With the 2022 regular season approaching the end, several teams still are playing volleyball with state playoff seeding and region titles.
This week, we've got two massive showdowns on the list for region titles, and those two are this week's Games2Watch.
Of course, other games on the slate have state playoff implications on the line. North Hall needs a win to stay in the hunt, as does East Forsyth in Region 8-4A. Jefferson can clinch the region championship with a win over Heritage-Conyers on Friday. To check out the region races throughout the area, click HERE.
(FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM WEEK 10)
Dawson County at Lumpkin County
Finally, relevance is back in this annual rivalry battle this season.
It's basically for all the marbles in Region 7-3A. If the Indians win, they'll have to beat West Hall next week. If the Tigers win, they clinch the title.
We've placed the slobber-knocker tag on a couple of games this season. Let's make it No. 3. THIS. ONE. WILL. BE. A. SLOBBER-KNOCKER!
Dawson County's defense has given up 7 points per game in region play this year, but the Tigers' offense has been on the struggle bus at times. That could hurt them on Friday.
Lumpkin County's defense is pretty good with Will Wood and Jay Grizzle in the middle.
Offensively, the Indians have been explosive. Why? Senior quarterback Cooper Scott. He will be a massive handful for the Tiger defense, as well as Cal Faulkner, Mason Sullens and Harper Davenport. Pressure will be key for the Tigers. Can the front seven make enough noise to rattle Scott?
As for the Tiger offense, sophomore quarterback Davis Glass will need to be on his A game in this one, and the rushing attack led by Kade Moledor, along with a push from the big guys up front, will be key as well. Turn it over in this one, and it won't be pretty, mainly for the Tigers. This one is too close to call, but we can see the Indians rolling to the win.
North Forsyth at Gainesville
Well, you know this one is a big one when country music superstar Trace Adkins requests to sing the National Anthem.
This one is for the Region 8-6A title on Friday at City Park. You might want to get there way early for this one.
The Raiders own the series, 7-1, with the Red Elephants' only win coming at City Park in 2020.
We've got this one pegged as the Gainesville defense vs. the Raiders offense, leaving the weight on North Forsyth quarterback West Roberts's (131-220, 1,668 yards passing, 11 INT) shoulders. Gainesville's defense, which has forced 11 fumbles and 10 interceptions, will bring pressure all night, hoping to fluster the senior NoFo QB into a mistake.
However, the Raider defense is no slouch, forcing 10 fumbles and eight interceptions. Led by linebacker Collin Miller, the Raiders will likely employ a blitzing attack on junior QB Baxter Wright.
Who breaks first? Not sure. It could come by ground and not air. Gainesville running back Naim Cheeks has rushed for 953 yards and 12 TDs, 157 last week. He's an explosion waiting to happen and could be a huge factor in the outcome. On the flip side, sophomore Raider running back Karson McBrayer is similar, having rushed for 550 yards this season, and has the speed to make a defense miss.
It has the makings for an all-out dogfight for the region title. Who wins it? Too close to call.
SCHEDULE FOR Week 11
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27
Johnson at Clarkston
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
Apalachee at Habersham Central*
Banks County at Fellowship Christian*
Buford at Mountain View*
Cedar Shoals at North Hall*
Commerce at Rabun County*
Dawson County at Lumpkin County*
East Forsyth at Chestatee*
East Hall at North Oconee*
East Jackson at Providence Christian*
Flowery Branch at Loganville*
George Walton Academy at Lakeview Academy*
Jefferson at Heritage, Conyers*
Loganville Christian at Riverside Military*
North Forsyth at Gainesville*
Union County at Athens Academy*
Walker at Lanier Christian*
Washington-Wilkes at Towns County*
West Hall at Wesleyan*
White County at Pickens*
(Cherokee Bluff off, Jackson County off)
(* -- denotes region contest)