Of course, Week 4 was a blast.
Gainesville and Flowery Branch played out as I expected. Buford rolled over Myers Park out of Charlotte, NC, Rabun County routed North Carolina's Class A defending state champion, Murphy, and both Lakeview and Dawson County earned their first wins of the season.
I predicted all of that last week, and it's on the web right HERE.
Anyway, Week 5 has some lookers on the schedule, and below are a few that interest me. Follow Friday Game Night's Twitter page for score updates, stories, highlights and more.
CHAMINADE-MADONNA, Fla. AT BUFORD
Upon further research, this game might be the clash of the titans. We all know how many major college recruits Buford boasts, right? Chaminade-Madonna has almost as many. From the Class of 2022 to the Class of 2024, the Lions are packed with talent across the board, making this matchup one to watch on Friday.
In my research, I found 10 major college recruits on the Lions' roster and a host of other future college recruits. The Lions have won three of the last four Class 3A state titles and were runner-ups in 2020, and their only loss this season is to the Florida defending Class 5A state champion. On the stat sheet, four-star sophomore running back Davion Gause leads the rushing attack with 409 yards and five touchdowns. His quarterback, 6-foo-5, 180-pound Cedrick Bailey has passed for 500 yards and three touchdowns so far. Senior cornerback and Ohio State-commit Ryan Turner and four-star sophomore defensive back Zaquan Patterson head up a stingy defense.
Enter Buford, though. It's hard to pick against the Wolves for several reasons. My number one reason is head coach Bryant Appling. Coach App's ability to motivate, coach and prepare his players is among the best in the state. My number two reason: it's Buford. The Wolves have a solid rushing attack with Victor Venn and CJ Clinkscales, and a talented quarterback duo in Dylan Wittke and Ashton Daniels. The dominant play of the Wolves defense has played lights out in the last two games and half games, led by Alabama-commit Jake Pope, Florida-commit Isaiah Bond and Michigan State-commit Malik Spencer. I can't pick against the Wolves. You can hear the game on AM 550 WDUN.
CHESTATEE AT NORTH HALL
This one always piques our interest but has very seldom lived up to the hype. North Hall has dominated the series, winning 17 of the 19 meetings. But it's the first time since 2011 that the War Eagles (2-1) enter the game with a better record than North Hall (1-2). I'm not sure how much Chestatee wants to make of that state because the Trojans won the game 48-7 a decade ago.
Regardless of the history, Chestatee is coming off a massive win over West Hall last week, 42-7, and is one of the hottest teams in the area. Mainly because of senior quarterback Luke Bornhorst, who has directed the War Eagles to two straight wins, including a five-touchdown performance against the Spartans in Week 4.
The Trojans roll into the contest on back-to-back losses to two tough Region 8-3A opponents -- Stephens County and Hart County. Although the Trojans didn't expect those losses, they have shown vast improvement since the 42-0 loss to Stephens County, taking Hart County down-to-the-wire in Week 3.
The anticipation is for real this year, however, as the War Eagles are flying high with a potent offense and a defense that is on the upward trend. The only question is: Can Chestatee shake the ugly history of this series and continue scoring at will? North Hall, on the other hand, will do its best to keep the series trophy at The Brickyard. This one is too close to call right now. You can hear the game live on FM 102.9.
FORSYTH CENTRAL AT GAINESVILLE
I enter this week with one question in mind: Will the big win over Flowery Branch lead to a Week 5 letdown? I can't answer that right now. The Red Elephants controlled the entire game against Flowery Branch, never trailing, and snapped the Falcons' three-game win streak, 42-35, at City Park.
An emotional win like that can sometimes lead to a letdown the following week, but with this game being the Region 6-7A opener, I'm sure the emotional high continues into Week 5. Last year, it took overtime, and, ironically, Baxter Wright, as a freshman, got first start for the Red Elephants. He guided the Red Elephants to an win in a wild finish. Naim Cheeks' 189-yard rushing night also was key to the win.
This year, though, Central is under the direction of a new head coach, and much like last year, they like to run the football. Malachi McElroy has been the main man through the 1-2 start, rushing just over 400 yards. Will the Red Elephants start a streak with their third win in a row this season? I'll answer that on our Friday Game Night Pick 'Em Show on Friday. You can hear the game on FM 94.5 The Lake.
OTHERS OF INTEREST
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY AT TOWNS COUNTY
The Indians are on moving on up this season with a massive win over Baconton Charter, 48-20, last week. They'll face a Lakeview Academy team that picked up its first win of the season over Walker in Week 4. It'll be a long road trip for the Lions and a heavy task to slow down Towns County running back Kyle Oakes, who rushed for almost 250 yards against the Blazers.
EAST JACKSON AT EAST HALL
After coming off a win against Banks County in Week 3, the Eagles failed to finish against Gilmer in a 41-34 loss in Week 4. East Hall also had its issue against Johnson but pulled away late to beat the Knights, 49-35. Both teams have proved they can score, but both teams have struggled on defense. This one could be a shootout.