Marshall County (8-1, 4-0) at Page (6-2, 4-0), 7 p.m. Friday*
For the second straight season, the Region 4-4A title will come down to a Page-Marshall County matchup in final week of the regular season.
Last year, Marshall County beat the Patriots 42-24 to claim the title before advancing to the Class 4A state semifinals.
Both teams enter Friday on winning streaks. Page has won five games in a row, while the Tigers have rattled off three straight since their lone loss to Stratford on Sept. 23.
The key to the game could be whichever defense can come up with a stop of the other’s offense.
Behind quarterback Jacob Van Landingham (1,396 passing yards, 16 total TDs) and freshman running back Bubba Johnson, the Patriots average 31.25 points per game this season and 40 during their winning streak.
Van Landingham and Johnson will have to contend with a Marshall County defense that has been stingy most of the season. The Tigers are giving up just 11.6 points per game.
Page’s defense, which gives up an average of 19.75 points per game to opponents, will try to stop Marshall County’s potent offense.
Linebacker Cruze Kerrigan (team-high 74 tackles) will try to help slow down a Tiger offense scoring at a 42-points-per-game clip this season.
Quarterback Bryce Wallace has been their driving force. The sophomore has thrown for 1,937 yards with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions. His main target, senior Tre Crutcher, has 799 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Not only will the Patriots try to avenge last season’s region-clinching loss, but they will also try to turn around their misfortunes against Marshall County. The Tigers have won the last five matchups between the two teams by an average of 13 points per game.
Fayetteville (7-2, 6-1) at Grace Christian Academy (2-6, 2-5), 7 p.m. Friday*
Grace Christian Academy’s second season as a TSSAA sanctioned football school will comes to an end this week.
The Fayetteville Tigers, currently seeded second in Region 4-1A, travel to GCA Friday for the Lions’ senior night.
GCA may be happy this season is coming to an end. While its record is only 2-6, things could have been very different. The Lions lost five games by a touchdown or less, three of which came by just one point.
Last week against Huntland was the latest heart-breaking defeat for GCA. The Hornets kept their postseason dreams alive by beating the Lions 53-52.
The Tigers are aiming to get to their second-straight postseason. Last year, they shut out GCA 45-0 in the last week of the regular season to end the Lions’ year.