Lambert at Milton
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Milton.
Records, rankings: Lambert is 3-5 and unranked in Class 7A; Milton is 6-2 and unranked in Class 7A.
Series history: Milton leads the series 2-0.
Last meeting: Milton won 34-10 in 2017.
What to know: Lambert looked okay coming out of the non-region schedule, with a 3-2 record and a few competitive losses, but the Longhorns’ fortunes have tanked since then. They just can’t score enough, and while their defense is certainly good, with stalwart linebackers in Nathan Smith and Chris Taylor and one of the county’s most talented defensive ends in Gallil Guillaume, it isn’t good enough to carry the Longhorns to sustainable success. Milton, meanwhile, is still very good. It looks more and more like the Eagles’ 41-0 blasting of West in the opening week of region play was a strange outlier for both teams, but comfortable wins over South and Central also show that Milton gets it done even without a ton of things breaking their way.
North Forsyth at West Forsyth
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at The Den in Cumming.
Records, rankings: North is 3-5 and unranked in Class 7A; West is 3-5 and unranked in Class 7A.
Series history: West leads the series 8-2.
Last meeting: West won 35-16 in 2017.
What to know: The good vibes from North’s win over Lambert extended to the first half of the Raiders’ game last week against South, in which they led 24-7 at one point. Alas, South’s bigger, more experienced defense made the sufficient adjustments to slow the Raiders, and North couldn’t do the same to War Eagles running back Jordan Brunson in an eventual 35-34 South win. They now meet a West team on a roll, with a group of skill position players that keep showing big-play potential, a defense that has allowed 16 points combined over the last two games, and a sophomore quarterback in Drew Southern who keeps getting more comfortable.
South Forsyth at Forsyth Central
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings: South is 5-3 and unranked in Class 7A; Central is 5-3 and unranked in Class 7A.
Series history: South leads the series 14-5-1.
Last meeting: South won 43-10 in 2017.
What to know: A loss last week would have been brutal for the War Eagles’ hopes at hosting a state playoff game, but their comeback over North kept that alive and most likely made next week’s matchup at West Forsyth into the pivotal one. How dramatic! By the transitive property, this game could be tricky for the War Eagles, as Central beat North, which came as close as humanly possible to be beating South. That only works in math class, though: The Raiders team South faced was much, much different than the one that opened the region schedule, and while this Central squad is much improved over the one that the War Eagles beat down last year, it’s still a ways behind.
Pinecrest Academy vs. Mount Paran Christian
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., Between the Pines in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Pinecrest 4-4 and unranked in Class 1A; Mount Paran is 6-2 and unranked in Class 1A.
Series history: Mount Paran leads the series 4-1.
Last meeting: Mount Paran won 41-7 in 2017.
What to know: Pinecrest’s win last week over King’s Ridge Christian helped the Paladins’ playoff hopes, but not by much. The Tigers’ moribund record meant it was only enough to bump the Paladins up to 23rd in the Class 1A-Private power rankings, with 24 teams making the bracket. They’ll still probably be sweating it out after this week, too, because beating Mount Paran here would be a considerable upset. The Eagles seem to have regressed a touch from last year’s 10-2 record, but they’re still a formidable opponent.