Our best photos from the Jones County vs. Howard football game
Here are 5 things to watch in high school football this week, Aug. 23-25
By Brad Harrison
August 22, 2018 05:23 PM
Not one, not two but three nights of high school football greet area fans this week as the regular season kicks off into high gear.
Here’s five things to watch on the field this week.
1. Tattnall, Dublin look to follow up offensive explosions
How far does confidence go in football? That will be determined starting at 5 p.m. Saturday in the first game of the Macon Touchdown Club Kick-off Classic as Tattnall Square meets Dublin.
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Both clubs are riding a wave of offensive confidence. Dublin, a 2A program, ripped 1A power Emanuel County Institute 42-7. Tattnall rebounded from being shutout by Howard in a scrimmage to roll over Our Lady of Mercy 59-15.
Dublin will have the advantage of size and depth, and the Irish can be expected to try and utilize that to their advantage against a Trojans team led by four-year starting quarterback Miles Morris.
2. Huge clash between Eagles, Trojans on Saturday night
This time, they’re playing for keeps. After playing in past years in intense preseason scrimmages, Northside and Peach County will on Saturday cap off the Macon Touchdown Club Kick-off Classic at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium with the first regular-season meeting between the teams since 2005. Kickoff is tentatively set for around 7:30 p.m., following the day’s first game between Tattnall Square and Dublin.
In many ways, the two teams are mirrors of one another. Both have passionate and intense fan bases that love supporting their teams and have the expectation of the their teams contending for championships. Pepper in the fact that the two campuses are located within 20 miles of each other, and the ingredients are in place for one of the year’s biggest games in both Middle Georgia as well as the week’s most attractive in the state.
3. Big rival next up for Mary Persons
Can Mary Persons ground out another big win? After a weather-shortened drubbing of Gainesville last week, the Bulldogs now embrace the emotion of taking on bitter rival Jackson on the road Friday. The Jackson rivalry is one that brings out high emotion on both sides with fans arriving early to pack the stands. It’s a quintessential game and atmosphere that players for both teams grow up envisioning being a part of.
Mary Persons has dominated the rivalry as of late. The Bulldogs have won five in a row against the Red Devils and seven of eight.
4. Stratford soars into action
There’s no easing into the season for Stratford. The Eagles will once again set the stage with a match up of two 1A private school top-10 teams as they travels to Savannah Country Day. The Eagles have fared well in the series, winning all four previous meetings.
Now, they’ll aim to keep it up. As was the case last season, one that lasted all the way into the postseason, the Eagles will look to quarterback Christian Palmer to get the ball into the hands of his offensive playmakers both downfield and coming out of the backfield. If Stratford can do that, it’ll begin the season with a win once again.
5. Redemption seekers
There’s an old, often used saying about eyes being placed in front of one’s head to see what’s in front instead of behind.
Multiple area teams will be clinging to that adage this week as their hearts and resilience will be tested after tough losses in last week’s season openers.
Howard, which fell to a 5A Jones County team, will look to bounce back against First Presbyterian Day. It’ll be the first regular season game for the Vikings, 3-0 all-time against Howard. Friday’s game will be at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex.
Another Bibb County team looking to rebound is Northeast. The Raiders fell 20-19 last week to Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg. The Raiders have the confidence of starting the season well enough to be in position to win. They will look to take the next step on Friday at Thompson Stadium against Perry, 23-17 winners against Houston County.
Speaking of Houston County, it hosts Central on Thursday night at Freedom Field. Rutland kicks off the year on Thursday as well by hosting 0-1 Hawkinsville at Ed DeFore.
Other area games of note
ACE at Notre Dame Academy
Baldwin at Jones County
Bleckley County at Veterans
Central Christian at Covenant Academy
Mount de Sales at Landmark Christian
Pacelli at Crawford County
Warner Robins at Locust Grove
Southwest at Macon County
Westfield at Deerfield-Windsor
Westside at Harris County
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Northeast head coach Jeremy Wiggins and running back Terrious Miles discuss the expectations for the Raiders’ 2018 season.
Rutland head coach Mark Daniel and quarterback Andre Dennis discuss the expectations for the Hurricanes’ 2018 season.
Southwest head coach Joseph Dupree and linebacker Randy Green discuss the expectations for the Patriots’ 2018 season.
Westside head coach Sheddrick “Spoon” Risper and receiver Scooter Risper discuss the expectations for the Seminoles’ 2018 season.
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