Friday night storylines: Christian Heritage faces off with Darlington, Northwest faces test at Ringgold

Sep. 1—Christian Heritage hosts rivalry game with Darlington

Even without sharing a region and with a pair of new head coaches, the rivalry game between Christian Heritage and Darlington lives on.

First-year head coach Frank Barden of Christian Heritage (0-2) and new leader Wayne Groves at Rome's Darlington (1-1) square off tonight when Lions host Tigers in The Lions' Den at Christian Heritage at 7:30 tonight.

After competing head-to-head for the crown in the old Region 7-A Private for a few years, Darlington and Christian Heritage have continued playing as non-region foes since the two moved into separate classifications in 2022.

Class A Division II Christian Heritage is still looking for its first win under Barden after a pair of lopsided losses to North Cobb Christian and Temple in the first two weeks. The offense has shown signs of life, and quarterback Carter Triplett tossed 182 yards and two scores last week against Temple, but Temple was able to pile up 346 rushing yards on the young Lion defense.

Darlington, which has won 11 games in each of the last two seasons, is off to a more-shaky-than-usual start too. The team opened with a 48-24 win over Knoxville Christian Academy, but struggled to a 39-20 loss to Sonoraville last week, a team Darlington defeated 45-22 a year ago.

Darlington defeated Christian Heritage 36-14 in Rome last year in a game that stayed competitive well into the fourth quarter.

Northwest Whitfield gets test at Ringgold

The Northwest Whitfield Bruins have ridden a quick-strike offense and an improved defense to a combined 81-7 score in their first two games of the season.

The third game should provide a stout early-season test for Northwest.

The Bruins (2-0) play at Ringgold (1-0) tonight at 7 p.m. The game gets an earlier start time since it's being broadcast on CW Chattanooga.

Ringgold was off last week, but opened the year by defeating Heritage, a Region 7-4A foe of Northwest's, 21-12 in the Catoosa County rivalry.

Northwest Whitfield defeated Ringgold 30-17 in Tunnel Hill a year ago, but the two teams finished the season going in opposite directions. After an 0-2 start, Ringgold went 7-1 to finish the regular season, while Northwest went 1-5 after a 4-0 start.

Dalton looks for revenge after first loss to Sonoraville last season

Last season at Sonoraville, Dalton took its first loss to the program in three games with the team. Giveaways loomed large as Dalton fell 27-21.

Tonight at 7:30, with Dalton getting the Phoenix (1-1) at Harmon Field, the Catamounts (1-0) are looking for some revenge.

Dalton blistered North Murray 35-14 in the opening week of the season, then had an idle date a week ago. It's only been one game, but the Catamounts' offense played with much more of a balance than the ground-heavy attack of Tyson Greenwade last season.

Quarterback Ethan Long and receivers RJ Storey and Kendrix London shined against North Murray. Long tossed for 243 yards and four scores, with two going to each of the receivers.

Sonoraville, meanwhile, are 1-1, but come off an impressive 39-20 win over Darlington last week. The Phoenix, led by senior standout quarterback Jaxon Pate, lost to Pickens 38-21 in week one.

North Murray looks to keep offense going against Ridgeland

After being held to 14 points against Dalton in the opening week of the season, North Murray's offense exploded in week two.

Against Pickens, the Mountaineers put up 44, QB Skyler Williams accounted for six touchdowns and all Judson Petty did was set a state record for most receiving yards in a game with 360.

Perhaps North Murray (1-1) can't keep a state record pace up each week, but they'll hope to keep the offense rolling tonight against Ridgeland (0-1). The Mountaineers host Ridgeland at 7:30.

Ridgeland, which went 0-10 last season, started its season with a 34-0 loss last week at home against North Cobb Christian.

Against a less powerful Ridgeland attack than the two North Murray faced in the first two weeks, the Mountaineer defense could catch up a little with the offense this week after the team allowed 35 and 37 points to Dalton and Pickens.

North Murray defeated Ridgeland 56-19 on the road last season.

Southeast gets Gordon Lee on the road

The first two games for Southeast Whitfield have included plenty of drama.

The Raiders completed a 21-point comeback against Coosa before falling on a late, go-ahead touchdown, then defeated Gordon Central on a late field goal.

Southeast hopes tonight's game more resembles the second one.

The Raiders (1-1) travel to Chickamauga to take on Gordon Lee (1-1) tonight at 7:30.

Gordon Lee marked the lone Southeast loss in the Raiders' 4-1 start a year ago, defeating Southeast 46-22.

The Trojans opened this season with a 56-14 loss to Trion, but bounced back to win 34-21 over Southeast's next opponent Armuchee.

Looking to build on offensive performance, Murray hosts Gilmer

After falling a touchdown shy at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe last week, Murray County returns home tonight.

The Indians (0-2) host Gilmer (1-1) tonight at 7:30.

Murray doesn't have to look far for a comparison on how the Indians stack up with Gilmer. Both teams have played LFO already this season. Murray fell 33-25, while the Bobcats rolled over LFO 42-14 win week one.

Murray County found a little bit of offense against LFO last week though, with Parker Hawkins leading the air game by catching seven passes for 110 yards from the QB combo of Judah Woodall and Trent Childers. Braylon Myers also rushed for 110 yards as the Indians' 25 points outpaced all but one game from the 2022 season (32 in a season-ending win over Gordon Central).

Coahulla Creek gets week to rest up after first loss

The Coahulla Creek Colts (1-1) took a 42-7 loss to Northwest Whitfield last week, but the Colts have an open date tonight to recover and regroup.

Creek travels to Chattooga next week.