Aug. 25 Laney at Aquinas
The two renewed this matchup last year for the first time since 1975 and produced an early-season thriller when Irish kicker Crimmins Hankinson booted a 44-yard field goal as time expired to win. It was Aquinas’ first victory in six meetings and the first time the Irish even scored in the series. It should be another notable game between two of the area’s more respected programs.
Aug. 25 Evans at North Augusta
The two met last year for the first time since 2011 as the Yellow Jackets won 28-20. These two are looking for big seasons with a lot of talent between the two rosters, including big-time skill players on both sides.
Sept. 1 Washington County at Burke County
Neither team has won more than two in a row since the traditionally successful schools started the series in 1987. The Bears are looking to make it three straight after winning 38-0 last year. Burke County leads the series 7-5.
Sept. 22 Strom Thurmond at North Augusta
This high-flying, non-region rivalry has produced some memorable games, especially lately. After Strom Thurmond spoiled North Augusta’s turf debut in 2015, the Yellow Jackets exacted revenge at the Rebels’ home last year in a three-overtime thriller, 41-38. North Augusta brings the series back home looking for further revenge, but both teams again have serious talent.
Sept. 29 Lincoln County at Washington-Wilkes
“The 378 War” is one of the oldest and most intense rivalries in the area and state of Georgia. This chapter will be held in Washington, Ga., and the Tigers are looking to stop a three-game skid that includes a playoff loss to the Red Devils last season.
Aiken at South Aiken
The Thoroughbreds went into enemy territory last season and beat the rival Hornets 31-20 en route to a state semifinal appearance. Aiken historically owns the series but now enters attempting to play spoiler to an upstart South Aiken program.
Oct. 6 Lakeside at Greenbrier
The Panthers have won the past 10 meetings, but the Wolfpack are looking to build upon a 2016 season that produced their first winning record since 2003. Greenbrier nearly pulled off the upset last year, but Lakeside squeaked by with a 7-0 victory.
Oct. 6 Augusta Prep at Westminster
The Cavaliers have turned the tide within their program and in this series, reaching the playoffs the past two seasons and beating the Wildcats the past two attempts. Two years ago produced a double-overtime thriller in what’s become a hotly-contested matchup.
Oct. 13 Evans at Grovetown
This matchup has the potential to become one of the area’s best in a short amount of time. Both programs have improved greatly in recent years, and both are vying for a region championship this season. This meeting could be a big factor in that hunt. The Knights won a 26-24 thriller last year.
Oct. 13 South Aiken at North Augusta
South Aiken’s emergence is perhaps most felt in this meeting. The Thoroughbreds handled the Yellow Jackets 30-20 last year to help their push toward a region title. This matchup could help determine a region champion again.
Oct. 27 Aquinas at Lincoln County
This matchup has become one of the area’s best rivalries and should again result in a memorable game. The Irish have won the past four after losing 32 in a row from 1973-2012, but two of those wins were by a combined six points, including 34-30 last season.
Oct. 27 Thomson at Burke County
This rivalry boasts perhaps the most talent on one area field in a single Friday night. It’s been a tight contest in recent years and tends to determine a region champion. Last year’s region title game packed out The Brickyard, and the Bulldogs pulled out a 20-7 win en route to a state championship appearance.
Oct. 27 Evans at Lakeside
Columbia County’s most anticipated rivalry game often has big region implications, and this year should be no different. The Knights have won three of the past four and are vying for a region championship, while the Panthers are always a region contender.
Nov. 3 Jefferson County at Screven County
The Gamecocks boast perhaps the most talented roster in the area this year, and Region 4-AA should again come down to this late-season meeting. Screven County outlasted the Warriors 49-34 on the road for the region title last season. Expect a similar, memorable shootout.
Nov. 3 Laney at Josey
The highly-anticipated Richmond County rivalry has been one-sided for the past couple decades, and the Eagles haven’t even scored since 2010. But Josey is in the hunt for a playoff berth and Laney is rebuilding, giving the Eagles their best shot in many years.