Forsyth Central at Kennesaw Mountain
When, where: Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Cobb EMC Mustang Stadium.
Records, rankings: Kennesaw Mountain is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 3-7A and unranked in Class 7A; Central is 0-4, 0-0 in Region 5-7A and unranked.
Series history: Central leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Central won 32-17 in 2016.
What to know: The Bulldogs have been getting closer, at least. They began the season by getting shut out in the first two games, but a tight loss to Meadowcreek in week three was a source of hope, and an 42-41 overtime loss to Duluth last week was another encouraging sign, albeit a particularly agonizing one. Kennesaw Mountain is part of what looks like a very strong Region 3-7A this year, and the Mustangs can put points on the board. They’re averaging almost 43 points this year, led by quarterback Jarrett Guest and his 64.8 completion percentage and running back Keyon Brooks, who has averaged 136 yards per game. Kennesaw Mountain doesn’t appear to have a particularly stout defense – they gave up 77 points to Woodstock on Sept. 8 – the Central will hope that running back Devran Orsan can emulate the 182-yard performance he had against Duluth.
Covenant Academy at Horizon Christian
When, where: Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Cumming
Records, rankings: Horizon is 0-5 and 0-0 in GICAA Division II North; Covenant is 3-2 and 0-2 in GICAA Division II West
Last meeting: Horizon lost 47-0 in 2013.
What to know: Horizon’s difficulties on offense continued last week, as the Warriors scored just seven points for the third straight week, but they also held Skipstone Academy to 26 points, their lowest point total allowed this year. Covenant looks like a solid squad, but is no juggernaut this year. The Rams are coming off two straight losses: a 33-14 defeat against Calvary Christian and a 14-7 defeat to Griffin Christian.
Lambert at Wheeler
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Corky Kell Stadium in Marietta.
Records, rankings: Lambert is 1-3 overall, 0-0 in Region 5-7A and unranked in Class 7A; Wheeler is 2-2, 0-0 in Region 2 and unranked.
Series history: Lambert leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Lambert won 38-35 in 2016.
What to know: For the second straight season, Lambert finds itself 1-3 going into its final non-region game. Last year, the Longhorns held off a Wheeler fourth-quarter comeback attempt for a 38-35 victory. Lambert went on to win its first region championship in program history. The Longhorns have taken a step back offensively from last season, averaging 280.3 yards and 11.8 points a game, but consider they have the second-best strength of schedule among the county’s Region 5-7A teams, according to MaxPreps. Wheeler’s schedule strength is rated even better, probably based off games against Marietta (3-1) and Walton (4-0), but the Wildcats were dominated in those games 52-0 and 44-10, respectively. Lambert would love a dose of momentum going into the bye week that precedes a match-up against rival South Forsyth on Oct. 6.
Woodstock at North Forsyth
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Raider Valley in Coal Mountain.
Records, rankings: Woodstock is 2-2 overall, 0-0 in Region 4-7A and unranked in Class 7A; North Forsyth is 3-1, 0-0 in Region 5 and unranked.
Series history: Woodstock leads 3-0.
Last meeting: Woodstock won 35-3 in 2016.
What to know: The Raiders are coming off one of the most prolific offensive performances in program history in their 58-35 win at Pickens. North had 659 yards of total offense, led by running back Bryson Trigg’s school-record 242 rushing yards with four touchdowns, and its 58 points were the second most by North in a game. Now, the Raiders take on a Woodstock team capable of putting up similar production on offense, though you wouldn’t know it by the Wolverines’ 34-0 loss to North Paulding last week. Just the week before, Woodstock set a school-record for points in a game in a 77-49 win against Kennesaw Mountain. So which Woodstock will North encounter? For comparison, West Forsyth handled Woodstock, 31-14, on Aug. 18 in both teams’ season-openers.
Mount Pisgah at Pinecrest Academy
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., Between the Pines in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Mount Pisgah is 3-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 6-1A, Div. B and unranked in Class 1A; Pinecrest is 0-3, 0-0 and unranked.
Series record: Mount Pisgah leads 4-3.
Last meeting: Pinecrest won 17-14 in 2016.
What to know: Pinecrest seems to be suffering early-game woes this season. In losses to South Forsyth (56-10), Discovery (24-0) and Walker (35-13), the Paladins have gotten behind early and been unable to recover. The common refrain from first-year head coach Terance Mathis has been similar to his comments after last week’s loss to Walker, in which Pinecrest fell behind 35-0 but scored the final 13 points of the game: “As an offensive coordinator, you don’t have plays for being 21 (points) down.” Should they fall behind early against Mount Pisgah, the Paladins will be hard-pressed to mount a comeback. The Patriots are averaging 37.5 points a game and are surely eager for revenge of last season’s loss to Pinecrest on a field goal as time expired.
Lassiter at South Forsyth
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at War Eagle Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Lassiter is 4-0, 0-0 in Region 4-7A and ranked No. 10 in Class 7A; South is 4-0, 0-0 in Region 5 and ranked No. 4.
Series record: Lassiter leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Lassiter won 35-21 in 2016.
What to know: This marks the second straight season these teams have met while ranked in the top 10, but last season’s meeting didn’t go so well for South: the Trojans jumped out to a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back. Just like last season, the War Eagles are coming off an emotional victory against South Gwinnett in which Cal Morris’ 75-yard touchdown run with under 2 minutes left in the game proved the difference. An intriguing match-up will be South’s receiving corps of Ryan Pontrelli, Zevian Capers and Carson Hepworth against Lassiter’s two Division I recruits in the secondary in safety Derrick Allen (Notre Dame) and cornerback Christian Jackson (Michigan State). A win would have South off to a 5-0 start for the second time in three seasons.
West Forsyth at Newnan
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Drake Stadium in Newnan.
Records, rankings: West is 3-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 5-7A and unranked in Class 7A; Newnan is 1-3, 0-0 in Region 2 and unranked.
Series record: West leads 1-0.
Last meeting: West won 26-21 in 2016.
What to know: West is coming off one of the more peculiar games of the season. Seemingly lost for three quarters against Dacula last week, the Wolverines flipped a 9-0 deficit into a 15-9 victory. So continues another impressive run through a strong non-region slate for West; the Wolverines’ strength of schedule is the highest among Forsyth County teams, according to MaxPreps. Newnan would normally add to that, except the Cougars seem to be in transition under first-year head coach Chip Walker, who led Sandy Creek to state titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Newnan ended a three-game skid to start the season with a 42-14 win against Class 2A’s Washington-Atlanta. Otherwise, the Cougars have faced stiff competition from Carrollton (3-0), Starr’s Mill (4-0) and Etowah.