The showdown on Friday night between No. 3 Kell and No. 5 Carrollton will either settle matters in Region 7 or leave things in complete disarray.
Kell (6-1, 5-0) could essentially sew up the region championship with a win. Although the Longhorns still have games remaining with Hiram (4-4) and Woodland (0-8), a win would mean Kell had prevailed against the two other powers in the classification’s toughest league.
However, if Carrollton (6-1, 4-1) can hold serve and win at home, the league would very likely finish in a three-way tie. Rome (5-2, 4-1) is the other member of the triumvirate; the Wolves lost to Kell and defeated Carrollton.
Both teams are led by good quarterbacks. Carrollton’s Mark Wright has grown into the job and has rushed for 983 yards and 11 touchdowns. Kell’s John Lampley has thrown for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 299 yards and six touchdowns.
The Carrollton running game features freshman Mecose Todd (505 yards, 10 TDs) and Jaylan Thomas (457 yards, five TDs). The Carrollton defense is led by Reid Dedman, who has 29 tackles, 4.5 sacks, five hurries and three forced fumbles.
Kell’s top runners are Josiah Futral (426 yards, four TDs) and Dre Houston (315 yards, two touchdowns). The Longhorns have 24 sacks, with Ismail Dabdoub getting seven and Jamontae Holt getting 5.5. Tennessee commit Solon Page III leads the team with 82 tackles, 14 for loss.
Kell has won the only two meetings between the two schools, both of them coming in the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic. The Longhorns won 35-0 in 2015 at the Georgia Dome.
Other top games scheduled this weekend:
Whitewater at Riverdale: This is the biggest game this week in Region 3 and will either throw the league into a tizzy or further establish Riverdale as a legitimate contender.
Riverdale (6-1, 3-0) is currently leading the region, but closes with the three toughest opponents. The Raiders have won four straight since falling at No. 5 Carrollton. Riverdale’s explosive offense is led by quarterback Joseph Cambridge, who has thrown for 1,549 yards and 19 touchdowns and run for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Riverdale is averaging 36.5 points.
Whitewater (5-2, 2-1) knocked off Starr’s Mill, which a week earlier had beaten Griffin. The Wildcats are led offensively by running back Isaiah Montgomery, who has rushed for 595 yards and nine touchdowns, and quarterback Stone Kasten, who has thrown for 496 yards and seven touchdowns.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Ola at Jones County: Jones County (4-3, 4-1) still has a chance to earn a piece of the Region 4 title, but it can’t afford to slip up against Ola (4-3, 3-2), which is coming off a must-win decision over Locust Grove.
Quarterback Bradley Hunnicutt has thrown for 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns for Jones County. His strong corps of receivers is led by Nick Singleton, who has 27 catches and three touchdowns.
Ola is more balanced offensively, but leans heavily on junior running back Chris Rodriguez, who has rushed for 1,057 yards and 15 touchdowns. Bryce Lawrence has thrown for 804 yards and two touchdowns.
Jones County has won the only two meetings between the two schools, the last coming in 2011.
Lithonia vs. SW DeKalb (Godfrey): These two are part of a three-way tie atop Region 5. Lithonia (3-4, 2-0) and Southwest DeKalb (4-3, 2.-0) both have games remaining with No. 8 Arabia Mountain.
Lithonia quarterback Rob Hatchett has thrown for 1,301 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Rayshad Baldwin has rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Keyshawn Garrett has 6.5 sacks and a team-leading 61 tackles.
Southwest DeKalb quarterback Justin Tomlin is coming off a 257-yard passing effort against Miller Grove, which included three touchdowns. Calvin Scott ran for 100 yards in the win.
Southwest DeKalb leads the series 12-2 and has won the last five meetings. They last played in 2011, with SWD prevailing 16-9.
Carver at Banneker: Unless Banneker can upset Grady in the final game, this contest could determine the No. 2 spot in Region 6 and a first-round home playoff game. Carver lost 41-6 to No. 7 Grady three weeks ago.
Carver (5-2, 3-1) has put up some impressive offensive numbers. The Panthers averages 335.9 yards rushing and 191.4 yards passing. Quarterback Octavious Battle has thrown for 1,332 yards and eight touchdowns and run for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Quentin Gates has rushed for 1,029 yards and five touchdowns and freshman Joquavious Marks has rushed for 540 yards and four touchdowns.
Banneker (5-2, 4-0) has won four straight since region play began. The Trojans are led by quarterback Dionte Bonneau, who has thrown for 563 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns. Gary Benton Jr. has rushed for 352 yards and Jeremiah Roberts has run for 271 yards and eight TDs.
Carver has won all four meetings between the two schools and prevailed 40-7 in 2015.
North Springs at Riverwood: Consider this a likely elimination game for these North Fulton rivals. The winner will remain in playoff contention, the loser will be out.
North Springs (4-3, 2-2) is coming off a 54-6 loss to Grady. Quarterback Rees Vierson has thrown for 1,453 yards and 13 touchdowns, but has been intercepted 10 times. Justin Ruiz leads the team in rushing with 566 yards and nine touchdowns.
Riverwood (3-4, 2-2) was beaten 37-16 by Carver last week. The Raiders are led by a group of running backs led by Tre Young, Reese White and Kyle Fletcher and senior quarterback Brennen Suttle.
North Springs leads the series 22-13-1 and won last year’s game 48-0. North Springs has won five of the last six meetings.