The final week of the prep football regular season has arrived, with playoff implications and region standings positioning still on the line in games Nov. 8.
Lovett hosts Westminster in the 32nd edition of the local rivalry of two programs that are separated by less than three miles.
Cedar Grove has already secured the Region 5AAA title, but the winner of the Lions-Wildcats game will host a first-round contest in the Class 3A playoffs.
Lovett earned a 21-14 region win at Pace Oct 18. Blaine McAllister finished the night with 146 total yards and two touchdowns for the Lions. Henry Beery had a team-high 72 rushing yards, while Stevie Bracey posted a game-high 11 tackles for Lovett’s defense.
“It was a really good game,” Lions coach Mike Muschamp said. “Both teams played well, I thought. It’s always a physical game when we play Pace, and Friday night was another one of those 48-minute physical struggles. I was proud of the way our kids responded to the adversity we faced early in the game.”
Westminster picked up a 45-6 region home win against Redan Oct. 25. Underclassmen shined for the Wildcats, including sophomore Andrew Dotson, who rushed for a career-high 107 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomores connected on a Westminster big play as Denton Shamburger threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Holden Staes. Sophomore Robert Clarke and freshman Quinton Ezzard each had TD runs for the Wildcats, who finished the night with 331 yards on the ground.
“Another great team win and an example of players stepping up when others are injured,” Westminster assistant coach Joe Sturniolo said. “This is exactly what the younger players practice for all season. It's hard to practice all week and not always get much playing time on Friday nights. But each of the younger players was prepared to step into a leading role and perform well because of the preparation they have done since we started practice in July.”
North Atlanta kept itself in playoff contention with a 49-21 win at Dunwoody in Region 7AAAAAA play Oct. 25. T.K. Mack rushed for 251 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors. Wiley Hartley amassed 213 total yards and three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing, for North Atlanta. Tre’ Mason and Josh Brown each had TD catches on offense, while Sterling Fleury posted a team-high 10 tackles.
North Atlanta hosts Chattahoochee in its regular-season finale. The Warriors won the 2018 contest 46-41.
Riverwood stayed undefeated through its first eight games and atop the Region 6AAAAA standings with its 28-7 win at rival North Springs Oct. 25. Avery Smith threw for a game-high 246 yards and two touchdown passes to Donovan Logan in the win. Logan finished the night with a game-high 135 receiving yards. Elijah Kirby and Tyler Rowe each had a TD run on offense, while Zach Cigelske intercepted two passes on defense for the Raiders.
“North Springs is our neighboring school, so it was good to get that win,” Riverwood coach Robert Edwards said. “We started slow and North Springs had a great game plan for us. We settled down, and, as usual, the defense raised its play to stop them from scoring another touchdown after that first one.”
The Raiders host Jackson (Atlanta) in their next contest. Riverwood leads the all-time series 9-2 including a 40-7 win in 2018.
North Springs concludes its regular season at Lithia Springs. The Spartans have won all three previous meetings, including a 49-27 victory in 2018.
Holy Innocents’ also kept its record unblemished through eight games with a 41-7 win at Trinity Christian Oct 25. Matt Davis rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one passing, for the Golden Bears. He completed both passing attempts. Michael Cox had 177 rushing yards and three touchdowns on offense, while William Willis had nine tackles and a sack on defense for Holy Innocents’.
“Once again our offensive and defensive lines played very well and controlled the line of scrimmage,” Golden Bears coach Todd Winter said. “Our secondary was excellent as well in controlling a team that threw on 73% of their snaps entering the game. Winning the region championship is important in seeding and earning a bye (in the) first round. We have put ourselves in a great position to accomplish both. Now we need to finish.”
Holy Innocents’ hosts Our Lady of Mercy. The Golden Bears won the 2018 contest 58-0 and lead the lifetime series 6-2.
Staying in the same region, Wesleyan won its sixth game on the season with its 45-7 victory at Landmark Christian Oct. 25. J.C. French threw for 275 yards with four touchdowns. Micah Smith had a big evening with four catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns on offense and returned an interception 63 yards for a TD as well. The Wolves took command of the contest with 28 points in the third quarter.
Wesleyan visits Trinity in its next game. The Wolves won the lone lifetime meeting of the two programs 17-10 in 2018.
Rounding out the action in Region 5A will be Mount Vernon visiting Strong Rock. The Mustangs shut out region foe Our Lady of Mercy on the road 41-0 Oct. 25.
“Great team win and anytime you can take teenagers on the road and find a way to win a region game is big,” Mount Vernon coach Wayne Dabbs said. “So we are proud of our team, and we look forward to getting back to work this week with our players.”
Marist kept its record undefeated through nine games with a 27-0 win at Flowery Branch on Oct. 25 in Region 7AAAA play. Connor Cigelske had 283 total yards and three rushing touchdowns for the War Eagles. He also threw a nine-yard TD pass to Derek McDonald.
“We played well versus Flowery Branch,” Marist coach Alan Chadwick said. “Anytime you shut out a quality opponent like flowery Branch you have done a good night’s work. Our defense stood up with a goal line stand to help preserve the shutout.” The War Eagles await their first-round opponent in the Class 4A playoffs.
Woodward defeated Salem 42-20 in Region 4AAAA play Oct. 25 to stay perfect through eight games. Damari Alston rushed for 116 yards in the victory. The War Eagles visit Luella and have won all three previous meetings between the two programs, including a 45-6 victory in 2018.
St. Pius X defeated Madison County 14-7 Oct. 25 in a Region 8AAAA contest. The Golden Lions visited Stephens County in its regular-season finale for a spot in the Class 4A playoffs.
Whitefield stayed undefeated in Region 6A play with its 42-7 home win over Walker Oct. 25. Ayden Duncanson had 192 total yards and four touchdowns, two rushing and two passing, in the victory. The WolfPack will play in a region crossover game before opening the Class A Private state playoffs Nov. 15.
Game of the Week
Game: Lovett Lions vs. Westminster Wildcats
Date: Nov. 8
Last meeting: Lovett 34, Westminster 28 (Nov. 2, 2018)
All-time series: Westminster leads 19-12