Hephzibah football closes in on 1st region title
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hephzibah can take a huge step toward history this week should it defeat Evans in a Region 3-AAAA game.

The Rebels have played football since 1954 and never won a region title, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. They made just their second trip to the playoffs last year.

Hephzibah returned only eight starters from last season, but it has been just as stingy on defense and explosive on offense.

Evans has won five consecutive games since a 17-0 defeat at Lakeside. It can still earn at least a piece of the region title.

KEY MEETING: Aquinas and Warren County meet Friday in Warrenton in what should decide the final playoff spot in Region 7-A. Warren County will clinch a playoff spot with a win; Aquinas needs two wins in its final three games and still has Hancock Central on the schedule. Hancock has one win in its past 20 games.

Warren County won 32-0 a year ago in a game with identical implications.

TOUGH FOE: Grovetown went up against one of the best teams in the Southeast on Saturday night when it lost 47-7 at Northside-Warner Robins.

The Warriors, in their first season of football, recovered a fumble on the first possession of the game and scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Senior Seth Hill rushed for 117 yards, and Xavier Crain threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Hunter McBride .

Grovetown (5-4) closes its inaugural season Nov. 6 at home against Mount Paran Christian (6-1). It will have the next two weeks off.

BIG GAMES THIS WEEK

7:30 P.M. FRIDAY

REGION 3-AA

Swainsboro (6-1, 6-1) at Laney (3-4, 3-4): Swainsboro is closing in on second place and a home playoff game. Laney has slim hopes of making the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season.

REGION 3-AAA

Burke County (5-2, 1-2) at Washington County (7-0, 3-0): Burke County will try to knock off an undefeated Washington County team for the second consecutive season. The Bears have lost two of three since opening 4-0.

REGION 3-AAAA

Evans (6-1, 5-1) at Hephzibah (6-1, 6-0): The Rebels, who have scored more than 26 points in all but one of their wins, are the last unbeaten team in the region.

Lakeside (6-1, 5-1) at Westside (4-3, 3-3): The last real chance for someone to knock off Lakeside in the regular season. The Panthers close with Josey (1-6) and Butler (0-7).

SOUTH CAROLINA

Newberry (6-2, 3-0) at Strom Thurmond (6-2, 3-0): The region title will be decided in this one. Strom Thurmond won 31-0 a year ago.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.

From the Tuesday, October 20, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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