SOUTH AIKEN AT NORTH AUGUSTA
RECORDS: South Aiken 6-1, 1-0 Region 4-AAAA, North Augusta 7-0, 1-0
KEY PLAYERS: South Aiken-Sr. QB Cody Boynton, Sr. RB Chris Roberts, Sr. LB Reid Bolen. North Augusta-Sr. QB Landon Washington, Sr. RB Derius Gibson, Sr. ATH DeJuan Bell
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: This has been one of the most anticipated games of the year since the beginning of the season, and the hype has only increased with each week. The winner has the inside track to a region championship. It’s also a statement game for the area, as these two are receiving statewide attention. No. 4 North Augusta has one of the quickest offenses in the state and an opportunistic defense that will battle No. 5 South Aiken’s own high-flying offense. The Thoroughbreds won 30-20 last year for their first victory in the series in 10 years. Expect a lot of points and plenty of fireworks.
EVANS AT GROVETOWN
RECORDS: Evans 4-2, 1-0 Region 3-AAAAAA, Grovetown 4-3, 2-0
KEY PLAYERS: Evans-Sr. ATH Corey Watkins, Jr. QB Damekus Taylor, Sr. LB Dedric Lewis. Grovetown-Sr. RB D’Angelo Durham, Sr. FB/LB Greggory Rodgers, Sr. FB/LB Shamar Cofield
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: This matchup of county foes has major region implications. Grovetown is already off to a 2-0 start in Region 3-AAAAAA and is riding high after an overtime win against Heritage. A victory over Evans would put the Warriors in the driver’s seat. The Knights have plenty of their own momentum with an offense that’s clicking on all cylinders. The past two meetings have been close, including a 26-24 win for Evans a year ago.
JOSEY AT HARLEM
RECORDS: Josey 1-5, 0-3 Region 4-AA, Harlem 4-3, 2-2
KEY PLAYERS: Josey-Sr. WR/DB Myron Godbee, Jr. QB Dakale Fluellen, Sr. OL/DL Marco Brown. Harlem-Sr. OL Waylin Bell, Jr. RB A.J. Brown, Sr. LB Brendan Maddox
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Harlem is vying for its first playoff appearance since 2001 and is currently on track. A win against Josey would inch the Bulldogs even closer with two games left. Harlem is past its monster two-game slate against region frontrunners Screven County and Jefferson County, and its final three contests feature the bottom three teams in the standings. The series has always been back and forth, with Harlem winning by a point in 2013 and Josey winning 12-7 in the renewal last season.
BURKE COUNTY AT RICHMOND ACADEMY
RECORDS: Burke County 6-0, 1-0 Region 3-AAAA, Richmond Academy 3-3, 0-1
KEY PLAYERS: Burke County-Sr. OL Austin Milner, Sr. QB Bill Knight, Sr. LB Tyreke Washington. Richmond Academy-Sr. RB Malik Knowles, Jr. QB Mason Cobb, Sr. LB Terry Bland
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Burke County is rolling its way to an Oct. 27 showdown with Thomson. The seventh-ranked Bears have blown out every opponent so far with a powerful offense that’s produced more than 40 points in four of six games, including 68 last week against Cross Creek. Richmond Academy will have its hands full at home, but the Musketeers have shown signs of being a contender for a region seed. Burke County owns the series 11-5, including eight of the past 10.
AUGUSTA PREP AT JOHN MILLEDGE
RECORDS: Augusta Prep 6-1, 1-1 GISA Region 4-AAA, John Milledge 8-0, 2-0
KEY PLAYERS: Augusta Prep-Sr. RB/DB B.J. Stone, Sr. QB Will Dorn, Sr. OL/DL Hinson Fowler. John Milledge-Jr. QB Brandon Bellflower, Sr. RB Aulandreus Jackson, Sr. OL/DL Cameron Brown
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Augusta Prep’s tough region slate started with a loss to state runner-up Gatewood. Now, the Cavaliers will have to travel to state champion John Milledge. This is a matchup of GISA state contenders and will receive statewide recognition in the private ranks. Augusta Prep responded to its Gatewood loss by running over its next two opponents, while John Milledge has rolled to an 8-0 mark and looks as formidable as ever.