Friday night storylines: North vs. Northwest and a test for Dalton

Sep. 8—It's week four of Georgia's High School Football season, and several teams statewide are starting to hit open dates in the schedule.

Coahulla Creek was off last week, and Dalton was off in week two, and another trio of local teams are idle tonight.

Southeast Whitfield has an open date after its 1-2 start, and both Murray County and Christian Heritage will return from a bye week looking to get a first win.

But four local teams stay in action tonight. Creek's back in action at Chattooga, Dalton faces a test at Rockmart and North Murray and Northwest Whitfield face off against each other.

North vs. Northwest as Bruins, Mountaineers square off

A non-region rivalry that started in 2020 gets its fourth edition tonight at 7:30 in Tunnel Hill.

Northwest Whitfield (2-1) has won two games and North Murray (2-1) has won one in the young series, but the road team has won each game the two schools have played.

Northwest hopes to break that streak tonight, while the visiting Mountaineers aim to keep the trend alive — and knot the series at 2-2.

The first three times these two teams played, there wasn't any change at the quarterback position. Seth Griffin piloted the Mountaineers in all three against Northwest and Owen Brooker.

Two new QBs entered for the two teams this season, and neither has skipped much of a beat. North Murray's Skyler Williams rushed for five touchdowns and passed for two last week against Ridgeland, and he helped receiver Judson Petty set a new state record for receiving yards in a game with 360 the week before against Pickens.

Northwest and new QB Gavin Nuckolls stumbled a bit in a loss to Ringgold last week, but the sophomore threw nine touchdowns through the first two games.

The challenge will be on North Murray's defense to shut down Nuckolls and the Bruins. The Neers have given up at least 35 points per game in each of their first three, but played a strong second half against Ridgeland last week, allowing just seven after half.

Dalton tests 2-0 record at Rockmart

Dalton is 2-0 for the first time since 2019, when the Catamounts still had first-round NFL draft pick Jahmyr Gibbs terrorizing defenses.

The Catamounts ripped Sonoraville to the tune of a 43-0 halftime lead last week, but a big test looms at Rockmart (1-1) tonight.

Dalton takes on the 2A power on the road tonight at 7:30.

Dalton dropped to Rockmart 63-42 at home last year, but Dalton has looked like a much-improved squad through two weeks, detonating the Sonoraville squad that also handed Dalton a loss a year ago.

Rockmart lost by just one point, 13-12, at Cedartown to open the season, but rebounded for a one-point win over Cass, a Region 7-5A foe of Dalton, last week.

With 5A state-ranked teams like Hiram, Calhoun and Cartersville looming on Dalton's region slate, tonight's game should be a good test of just how far the Cats have come.

Creek looks for rebound at Chattooga

Through a quarter the last time Coahulla Creek played, things were looking pretty good.

The Colts led 7-0 at Northwest Whitfield two weeks ago, but the game quickly turned south when Northwest piled up 35 second-quarter points and pulled away for a 42-7 win.

Creek has had an idle week to get back on the practice field since taking that loss, and the Colts will aim to get back in the win column tonight.

Coahulla (1-1) plays at Chattooga (0-2) tonight at 7:30.

Creek blanked Chattooga 35-0 at home a year ago, but so much has changed for the Colts since then. A new coach and a new-look roster earned an easy win over Murray County before the loss at Northwest. Tonight's game at Chattooga is the last game for Creek to iron out any early-season issues before launching into Region 6-3A starting next week at Ridgeland.

Against Chattooga, the Colts will meet a familiar face. Danny Wilson, head coach at Coahulla for the previous three seasons, is now the defensive coordinator.