Week 4 of high school football in Georgia features some high-profile, thrilling games that are sure to shake up the state rankings. Below is a list of the top 5 games to look out for this weekend.
1) Benedictine at Ware County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Waycross
Records, rankings: Benedictine is 2-1 and No. 1 in Class 4A; Ware County is 2-0 and No. 3 in 5A.
These southeast Georgia programs played each other for the first time in 2020, and each has won once. Those games and this one have featured teams with top-five rankings. Graduated from each this season are their best quarterbacks in program history – Benedictine’s Holden Geriner and Ware County’s Thomas Castellanos – which suggests this will be a lower-scoring affair than last year’s shootout, when Geriner passed for 440 yards.
2) Cedartown at Calhoun
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Phil Reeve Stadium, Calhoun
Records, rankings: Cedartown is 3-0 and No. 3 in Class 4A; Calhoun is 2-1 and No. 4 in 5A.
These northwest Georgia teams first played in 1927, and Cedartown leads the series 17-3-1, although they’ve met only twice since 1985, with Calhoun winning both. This time, Cedartown is favored, with the computer Maxwell Ratings putting the Bulldogs as an 11-point choice.
Cedartown has blown out Rockmart, Callaway and Sequoyah, winning by an average score of 36-7. Cedartown averages 302.7 rushing yards and 92.8 passing yards per game. Calhoun has beaten Gardendale, Ala., 31-30 and Creekview 26-21 after an opening loss to Blessed Trinity.
3) Colquitt County at Lee County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Trojan Field, Leesburg
Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 3-0 and No. 4 in Class 7A; Lee County is 3-0 and No. 2 in 6A.
Colquitt County is 10-0 all-time against Lee County, though almost all those games were played before Lee became a significant statewide player. Both teams have been dominant in their 3-0 starts this season. Colquitt is winning by an average score of 36-4, though Lee will be the Packers’ first tough test.
4) Columbia at Cartersville
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Weinman Stadium, Cartersville
Records, rankings: Columbia is 3-0 and No. 5 in Class 2A; Cartersville is 3-0 and No. 1 in 5A.
Columbia made waves in the opener by winning against Class 7A Camden County 13-10 as a 34-point underdog. Winning this week – against a No. 1-ranked team on the road as a 28-point underdog – might top that. Columbia is a much smaller school, though not without weapons for the fight.
5) Fitzgerald vs. Madison County (FL)
When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday, Glynn County Stadium, Brunswick
Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 3-0 and No. 1 in Class 2A; Madison County is 2-0 and ranked No. 1 in Florida’s Class 1A Rural.
This game part of the Border Classic, which features seven games between Georgia and Florida teams. The event’s hosts are Brunswick, playing Bolles of Jacksonville, and Glynn Academy, playing Creekside of St. Johns. The other Georgia teams are Richmond Hill, Coffee, Charlton County and McIntosh County Academy. The Fitzgerald-Madison County game is between defending state champions.