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Weekly Football Forecast--Week 3
by Greg Oshust
September 05, 2013 04:39 PM | 2623 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal.Holy Innocents' coach Ryan Livezey gives his players direction during practice.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal.Holy Innocents' coach Ryan Livezey gives his players direction during practice.
Sandy Springs cross-town rivals Riverwood and Holy Innocents’ face off in the latest Battle of Raider Drive. Riverwood, Holy Innocents’, Marist, St. Pius X and Pace will try to remain undefeated, while Westminster, North Atlanta and North Springs search for their first wins of the season.

Last week: 9-0 (12-1 overall)

Riverwood Raiders (1-0) at Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears (2-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Hoskyn Stadium

Last time they met: Riverwood 24, Holy Innocents’ 14 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Holy Innocents’ leads series 3-2).

Scouting the matchup: Riverwood got its season off to a strong start last week with a 30-7 victory over Cambridge, while Holy Innocents’ improved to 2-0 with a 17-14 win over Wesleyan. The Battle of Raider Drive features two schools only four miles apart and who have the same home stadium. Both teams feaure explosive playmakers – quarterback Grant Drakeford and running back Tyler Blake for Riverwood and quarterback Luke Wright and running back Clay Pfohl for Holy Innocents’ – so it should be high-scoring contest.

Prediction: Riverwood

Marist War Eagles (1-0) at Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets (1-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Jackets’ Nest, Thomasville

Last time they met: Thomas County Central 21, Marist 17 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Thomas Country Central leads 6-1).

Scouting the matchup: Marist got its 2013 season off to a solid start with a 29-18 victory over Clarke Central last week, but the War Eagles will be challenged strongly this week by a Thomas County Central rushing attack that has averaged 310.5 yards a game in its first two games. Running back Adam Choice, a Clemson commitment, will be the one the War Eagles really need to contain. Marist will need big performances once again from running backs Griffin King and Marcus Miller and quarterback Chase Martensen, who rushed for a combined 345 yards against Clarke Central.

Prediction: Thomas County Central

North Atlanta Warriors (0-1) at Tucker Tigers (1-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Adams Stadium

Last time they met: Tucker 40, North Atlanta 0 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Tucker leads series 3-1).

Scouting the matchup:Coming off of a 26-13 opening-game loss to Stone Mountain last week, North Atlanta will be hit with a strong early-season test in its Region 6AAAAA opener against state powerhouse Tucker, a AAAAA quarterfinalist a year ago. The young and inexperienced skill players on offense for the Warriors will be challenged by a formidable Tucker defense led by defensive tackle Elisha Shaw, a major Division I recruit.It will be a hard learning experience, at best, for North Atlanta.

Prediction: Tucker

St. Pius X Golden Lions (1-0) at North Oconee Titans (0-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at North Oconee

Last time they met: St. Pius 50, North Oconee 14 on Sept. 7, 2012 (St. Pius leads series 1-0).

Scouting the matchup: St. Pius opened its season last week with a convincing 27-13 win over Westminster and will try to improve to 2-0 against a North Oconee team that it beat 50-14 in 2012. While losing in convincing fashion to the Golden Lions last year, North Oconee went on to win the Region 8AAA title and advance to the second round of the AAA playoffs. New quarterback Joey Connors will be tested against an aggressive North Oconee defense that allowed only 13 points a game. It will be probably be a closer-fought battle than the one of a year ago..

Prediction: St. Pius

Lacey Wildcats (1-0) at Westminster Wildcats (0-2)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Alfred E. Thompson Stadium

Last time they met: Westminster 15, Laney 12 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Westminster leads series 1-0).

Scouting the matchup: Westminster is still looking for its first win of the season after losing its first two games to Class AAA powerhouses Blessed Trinity and St. Pius X. The Wildcats will be challenged on defense by Laney’s potent spread offense, which averaged 32 points a game in 2012. Westminster could certainly use another big performance from running back Rankin Woley, who rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns against St. Pius, as well as from running back Cameron Seward and quarterback Jake Forte.

Prediction: Westminster

Athens Academy Spartans (1-0) at Pace Knights (1-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Riverview Road Athletic Complex, Mableton

Last time they met: Athens Academy 42, Pace 7 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Athens Academy leads series 1-0).

Scouting the matchup: Pace got new coach Chris Slade’s tenure off to a rousing start with a 38-23 win over Whitefield. But, the Knights’ quest for a 2-0 record will be a tough one as they face an Athens Academy team that was a Class A private school state quarterfinalist in 2012. Pace needs another big performance from quarterback Kevin Johnson, who passed for 245 yards and scored three touchdowns in the win over Whitefield. With Johnson and running back Denzel Franklin leading the way, the Knights certainly have the firepower to keep pace, so to speak, with a potent Athens Academy offense.

Prediction: Athens Academy

Hapeville Hornets (0-1) at North Springs Spartans (0-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Thermoplyae Stadium

Last time they met: Hapeville 28, North Springs 6 on Sept. 7, 2012 (Hapeville leads series 1-0).

Scouting the matchup: North Springs’ losing streak increased to 34 with its season-opening 55-7 loss to McIntosh last week. There is a ray of hope for the Spartans as they face a Hapeville program that is only in its third year of existence and is coming off of a 3-7 season in 2012. North Springs got a boost last week from wide receiver Brandon Cameron, who caught nine passes for 229 yards and scored the Spartans’ only touchdown in their loss to McIntosh. A win might be possible, but the Spartans will have to put it all together and play mistake-free football.

Prediction: Hapeville contributed facts to this article.

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