Augusta Christian tailback Joel Whinghter will have to really put up some astonishing numbers during the remainder of the season to even approach the rushing totals he posted during his junior campaign (2,435 yards), but he is still having a big year for the Lions.
Through AC's first five games, the senior speedster has 795 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. More importantly, after losing their first two contests, the Lions have picked up three wins in a row.
Whinghter's average of 160 yards and two touchdowns per game are solid, especially when you consider that the Lions have tried to use sophomore Cole Rabun as much as possible so AC's opponents can't focus on Whinghter.
The plan has paid off, because Rabun is having a solid year as well.
Keep an eye on the Dogs
I hope football teams in Region 3-AAA aren't looking past the Harlem Bulldogs this season. If they are, they'll be in for a huge surprise when they face this talented group.
Last season, despite coming off a losing record, Harlem made its first state playoff appearance since 1974.
This year could be even better for Harlem.
If the Dogs can pull an upset over the Laney Wildcats on Oct. 13, and also can beat Richmond Academy and Jefferson County, Harlem could be 5-1-1 heading into the season's stretch run against Washington County, Westside, and Oglethorpe County.
If the Bulldogs play up to their potential, five or six wins is almost a given, and that would mean another trip to the Class AAA state playoffs. Laney, Westside, Washington County, and Harlem appear to be the odds-on favorites to advance to state this season.
I know this is a lot of looking ahead for September, but this bunch is definitely capable of achieving everything I've mentioned.
The county's top team
Ranking Columbia County's prep football teams is a huge tossup.
I really think it is a close call between Lakeside, Harlem and Greenbrier, with Evans and Augusta Christian pulling up the rear.
But if I had to choose, right now I'd give the nod to Ed Koester's Panthers, with Greenbrier barely edging out Harlem for second. My top five: Lakeside, Greenbrier, Harlem, Evans and Augusta Christian.
Ashley Brown's radio program can be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on News-Talk Sports 1630 AM. His e-mail address is AB@WRDWAM.com.
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