Here are five questions hanging over the heads of Class AAAAAA teams this week, along with the games that will begin to answer them. All games are Friday.
1. Can Coffee return to form after a long layoff?
- Coffee at Tift County: Coffee (3-0) was off on Sept. 8 and had its game against University Christian (Fla.) canceled last week because of Hurricane Irma, so the Trojans haven’t played a game since Aug. 31. Coffee probably needed the time to prepare for a closing stretch of games against Tift (5-0), Warner Robins (4-0), Houston County (1-4), Northside (3-1), Valdosta (1-3) and Lee County (5-0).
2. Who is the front-runner in Region 6?
- Harrison at Allatoona: The winner of this game between top-10 teams is likely to be seen as the team to beat in the region, although both teams must face defending region champion Dalton, which will have something to say about the title chase. Harrison’s 43-19 victory against Allatoona last year essentially secured second place for the Hoyas and pushed the Buccaneers, state champions in 2015, down to third place.
3. Can Hughes stay in the Region 5 title race?
- Douglas County at Hughes: Seventh-ranked Hughes already lost one region game when No. 4 Mays beat the Panthers 32-20 on Sept. 8. Another region loss would all but end their title hopes, but they are almost certain to be playoff team either way. No. 8 Douglas County could take sole possession of first place with a victory (Mays is off this week) and would be 5-0 for the first time since 2002.
4. Is DeKalb County going to dominate Region 4?
- M.L. King at Tucker (Adams Stadium): DeKalb County’s Tucker, Stephenson and M.L. King are the only undefeated teams in league play in a predominantly Clayton County region. Tucker and Stephenson were expected to be good, but M.L. King has shown significant improvement from last year’s last-place finish. Tucker is heavily favored, but a good showing by the Lions could be bad news for the rest of the region.
5. Can Greenbrier keep history from repeating itself?
- Greenbrier at Cross Creek: Last year, Greenbrier started 5-0 for the first time since 1997 but saw its playoff hopes disappear when it went 1-4 in region play. If the Wolfpack wins as expected this week, it will be 5-0 again. Region 3 play begins for Greenbrier on Oct. 6 against Lakeside-Evans, and a 2-3 record in league play probably would get the Wolfpack its first playoff appearance since 2003.
*Worth noting: Georgia High School Football Daily has more complete previews of some of this weekend’s top games involving Class AAAAAA teams. Click here to read more about Allatoona-Harrison, Douglas County-Hughes and Coffee-Tift County.