Four of the 10 teams competing in Region 3-AAAA do not play this week in what appears to be a light schedule. It will be three more weeks before the entire area is locked into region play.
Aquinas, Lincoln County, Warren County and Washington-Wilkes only have five region opponents; some teams in Region 7-A don't begin that portion of their schedule until Oct. 9. Region 3-AAA opens play next week, and that region is already looking like one of the best in the state with unbeatens Burke County and Washington County.
In South Carolina, region play opens for Midland Valley, Aiken and North Augusta. Midland Valley and North Augusta had nonregion wins last week and could both challenge for titles.
RARE OPPONENT: Grovetown plays host to Pacelli on Friday night. The Vikings hold an unusual place on the Warriors' schedule: it is not a new program or a state power.
The other 10 opponents on Grovetown's schedule can fall into one of those categories. Pacelli, a Class A Catholic school out of Columbus, Ga., has been playing football since 1960, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. It is 2-1 this season.
Grovetown's schedule includes eight games against first- or second-year programs and contests against Buford, Northside-Warner Robins and South Carolina's Fairfield Central.
BIG GAMES THIS WEEK
7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
Evans (2-1, 1-1) at Glenn Hills (1-2, 1-1): The loser of this game will have a tough road ahead. Someone will be 1-2 in the region with Richmond Academy and Hephzibah still on the schedule.
Dodge County (1-3) at Laney (1-2): Wildcats attempting to regroup two weeks after a 25-point loss at Dublin. These are the type of games they can't lose if a playoff bid is coming. Dodge only lost to Dublin by a touchdown last week.
Brunswick (2-1) at Burke County (3-0): The Bears did not play last week and enter a tough two-week stretch with home games against Brunswick and defending Region 3-AAA champion Baldwin. Brunswick's only loss came at home in overtime to defending Class AAAA state champion Tucker.
Silver Bluff (3-1) at Strom Thurmond (2-2): Silver Bluff's loss last week to Midland Valley doesn't change that this is a meeting between two of the best Class AA teams in South Carolina. Strom Thurmond won 7-0 last season. This game is both teams' final nonregion contest.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.