It's another high-stakes showdown in GHSA Region 8-A football tonight as the George Walton Academy Bulldogs (5-2, 2-1) meet the undefeated Athens Academy Spartans (7-0, 4-0). The Bulldog faithful were stunned last week by the Pinecrest Paladins, suffering a 10-29 loss. Pinecrest's defense proved very effective at shutting down the offensive assault that has overwhelmed most opponents this season. The loss puts GWA at 5-2 overall and represents the first regional loss of the year. By contrast, the Spartans had no such issues last week, taking the stripes off of the Commerce Tigers, 45-7. Athens Academy heads to Hebron Academy next week while the Bulldogs will welcome Athens Christian Academy.
In other 8-A action, the Athens Christian Academy Eagles (3-4, 2-1) will face last week's giant killers, the Pinecrest Paladins (4-2, 3-1), at home tonight. Last week Pinecrest scored a huge upset against George Walton Academy. The Eagles took a bye last week. The week prior they won in a 41-14 route of Hebrom Academy. Both teams have had respectable seasons so far, but for ACA to finish above .500 this year then a win tonight is critical.
Prince Avenue Christian School (7-1, 3-1) is on a bye this week. Last week the Wolverines crushed Hebron Academy, 48-6. Next week they will visit Pinecrest.
In Region 8-AA action, the Social Circle Redskins (0-7, 0-4) will be looking for some Pinecrest-esque upset magic to slay the Jefferson Dragons (6-1, 4-0) at home tonight. The Redskins very nearly almost won against last-place rivals Riverside Academy last week. Instead it was Riverside's losing streak that came to an end as they handed the 'Skins a 34-35 loss. The Dragons, meanwhile, breathed their fire upon Oglethorpe County last week, winning 43-0. Next week, the Skins will travel north to Union County.
Moving on to Region 8-AAA, Region leaders the North Oconee Titans (6-1, 4-0) visit the hapless East Jackson Eagles (0-7, 0-4). Last week, the Titans squeaked out a 27-26 win against the Elbert County Blue Devils, while East Jackson got crunched by a resurgent Morgan County Bulldog team. Next week, the Titans will welcome cross-town rivals the Oconee County Warriors to Bogart.
The match is a little more even across town tonight as the Oconee Warriors (2-5, 1-3) welcome the Jackson County Panthers (4-2, 2-2). Last week, the O'Warriors defeated the Franklin County Lions 49-33 at home, while the Panthers lost on the road to Hart County. A win tonight guarantees a .500 season for Oconee, who face tough competition next week in the North Oconee Titans.
It's a trio of David & Goliath match-ups in 8-AAAA in the area tonight. Barring an upset of Tsunami proportions, the Madison County Red Raiders brace for capsizing as they attempt to navigate the swirling waters of the Purple Pit tonight when the face the Monroe Area Purple Hurricanes. The teams' season records are mirror image of each other (Monroe Area's 7-0, 4-0 to Madison's 0-7, 0-4). There were no surprises in the 8-AAAA final scores last week; The 'Canes flattened a struggling Walnut Grove Warrior team 49-6, the Red Raiders took a 0-49 scalping by the Stephens County Indians. The Chestatee War Eagles, currently tied with MAHS for 1st place in the region, also won.
Things are only slightly less lopsided as the Walnut Grove Warriors (1-6, 0-4) face Eastide Eagles (5-2, 3-1). Eastside easily bested a struggling Lumpkin County team 52-16 last week, while Walnut Grove's woes continued against the Purple Hurricanes. A third uneven match in the region will happen tonight as the Chestatee War Eagles (6-1, 4-0) face Lumpkin County. Next week, the games even out a great deal as Walnut Grove and Madison County fight to avoid finishing at the bottom, while Monroe Area and Chestatee fight for the top spot. Barring any epic upsets tonight, of course.
Over in Region 8-AAAAA, it's doggs vs catts as the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs (0-7, 0-5) take on the Cedar Shoals Jaguars (3-4, 1-4) at home. While the Jags haven't had a stellar year, Winder-Barrow hasn't won a game in over two seasons and go into this game as the underdoggs. Both teams lost last week, for Winder-Barrow it was 14-28 to Loganville; Cedar Shoals fell to Apalachee 23-27. Next week, the Doggs head to Athens to meet Clarke Central and Cedar Shoals heads to Conyers to take on Salem.
The Apalachee Wildcats (3-4, 1-3) welcome the Salem Seminoles (2-5, 1-4) in one of the evening's few evenly matched games. The 'Cats defeated Cedar Shoals last week for their first regional win of the season. Salem took a bye last week, having been trampled by the Gainesville Red Elephants 6-49 the week prior. Next week, the Wildcats welcome the other Quad-A team from Conyers, the Heritage Patriots.
The Loganville Red Devils (2-5, 1-4) meet the Heritage Patriots (6-2, 4-2) tonight in Conyers. The Red Devils collected their first regional victory, only their second win of the season, last week against the Bulldoggs of Winder-Barrow. The Pats came within a touchdown of downing the Flowery Branch Falcons, but didn't quite pull it off and went home with a 27-35 loss instead. Next week, Loganville faces the Gainseville Red Elephants, who are on a bye this week.
The Clarke Central Gladiators (3-4, 3-2) face the powerful Flowery Branch Falcons (6-2, 6-0) tonight at home. The Glads were last week's stampede victim, losing to Gainesville 28-49. The Falcons are undefeated in the region; a Gladiator win tonight could only be considered an upset. The Gladiators look forward to more sure footing next week against the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs.
In Independent action, the annual catfight between the Loganville Christian Academy Lions (7-0) and the Covenant Christian Cougars happens tonight. Though undefeated thus far, the Lions have had trouble with the Cougars and have lost the past two matchups against them. Last week, The Lions destroyed an injury plagued Young Americans Christian School Eagles team, 50-0. Tonight's game is the final regular season game for both teams.
The Bethlehem Christian Academy Knights are on a bye this week. Last week, they lost to Dawson Street Christian Academy (Lagrange), 12-46. Next week they face Greene Academy.
Do you smell an upset brewing? Are you rooting for an underdog(g) tonight? Tell us what you think in the comments, send your pics and updates to us!
Last week's scores and highlights brought to you by a combination of Patch reader accounts; Barrow County game details provided by Josh Willard at www.hearthegame.com. Be sure to log in catch the Winder-Barrow and Apalachee action LIVE tonight. Team information cross-checked using www.maxpreps.com