Area matchups: Week 6

(photo by Daniel Purcell)

The region slate is here for a lot of area teams. Now they see if their non-region schedules have prepared them for what is in front of them. Here are where area teams will be facing off Friday night:


Six weeks into the season, the region schedule is finally kicking off for the Raiders and the first opponent is no slouch.

The Longhorns only loss thus far was an 8-point defeat to a currently unbeaten Peachtree Ridge team that has already outscored opponents 211-64 this season.

Last season, Lanier was 1-3 entering the game against Habersham Central and won that contest 25-21 to start its region slate 1-0.

The Longhorns scored a total of 149 points across their 11 games last year, which included a first-round loss in the playoffs. This season, through four games, they’ve already scored 141.

The Raiders, after slipping in the first two, have found winning ways in the last two weeks.

The running game has been the strong point for Habersham Central, rushing it 86 times for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Comparing that to 220 yards and one score on 56 carries in the first two games, that’s now averaging over four yards per carry across these last two contests.

For the Raiders, the defense will have to slow down senior quarterback Preston Ratliff (53-of-84, 814 yards, 8 TD) and senior receiver Chase Jameson. Jameson has 10 total offensive touchdowns (5 rushing, 5 receiving) with 448 receiving yards and only 50 rushing yards.

The two schools have played each of the last seven seasons with the Raiders only win in the series coming in 2020.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sugar Hill.


Since being shut out at The Reservation in Toccoa in Week 2, the Wildcats have returned to what they’ve been known for the last decade-plus – big offense and stifling defense.

Rabun County came back from their 35-0 loss to score 35 of their own and allow 20 from Adairsville. Then, after a bye week, the Wildcats won 45-13 against Heard County last week.

Now, they’ll face the Wolfpack, who are averaging just over 15 points and giving up 27 per contest.

Ty Trulove, Rabun County’s sophomore quarterback, is having a strong season with 10 touchdowns through the air. Truelove has completed just over 59 percent of his passes for 732 yards. He’s averaging two-and-a-half touchdown passes per game.

Truelove is also one of the top rushers on the team with 165 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. 

Fellow sophomores Reid Giles (26 car, 258 yds, 3 TD) and Noah English (35 car, 184 yds, 1 TD) are the leading rushers on the squad.

The Wildcats have eight different players who have recorded catches, but there’s a clear-cut favorite pair of targets for Truelove.

Senior Willie Goodwyn has 16 catches for 453 yards and seven touchdowns with just three of the team’s four games played this season.

Senior Paul Picciotti has caught 14 passes for 193 yards and has one score.

The Wildcats will have this game on the road before three consecutive home games, including Elbert County on Oct. 13 for the first region game of the year.

Kickoff this week is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mableton.


The Leopards are in familiar territory after also starting the season in 2022 with four consecutive wins. 

This game a year ago was the start of a five-game losing streak for Banks County after a 17-14 result in favor of the Tigers.

History, in this series, is not in the Leopards’ favor as they’re currently on an 0-18 run. 

The last time Commerce lost to Banks County, none of the players on the field were alive. That 1992 contest was a 28-0 shut out.

Both times in the 35 meetings the Leopards came out on top, the game was played in Homer. 

This Banks County team will look to do something the program never has and win on the road at Commerce as kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.


The Bulldogs had a sudden cancellation from Cross Creek this week, which, according to Hart County’s football twitter account, was forced to forfeit the game by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). 

Now, Hart County will line up opposite the Gators of Bulloch Academy out of Statesboro.

The Gators appear to be on a much different path through four games this season than that of a year ago.

Bulloch Academy has outscored opponents 194-34 and is averaging 48.5 points per game. At this point in 2022, the Gators were 2-2 and were narrowly outscoring their opponents,137-128.

This season, Hart County has scored more than 20 points just once, which was in a 31-point loss to Daniel (SC).

Bulloch Academy, despite only throwing the ball 17 times, has seven passing touchdowns this season. The Gators will lean heavily on the run game.

Through their first three games of the year, the Gators have ran for 308, 378 and 366 yards, respectively. Stats for their fourth game haven’t been made available yet.

The Bulldogs run defense will have its hands full Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m in Hartwell.


The Blue Devils took a 21-3 victory off the Warriors in last season’s contest, the first time the two met.

This week they’re coming off a 36-27 win over Washington-Wilkes, which was ultimately a run-heavy game for Elbert County.

Junior running back Jacari Barnett carried the ball 31 times himself for 160 yards and three scores. Ultimately, six Blue Devils were credited with running the ball for a total of 47 attempts, 241 yards and four touchdowns.

In contrast, Elbert County only threw the ball 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown.

The Blue Devils can throw it around if they need to. Senior quarterback Braydon Scarborough has completed 69 percent of his attempts to the tune of 748 yards and six touchdowns.

On the receiving end, Elbert County has three different players – Brady Dickerson (256), Dakhovin Winn (227), and Eli Harris (207) – that have over 200 yards receiving and another, Tyrikis Jones (141), that has over 100 yards receiving.

Jefferson County has allowed 49, 46, 44, and 63 points, respectively, this season.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Granite Bowl in Elberton.


When asked about this game after his Trojans knocked off East Hall, 49-14, a week ago, North Hall Head Coach Sean Pender said, “That game is going to be a hard-fought game. You can throw records out. Going to their place, it’s very difficult to get a win.”

Games between these programs the last two seasons have been close, two-point contests. Cherokee Bluff squeaked out a 28-26 win in 2021 and North Hall snuck past with a 14-12 victory last year.

The last two weeks have been similar from a year ago for the Bears. A one-point game against Madison County – a win last year, a loss this season – followed by a big win over Chestatee.

North Hall is in a very different spot. 

A season ago, the Trojans were 1-3 entering this week. Now, they’re perfect and averaging over 12 points more per contest.

A week ago, it was a strong finish for North Hall that propelled them to a big win over East Hall. For Cherokee Bluff, it was a strong and varied running game which saw 12 players combine for 41 carries for 348 yards and six scores.

Another clash between Hall County schools kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Flowery Branch.

EAST HALL (2-2, 1-2 8A-AAAA) VS CEDAR SHOALS (1-3, 1-1 8A-AAAA)

The Vikings are looking to turn things around after taking a lopsided loss at North Hall last week.

Both teams are entering this contest with the same records they had when they met a year ago in Athens. That game ended 49-21 in favor of the Jaguars.

East Hall will look to take advantage of a Cedar Shoals team that has totaled only 620 yards of total offense and has turned the ball over six times through four games.

Vikings sophomore quarterback Jamarcus Harrison has totaled 1,082 yards of total offense himself, throwing for 735 and rushing for 347. He’s also responsible for nine total touchdowns.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Gainesville.


Both of these schools are looking for a jump start.

Dawson County is in uncharted territory under Sid Maxwell. This is the first season since he took over in 2015 the Tigers are winless through the first four games of the year. The last time that happened – 2014, the final year of Jeff Lee’s 12-year tenure there.

As Dawson County is looking for its first win of the season, West Hall is looking for its first region victory since beating Lumpkin County in the final regular-season game of the 2021 season.

The Spartans’ lone win this season was the same lone win they had a season ago. 

Can either school turn the tide and stop the bleeding?

The Tigers hold the all-time series record 8-6, including winning the last five.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Oakwood.


Senior quarterback Demetri Moon and the Knights are up for a tough task in this one. 

The Eagles have allowed 38 points all season. Johnson has scored 49.

The Knights have given up 150 points. East Jackson has scored 151.

Moon, by the numbers, is Johnson’s offense.

The sophomore signal caller has thrown it just 49 times this season for 112 yards. On the ground, he’s good for 84 carries for 469 and five touchdowns.

The next closest rusher in terms of carries is senior Julian Gomez with 30. The next closest in terms of yards is senior Edgar Vazquez with 113 yards. Senior Linus Griffith is the only other Knight with a rushing touchdown and he’s recorded one.

East Jackson has leaned on its running game this season. 

Junior Quay Hill has 80 carries for 374 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s averaging just over 93 yards per game.

Sophomore quarterback Drew Richardson has added 184 yards and three scores on 35 carries. Through the air, Richardson has amassed 691 yards and six touchdown passes while completing just under 70 percent of his attempts.

For East Jackson, this is the final game of the non-region schedule.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Dungeon in Gainesville.


The Falcons are looking to slow the same slide it took last year.

After winning the first two games a year ago, Flowery Branch lost the next seven before knocking off Heritage (Conyers) 46-0 in the final game of the year.

Starting the year with 31 and 18 point wins, the Falcons have dropped the last two against Stephens County and Lambert.

The Eagles took last season’s contest between the two, 34-14.

Senior quarterback threw for 282 yards and three scores in the 49-33 loss to Lambert last week. Oliver also punched in a touchdown on one of his four rushing attempts in the contest.

Senior running back Malik Dryden was held to 44 yards on the ground.

Senior Seth Larson (10 rec, 144 yards, 2 TD) and junior Jeremiah Ware (4 rec, 127 yards, 1 TD) each went over the 100-yards receiving mark in the game.

The Eagles will trade off between senior Anquez Cobb and junior Jayden Barr running the ball. Cobb leads the team with 46 carries, 336 yards and four touchdowns. Barr has 37 carries, 197 yards and five scores.

Sophomore Payton Shaw has spread the ball to 11 different receivers. Barr is the only one to reach 80 yards receiving and he’s caught Shaw’s only touchdown pass this year.

The Falcons will look to protect The Branch when the game kicks off Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Flowery Branch.


The War Eagles took a tough home loss last week, a 48-0 rout at the hands of Cherokee Bluff.

Still on the hunt for its first win, Chestatee turns its sights on the Titans this week as they go on the road to Bogart.

North Oconee has impressive 30-plus-point away wins in its last two games, including a 38-8 victory over Madison County in Danielsville.

Chestatee has been running the ball way more than using the passing game. The War Eagles have 11 players credited with a rushing attempt this season. The team has run it 155 times for 416 yards.

Junior Caysen Goss and sophomore Benjamin Plemons get the majority of the work in the run game. Goss has 41 carries for 128 yards. Plemons has 37 attempts for 154 yards.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Bogart.


The Lions are one game away from starting the region schedule, which starts next week with Bethlehem Christian Academy. 

This week Lakeview Academy looks to contend with an offense that has scored less than 27 points just once this season and a defense that has allowed more than 13 points just once.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Locust Grove.


In their four losses this season, the Eagles have given up over 52 points per game. They’re averaging less than nine points per game on offense.

Oglethorpe County is averaging 12 points on offense, but has allowed just over 13 points per contest.

Through the first three games, the Patriots leaned on the running game with Jake Turner leading the way. The senior has 59 carries for 310 yards and a touchdown.

Senior quarterback Jayden Wallace has connected on almost 61 percent of his pass attempts for 257 yards and three touchdowns.

The Eagles also go as their run game goes. 

Junior Zion Milhouse has 46 carries for 295 yards and a touchdown, while senior Jalen Freeman has carried the ball 11 times for 200 yards and three scores.

Freeman also has the only receiving touchdown for the Eagles.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lexington.


The Indians go on the road for the first region game of the season, but some of their biggest wins have come in their two away games thus far – 46-7 over Franklin County and 35-0 over Temple.

Pickens has a 1-2 record at home after winning the season opener against Sonoraville, 38-21.

In the Dragons’ home loss to North Murray, they allowed 462 yards and four touchdown passes through the air. 

Then Fannin County pounded the ground game with quarterback and running back each going over 100 yards to beat Pickens on their home field. The two combined for 39 carries, 319 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Indians’ junior quarterback Cal Faulkner and senior running back Mason Sullens could both have huge games on the road.

Faulkner is hitting just under a 70 percent completion rate on his 53 passes this season for 436 and four scores. On the ground, he’s also added 47 carries for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

Sullens is still a massive part of the offensive production for Lumpkin County as the senior has gone over 100 yards in each contest this season, including rushing for 249 against Union County and 240 against Temple. He’s carried the ball 97 times for 738 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Indians have won the last five meetings with Pickens. Those five wins evened up the overall series record at 19 wins apiece and one tie.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Jasper to see which team will take a momentary lead in the series.

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