AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN LIONS (8-2)
In the region: Augusta Christian finished the regular season with a 3-1 record and in second place in SCISA's Region 1-AAA standings.
Last week: Augusta Christian dropped a key region game to SCISA No. 1 Hammond with a 21-6 loss.
This week: vs. Porter Gaud (5-5), SCISA Class AAA state tournament first round
The past: In three previous meetings, the Lions have never lost to Porter Gaud. The most notable victory was last season's 24-7 win in the SCISA Class AAA state championship game.
The matchup: Augusta Christian's tailbacks vs. Porter Gaud's tailbacks. The Lions boast the tandem of Kyle Meeks and Jay Harmon. The Cyclones are led by Stephen Phillips and J.C. Darby. Meeks and Harmon have much more rushing yards than their opponents, but both sets of tailbacks entered last weekend with nine rushing touchdowns each.
The story: A rematch of the 2005 state championship game takes place this season in the first round of the 2006 state playoffs. At 5-5, Porter Gaud isn't the team they were last season, but they'd like nothing more than to avenge last season's loss by handing the Lions an early exit.
EVANS KNIGHTS (3-5)
In the region: The Knights are now mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with a 2-5 record in Region 3-AAAA play.
Last week: Evans dropped a region game on the road at Ware County 37-6. Knight quarterback Kevin Millward again connected with Trey Henderson for the Knights' lone touchdown of the game.
This week: vs. Glynn Academy (5-3)
The past: Friday's game will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
The matchup: Evans' passing game vs. Ware County's defense. Evans' Millward continues to find the end zone through the air with Henderson as his favorite target. Ware County held Greenbrier to only 31 yards of passing offense last weekend and must do the same to stay on top of another Columbia County opponent.
The story: A state playoff bid is now longer possible for the Knights, but it could still happen for Glynn Academy. Evans could play the role of spoiler with a home win this weekend.
GREENBRIER WOLFPACK (3-6)
In the region: The Wolfpack's 3-5 region record places Greenbrier in sixth place in the Region 3-AAAA standings with a shot at the state playoffs no longer a possibility.
Last week: Playing on the road, Greenbrier lost 17-10 at Glynn Academy thanks to a late fourth-quarter scoring drive. Greenbrier tailback Freddie Jones rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.
This week: vs. Wayne County (1-7)
The past: The series is split at 1-1 all time between the two schools. The last time Wayne County came to the Brierpatch in 2004, Greenbrier won 15-9.
The matchup: Greenbrier's Freddie Jones vs. Wayne County's Tavish Howard. Jones' 113 yards rushing last week put him over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. Howard ran all over Lakeside this past Friday for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The story: Wayne County is coming off its first win of the year against Lakeside. Greenbrier hasn't found the win column in the past four weeks and would love to end the season with a victory.
HARLEM BULLDOGS (2-6)
In the region: The Bulldogs are 1-2 in Region 3-AAA play with a win over Glenn Hills and losses to Thomson and Washington County.
Last week: Harlem saw its playoff hopes disappear thanks to a strong Thomson team in a 25-0 Harlem loss. Harlem rushed for 259 yards on the night, but Thomson's 357 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns made the difference.
This week: vs. Butler (0-8)
The past: Harlem and Butler each have a win in the two times the teams have met. Last season, Harlem won at home 26-6.
The matchup: Harlem's ground game vs. Butler defense.
Despite last week's loss, Harlem's rushing attack tallied 259 yards against one of the best teams in all of Class AAA. Butler has allowed an average of 56.7 points per game in region play.
The story: Butler has yet to win a game this season and makes for a perfect opponent in Harlem's final home game of the year.
LAKESIDE PANTHERS (2-7)
In the region: Lakeside's loss to a previously winless Wayne County team put the Panthers at the bottom of the Region 3-AAAA standings.
Last week: The Panthers' loss to Wayne County 24-14. Lakeside quarterback Will Evans scored both touchdowns in the road loss.
This week: vs. Effingham County (6-2)
The past: Both teams have a win in the two previous meetings. Lakeside shut out Effingham County last season in a 12-0 win.
The matchup: Lakeside's resilience vs. Effingham County's resilience. The two teams are coming off hard losses last week. Lakeside fell to winless Wayne County, while Effingham County lost in a close game with undefeated Statesboro.
The story: Despite a 5-2 region record, Effingham County has not yet clinched a playoff spot. The Rebels need this win to keep their claim on the fourth state playoff bid.
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