Three weeks are left in the high football regular season which means jockeying for playoff berths and seeding kicks into full gear this weekend in DeKalb County.
The No. 2 ranked Cedar Grove Saints are poised to clinch the Region 5-3A title for the third consecutive season as they host the Pace Academy Knights at Godfrey Stadium on Friday night at 8:00 pm.
Cedar Grove (6-2, 5-0) has won 22 consecutive region contests and a win against the Knights (4-3, 2-2) would seal the region title.
The Saints are led offensively by senior running back Chavon Wright (127 carries, 1,028 yards, 11 TDs) who became the first DeKalb runner to eclipse 1,000 yards this season and is atop the rushing list for 2019.
Quarterback Austin Smith has thrown for 963 yards and 13 touchdowns with the bulk of the touchdowns (9) going to sophomore wide out Janiran Bonner (26 receptions, 475 yards).
Defensively, the Saints have a streak of three consecutive shutouts on the books led by senior inside linebacker Isaiah Ratcliff (85 total tackles, 12 for loss, 4.5 sacks) and senior defensive end Alvin Williams (59 total tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks). Junior defensive back Antonio Taylor has four interceptions and senior Tee Denson has two, both returned for touchdowns.
Other Region 5-3A games on Friday involving DeKalb teams include Redan (3-4, 0-3) at Westminster (3-4, 2-1) and Stone Mountain (2-5, 1-2) vs. Towers (2-5, 0-3) at Godfrey Stadium at 5:15 pm.
Three DeKalb teams are tied atop the Region 4-6A standings with 4-1 records and two clash on Friday with the region lead on the line.
Tucker (4-3, 4-1) and Martin Luther King Jr. (6-1, 4-1) line up at Hallford Stadium at 8:00 pm knowing the winner is one step closer to hosting a first round playoff game.
The Tigers are coming off a bye-week following a tough 19-14 loss to Morrow in which they led 14-0 in the first quarter. Quarius Smith and Latavius Johnson have combined for 791 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on the season to lead the Tucker ground attack.
Quarterback Myles Crawley runs the show on offense for the Tigers passing for 835 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. Isaiah Dunson has been the key target for Crawley with 25 receptions for 435 yards and 7 TDs.
The Lions counter with a pair of senior defensive lineman in Marquel Parks (7 sacks) and Keion Cush (5 sacks) that have 21 and 20 tackles for a loss, respectively. Linebackers Colin White (65 tackles, 17 for loss, 4 sacks), Jomel Robinson (63 tackles, 7 for loss) and Antravious Slatter (49 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks) give the Lions a tough front seven.
Offensively, King lost their senior leader Jacobi Haynes (737 yards rushing, 518 passing) in a loss to Stephenson three weeks ago, but bounced back with a big 18-12 overtime win against Lovejoy and an 18-3 victory over Forest Park. Senior running back Michael Fearn has rushed for over 100 yards in each of those games for 698 on the year with 7 TDs.
Junior defensive end Dawson Rivers (38 tackles, 6 for loss, 4 sacks) and junior linebacker Justin Carter (30 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack) lead the way on defense for the Tigers.
The third DeKalb team tied for the lead in Region 4-6A is the Stephenson Jaguars (6-1, 4-1) who have won four straight since an upset at the hands of Mt. Zion-Jonesboro in Week 4. The Jaguars take on Charles Drew (1-6, 1-4) on Saturday at 7:30 pm at Hallford Stadium.
Region 5-5A co-leader Southwest DeKalb (6-1, 2-0) faces a stiff test from Lithonia (2-5, 1-1) on Friday night at Avondale Stadium to top a slate of three region games in DeKalb this weekend.
The Panthers are led by junior quarterback Rion White who has passed for 1,185 yards (125-68-5) and 12 touchdowns on the season. White has also scored six TDs with his legs. His main targets are senior Aquil Muhammad (29 receptions, 514 yards, 6 TDs) and Tommy Wright (22 receptions, 390 yards, 4 TDs). The running game is led by Mekhi Gilstrap (51 carries, 409 yards, 6 TDs).
Lithonia’s defense is allowing just 210 yards per game led by the county’s leading tackler junior linebacker Asmar Hassan (100 total tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 INT). Sophomore linebacker Jamario Washington leads the team in tackles for a loss (10) and sacks (9).
The Bulldogs offense is keyed by a pair of juniors in receiver Khalil Roach (21 receptions, 545 yards, 8 TDs) and quarterback Savion Lawson (872 yards passing, 11 TDs).
Southwest DeKalb’s defense is anchored by senior defensive ends Keun Neal (54 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 INT) and John Grant (48 tackles, 12 for loss, 10 sacks).
Other Region 5-5A games this weekend include Saturday contests involving Arabia Mountain (1-6, 1-1) and Chamblee (0-6, 0-2) at Godfrey Stadium (7:30) and Columbia (2-5, 2-0) against Miller Grove (0-7, 0-2) at Avondale Stadium (7:30).
DCSD FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Friday, Oct. 25 – Week 10
Eastside (4-3) vs. Druid Hills (2-5), 7:30 pm
SW DeKalb (6-1) vs. Lithonia (2-5), 7:30 pm
Stone Mountain (2-5) vs. Towers (2-5), 5:15 pm
Pace Academy (4-3) vs. Cedar Grove (6-2), 8:00 pm
Forest Park (1-6) vs. Clarkston (0-7), 5:15 pm
Tucker (4-3) vs. M.L. King (6-1), 8:00 pm
NORTH DEKALB STADIUM
North Atlanta (4-2) vs. Dunwoody (3-4), 7:30 pm
Cross Keys (0-8) at Glascock Co. (1-7), 7:30 pm
McNair (0-7) vs. BEST Academy (2-5), Grady Stadium, 5:30 pm
Redan (3-4) at Westminster (3-4), 7:30 pm
Saturday, Oct. 26
Columbia (2-5) vs. Miller Grove (0-7), 7:30 pm
Chamblee (0-6) vs. Arabia Mountain (1-6), 7:30 pm (HC)
Drew (1-6) vs. Stephenson (6-1), 7:30 pm
Open: Lakeside (0-8)
Source: DCSD Athletics