Here are five games to watch this week involving teams in the highest classification, plus some comments on another five.
-Tucker at Colquitt County: Tucker is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA while Colquitt is No. 2 in AAAAAAA. So this might be the headliner in all classifications. Tucker defeated Colquitt 21-20 last season in Moultrie after Colquitt failed to hold a 17-3 lead. Chris Broadwater, since graduated, rushed for some 175 yards. Colquitt’s defense appears to be much better this season, allowing just 123.5 years per game in total offense. But the Packers’ offense is less proven so far. Three four-star recruits are suiting up in this one – Tucker WR Josh Vann, Tucker OL Dylan Wonnum, Tucker LB Mike Harris and Colquitt LB J.J. Peterson.
-Parkview at Lowndes: This is another great rematch from 2016, when Lowndes won 35-34 at the Big Orange Jungle. Lowndes led 35-14 in the fourth quarter. Parkview scored three touchdowns but missed an extra point. Both teams believe they’re stronger this season. Lowndes has the classification’s best dual-threat QB, Michael Barrett (2,500 passing, 1,000 rushing last season). Parkview has a great multi-position player, Malik Washington.
-Harrison at North Cobb: Harrison, the No. 3 team in AAAAAA, beat North Cobb 25-13 last season, got ranked for the first time in years the following week and hasn’t been out of the Top 10 since. Of course, Harrison’s star player is QB Justin Fields, the nation’s No. 1 recruit. But this is the high-class blog, so let's talk North Cobb, the No. 6 team in that classification. Anthony Rodriguez kicked a 32-yard field goal with 1 second left last week in the 38-35 win over Etowah. He also put all seven kicks in the end zone, which matters. QB Dillon Waye was 15-of-18 passing for 167 yards and rushed for 34 yards. RB Chris Singleton had over 100 yards from scrimmage.
-Blessed Trinity at Marietta: Marietta, 3-7 last year, is thought to be a sleeper this season. QB Harrison Bailey was 22-of-31 passing for 332 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-0 victory over Wheeler in the opener. Bailey broke Trevor Lawrence's freshman state record for passing yards (2,812) in just 10 games last season, but Marietta lost to Blessed Trinity 25-14. If the Blue Devils are for real, they’ll win this one at Northcutt Stadium. It won’t be easy.
-McEachern at Grayson: These teams were ranked No. 2 and No. 3 (and both nationally ranked) when they met a year ago. Grayson is still in the top 10 of many national polls. McEachern could be rebuilding in the absence of QB Bailey Hockman, now at Florida State. The Indians lost their opener 23-19 to Mill Creek. Grayson won the 2016 game 16-13. This game should help point which way traditional powers are headed.
Other games to watch: No. 5 Kell of AAAAA visits Lassiter, a 2-0 team that could get in the Top 10 with a victory between these East Cobb rivals. Lassiter won 24-9 last year and started 5-0, but the wheels came off in region play. … Central Gwinnett (2-0) gets a visit from Roswell (0-1). Central QB Jarren Williams has thrown for 645 yards and six touchdowns in two games. He’s committed to Kentucky. Central has not been ranked since 2006, but a win vs. Roswell might do the trick. … It’s hard for those Region 1 teams to get a fair opponent, but a couple found worthy locals this week. Tift County (2-0) is home to Glynn Academy. This is the first of seven straight games for Tift against teams that were in the preseason Top 10. Glynn (1-1) has since dropped out, but is still really good. The other six? You had to ask. They're all still ranked - Valdosta, Parkview, Coffee, Fitzgerald, Lowndes and Colquitt County. … The other Region 1 team playing a good local team is Camden County, which is host to Fitzgerald. That’s not really local. It’s a 125-mile drive for Fitzgerald. That’s closer to Camden than Moultrie, btw. Fitzgerald is No. 3 in Class AA. Camden, under first-year coach Bob Sphire, expects to win that one.