Michael A. LoughComment

HSFB 2019: Who’s going to win this week’s football games?

Michael A. LoughComment
HSFB 2019: Who’s going to win this week’s football games?
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Last week: 22-6
Season: 43-8
Within 7 points of margin: 8
Upset specials: 0 for 1 (Crawford County lost)

Games of the week
Lee County at Peach County
Peach County’s celebration of beating Northside Saturday didn’t last long, as focus turned to a team that hand the Trojans their first shutout since 2007, albeit in a game called with 9:02 left in the fourth. Lee County isn’t as good as last year, and Peach County is better. No doubt part of the three-quarter slumber against Northside was playing it conservatively. Note that neither of Lee County’s games have gone the full 48 minutes, last week being called with five minutes left because Life Academy from Virginia was just out of control and two weeks ago in the second quarter because of weather. Peach County has an edge with a four-quarter game under its belt, Lee County has an edge in pure numbers and depth. Which edge wins?
TSR Pick: Lee County by 9.

Northside at Jones County
There were a folks who said Jones County seemed a little off, that 27-0 might’ve been deceiving. Perhaps, but give Baldwin some credit, and expect that the Greyhounds were keeping things fairly conservative, especially up 21-0 at halftime. Northside will against be tested on both side of the ball: Jones County may have more passing weapons than Peach County did, and the Greyhounds’ front seven is pretty decent, too. The Eagles have to get the passing game going, because the average score point total in the last five meetings (2012-2015, 2018) is 62 points. And take away Northside’s 35-0 win in 2012 – the next-to-last year at Jones County for head coach Dwight Jones and the wing-T – and the average score is 37-31. A shootout goes to Jones County.
TSR pick: Jones County by 9.

West Laurens at Dodge County
The Raiders have developed balance on offense, A.J. Mathis setting the program record for career touchdown passes last week. The West Laurens defense is the West Laurens defense. Dodge County didn’t really need a week off, so the Raiders have a little more momentum. And the week-long reminder of last year’s loss, the third straight. And the smaller-school Indians lead this series 19-5. This is the fourth year in a row they’ve played after a break since 2005, which was the Raiders’ last win.
TSR pick: West Laurens by 11.

Perry at Westside (Thursday)
Better have some young, in-shape refs. Both teams can throw, with QBs Lane Rucker of Perry and Victor Dixon of Westside. The Seminoles have more weapons on the receiving end. Perry’s defense has a little momentum after holding Northeast to -6 yards rushing, but then gave up 181 yards passing to the Raiders in the second half, albeit Northeast in comeback mode. Westside gave up 48 points to a 5A team that went 4-7 last year and beat the Seminoles for the first time in the six-game series. Perry won 30-27 last year.
TSR pick: Perry by 6.

The Matchups
Baldwin at Veterans
After two games last year, Baldwin had been outscored 60-24. This year: 69-7. Veterans last year was plus 76-23, barely off this year’s 80-21. The Warhawks are bringing along QB Blake Ethridge slowly, which is helped by a running game getting 282 yards a game so far, and is showing some depth. Baldwin is in a two-QB mode with Derrick Lewis and Gerald Kilgore, and that process is taking some time. Veterans, which survived a wild self-destructive game last year – gave up two pick-6s, for one thing - for a 38-30 win, is on a five-game winning streak at home.
TSR pick: Veterans by 16.

Rutland vs. Houston County
Let’s see how much progress Rutland has made. Not getting beat 62-17 would show some, after last week’s streak-breaking romp at Hawkinsville. Let’s see how much progress Houston County has made. Approaching a 62-17 win over a much-improved team, and not taking that team as lightly as last year – when doing so wouldn’t have mattered much – would show some for the Bears. Both really just need to show consistency, for the big picture, but the Bears just have more of everything going, and need a steady effort.
TSR pick: Houston County by 27.

Swainsboro at Dublin
Both had the week off, so there’s no edge gained there. Swainboro was off two weeks ago while Dublin was playing less than a half against ECI. That gives Swainsboro an edge, and expect the Tigers to start out a little sharper than the Irish. Dublin survived last year, 20-13, and the series has been pretty even the past several years. The last 10, Swainsboro leads 6-4, with the Tigers winning by an average of 6.5 points and the Irish by 24. The Tigers popped Jefferson County by 23, an impressive win.
TSR pick: Dublin by 14.

The games
Aquinas over Wilkinson County by 39
Bowdon over Monticello by 10
Crawford County over Central Talbotton by 24
Fitzgerald over Dooly County by 33
FPD at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian over FPD by 11
George Walton over Stratford by 14
Greene County over Putnam County by 10
Hancock Central over Josey by 16
Harris County over Upson-Lee by 13
Howard over Central by 17
Jeff Davis over East Laurens by 23
Lamar County over ACE by 33
Macon County over Southwest by 3
Mary Persons over Morrow by 16
Telfair County over Bleckley County by 6
Treutlen over Twiggs County by 34
Trinity Christian over Tattnall by 6
Turner County over Taylor County by 9
Wilcox County over Hawkinsville by 26

Briarwood over John Hancock by 31
Gatewood over Trinity Christian by 22
John Milledge over Brentwood by 30
Southland over Westfield by 16
Thomas Jefferson at Piedmont by 20