The Middle Georgia high school football season has seen its share of big games this season, and there have been many exciting contests and highlight moments.
But the season really begins to heat up Friday night with a couple of big games as we head into the closing stretch.
The highlight game Friday pits Westside against Baldwin in Milledgeville in a contest that will help decide the GHSA Region 2-AAAA championship. Both teams are 3-0 in region play, and if Westside can win this week and then win again on the road next week against Perry, it will have a big leg up in the race. The Seminoles finish against Howard and Rutland, which are both winless in region play.
If Baldwin wins, it still has to play Mary Persons next week before finishing against West Laurens and Veterans. The Braves, however, have played a tough schedule already with non-region games against Peach County and Washington County, which should prepare them for the stretch run.
Also on the schedule: Westfield at Deerfield-Windsor. The Hornets are rolling at 6-0, but they run into a familiar road block with their trip to Albany. The Hornets are 13-15 all-time against the Knights, and Deerfield has won the past seven meetings.
Other games to watch: Houston County at Warner Robins, Northside at Jones County.
Thomson and Washington County are two of the best teams in Class AAA, but it just happens that theyre both in Region 3-AAA.
The Golden Hawks have cruised to a 7-0 record (Thomson is 7-0, as well), and they have beaten plenty of good teams to get there: Eagles Landing Christian, ECI, Baldwin and Laney make for a pretty tough non-region slate.
Also on the schedule: Bleckley County at Lamar County. Both teams are 3-0 in Region 4-AA and should be headed for a showdown. After a tie in their first game with head coach Franklin Stephens, the Trojans have found their groove, and they have allowed only 20 points in their past four games. The Royals have won four straight, and they have been dominant in their past three.
Other games to watch: Baldwin at Mary Persons, Westside at Perry, Wilkinson County at FPD and Tattnall Square at Stratford.
What a Friday this should be with two showcase games (if only one could be moved to Nov. 9). It should make for a terrific, exciting Friday as teams gear up for the playoffs, which wont be far behind.
Middle Georgias top rivalry (and one of the best in the state overall) takes center stage at McConnell-Talbert Stadium as Northside and Warner Robins face off. Both teams are streaking through their regular seasons (Northside is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 2-AAAAA, while Warner Robins is 5-1 and 3-0), and both should remain undefeated in region play heading to their game. Last year, both teams reached the semifinals and were a couple of plays away from playing each other for a state title. Something similar could happen this season as these two programs continue their winning ways with a high level of play. Warner Robins leads the all-time series 33-21, but Northside has won 11 of the past 14 meetings.
The other showcase game is Carver-Columbus at Peach County, which is definitely the game of the year in Region 2-AAA. The Trojans are 35-1 in the regular season since the start of the 2008 season, and they have won the previous four meetings in this series.
Other games to watch: Houston County at Jones County, John Milledge at Gatewood.
The Aquinas Fighting Irish and FPD Vikings close the season against each other in Region 7-A as they gear up for the private school portion of the Class A playoffs.
The Irish are among the leaders in the power rating, which will determine the playoff teams, and FPD is right there in the top 10, as well. This game will help solidify both teams spots in the playoff field.
Other games to watch: Grovetown at Jones County, Northside at Evans, Lakeside-Evans at Warner Robins, West Laurens at Mary Persons, Mount de Sales at Tattnall Square, Westminster at Stratford
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org