John McClellan’s high school picks: Ridgeland over Darlington, Cartersville to dominate Calhoun, close win for Rome.

John McClellan’s high school picks: Ridgeland over Darlington, Cartersville to dominate Calhoun, close win for Rome.




By John McClellan
For Hometown Headlines

Cartersville and Darlington held onto their respective Number 1 and Number 4 positions, Rome and Calhoun stayed in the Top 10 despite losses on Friday night, and Model and Trion moved into the rankings for the first time in the Georgia High School Football Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top 10 released on Sunday.

Weather dominated much of Friday night in Northwest Georgia as Pepperell and Unity Christian never made it to halftime in their respective games, Rome and Model had games that officially ended early because of lightning interruptions, and Calhoun and Armuchee had long lightning delays before they were able to complete their games. Model’s big win over Sonoraville, Calhoun’s loss to Dalton, Rome’s narrow defeat by Class AAAAAA Harrison, and road victories by Armuchee and Coosa highlighted play in Northwest Georgia.


Adairsville (0-2) at Class AA Number 10 Model (1-0)

  • modelnewAdairsville - CopySeries History: Adairsville leads 19-10
  • Last Meeting: Adairsville defeated Model 28-14 on October 21, 2011
  • The Adairsville Tigers are trying to avoid their first 0-3 start in 10 years after a 34-0 shutout loss to Cass dropped Adairsville’s record to 0-2. The Model Blue Devils look like a contender for the Region 7-AA title after defeating Sonoraville 22-0 in a game cut short by lightning early in the fourth quarter. Model wins by 10.

Drew (0-2) at Class AAAAA Number 8 Rome (0-1)

  • RomeSeries History: First Meeting
  • The Drew Titans, who reached the Class AAAAA quarterfinals in 2015 before being eliminated by Ware County, are off to a 0-2 start after a 33-27 loss Friday night to Riverdale. The Rome Wolves, who lost to the same Ware County team in the 2015 playoffs, lost a penalty filled back and forth game to Harrison 22-20 before a lightning delay ended the game with 22 seconds on the clock. This is the final tune-up for the Wolves before Region 7-AAAAA play starts next weekend.  Rome wins by 1.

Pepperell (0-0) at Pickens (1-0)

  • PepperellSeries History: Pepperell leads 7-0-1
  • Last Meeting: Pepperell defeated Pickens 21-0 on August 30, 1985
  • The Pepperell Dragons still are looking to play a full game after lightning forced an end to Friday night’s home opener against Ridgeland with the teams tied 7-7 in the first quarter. The Pickens Dragons, who are coming off two straight 8-3 seasons, blew out Class AAAAAA Chattahoochee 49-19 in their August 19 season opener before having this past weekend off. Pickens wins by 16.

Class A Private School Number 4 Darlington (1-0) at Ridgeland (1-0)

  • Darlington - CopySeries History: Tied 1-1
  • Last Meeting: Ridgeland defeated Darlington 28-0 on September 11, 2009
  • The Darlington Tigers are coming off their open date after shutting out Gaston (Ala.) 51-0 in their August 19 season opener. The Ridgeland Panthers, whose game Friday night at Pepperell was called due to lightning in the first quarter, blasted Adairsville 49-7 a week earlier in their season opener. Ridgeland wins by 4.

Coosa (1-0) at North Murray (1-0)

  • Coosa - CopySeries History: Coosa leads 2-0
  • Last Meeting: Coosa defeated North Murray 49-21 on September 9, 2011
  • The Coosa Eagles had a successful start to the 2016 season Friday night with a 41-6 win on the road after Coahulla Creek. The North Murray Mountaineers, who were off Friday night, also are 1-0 after an opening week 49-14 upset of Christian Heritage. North Murray wins by 6.

Unity Christian School (0-0) at New Creation Christian Academy (1-1)

  • unitynewSeries History: NCCS leads 5-1
  • Last Meeting: UCS defeated NCCS 28-24 on September 12, 2014
  • The UCS Lions were a victim of the weather after a second lightning delay forced the first quarter cancellation of their scheduled season opener against Shiloh Hills Christian. The NCCA Crusaders, who lost their season  opener to Covenant Christian Academy, evened their record to 1-1 with a 46-0 win over Covington Academy. New Creation Christian Academy wins by 7.

Class AAAA Number 1 Cartersville (1-0) at Class AAA Number 3 Calhoun (1-1)

  • Cartersville - CopyCalhoun - CopySeries History: Cartersville leads 27-6-1
  • Last Meeting: Calhoun defeated Cartersville 38-10 on September 11, 2009
  • The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes are coming off a bye week after a season opening 30-14 win over Allatoona. The Calhoun Yellow Jackets nine year home winning streak is in serious jeopardy after Friday night’s 28-13 loss at Dalton. This is the most highly anticipated high school football game in 2016 in northwest Georgia. Cartersville wins by 26.

Sonoraville (0-1) at Cass (1-0)

  • Cass - CopySonoravilleSeries History: First Meeting
  • With Dalton looming in two weeks, the Sonoraville Phoenix are in danger of getting their season off to a start of 0-2 following a lightning-shortened 22-0 home loss to Model. The Cass Colonels are seeking their first 2-0 start since 2007 after shutting out neighborhood rival Adairsville 34-0. Cass wins by 9.


Rockmart (1-1) at Woodland (0-1)

  • Woodland Bartow2RockmartSeries History: First Meeting
  • The Rockmart Yellow Jackets, who had stunned Alabama opponent Cherokee County in their season opener, had a tough night against its cross-county rival in a 35-7 loss to Cedartown. The Woodland Wildcats, who were off Friday night, had a disappointing start to its season in a 36-8 loss to River Ridge. Rockmart wins by 9.


Cedartown - CopyCedartown (1-1) at Gilmer (0-2)

  • Series History: Gilmer leads 3-1
  • Last Meeting: Gilmer defeated Cedartown 38-35 on November 1, 2013
  • The Cedartown Bulldogs, who lost in a last minute comeback by Piedmont (Ala.) the week before, dominated Rockmart 35-7 to even their record to 1-1. The Gilmer Bobcats remain winless on the year after a 36-16 loss to Union County. Cedartown wins by 13.

Dawson County (1-0) at Chattooga (1-0)

  • Chattooga Co. - CopySeries History: First Meeting
  • The Dawson County Tigers, who lost to Blessed Trinity in the Class AAA state quarterfinals in 2015, defeated Class AAAAAAA Forsyth Central 14-9 to get their season off to a successful start. The Chattooga Indians showed that they are a team to be reckoned with in a season opening rout of defending Alabama Class 1-A runner-up Cedar Bluff 49-7. Chattooga wins by 1.

Dade County (1-1) at Class A Public School Number 10 Trion (1-0)

  • TrionSeries History: Trion leads 2-0
  • Last Meeting: Trion defeated Dade County 13-6 on September 15, 1995
  • The Dade County Wolverines evened their record to 1-1 after a 20-7 home win over North Sand Mountain (Ala.). The Trion Bulldogs dominated LaFayette 43-20 in their Friday night season opener. Trion wins by 7.

OFF THIS WEEK—Armuchee (1-1 after defeating Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 13-7), Georgia School for the Deaf (0-1 after losing to Tennessee School for the Deaf 40-6), Gordon Central (0-2 after losing to Southeast Whitfield 42-0)

In other games involving schools in regions in Northwest Georgia:

  • Southeast Whitfield (1-0) over Murray County (1-0) by 20 (Thursday)
  • North Paulding (2-0) over East Paulding (0-1) by 10
  • South Paulding (0-1) over Hiram (1-0) by 20
  • Class AAAAA Number 4 Carrollton (1-0) over Riverdale (2-0) by 24
  • Class AAAAA Number 3 Kell (1-0) over Lassiter (2-0) by 16
  • Central of Carrollton (0-2) over North Clayton (1-1) by 11
  • Chapel Hill (0-0-1) over Lithia Springs (0-1) by 26
  • Griffin (1-0) over LaGrange (1-1) by 6
  • Allatoona (0-2) over Sandy Creek (0-1) by 3
  • Troup (1-1) over Bowdon (1-0) by 11
  • Heritage (1-1) over Coahulla Creek (0-2) by more than 30
  • Gordon Lee (1-0) over LaFayette (1-1) by 17
  • Class AAAAAA Number 9 Dalton (1-0) over Northwest Whitfield (2-0) by 15
  • Ringgold (1-1) over Fannin County (1-0) by 7
  • Mt. Paran Christian (1-1) over Bremen (0-1) by 19
  • Class A Public School Number 7 Mt. Zion (1-0) over Haralson County (0-1) by 30
  • Temple (1-0) over Oglethorpe County (0-0) by 13
  • St. Francis (0-1) over North Cobb Christian (0-1) by 11
  • Kings Ridge Christian (1-0) over Strong Rock Christian (1-0) by 2
  • Class A Private School Number 8 Mt. Pisgah Christian (2-0) over Whitefield Christian (0-1) by 20
  • Pinecrest Academy (0-1) over Discovery (0-2) by 23
  • Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (1-0) over Walker (0-1) by 5
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