North Augusta's home game against region foe Irmo this week could be the most appealing of any area regular-season contest.
Both teams have dynamite offenses led by future Division-I players. Irmo and North Augusta are a combined 11-1 and have scored fewer than 27 points just once.
North Augusta lost 21-0 last year. Expect more points this year from the Yellow Jackets in a game that will feature the region's top running back (Irmo's Mustafa Greene ), wide receiver (North Augusta's Matt Hazel ) and quarterback (either North Augusta's Loranzo Hammonds or Irmo's David Olson ).
HOME TURF: With a huge Region 3-AAAA victory over Lakeside last week, Hephzibah improved to 7-2 at its new stadium. Its two defeats came last year to Lincoln County and in the playoffs against Jonesboro.
FIRST MILESTONE: Glascock County junior Montavious Myricks became the first area rusher to cross the 1,000-yard mark this season. The Panthers won their first game of the year last week, 48-7 at North Cobb Christian. Myricks has 1,016 yards on 130 carries.
LOOKING AHEAD: Jefferson County, coming off its win over Swainsboro, could be 8-0 in Region 3-AA heading into its off date Oct. 23. Its next two opponents are a combined 2-9. That should set up an interesting final two weeks: at home against Screven County and at Dublin. Those games were decided by a combined five points last season.
In that region, Screven County (3-3) and Laney (2-3) are still alive for playoff berths behind Jefferson County (6-0), Dublin (5-0) and Swainsboro (4-1).
BIG GAMES THIS WEEK
7:30 P.M. FRIDAY
Hephzibah (4-1, 4-0) at Glenn Hills (2-3, 2-2): A two-week stretch will decide if Spartans can make a return trip to the playoffs; they play at Richmond Academy next week. Hephzibah, which has allowed 13 points in four region games, won 27-24 last season.
Lakeside (4-1, 3-1) at Richmond Academy (4-1, 4-0): This won't be a meeting of region unbeaten teams, thanks to the Panthers' loss last week. Richmond Academy is seeking its second consecutive 5-0 region start.
Irmo (5-1, 2-0) at North Augusta (6-0, 2-0): Fort Dorchester, a Class AAAA school in North Charleston, squeaked by Irmo in the second week of the season for the only blemish among these two teams.
Batesburg-Leesville (4-2, 1-0) at Strom Thurmond (4-2, 1-0): Both are ranked among the 10 best Class AA teams in the state. Strom Thurmond has won three in a row since losing to North Augusta.
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.