Here are my picks for the winners in this week's high school gridiron matchups:
Evans (0-2) vs. Laney (2-0)
This is a revenge game for Eric Parker and the Wildcats. Last season Evans knocked them off with a stellar defensive performance. Like Evans, Laney lost many key players from last season, but Laney is loaded with young talent and has looked very good in its first two games.
Harlem (1-1) vs. Jefferson Co. (2-0)
Last week, Harlem ran into a very hot player in Hancock Central's quarterback. This week, Jimmie Lewis' crew takes on a squad that squeaked by Evans on their home field, so that might give Harlem some confidence that they can beat Jefferson County (remember, Harlem beat Evans). Also, they are playing at home.
Harlem 23 Jefferson Co. 21
Greenbrier (0-1) vs. Westside (1-1)
This is a tough call. Greenbrier was shut out last week 27-0 by Morgan County. Is Morgan that good, or did Greenbrier play that badly? I think Morgan County is a solid team, and I think the Pack will play much better this week, but I think Westside will get the win.
Westside 20 Greenbrier 17
Lakeside (1-1) vs. Effingham County (0-2)
The Panthers' opening loss to Washington-Wilkes looks a little better after the Tigers knocked off Thomson last week at the Brickyard. Effingham is off to a rough start, and I think they will stay winless.
Lakeside 27 Effingham County 13
ACS (2-0) vs. Calhoun Academy
The Lions have looked incredible in their first two games. They are averaging more than 45 points per game and seem like one of the top teams in the SCISA ranks. They will face a tougher test this week with the defending state champs in South Carolina. That was last year, however, and this ACS team is a pretty complete squad.
ACS 34 Calhoun Academy 17
Last week's top performers
Lee Banks and the ACS offense
Banks was 7 of 10 passing for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he ran for 122 yards on just six carries and two more scores. He had some help from sophomore fullback Jay Harmon (10 carries for 70 yards) and Kyle Meeks (64 yards on 10 carries). The three players combined for 256 yards on just 26 carries - wow!
Brendan Gray and the Harlem offense
The sophomore quarter-back led a Harlem attack that churned out more than 300 yards on the ground in a heartbreaking 30-27 loss to Hancock Central. Gray had 136 yards by himself. Just think how tough their option will be when Gabe Greer is 100 percent healthy.
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