Week 10 preview: Countdown to state playoffs continue

Photo by John Bazemore

With just three Friday nights left in the regular season, tonight sets up a playoff atmosphere across the state and the playoff picture will start to become much clearer. Class AAAAAA’s premiere matchup tonight is No. 2 Grayson at No. 3 Dacula. Grayson has returned to championship form with a balanced offense and a suffocating defense that comes in as the No. 4 defense in the state (6.4 ppg). Dacula continues to build a dangerous team that comes off a quarterfinals appearance in last year’s playoffs. The Falcons are one of the state’s top rushing attacks and will test the Grayson defense with a backfield that is averaging 287 rushing yards per game. Norcross at Peachtree Ridge and Collins Hill at Mill Creek set up huge matchups in Region 7.

In Class AAAAA, Carver-Atlanta at Mays is an excellent matchup between two teams that have proven to be able to beat anyone in this class. Carver’s huge win came over defending champion Creekside and Mays has been able to beat Lovejoy this year, while falling just short to Creekside 13-7.

Class AAAA’s No. 4 Woodward Academy takes on No. 2 Sandy Creek for the first time since 2005. The two are the only unbeatens in Region 5-play left as Carrollton and Fayette County each sit at 1-1.  Woodward running back Elijah Holyfield and Sandy Creek’s Eric Swinney are two of the most exciting and talented offensive weapons in the state. Holyfield has carried the ball126 times for 984 yards and 16 touchdowns this season and took the opening kickoff last weekend for a touchdown to go with his two rushing scores. . Swinney, an Ole Miss commit has rushed for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns on 170 carries this season. Both backs are composite four-stars but Swinney sits at 112th in the National Top247 list. Holyfield is only a junior and is currently the No. 22 prospect in the Class of 2016 in the Peach State according to 247sports.

It’s hard to see battles of unbeatens by the time Week 10 rolls around, but Class AAA houses the most in any of the six classifications and three undefeated squads reside in Region 8. Jefferson, Hart County and Oconee County have yet to drop a game. Jefferson enjoys the week off before taking on Oconee County next Friday and Hart County visits Oconee County tonight before a Halloween bye and a season finale that will see the Bulldogs host Jefferson.

In Class A, ELCA might have started the season 0-5, but the Chargers still control their own destiny in pursuit of the top spot out of Region 5 Sub-region A. With a 1-0 region record, ELCA visits No. 7 Landmark Christian on Friday. ELCA handed Landmark Christian a 35-0 defeat last season.

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