Unbeaten Jefferson County, Washington County to meet this Friday

Washington County would have liked to enjoy its win against a
No. 1-ranked team, maybe even with a bye week or an overmatched foe.


Instead, the Golden Hawks will have an unbeaten matchup two games in a row.

One week after beating Class AA’s then-No. 1 team in Lovett, the Golden Hawks begin region play at home against 6-0 Jefferson County on Friday night.

Washington County is ranked third in Class AAA while the Warriors aren’t far behind at No. 5.

“It’s the world in which we live in and the schedule we play,” Golden Hawks coach Joel Ingram said. “We go from big game to bigger game. We haven’t had a chance to really think about the win. We turn right around and play over the county line – a rival. There are huge implications: we’re both undefeated and it’s a big region game. It doesn’t get any more serious in terms of implications with it.”

Washington County was in a similar spot last season. On Oct. 26, 2012, the Golden Hawks were at home against Thomson. Both teams were 8-0 and ranked in the top three of Class AAA. The Bulldogs picked up a 28-14 win.

Almost a year later, the Golden Hawks (5-0) get another chance. They got to this point by routing the likes of Emanuel County Institute, Baldwin and Laney. After this past week’s 36-33 overtime win against Lovett, Washington County is averaging 47 points per game. Quarterback A.J. Gray and running back Melvin Hill are two of the stars, with Hill coming off a 200-yard game against the Lions.

“They’re beating good football teams to death,” Jefferson County coach J.B. Arnold said. “They’re scoring a million points on everybody.”

Jefferson County, which has picked up notable wins against Fitzgerald and Baldwin, counters with Will Jordan and Car’Tabius Quarterman and a swarming
defense that allows only 7.5 points per game.

Arnold said it’s imperative that the Warriors win time of possession.

But no matter which team wins, this game should have both even more prepared for any future playoff games down the road.

“It’s stressful but rewarding,” Ingram said. “You’re playing in a game that matters this late, with both teams playing so well. I’m just excited that we’re fortunate to be playing in a game of this magnitude.”