Five games to watch

STROM THURMOND  AT NORTH AUGUSTA

 

RECORDS: Strom Thurmond 3-1, North Augusta 4-0

KEY PLAYERS: Strom Thurmond-Sr. DE Tre Moore, Sr. WR/LB Tyrek Williams, Sr. RB Jaquan Edwards. North Augusta-Sr. WR/DB DeJuan Bell, Sr. QB Landon Washington, Sr. RB Derius Gibson

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: North Augusta typically has the upper hand in this rivalry series, but never count out Strom Thurmond. The Rebels took the Yellow Jackets to triple overtime last year before falling, and they ruined North Augusta’s turf debut in 2015. North Augusta is rolling at 4-0 with large margins of victory behind a trio of playmakers on offense and a stingy defense. Strom Thurmond will have its hands full, but the Rebels have a strong ground game and physical defense.

GATEWOOD AT AUGUSTA PREP

RECORDS: Gatewood 5-0, Augusta Prep 4-0

KEY PLAYERS: Gatewood-Sr. RB Brandon Belans, Sr. WR Jake Turner, Sr. QB Reid Sasser. Augusta Prep-Sr. RB/DB B.J. Stone, Sr. OL/DL Hinson Fowler, Sr. WR/DB/K Palmer Bachelder

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Augusta Prep’s biggest test so far comes in the form of Gatewood, a fellow undefeated team that reached the GISA Class AAA state championship game last season. Gatewood relies on a punishing option offense with Belans starring at running back. Augusta Prep is firing on all cylinders right now, and this will be a good gauge for the senior-laden program. The Cavaliers knocked off the Gators in this meeting a year ago.

FOX CREEK AT​ MIDLAND VALLEY

RECORDS: Fox Creek 2-2, Midland Valley 0-4

KEY PLAYERS: Fox Creek-Sr. OL Dalton Barnes, Sr. DL Jaylen Davis, Jr. QB Cam Mitchem. Midland Valley-Sr. OL/DL Tyrese Cohen, Sr. RB/DB Raekwon Jackson, Sr. WR/DB Will Sheehan

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: A young Fox Creek team took a step forward with a win over Crescent last week, but consistency remains the challenge. The Predators will look to establish that against a struggling Midland Valley team looking for its first win. Both teams like to throw from the spread, with Mitchem producing for Fox Creek and Tanner White leading Midland Valley. Expect plenty of points in this matchup.

GROVETOWN AT​ RICHMOND ACADEMY

RECORDS: Grovetown 1-3, Richmond Academy 3-1

KEY PLAYERS: Grovetown-Sr. RB/DB D’Angelo Durham, Sr. QB Taylor Youngblood, Sr. FB/LB Greggory Rodgers II. Richmond Academy-Jr. QB Mason Cobb, Sr. RB Malik Knowles, Sr. LB Terry Bland

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Grovetown has more talent than the record indicates because of a tough nonregion schedule, while Richmond Academy is off to its best start in years. The Warriors are still trying to find their groove on offense with Youngblood and Durham leading the way. The Musketeers found theirs from the beginning behind Knowles. This game has been close the past couple years, including a 14-13 Grovetown victory a year ago, and this meeting could again be a tight one.

SCREVEN COUNTY AT LANEY

RECORDS: Screven County 3-0, Laney 0-4

KEY PLAYERS: Screven County-Sr. FB/DL C.J. Wright, Sr. WR Tyquan Johnson, Sr. LB Kashawn Robinson. Laney-Sr. QB/DB Mario Sumpter, Jr. RB/LB Jarvis Washington, Sr. WR/DB Jalen Lovett

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Screven County is well on its way to contending for a region and possibly state title. The Gamecocks boast one of the most talented rosters in the area and have rolled to three routs so far while eyeing the Nov. 3 matchup with Jefferson County. Laney will have its hands full here after giving up 65 points to Jefferson County last week to fall to 0-4.

 

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