at how unpredictable the football season can be and the first full slate of games scheduled tonight is loaded with cross-classification and out of state matchups.

Hoover (Ala.) at Colquitt County and Plant (Fla.) at Lowndes highlight Region 1-AAAAAA’s action. The Packers come off a 31-14 win over Mill Creek in last week’s Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic and Hoover looks to rebound from a 24-21 loss to Miami Central. Lowndes opened the year with a 37-14 win over Roswell and Plant heads into the matchup after edging Armwood (Fla.) 21-17.

In Region 3-AAAAAA, the matchup to watch is Creekside at Hughes. The defending champion Seminoles will have to trek on without UGA-commit and wide receiver Jayson Stanley after the 6-foot-2 senior tore his ACL in the 55-41 Week 1 win over South Cobb. Hughes opened its season with a 27-7 win over Mays.

Walton at Marietta and Milton at Alpharetta will be a great measuring stick for Regions 4, 5 and 6.

Archer opened the season as the No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA but Sandy Creek stifled the Tigers 21-13 in the backend of the Corky Kell’s Friday double-header. Archer faces another tall task with its visit to Peachtree Ridge, which could enter the top 10 with a victory. Archer’s Gabe Tiller and Peachtree Ridge’s Chance Thrasher both return under center.

In Class AAAAA, Ware County looks to represent Georgia during a trip to take on Florida powerhouse Manattee. The Gators shutout Valdosta in its preseason scrimmage and posted a 31-6 win over Brooks County in the season opener in Game 1 of the Franklin Stephens era.

In Class AAAA, defending champion Griffin opens it season at Henry County under new head coach Jarrett Laws. New Carrollton head coach Ed Dudley and the Trojans are still searching for win No. 1 after falling 20-7 to Kell in the Corky Kell Classic last Saturday. The Class AAAAAAA Cougars won their scrimmage with LaGrange 23-7.

Class AAAA’s North Oconee and Class AA’s GAC sets up a star-studded Friday night matchup. North Oconee is paced by AJC Super 11 running back Kawon Bryant while the host Spartans are led by wide receiver and defensive back Darius Slayton.

Slayton hauled in all three touchdowns in GAC’s 24-21 win over Benedictine last Friday.

Peach County at Warner Robins and Westminster at Lovett pit neighboring rivals and Calhoun debuts in Class AAA with a matchup with Class AAAAA’s Dalton. In Class A, defending champion Aquinas takes on Jeff Heron’s Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines. Aquinas dominated Glenn Hills 41-6 last Friday and Prince Avenue passed the test with a 22-16 win over ELCA.

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