Week 5 preview: Undefeated teams face midseason tests

Ty Freeman

Here is a look at some of the premier high school football games this weekend:


Mill Creek at Peachtree Ridge

2012 Result: Mill Creek 20, Peachtree Ridge 10


In this battle of unbeatens, both offenses have the ability to pound the football. Mill Creek enters the matchup averaging 268 rushing yards per game and Peachtree Ridge features all-purpose back Jordan Ellis, a Virginia commitment who has gained 314 yards rushing this season. Peachtree Ridge uses the talented Ellis to pace the game, while Mill Creek rotates an array of ball carriers. DeVozea Felton, Daniel David, Jonathan Hawkins and Carter Governale have each contributed to 11 rushing touchdowns by the Hawks this season. Peachtree Ridge holds the advantage with its skill players and quarterback Chance Thrasher has 6-foot-3 wideouts Myron Burton and Brandon Johnson joining a cast of seven targets who have grabbed receptions this season.


Vidalia at Benedictine

2012 Result: Vidalia 12, Benedictine 7


Both teams have been explosive on offense and nearly impenetrable on defense. 3-0 Vidalia has outscored its opponents 104-17 and 3-0 Benedictine has posted an impressive 132-14 advantage. JJ Gains, Chance Jackson and Mike Huggins have combined for 10 rushing touchdowns for Benedictine. Vidalia quarterback DJ Mincey can spark big plays with junior receiver Jordan Black and target Dashon Holloway. Mincey has tossed a 94-yard score to Black and a 65-yard touchdown to Holloway this season.


St. Pius X at Lovett

2012 Result: St. Pius X 24, Lovett 0


Lovett has been in midseason form since week 1. The Lions have battled past Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity and Marist as they continue Class AA’s toughest schedule. Vanderbilt commit Grant Haley leads the secondary for Lovett and is deadly on the offensive side of the football. Haley ran for three touchdowns last week in Lovett’s 41-38 double overtime win over Marist. St. Pius X has a similar two-way star in Nick Ruffin. The Auburn commit leads the secondary and helped the Golden Lions rush for 311 yards last week in a 41-14 rout of Thomson.


McEachern at Marietta

2012 Result: McEachern 29, Marietta 28


McEachern has cruised past three opponents that the Indians seemingly outmatched in every phase of the game. Brookwood was no contest in a 31-10 victory, Lassiter could not keep pace in McEachern’s 42-28 win and Pebblebrook was thrashed 53-7.This week will be a challenge as Marietta has the physical presence on defense to corral the prolific rushing tamden of McEachern quarterback Ty Clemmons and junior Taj Griffin with its 230-pound linebacker Tyrell Tomlin.


Burke County at Statesboro

2012 Result: Burke County 35, Statesboro 14


Burke County enters the matchup coming off a 32-14 loss to an emerging Class AAAAAA Coffee team. In this matchup last season, Statesboro led by two touchdowns, but Burke County quarterback Donquell Green sprinted his way for 245 yards rushing and the Bears gained 381-yards rushing and rallied to a convincing 35-14 victory. Undefeated Statesboro has been stout defensively so far and in its three wins has allowed just 9.3 points per game. The Blue Devils will be aiming all attention to stopping Green.



Tift County at Thomas County Central

2012 Result: Thomas County Central 34, Tift County 14


Thomas County Central quarterback Adam Choice rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries and passed for 124 yards in last week’s 21-0 victory over Cairo. For the season, Choice has rushed for 589 yards on 86 carries and scored five touchdowns, while passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Yellow Jackets loss came in a 28-24 battle with Class AAAAAA Valdosta in week 2. 3-0 Tift County will have a chance for their first 4-0 start since reaching the semifinals in 2006. In last year’s 34-14 loss, the Devils were actually ahead 14-7 until just 16 seconds left in the third quarter before Thomas County Central ran away with it.


Mount Paran Christian at Trion

2012 Result: Trion 10, Mount Paran 0


Trion derailed a respectable Walker team 42-7 last week and has outscored its opponents 120-27 in its 3-0 start. Trion scored three rushing touchdowns last week in the second quarter, one from Malik Martin and two from Chandler Lathem and can run the football at will. Mount Paran fell 14-7 last week to a solid Landmark Christian squad. 6-foot-3 180-pound junior Jack Rowand is a weapon in the Mount Paran passing game that can help produce a two-dimensional Eagles attack.



Etowah at Wheeler

2012 Result: Etowah 31, Wheeler 27


This game features a pair of UNC-commit safeties. Etowah’s Ayden Bonilla heads the Eagles’ safety net, and Wheeler’s Allen Artis leads the Wildcats. Artis led the county in tackling last season and will be key to slowing down Brandon Engle. The senior set the tone last week in Etowah’s 41-7 win over Pope, returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and finishing the night with 95 yards rushing on just eight carries. Wheeler is paced by quarterback Elijah Staley and running back Devonte Jackson.



Westminster at Woodward Academy

2012 Result: Woodward Academy 24, Westminster 3


Woodward Academy senior Quincy Wolff rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries last week in the War Eagles’ 34-0 win over Woodland Stockbridge and Terry Googer gained 83-yards and a score. Woodward Academy rushed for a total of 298 yards and four touchdowns in the win and will try use its physicality in the trenches again this week with the Wildcats. Westminster has two Boston College commits on offense to throw at the War Eagles, including 6-foot-6 offensive tackle Sam Schmal and playmaker Cameron Seward.


Alpharetta at West Forsyth

2012 Result: West Forsyth 63, Alpharetta 42


Alpharetta quarterback Vito Priore made his first varsity start last week and threw for 429 yards, and was 27 of 50 attempts with a touchdown and three interceptions. Elijah Burnette scored two short touchdown runs, but ultimately mistakes cost the Raiders and they fell 24-23 to Lovejoy. West Forsyth lost 58-28 in its season opener to Gainesville and has continued searching for consistency on defense. These are two talented teams, but like last year this game sets up to be a shootout.

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