All of Columbia County's high school football teams are in action this week, but one contest is atop the prep pecking order - Lakeside vs. Greenbrier.
That showdown at the Brierpatch is a toss-up, and the other matchups are clear-cut choices, so let's start our pigskin picks with the toughest call of them all.
Lakeside (2-0) at Greenbrier (2-0): It's only their third game of the season, and the Region 3-AAAA opener for both squads, but - and I never dreamed I'd be saying this - the Lakeside-Greenbrier battle could feature a couple of playoff teams.
With Thomson and Burke County down this year, the race for playoff berths in Region 3-AAAA is wide open, and it could become the most competitive region in the state.
Of the 11 teams, only Cross Creek appears to have no chance at a top-four finish and a spot in the postseason.
Any of the other 10 teams, including the Panthers and Wolfpack, has a shot at earning a trip to the state playoffs.
Now as far as this week's contest at the Brierpatch ...
The Pack has a high-powered offense with many weapons, but their edge over Lakeside is tenuous because the Panthers have a potent ground game, plus Lakeside's has the edge on defense.
The big question is this - can Greenbrier stop Lakeside's triple-option offense?
I don't think so, but I do believe the Pack can post enough points to pull out a win, if their kicking game doesn't let them down.
Greenbrier 30, Lakeside 27
Evans (0-2) at Southwest DeKalb (1-2): The Knights are in for a long season. Southwest DeKalb might not be as powerful as in the past, but the Panthers are too athletic for the Knights.
The Panthers beat a good Stephenson team last week, and both of their losses came against traditional state powers Marist and Lowndes.
Southwest DeKalb 48, Evans 13
Harlem (1-2) at Warren County (1-1): Harlem has been outscored 96-18 in the past two games, but the Bulldogs will turn things around this week against Class A Warren County. The Dogs need a win badly, because their next game (after an open date) will be the Region 3-AAA opener against Washington County.
Harlem 28, Warren County 13
Brentwood (3-1) at Augusta Christian (3-1): The Lions could easily be undefeated at this point. AC outplayed Tattnall Square Academy, but the scoreboard didn't reflect that. This week Brentwood will have to play a perfect game to top Augusta Christian, and that's too much to ask.
Augusta Christian 34, Brentwood 14
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