Week 10 will most definitely provide some classic battles across the area. Several of those games have region titles on the line and playoff implications.
With several key region contests on the slate, we think we have found three more Games2Watch that should provide several fireworks in Week 10.
Lumpkin County at White County
The history of this series leans heavily toward the Warriors. Lumpkin County has only 11 wins in the 50-plus years of the rivalry. Does that factor in this year? Maybe, but not likely. These two teams have much more on the line in this annual matchup than they've had in its history. The Indians are hunting for their first region title, and White County's playoff hopes are on a limb right now.
The Warriors have slowly gotten healthier over the last three weeks. It showed in a close loss to Wesleyan two weeks ago and in the blowout win over West Hall last week. The Indians are coming off a bye and will be well-rested when they trot onto the field at Warrior Stadium on Friday. On paper, the stats lean toward Lumpkin County. They're averaging over 35 points per game and have given up a Class 3A top-five best of 13.7 ppg.
White County has struggled on defense, giving up 26.1 ppg while scoring 26.2 ppg. There's a lot to unpack in this one, and we don't have time to unpack. What we know is this one has a lot of dislike. The Indians have been marching pretty strong all season, while the Warriors have been on the struggle bus for most of it. The way we see it, it's going to come down to the Warriors' defense slowing down Cooper Scott and the Indians' potent offense. If they can do that and add a few touchdowns, the Warriors and Indians will be in an old-fashioned battle on the Region 7-3A frontier.
Lanier at Jackson County
There's no way better to describe this matchup than do or die. Jackson County and Lanier need a win to keep the playoff hope alive with just two games remaining. A loss will eliminate those hopes.
Jackson County has region leader Gainesville at City Park left after Friday night. Lanier has Shiloh. So, a win gets more challenging for both teams after Week 10.
The plot thickens.
The Panthers have been so close in so many games this season. The hiccup against Shiloh last Thursday has made the path to the playoffs more dramatic. On paper, the Panthers (18.63 ppg) are slightly better than Lanier (12.25 ppg) on offense, scoring six more points a game than them.
This one could either be a low-scoring battle or a shootout. Then again, this one could be ugly.
Gilmer at Dawson County
Can the Tigers slow down Paul Standard's wing-T offense? The Tigers have shown they can stop the run this season, giving up just 104 rushing yards per game. But they'll be tested with the misdirection of the Bobcats' wing-T offense that averages 224 yards per game on the ground. The Bobcats' wing-T offense and the Tigers' strong defensive line make this one a Game2Watch.
The Bobcats lead the series 7-3, but the Tigers have won in the last three. The Tigers have outscored Gilmer 110-30 in the previous three seasons, including a 52-21win in Ellijay last season. Gilmer is a much better team than last season and will be hungry for a win after losing to region basement dweller Pickens 27-10. The Dragons held Gilmer under their season rushing average last week.
Dawson County's offense has continued to improve but has been prone to turn the ball over. If they don't hold on to the ball this week, Gilmer will most likely make them pay. This one will come down to the Tigers' defense, which has been pretty good down the stretch, keeping the Bobcats' wing-T in check. The Tigers will stay on the Region 7-3A title path if they can do that.
Follow Friday Game Night's Twitter page for score updates, stories, highlights and more.
WEEK 10 SCHEDULE
Madison County at East Forsyth*
Athens Christian at Rabun County*
Banks County at Athens Academy*
Cherokee Bluff at East Hall*
Chestatee at Cedar Shoals*
Dacula at Buford*
Druid Hills at Johnson
East Jackson at Union County*
Elbert County at Commerce*
Gainesville at Shiloh*
Gilmer at Dawson County*
Habersham Central at North Forsyth*
King's Ridge at Lanier Christian
Lanier at Jackson County*
Loganville at Jefferson*
Lumpkin County at White County*
Pickens at West Hall*
Riverside Military at Lakeview Academy*
Warren County at Towns County*
North Hall and Flowery Branch are off
(* -- denotes region contest)