By now, you should already know the results of Week 6. If not, take a quick look HERE.
I found a few things that piqued my interest after the scoreboard was completed across the area.
- Jefferson is really good, and Flowery Branch isn't too far behind the Dragons.
- West Hall's offensive struggles continued against North Hall, leading to another big loss.
- Dawson County proved it can battle back and finish against White County.
- North Hall has the firepower to challenge Cherokee Bluff for the Region 7-3A title.
- Gainesville continues to tune up on both sides of the ball.
- Rabun County's offense is insane
I shift my attention to Week 7, and there are a few matchups that could alter the landscape in the region standings. Follow Friday Game Night's Twitter page for score updates, stories, highlights and more.
NORTH OCONEE AT CHESTATEE
Watching this year's Chestatee team is unlike any other in a long time. This team plays with grit, intensity, physicality and is full speed every stinking down. Looking at the War Eagles numbers, the defense has been a catalyst in the turnaround this season. After giving up 60 points to Cherokee Bluff in Game 1, the War Eagles are allowing just under 20 points a game -- a more than 20 point improvement since last year. And the offense, led by Luke Bornhorst at quarterback and his supporting cast, is averaging 32 points per game.
North Oconee lost quarterback Bubba Chandler to graduation and has played a brutal non-region schedule, losing to Class 3A runner-up Oconee County and Class 4A semifinalist Benedictine. They are only averaging 25 points per game on offense and giving up around 25 on defense. On paper, this one should be a really good matchup.
But the question remains, can the War Eagles step up and finish on Friday? I'm not completely sure. What I do know is this team will give every last bit of effort they have in the tank to start the region slate 1-0. If they do, we'll have to put the "playoff contender" sticker on those helmets.
WHITE COUNTY AT NORTH HALL
If I go by the series history over the last four meetings, it's White County's turn to win. Wait, before you start cursing me too much, it's just a small observation and not a big deal.
The series is tied, 24-24, and North Hall has only one win at home since 2010. On the flip side, White County has only won twice on their home turf since 2010 -- not that it matters this year; because the game is at The Brickyard. Does that mean the visiting team is the favorite? Not necessarily.
The game has been decided by an average of four points over the last four meetings. In 2020, the Trojans turned a goal-line stand in overtime into a game-winning Luke Brown field goal, 34-31, in Cleveland. In 2019, the Warriors won 34-31 at The Brickyard. What all these numbers reveal is a true rivalry.
The two foes have two common opponents: Stephens County and Hart County. White County played Stephens County in a 34-20 loss; North Hall lost 42-0. The Trojans played Hart County better in a 48-37 loss; White lost 49-13.
While it's true both teams have had their struggles this season, the Trojans have righted the ship with two straight wins, while White County has now lost two in a row. If White County is going to avoid an 0-2 start to region play, they'll have to stop Kevin Rochester and Bradford Puryear. If the Trojans want to start a winning streak, they'll have to stop Silas Mulligan and the explosive Darius Cannon. I think this one will be just as crazy as the last four have been.
RABUN COUNTY AT PIERCE COUNTY
Holy cow what a matchup.
I'm not sure there's a more high-profile game than Class 2 No. 1 Rabun County at Class 3A fourth-ranked Pierce County.
The Wildcats have proved they're not afraid to go on the road to battle a top-10 program in 2021. They opened the non-region slate against Class 4A No. 1 Jefferson and will close the non-region schedule with Class 3A defending champion Pierce County in Blackshear.
The key matchup may be the Rabun offense that is No. 1 in Class 2A (252, 50.4 ppg) versus the Bears defense, which is 4th in Class 3A, allowing just 6.6 ppg. Rabun County's Gunner Stockton, and the new additions to the team in the offseason, are starting to jell. Gunner Stockton has amassed 1,628 yards passing and 22 touchdowns, good enough to lead Class 2A. Meanwhile, Jaden Gibson, transfer from Dawson County, is second in the state in receiving with 668 yards and six touchdowns.
Stockton will be pressured more than he has all season with a Bears defense that has 21 sacks this season and 56 tackles for a loss. This one definitely has marquee matchup all over it. If the Wildcats come out of Blackshear with a win on Friday, they'll push themselves to the top as the Class 2A title favorites.
WEST FORSYTH AT NORTH FORSYTH
After losing two weeks ago to Denmark in its first Region 6-7A game, North Forsyth immediately put themselves behind the proverbial eight-ball in the standings. Now, they'll face Class 7A's seventh-ranked team, defending region champion and cross-county rival West Forsyth in a crucial game at Raider Valley.
The Raiders knocked off West Forsyth last season, 24-10, and blew a lead against Denmark on back-to-back turnovers. The Raiders, however, are only allowing 11.2 points per game on defense, but the offense has struggled, scoring an average of 23.2 points per game.
West Forsyth has played a brutal non-region schedule -- losing to No. 5 Cartersville, 38-31, and No. 3 Mill Creek, 38-10. The Raiders defense will be tested with a solid passing game, led by quarterback Keegan Stover (59-108, 909 yards and seven touchdowns), and a bruising rushing attack from Peyton Streko (513 yards, 128.3 yards per game, eight touchdowns).
North Forsyth has relied on its run game with four guys rushing over 150 yards or better. But this one has rival game written all over it, making it hard to pick a winner. But I will say, if the Raiders can find more offense and eliminate mistakes, they'll be in the game late with a chance to win. If not, their playoff hopes will begin to fade.
FRIDAY, OCT. 1 SCHEDULE
Commerce at Greene County*
East Jackson at Oconee County*
Fellowship Christian at Lakeview Academy*
Gainesville at Lambert*
Gilmer at Lumpkin County*
Habersham Central at Buford*
Jackson County at Loganville*
Jefferson at East Hall*
Johnson at Walnut Grove*
Lanier Christian at Victory Baptist
North Oconee at Chestatee*
Mt. Pisgah at East Forsyth
Rabun County at Pierce County
Towns County at Lincoln County*
Union County at Riverside Military*
West Forsyth at North Forsyth*
West Hall at Cherokee Bluff* White County at North Hall*
(* -- denotes region contest)