Last Week: 3-1
I missed the Evans game in my picks last week as the Knights were upset by South Effingham 17-12, but I still went 3-1. I nailed the Lakeside/Greenbrier game and came within a point of correctly predicting the Augusta Christian score. Maybe I am getting a little better feel for our teams after a slow start. Here is a look at this week's games.
Evans (2-3) vs. Greenbrier (2-3)
Last week: Evans lost to South Effingham 17-12; Greenbrier fell to Lakeside 34-17.
Last meeting: Greenbrier upset the Knights 10-6 last year.
All-time: Greenbrier leads the series 6-5.
Evans is averaging 22.2 points per game and allowing 27.6. Greenbrier is scoring 20.22 and allowing 28.
The record and stats show these two games are evenly matched. Last year, Jahvon Hardrick had a big game as Evans' playoff chances took a big hit in a 10-6 upset loss. It has had a tough time stopping the run this season as well (see the North Augusta game).
I still like the Knights in a close game for two reasons: Eddie Johnson is a more accurate passer than Cody Turner, and Myles McDavid will have a couple of big plays.
Evans 27, Greenbrier 23
Grovetown (4-1) vs. Westside (3-2)
Last week: Grovetown beat Harlem 36-0; Westside topped Josey 13-12.
Last meeting: Grovetown won last year 42-0.
All-time: Grovetown leads 1-0.
Grovetown is averaging 26.6 points per game and allowing 15. Westside is averaging 13.2 and allowing 28.4.
Westside is much improved from a season ago, but it is still a heavy underdog. Grovetown's defense will make life tough for the Patriot offense. If the Warriors contain Tre Isom, Westside will have a difficult time scoring.
Grovetown 28, Westside 7
Harlem (0-5) at Thomson (5-0)
Last week: Harlem was shut out by Grovetown 36-0; Thomson pounded ARC 61-7.
Last meeting: Thomson won last year's game 42-0.
All-time: Thomson leads 13-4-1.
Harlem is scoring 2.8 points per game and allowing 47.8. Thomson is averaging 53.2 points per game and allowing 19.2.
Harlem's offense simply can't score, as it has managed just 14 points in five games.
Losing all five starters to graduation, the starting quarterback to a pre-season injury and the top running back to another school has been too much for the team to handle.
And it gets tougher for them this week when they travel to play at the Brickyard in Thomson. Harlem is yielding more than 47 points per game, and now it must face one of the highest-scoring offenses in the state.
Thomson 62, Harlem 7
Lakeside (2-4) at Effingham County (1-5)
Last week: Lakeside topped Greenbrier 34-17; Effingham County fell to Statesboro 34-7.
Last meeting: Effingham won last year 27-23.
All-time: Effingham County leads the series 4-1.
Lakeside is averaging 27.3 points per game and scoring 34.8. Effingham County is scoring 16.8 and allowing 29.5.
Lakeside might be the best four-loss team in the state, and it might look at Effingham County's record and its 34-7 loss to Statesboro and feel like it has this one in the bag.
That would be a huge mistake. Effingham County has been inconsistent this season, but at times has shown it can play with good teams. Still, if Lakeside comes ready to play, it should get win No. 3.
Lakeside 31, Effingham County 14
Augusta Christian (4-2) at Heathwood Hall (1-5)
Last week: ACS fell to Wilson Hall 27-20; Heathwood lost to Laurence Manning 13-3.
Last meeting: ACS pounded Heathwood a year ago 47-13.
All-time: ACS leads the series 4-3 and has won four of the past five meetings.
ACS is averaging 24 points per game and allowing 20.8. Heathwood Hall is scoring 15.2 and allowing 29.5.
The Lions should have no trouble snapping their two-game skid this week. Heathwood has had a lot of trouble scoring versus good opponents, and the Lions certainly fall into that category.
ACS 37, Heathwood Hall 10