Oct. 23 becomes big day: With Mary Persons and Veterans emerging as the two remaining unbeaten teams in GHSA Region 2-AAAA, eyes turn to their Oct. 23 meeting in Perry. Veterans claimed a very meaningful 14-7 win over defending region champion West Laurens on Friday, coming up with a big defensive stop, while Mary Persons pulled away in the second half for a 47-21 win over Howard. Neither team has it particularly easy in the interim, with Veterans taking on south county rival Perry and Mary Persons hosting a talented one-loss Upson-Lee squad.
Region 2-AAAA is getting tighter (rerun): Now we know that Veterans is a player in the title race, and we know early. Perry is now all but out of playoff contention, and suddenly Howard is in must-win mode with games left against Upson-Lee, Veterans and Baldwin, the latter of whom could be all but knocked out with a loss this week at West Laurens.
Bad break for Howard: JaQwun Stinson’s upcoming knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus takes away a big piece of a Howard team that got off to the best start in program history. Not only do the Huskies lose their top running back for 4-6 weeks, but they also lose their punter and a player who sometimes steps in at linebacker. He could return for the playoffs, but Howard (5-2, 1-2 GHSA Region 2-AAAA) likely will need to win at least two of its final three games in a very competitive region to get there.
More D in Dodge County: The Indians keep bowing up when the other team has the ball. Appling County managed three points, the fifth opponent that has failed to crack double figures. Dodge County has given up 53 points this season.
So much for the showdown: Westfield treated its trip to Eatonton like a home game, thumping Gatewood in the GISA Region 4-AAA battle of region unbeatens with a 35-0 romp. The Hornets have all but clinched the region title, and remain the odds-on state favorite again.
Test time for Southwest: After getting blown out last week by Spencer, Southwest bounced back with a 39-21 win over Rutland to climb back to .500 in GHSA Region 2-AAA play and overall. Making the playoffs is still a possibility for Southwest, but it likely will take a win Friday over Central in order to move into position. A loss to Central, and Southwest would have to beat Jackson and/or Westside to have any shot.
Polls shall change: Thanks to Glynn Academy’s 14-7 win at Ware County, Houston County will move up to No. 2 in the Georgia Sports Writers Association poll while No. 7 Jones County might move up a spot, just in time for the Bears and Greyhounds to tangle in Gray on Friday.
Title at hand, perhaps: With their wins Friday, Stratford and Twiggs County set up a battle for sole possession of first place in GHSA Region 7A-A. They meet Friday at Stratford, and the winner will gain the inside track to earning a spot in the Nov. 6 region title game.
And then there were five: Two of them were off on Friday, so Northside and Houston County remained undefeated. Still with the Eagles and Bears with perfect records in GHSA play: Mary Persons, Dodge County and Fitzgerald.
-- Telegraph Staff