Friday Night Preview: Stephenson at Tucker highlights heated battles

Washington County football

Stephenson at Tucker
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Valdosta at Lowndes

2012 result: Lowndes 17, Valdosta 14

The Winnersville Classic is an exciting time of year and as usual will be a physical football game. Valdosta has dropped eight of the last nine meetings, but looks to have a slight edge this season. The Wildcats dropped a tough 14-10 loss to Camden County last week. Holding Camden County to 10 points proves how tough this defense is and they appear to hold the edge in that department.

Lowndes had a shocking 15-14 loss earlier this season to Newton, but then outscored its next two opponents 150-0. The following week the Vikings managed to score just seven points against Colquitt County. For Lowndes to win they will have to find consistency on offense.


North Cobb at Hillgrove

2012 result: North Cobb 41, Hillgrove 14

North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen led the Warriors to last year’s 41-14 rout over Hillgrove as a sophomore, and the Auburn-commit is back under center again to try and repeat the result during his junior campaign. Queen and North Cobb broke the Cobb County scoring record last season, but will be facing an explosive Hillgrove offense that has set a few records on its own.

Undefeated Hillgrove has been led by quarterback Elijah Ironside. Two weeks ago the senior threw a school record seven touchdown passes in the Hawks 63-28 win over Campbell. Hillgrove runs a lot of screens and has dual-threat running back Richardre Bagley to do damage as the deep cast of receivers stretches the field.


Alpharetta at North Forsyth

2012 result: Alpharetta 55, North Forsyth 21

Alpharetta will look for its ninth region 6-AAAAAA win in a row against a 4-1 North Forsyth team that is fresh off a 14-13 heartbreaking loss to Lambert last weekend. Quarterback Harris Roberts leads the aerial attack while Trey Wagner paces the North Forsyth Raiders’ backfield. The Alpharetta Raiders enter the game off back-to-back wins and quarterback Austin King completed 21 of 27 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns to pace a 38-16 win last Friday over South Forsyth.


Collins Hill at Norcross

2012 result: Norcross 35, Collins Hill 23

Collins Hill offensive tackle Christian Harris will have to protect quarterback Tyler Herman from 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and the Blue Devils talented front. Harris is 6-foot-6, 280-pounds and committed to Duke. Norcross comes off a 49-3 win over Habersham Central where running back Josh Boyd scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and tossed a touchdown pass to Clinton Lynch in the third quarter.

Norcross will try to control the game on the ground with Boyd and KaDarius Garrett could get in the mix after his two touchdown performance in the fourth quarter last week. Collins Hill will likely put the game in the hands of Herman, who led the Eagles to a 35-28 win over Peachtree Ridge last Friday. Herman passed for 439 yards and four touchdowns.


Jefferson Co at Washington Co

2012 result: Washington Co 57, Jefferson Co 14

In this battle of unbeatens, the deciding factor will be Jefferson County’s defense against Class AAA heavyweight Washington County’s prolific rushing attack. In Washington County’s 33-30 overtime win over Lovett, Malik Jackson carried the ball19 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns. The Golden Hawks finished with 425 rushing yards, as A.J. Gray added a 140-yard effort on his 18 carries.

Jefferson County was on our preseason most improved list and the Warriors have not disappointed. It has been a balanced combination of patience on offense and solid defense that has allowed the 6-0 Warriors to surpass last season’s 4-7 mark. The Warriors are yet to allow more than 14 points in a game.


Brooks County at Fitzgerald

2012 result: Brooks Co 27, Fitzgerald 24

Brooks County was led by the heroics of quarterback Malkom Parrish again last week, when the Trojans used the senior’s 71-yard touchdown pass to Deric Herring with 2:48 left in the game to grab a 30-23 win over Thomasville. Mitavious Brooks added a 38-yard touchdown run in the win and the team battled back from a 10-0 hole and its two-redzone turnovers.

Fitzgerald comes off its best win of the season after topping Cook 28-13 on Friday. The Hurricanes are led by their running attack that has averaged nearly 250 yards per game.


Rabun County at Jefferson

2012 result: Jefferson 55, Rabun County 7

Rabun County should be in the conversation for most improved this season and at 5-0 they have not only cruised past their first five opponents, they have crushed them. A 28-0 win over Commerce was the closest margin of victory so far and the offense is averaging 53 points per game while the defense is giving up just 5.4 per game.

Quarterback Wes Holcombe has completed 60 of 86 passes this season for 965 yards and 14 touchdowns (three interceptions) and sophomore running back Charlie Woerner has burst to the scene with seven rushing touchdowns and a 11.85 yards per carry average.

The defending Class AA champion Jefferson Dragons are off to a 3-2 start, and come off a 21-14 loss to Washington-Wilkes. The Dragons have plenty of offensive firepower to match the Wildcats, but starting quarterback Evan Shirreffs was injured last week after getting hit on his throwing hand last week. T.J. Skelton came in as relief and Skelton and Tristen Jackson are two of the offensive weapons to watch for.


GAC at Westminster

2012 result: GAC 30, Westminster 0

Last Friday, undefeated GAC topped Thomson 56-12. Quarterback Rafe Chapple was 10 of 21 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns and Micah Abernathy rushed eight times for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Williams caught five passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns and Justin Phan caught one touchdown pass.

The Spartans closest margin of victory this season has been 22 points. Westminster has a chance to be competitive in this game and the Wildcats come off their biggest win of the season, a 30-13 victory over Thomson. Boston College-commit Cameron Seward will be in the spotlight for Westminster and the 6-foot-1, 200-pound athlete will star on both sides of the football.


Central-Carrollton at Callaway

2012 result: Callaway 14, Central-Carroll 10

Last year, the defenses took control of the game and Callaway has a pair of prospects looking to stifle the Lions offense once again. Georgia Tech-commit KeShun Freeman is 6-foot-2, 225-pounds and has the speed and physical presence to impact this game. 3-star safety Tez Parks is another highly recruited defensive prospect and plays more like a linebacker with his 6-foot-0, 198-pound frame and tackling ability.

Central-Carroll has a solid defense as well and are allowing just 6.5 points per game this season. On offense, eight different ball carriers have found the endzone and wideout Curtis Davenport has turned seven receptions into an explosive 237 yards and three touchdowns.

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