Last week: 5-2 (17-3 overall)
Lovett Lions (2-0) at Marist War Eagles (1-1)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Hughes-Spalding Stadium
Last time they met: Marist 24, Lovett 16 on Sept. 14, 2012 (Marist leads series 1-0).
Scouting the matchup: These two Atlanta private school powers get together for only the second time on the varsity level. Lovett has stepped up on defense this season, allowing only 16 points a game through its first two contests, and the Lions will need to continue that stellar play against Marist’s vaunted triple option offense. Consequently, the War Eagle defense needs to contain Lovett playmakers such as running back Grant Haley and quarterback Willie Candler. For Marist, the continued improvement of quarterback Chase Martensen -- who completed 5 of 8 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the War Eagles’ 29-19 win over Clarke Central two weeks ago – is also a key factor.
North Springs Spartans (1-1) at Riverwood Raiders (2-0)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Thermoplyae Stadium
Last time they met: Riverwood 59, North Springs 13 on Sept. 14, 2012 (North Springs leads series 21-11).
Scouting the matchup: North Springs enters the game in the unfamiliar position of trying to maintain a winning streak after last week’s 35-34 victory over Hapeville snapped its 34-game losing streak and gave the Spartans their first win since 2009. The Spartans will try to take another step forward as they go for wins in back-to-back games for the first time since ’03. However, that won’t be easy as it faces cross-town rival Riverwood, which is coming off of two convincing victories to start the season, including a 35-21 win over another cross-town rival, Holy Innocents’, last week. It looks like that the Raiders potent offense, which is averaging 32.5 points a game, will simply be too much for the Spartans’ still developing defense to handle.
King’s Ridge Tigers (2-0) at Pace Knights (2-0)
When/Where: Thursday, 7 p.m. at Riverview Road Athletic Complex, Mableton
Last time they met: King’s Ridge 48, Pace 20 on Sept. 14, 2012 (Pace leads series 2-1).
Scouting the matchup: The game was moved back a day in honor of Yom Kippur. Pace is emerging as one of the big stories in the early part of the season after its convincing 42-9 win over Class A powerhouse Athens Academy last week. A win would give Pace a 3-0 start for the first time since 2010, when the Knights won their first four games. The Knight offense is proving hard to stop as it put up 40 points a game through its first two contests. Pace faces another high-powered offense in King’s Ridge, which is averaging 36 points a game and is coming off a 38-17 win over St. Francis last Friday. At the end, the Knights potent offensive attack, especially its passing tandem of quarterback Kevin Johnson and wide receiver Kameron Uter should prove to be too much.
Westminster Wildcats (1-2) at Thomasville Bulldogs (2-1)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Thomasville
Last time they met: Westminster 27, Thomasville 17 on Sept. 14, 2012 (Westminster leads series 1-0).
Scouting the matchup: Westminster got in the win column after starting the season with two straight losses as it defeated Laney 24-6 last week. The Wildcats certainly have been tested early with their losses to Class AAA powerhouses Blessed Trinity and St. Pius X. This week, they face a Thomasville team that seems to beon the rise. The Bulldogs are 2-1 after going 3-7 a year ago and are coming off of a 56-6 win over Stewart County last week. Rankin Woley continued his strong play in the Wildcat backfield last week, running for touchdown runs of 7 and 24 yards in the win over Laney..
Thomson Bulldogs (0-1) at St. Pius X Golden Lions (2-0)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at George B. Maloof Stadium
Last time they met: Thomson 21, St. Pius 14 on Sept. 14, 2012 (Thomson leads series 1-0).
Scouting the matchup: St. Pius held off a late comeback by North Oconee to win 28-23 and leading 28-10 late in the third quarter. The Golden Lions will be facing a much younger Thomson team than the one that beat them last year, with the Bulldogs having lost 20 players from last year’s AAA state quarterfinal team. With new starting quarterback Joey Connors, who completed 4 of 5 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns against North Oconee, growing quickly into the job and safety Nick Ruffin (10 tackles against North Oconee) picking up the slack on defense, the Golden Lions should avenge last year’s loss to Thomson.
Prediction: St. Pius
Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears (2-1) at George Walton Bulldogs (1-1)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Keith Henderson Stadium, Monroe
Last time they met: George Walton 45, Holy Innocents’ 14 on Sept. 14, 2012 (George Walton leads series 1-0).
Scouting the matchup: After winning its first two games of the season, Holy Innocents’ unbeaten streak came to an end last week with a 35-21 loss to Class AAAAA cross-town rival Riverwood. The Golden Bears face another tough challenge this week against a powerful George Walton team that advanced to the Class A private school semifinals, where it lost to eventual state champion Eagle’s Landing Christian, in 2012. Quarterback Luke Wright threw two touchdown passes -- a 27-yarder to Will Morton and a 22-yarder to Jack Palmore -- and Clay Pfohl scored on a 7-yard run for Holy Innocents’ in last week’s loss to Riverwood.
Prediction: George Walton
Miller Grove Wolverines (0-2) at North Atlanta Warriors (0-2)
When/Where: Friday, 8 p.m. at Grady Stadium
Last time they met: Miller Grove 41, North Atlanta 13 on Sept. 15, 2012 (Miller Grove leads series 1-0).
Scouting the matchup: North Atlanta will try to shake off its 75-0 loss to Tucker as it faces another challenging Region 6AAAAA foe in Miller Grove. The Warriors certainly need to step up on defense after giving up an average of 50 points a game through their first two contests. Miller Grove has struggled itself in its first two games, losing to Mays 26-6 after falling to Lithonia 20-8 in its season opener the week before..
Prediction: Miller Grove
Mount Vernon Presbyterian Mustangs (0-2) at Pinecrest Paladins (1-1)
When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Pinecrest Academy Stadium, Cumming
Last time they met: Pinecrest 56, Mount Vernon 27 on Sept. 15, 2012 (Pinecrest leads series 5-0).
Scouting the matchup: Mount Vernon comes off a bye week as it goes for its first win of the season after losing their first two games, losing to St. Francis 47-14 two weeks ago after falling to Mount Pisgah 48-14 in its season opener the week before that. Pinecrest is coming off of a 10-7 win over Cross Keys last week after losing to King’s Ridge 34-10 the week before.
GHSFHA.org contributed facts to this article.