Sunday September 24th, 2017 6:18AM

Week 6: Matchups of region unbeatens highlight key night of action

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
  Contact Editor
Several regions could begin to take shape Friday night as we head down the home stretch of the regular season with some huge matchups on tap.

In Region 7-AAA, Class AAA No. 1-ranked Buford and White County will tangle at Tom Riden Stadium. Both teams are unbeaten in region play. Meanwhile, fourth-ranked North Hall, which is also unbeaten in the region, travels to Fannin County.

In Region 8-AA, Class AA 10th-ranked Jefferson will try to rebound from its tough loss to No. 4 Washington-Wilkes against Rabun County. It won't be easy as the Wildcats are averaging 53 points a game on offense and look ready to put themselves in a position to make a run at the region title.

In Region 8-A, Commerce will play host to Class A sixth-ranked Prince Avenue Christian in a battle of unbeaten region teams. The Wolverines could be a little road-weary playing their fifth straight road game in a traditionally tough place to win. The Tigers are 7-2 at home since 2011.

Chestatee and Monroe Area look to be on a collision course in Region 8-AAAA. The War Eagles travel to play a reeling Walnut Grove squad while Class AAAA fourth-ranked Monroe Area could put a big blow to Stephens County's playoff hopes. But, the Indians are 15-2 at The Reservation since 2010 and need a win to stay in the race.

For a look at all of the night's contests involving area teams, simply scroll down. And be sure to check back with Access North Georgia and our Friday Game Night page throughout the night for score updates and game stories and video highlights. You can also check for scores and highlights on our Twitter feed @FridayGameNight


-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Raider Valley, Coal Mountain
-- ALPHARETTA (3-2, 2-0 Region 6-AAAAAA): Bye last week. Defeated South Forsyth 38-16 two weeks ago.
-- NORTH FORSYTH (4-1, 1-1 Region 6-AAAAAA): Bye last week. Lost 14-13 to Lambert two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: Alpharetta won 55-21 last year. Alpharetta leads the series 5-0. . .A huge game for both teams. Alpharetta sits alone atop the region standings and North Forsyth is tied with five teams for second place. . .A win for North Forsyth could put them in the top tier of the region at the midway point. . .North Forsyth will go as its defense goes. The Raiders have allowed just 9.4 ppg so far but Alpharetta is averaging 30 ppg on the season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Walnut Grove Stadium, Walnut Grove
-- CHESTATEE (4-1, 2-0 Region 8-AAAA): Defeated Johnson 48-7 last week.
-- WALNUT GROVE (1-4, 0-2 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Lost 31-19 to Lumpkin County two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: Chestatee won 51-0 last year. The War Eagles lead the series 2-0. . .Chestatee is on a roll having won four straight since an opening night loss to North Hall. The War Eagles have been downright stingy lately allowing just seven total points over the last two games. Offensively they also have found a solid combo in RB Zac Cheshire and QB Wyatt Burgess, who has done a great job of running their option offense. . .Defense has been the problem for Walnut Grove, allowing 41.7 ppg in its four losses.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Billy Ellis Memorial Stadium, Oakwood
-- CLARKSTON (1-4-1, playing non-region schedule): Tied Hapeville Charter 14-14 last week.
-- JOHNSON (1-5, playing non-region schedule): Lost 48-7 to Chestatee last week.
-- HISTORY: First-ever meeting between the two schools. . .Someone is going to end a losing streak in this one. Johnson is riding a four-game losing streak and Clarkston is winless in its last three games. . .Johnson is struggling on both sides of the ball. Since scoring 34 points in a win over Oglethorpe County, the Knights have scored just 34 total points in four straight losses. They are allowing 49.7 ppg in that span. . .The Angoras are averaging just 13 ppg on offense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Jock Horner Field, Gainesville
-- CROSS KEYS (1-5, playing non-region schedule): Lost 55-3 to St. Francis last week.
-- LAKEVIEW ACADEMY (0-5, playing non-region schedule): Lost 28-7 to Wesleyan last week.
-- HISTORY: Lakeview Academy won 44-6 last year. Lakeview leads the series 1-0. . .Don't expect a lot of points in this one as neither team puts up many points on offense. Lakeview is averaging just 7.6 ppg and Cross Keys is averaging just 14 ppg so far. . .The Indians have lost nine straight road games. . .The Lions are trying to snap their longest losing streak since 2009.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Lanier Stadium, Sugar Hill
-- EASTSIDE (3-2, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Defeated Madison County 31-14 two weeks ago.
-- LANIER (4-1, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Lost 56-28 to Class AAAA No. 4 Monroe Area two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: Eastside won 20-14 last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .A huge battle in the region with both teams trying to keep pace with Chestatee and Monroe Area. The Longhorns will play host to Chestatee next week . . .Until its meeting with Monroe Area, Lanier was very stingy on defense, allowing just 29 total points in its first four games. Offensively the Longhorns are explosive averaging 31 ppg. . .Eastside is yielding just under 25 ppg on the season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: W. Clair Harris Stadium, Winder
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (4-2, 4-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Defeated Apalachee 42-20 last week.
-- WINDER-BARROW (1-4, 0-3 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 23-13 to Heritage, Conyers last year.
-- HISTORY: Flowery Branch won 54-14 last year. The Falcons lead the series 3-0. . .The Falcons have been rolling since beginning region play. They are winning by an average margin of 41-14 in the first four games and have dominated the Bulldoggs over the years. They have averaged 48.6 ppg and have yielded just 21 total points in three games against Winder. . .Winder has lost four straight since winning its opener and has given up 191 points on defense in that span.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Meadowcreek Community Stadium, Norcross
-- HABERSHAM CENTRAL (0-6, 0-4 Region 7-AAAAAA): Lost 49-3 to Norcross last week.
-- MEADOWCREEK (0-5, 0-3 Region 7-AAAAAA): Lost 47-0 to Mill Creek last week.
-- HISTORY: Habersham won 31-12 last year. The Raiders lead the series 5-0. . .Something will give here. The Mustangs are currently riding a state-worst 53-game losing streak. Habersham has lost nine straight since beating Meadowcreek last season. . .The Raiders offense has struggled all season scoring just 34 total points and just six total points in region games. The Habersham defense has allowed more than 42 ppg. . .The Mustangs have been even worse scoring just 21 total points in 2013. They have given up more than 49 ppg so far.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: W. Clair Harris Stadium, Winder
-- LOGANVILLE (2-3, 1-2 Region 8-AAAAA): Bye last week. Defeated Cedar Shoals 27-13 two weeks ago.
-- APALACHEE (0-5, 0-3 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 42-20 to Flowery Branch last week.
-- HISTORY: Apalachee won 35-28 last year. Loganville leads the series 3-2. . .The Wildcats are mired in their longest losing streak since 2005. Defense has been the problem as they are yielding 46.5 ppg so far. . .A huge game for the Red Devils to try and keep pace in the playoff race. They sit fifth in the standings and still have games against Gainesville and Heritage, which is just above them in the standings.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Red Raider Stadium, Danielsville
-- LUMPKIN COUNTY (1-4, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Defeated Walnut Grove 31-19 two weeks ago.
-- MADISON COUNTY (2-3, 0-2 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Lost 31-14 to Eastside two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: Lumpkin County won 34-20 last year in first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .The Indians' win two weeks ago snapped an eight-game losing streak going back to last year. They have another winnable game this week against the Red Raiders, who have lost three straight and given 107 points in that span. Lumpkin County found some offense last time out rolling up up 558 yards of offense, including a huge night for Jonathan Gilreath, who totalled 197 yards and three scores. . . A win for the Indians also would keep them, for now, in the upper-tier of the region standings. They have a tough finish, however, with road games against Eastside, Chestatee, and Stephens County sandwiched around a home game with Lanier. All four are in the top five of the region at the moment.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium, Suwanee
-- MILL CREEK (4-2, 2-2 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Meadowcreek 47-0 last week.
-- NORTH GWINNETT (5-0, 3-0 Region 7-AAAAAA): Defeated Duluth 52-21 last week. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA.
-- HISTORY: North Gwinnett won 47-28 last year. The Bulldogs lead the series 7-0. . .A must-win for Mill Creek, which sits one game out of the fourth spot in the region standings. The Bulldogs need a win to keep pace with Collins Hill atop the standings. . .North Gwinnett controls its own fate for the region title with games still left against Collins and Peachtree Ridge over the last half of the season. . .Bulldogs' quarterback Hayden Sphire has had a huge season leading the offense, which is averaging 44 ppg. WR Nate Brown has been one of Sphire's favorite targets, including a 4 TD game against Norcross. . .Mill Creek is allowing just 16 ppg on defense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: The Reservation, Toccoa
-- MONROE AREA (5-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Defeated Lanier 56-28 two weeks ago. The Purple Hurricanes are ranked No. 4 in Class AAAA.
-- STEPHENS COUNTY (3-2, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA): Bye last week. Lost 17-0 to Chestatee two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: Monroe Area won 21-17 last year to break a 10-game losing streak in the series going back to 1996. Stephens County leads the series 24-10-1. . .The Indians, who are 15-2 at The Reservation since 2010, surely will be inspired to redeem themselves after suffering their first shutout since 2001. They will need to find a way to win to keep pace in playoff race. They are tied with Lanier, Eastside, and Lumpkin County with just one loss in the region. . .The Indians defense will have to find a way to slow down the Hurricanes, who are averaging 49.2 ppg so far. Stephens County is allowing just 18 ppg but Monroe has scored 40 or more points in every game this season.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Rebel Stadium, Blue Ridge
-- NORTH HALL (5-0, 2-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated East Hall 56-31 last week. The Trojans are ranked No. 4 in Class AAA.
-- FANNIN COUNTY (1-4, 0-2 Region 7-AAA): Bye last week. Lost 49-7 to West Hall two weeks ago.
-- HISTORY: North Hall won 63-0 last week. The Trojans lead the series 6-1 and have won six straight against the Rebels. . .The Trojans are piling up huge numbers behind Player of the Week quarterback Andrew Smith. The senior has guided North Hall to a 48 ppg average so far, including a win over defending Class AA state champion Jefferson earlier in the year. . .The Rebels are giving up 43.8 ppg on defense.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Ray Lamb Stadium, Commerce
-- PRINCE AVENUE (5-1, 2-0 Region 8-A): Defeated Athens Academy 41-7 last week. The Wolverines are ranked No. 6 in Class A.
-- COMMERCE (4-2, 2-0 Region 8-A): Defeated Athens Christian 22-21 in overtime last week.
-- HISTORY: Prince Avenue won 30-0 last year. Commerce leads the series 5-2. . .It's an early battle for first place in the region. Both teams are tied with Pinecrest Academy atop the standings. Commerce closes out the regular season on the road against Pinecrest. . .The Wolverines are playing their fifth straight road game and sixth overall. They are 4-1 on the road this season. . .Commerce is 7-2 at home going back to the 2011 season. The Tigers defense, which is allowing 22 ppg this season, will have its hands full. The Wolverines are averaging 42 ppg on offense and scored 40 or more points five times.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Jefferson
-- RADIO: 102.9 FM
-- RABUN COUNTY (5-0, 2-0 Region 8-AA): Rabun County beat Riverside Military Academy 63-7 last week.
-- JEFFERSON (3-2, 1-1 Region 8-AA): Jefferson lost 21-14 to No. 4-ranked Washington-Wilkes last week. The Dragons are ranked No. 10 in Class AA.
-- HISTORY: Jefferson won 55-7 last year. The Dragons lead the series 17-3 and have won 14 straight in the series. . .A huge game for Jefferson if it is to stay in the race for a home game in the playoffs. Rabun County and Washington-Wilkes are the only unbeaten teams left in the region. . .The Wildcats may have their best chance since 1955 to beat the Dragons and have been one of the most explosive teams in the state this season averaging 53 ppg. But, they have yet to face a defense as good Jefferson. The Dragons are allowing just 14 ppg including a pair of shutouts. . .

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: City Park Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 1240 AM
-- SALEM (2-4, 1-3 Region 8-AAAAA): Lost 33-15 to Clarke Central last week.
-- GAINESVILLE (5-1, 4-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Defeated Cedar Shoals 51-6 last week. The Red Elephants are ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAA.
-- HISTORY: Gainesville won 49-6 last year in first meeting between the two schools since 1993. Gainesville leads the series 3-0. . .The Elephants are rolling again since their loss to Buford averaging 52 ppg during their current four-game win streak while giving up just 19 total points in that span. . .They need a win to keep pace with Flowery Branch and Clarke Central, who both undefeated in region play. Gainesville travels to Clarke Central next week. . .Senior QB Deshaun Watson has been stellar averaging over 300 yards passing a game. . .After opening the season 2-2, Salem has found the going tough after back-to-back losses to Flowery Branch and Clarke Central scoring just 22 points.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Maginnis Field, Gainesville
-- UNION COUNTY (3-2, 1-1 Region 8-AA): Defeated Oglethorpe County 46-26 last week.
-- RIVERSIDE MILITARY ACADEMY (2-3, 1-2 Region 8-AA): Lost 63-7 to Rabun County last week.
-- HISTORY: Union County won 41-13 last year. The Panthers lead the series 3-2. . .Both teams are looking to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot and are among four teams that sit within one-half game of each other in the standings. . .The Panthers have been a hard team to gage. In their three wins they have averaged 41 ppg and allowed just 46 points. In their two losses they have yielded 84 combined points. . .Defense is the key for Riverside. The Eagles are 2-0 when allowing 20 points or less. In their three losses they have given up 139 points.

-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: Tom Riden Stadium, Buford
-- RADIO: 550 AM
-- WHITE COUNTY (4-1, 2-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated East Hall 6-0 last week.
-- BUFORD (5-0, 2-0 Region 7-AAA): Defeated West Hall 63-0 last week. The Wolves are ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
-- HISTORY: Buford won 49-14 last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. . .The first major battle of Region 7-AAA with the winner claiming at worst a share of first place. North Hall also is undefeated and is playing Fannin County. . .The Wolves are on one of their most impressive streaks in school history. They have won three consecutive games by the identical score of 63-0 and have given up just 21 total points on the season. . .Last week Buford scored on every possession but its last one (kneel down in final minute) and held West Hall, which came in averaging nearly 400 yards of offense a game, to less than 100 yards.
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