Milton at Forsyth Central
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Bulldogs Stadium in Cumming.
Records, rankings: Milton is 5-2, 1-1 and unranked; Central is 0-7 overall, 0-2 in Region 5-7A and unranked in Class 7A.
Series history: Milton leads 14-3.
Last meeting: Milton won 45-0 in 2016.
What to know: Forsyth Central is still seeking its first win of 2017, and Milton doesn't look like the ideal candidate for the Bulldogs. The Eagles lost to South Forsyth last week, but they made the War Eagles look more mortal than most teams have this year, shutting them out in the second half and keeping the game competitive well into the fourth quarter. At the very least, Central is coming off a game with decent offensive production, as the Bulldogs put up 19 points on West Forsyth in the second half of their 38-19 loss last week. Tailback Devran Orsan has continued to be a reliable scoring threat, running in two touchdowns against the Wolverines.
West Forsyth at Lambert
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at The Horn in Suwanee.
Records, rankings: West is 5-2 overall, 1-1 in Region 5-7A and unranked in Class 7A; Lambert is 2-5, 0-2 and unranked.
Series history: Lambert leads 4-1.
Last meeting: Lambert won 17-7 in 2016.
What to know: Heading into region play at an unremarkable 2-3 isn't an unprecedented scenario for Lambert — in fact, the Longhorns did that last year. But while 2016 saw them enact a turnaround that led to a region title, that looks like a nearly impossible task for Louis Daniel's squad this year. West seems to have claimed a place among the four top teams in the region, with a close loss to Milton and a romp over Forsyth Central, and the Wolverines' new-look offense under head coach Shawn Cahill and offensive coordinator Chad Davenport seems to have found a consistent look. West has come to rely on senior quarterback Zach Burns to make plays on the ground, whether they be scrambles, designed runs or option looks, and is utilizing the talents of Vanderbilt commit Ben Bresnahan in diverse ways: In the passing game, in direct snap packages for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end and, as fans saw last week, even in trick plays where Bresnahan throws the ball.
South Forsyth at North Forsyth
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Raider Valley in Cumming.
Records, rankings: South is 6-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 5-7A and ranked No. 4 in Class 7A; North is 5-2, 2-0 and unranked.
Series history: South leads 13-6.
Last meeting: South won 42-7 in 2016.
What to know: North's season-ending skid last year started with blowing a first-half lead to Lambert and then went straight into a ditch when the Raiders fell 42-7 to the War Eagles. The Raiders have already avenged that loss to the Longhorns, and a win here would do more than virtually guarantee a playoff berth: It would give North the claim to being the best team in the county. There is one obstacle: South is really, really good. The War Eagles' lone loss was a forfeit, the result of self-reporting a rules violation from their win over Pinecrest Academy. South played a tougher non-region schedule than North, came out of it with two fewer losses than the Raiders and has looked equally stout in region play, scorching Lambert 38-0 and holding a powerful Milton team, one that dropped 40 on Roswell, to 13 points.
Pinecrest Academy at Whitefield Academy
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. in Mableton.
Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 1-6 overall, 0-5 in Region 6-1A Div. B and unranked in Class 7A; Whitefield is 4-3, 3-2 and unranked.
Series history: Pinecrest leads 4-0.
Last meeting: Pinecrest won 41-0 in 2016.
What to know: The Paladins are in the win column, at least. Their loss at South Forsyth back in August was flipped in their favor when the War Eagles forfeited due to use of an ineligible player, so head coach Terance Mathis' debut season won't end winless. The Paladins' on-field product, however, remains faulty. Pinecrest had an encouraging 14-7 result against King's Ridge Christian two weeks ago but lost 41-0 to Fellowship Christian last week. Whitefield has been something of a punching bag for the Paladins since Pinecrest joined the GHSA, but with the Wolfpack having their best season in years and the Paladins being way down, that script looks likely to flip.