Nov. 3—VALDOSTA — The regular season winds up this weekend for the GHSA and GIAA, with several big games to be played for local teams Friday night.
Still hopeful of a bid to the state tournament, Lowndes hosts Camden County at 8 p.m. Valwood plays Brookwood for the GIAA 3-AAA title in Thomasville at 7:30 p.m. Georgia Christian is at home, also playing for the Region 3-AA title against Southwest Georgia Academy.
Valdosta finished out its regular season last Friday, falling to Colquitt County in the Region 1-7A championship game. The Wildcats will be No. 2 when the state playoffs begin next week.
Valwood brings a 7-1 record to Brookwood and the Warriors' 6-3 mark. Neither has lost a conference game and the Valiants are undefeated against Georgia opponents. Valwood likely has the No. 2 seed wrapped up for the upcoming state tournament, and a first round bye with it.
Though Brookwood has not lost a 3-AAA game, the Warriors have struggled defensively all season. Seven of their nine games has seen the opposition score at least 27 and they've given up at least 45 in four games. Having that record despite those defensive stats means a mighty offense and Brookwood has just that. Rodge Waldrop leads a group that seems to score at will. That may not be the case against Valwood.
The Valiants have given up a grand total of 19 points in four region games, while topping 40 in all of them. No one in 3-AAA has been able to keep up with Valwood's speed, which features backs Tristan White, De'Mar Riley and Marquis Fennell.
Lowndes cannot control what happens in the other 1-7A game between Richmond Hill and Colquitt County. They can control their part in trying to make state, which would be a win over Camden.
The Wildcats are similar to Richmond Hill in that they run the ball extremely well. Featured backs Jordan Hardy and Jaden Dailey combine to average 8.6 yards per carry and they've scored 16 touchdowns. Camden is a better passing team that Richmond Hill with Parks Riendeau at 928 yards.
What is in Lowndes' favor is that this familiar territory, Martin Stadium, and tradition favors the Vikings. They've missed state only once since 2007 and only twice since 1995.
Georgia Christian has a single win, but being in a two-team district means tonight's game with Southwest Georgia Academy is for all the marbles.
SGA's Warriors had a tough start, but have won their last six, including over AAA-sized schools Deerfield-Windsor and Southland Academy.
The Warriors are currently third in the power rankings with Georgia Christian 10th.
Who Valdosta will play in state is up in the air. Their opponent will be Region 4's No. 3 seed. However, there is a three-way tie for the title going into the last week of the season. Grayson and Parkview, two of the teams in the tie, play tonight. Archer, the other tied team, plays Newton, currently No. 4 in the region.