Unsure of what game you want to attend this week? Here are our four feature match-ups from around Middle Georgia with staff picks from Justin Baxley and Hayes Rule.
Veterans (8-1) vs. Warner Robins (7-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Warner Robins
Story of the game: This Veterans team has been the surprise of the entire season. The Warhawks come into the game fresh off a 31-27 win over Thomas County Central.
This game took a big turn this week when Warner Robins was forced to forfeit its 41-0 win over Harris County after using an ineligible player. This obviously impacts the region race as Bainbridge now has a shot to win the region with a win and a Warner Robins loss.
If Warner Robins wins, it will grab the region title by virtue of the tiebreaker over Bainbridge.
If Veterans wins, then it will also need Bainbridge to lose due to tiebreakers. The Warhawks can’t finish lower than third in the region, while Warner Robins could drop down to fourth as Harris County would now own a tiebreaker over the Demons.
Keys to the game for Veterans: Hand that ball to Cyrus Zuell. He is the workhorse of this offense. He already has over 1,000 yards rushing this season. If the Warhawks can control the time of possession and the line of scrimmage, they will win this ball game.
Keys to the game for Warner Robins: The Demons love to sling the ball around the field and for good reason. The quarterback for Warner Robins, Dylan Fromm, is arguably the best in Middle Georgia. He has almost 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. The big thing for the Demons is to take advantage of its possessions if Zuell is able to control the clock for the Warhawks.
Staff picks: Justin pick: Warner Robins ; Hayes pick: Warner Robins
Fan pick: Veterans
Jones County (8-1) vs. Stockbridge (8-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Jones County
Story of the game: Jones comes into the game off of a 42-3 win over Ola. Stockbridge comes in off of a bounce back win over Woodland following a 21-14 loss to Dutchtown. This game is more about playoff seeding than the region title as Dutchtown owns the tiebreaker over both teams.
Keys to the game for Jones County: The key for Jones is simple: stop the run. Stockbridge likes to run the football. If Jones County can force them into throwing situations then it should win the game. On the offensive side of the ball the key will be getting quarterback Hunter Costlow rolling. He is one of the best quarterbacks in Middle Georgia for a reason.
Keys to the game for Stockbridge: This game could turn into a time of possession battle if Stockbridge can string together long drives with its running game. The Tigers do not want to get into 3rd and long situations. The key will be getting four to five yards on first down and a couple more on second down to make third down as easy as possible.
Staff picks: Justin pick: Jones County ; Hayes pick: Stockbridge
Fan pick: Stockbridge
Mary Persons (9-0) vs. Howard (6-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Mary Persons
Story of the game: Mary Persons picked up a 40-3 win over Perry last week. The Bulldogs haven’t really been tested this season in the region. It looks as though Mary Persons has all but wrapped up this region barring a lot of things going Howard’s way, including grabbing a win over the Bulldogs.
Keys to the game for Mary Persons: If the Bulldogs can establish a balanced attack like it has the last few weeks, then they will likely grab the win. Mary Persons is looking to go undefeated and there is only the best Howard team in school history in the way. Expect to see a lot of running back Quen Wilson.
Keys to the game for Howard: This season has already been successful for the Huskies. This is arguably the best season in school history and win over Mary Persons would end any arguments. The key for them is the stout run defense that Howard has used all season to pick up wins. Stopping Quen Wilson is basically impossible but the Huskies can slow him down enough for them to grab the win.
Staff picks: Justin pick: Mary Persons ; Hayes pick: Mary Persons
Fan pick: Mary Persons
Peach County (7-2) vs. Westside (7-2)
8 p.m. Friday at Peach County
Story of the game: Both teams are riding five game win streaks. Both are 5-0 in the region. This one is for all the marbles. Whoever wins this one also wins the region.
Keys to the game for Peach County: The Trojans are very balanced on offense. Peach County has a running-back-by-committee approach as it has multiple guys who are game breakers at the position. The key to beat Westside will be the defense though, as you can expect the offense to fire on all cylinders.
Keys to the game for Westside: This game could turn into a high scoring affair. The offenses are both good and can take advantage of a defense. For Westside the key should be getting a balanced attack going early on offense. The Seminoles have a lot of talent on that side of the ball.
Staff picks: Justin pick: Peach County; Hayes pick: Westside
Fan pick: Peach County