UPSET ALERT: South Paulding, Wheeler among potential surprises

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

Last week, we debuted the Score Atlanta “Upset Alert.” Lovett was the only one of the five potential upsets that came through last week, but East Coweta came awfully close against Lovejoy.


Here are just five of the potential upset possibilities in Friday’s games. Some would be bigger upsets than others, but they would all certainly raise eyebrows around the state should they occur.


Class AAAAAA No. 8 Coffee at Tift County (underdog)

You know it is time to buckle the chinstraps when Region 1 teams start knocking heads with each other. Coffee has had a dream season thus far in sprinting to a 4-0 start against respectable competition. However, the Trojans struggled last week before overcoming winless Mundy’s Mill 18-14.


Tift County is no pushover and comes in 3-1 after a close loss to 5A-power Thomas County Central last week. Coffee coach Robby Pruitt and Tift County coach John Reid are each in their second years at their respective schools. Which program’s turnaround is more impressive? Maybe we’ll find out tonight.


Pick – Coffee 24, Tift County 17



Class AAAAA No. 8 Allatoona at South Paulding (underdog)

Allatoona has not been challenged yet. The Bucs have scored at least 39 points in each game while giving up just 14 points all season. South Paulding, under former South Cobb coach Ed Koester, will present a challenge. While Allatoona star RB Josh Bettistea (an Elite Junior Classic invitee) will likely get his yards on what has been a shaky Spartans defense despite the play of safety Khalia Hackett (an Arkansas commitment), South Paulding can also move the ball. The Spartans have scored 146 points in starting the season 3-0 and QB Chandler Burks is a threat through the air and on the ground.


This one could be a high-scoring affair in Douglasville. And wouldn’t it be fun if South Paulding female kicker Brittany Havenner had a chance to kick a crucial field goal late in the game?


Pick – Allatoona 38, South Paulding 24



Wheeler (underdog) at Milton

Milton has rolled through its schedule to a 4-0 record and three straight lopsided wins. However, the Eagles lost RB Treyvon Paulk (a Tennessee commitment) to a knee injury in last week’s win over Roswell. While Milton possesses several backs who can tote the rock, the loss of Paulk will hurt.


Meanwhile, Wheeler comes to town desperate to stay in the Region 5 playoff race. The Wildcats lost their region opener to Etowah last week, and need a win badly. QB Elijah Staley, a Miss. St commitment, and DB Allen Artis, a North Carolina pledge, give Wheeler a chance against anybody. While the Wildcats have lost two in a row, they are as talented as anyone in Region 5, including Milton.


Pick – Wheeler 28, Milton 27



Central-Carrollton at B.E.S.T. Academy (underdog)

Not a lot of people have heard of B.E.S.T. Academy. The all-male Atlanta Public School is in its second year of varsity ball and appears to be much improved over its 3-7 2012 season. The Eagles have started 2-1 with their lone loss coming to a solid Carver-Atlanta team, 14-13. Meanwhile, Central-Carrollton, as documented earlier this week HERE, is off to one of its best starts ever. The Region 4-AAA lead is up for grabs in this one.


Pick – Central-Carrollton 20, B.E.S.T. Academy 17



Lanier (underdog) at Class AAAA No. 5 Monroe Area

Lanier, a Gwinnett County public school, is in its second full year of varsity ball. But the Longhorns, like their Gwinnett neighbors, seem to have “it” figured out. Made up of many students from what used to be the North Gwinnett district, Lanier appears to be the next football power in a county known for its pigskin success.


Monroe Area, on the other hand, has been around a while. However, the Purple Hurricanes did not win much until coach Matt Fligg’s fifth year. Athletic QB Stanton Tuitt, an Auburn commitment, will make sure Fligg’s squad continues to have success. However, Lanier enters the game undefeated and appears to be laying in the weeds. If Monroe Area isn’t ready to play, look for Lanier to do more than scare the Purple ‘Canes.


Pick – Monroe Area 42, Lanier 28


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