Georgia HS Football Week 9 Predictions - Game of the Week: Hillgrove vs Marietta
1. Marietta (2-4, 1-0) vs Hillgrove (3-2, 0-1) – Hillgrove had been on a role winning three of their first four games. After dropping their opener to Norcross, they got a 38-29 win over rival McEachern, a game in which they were down 15-0 early on. Then they stunned Westlake, in what was basically a pickup game, due to their original opponent having to cancel due to COVID. And then they went on the road and defeated Gainesville. The train was slowed down this past week in their region opener as they fell to Walton 24-15. In this game the offense struggled early on and was shut out through the first half and their defense gave up 407 total yards. Freshman quarterback Chase McCravy has been performing very well for the Hawks in two of the last three games, throwing for over 100 yards against Gainesville and 283 against Westlake.
When looking at Marietta’s record at 2-4 you may think, Hillgrove should have this in the bag. The Blue Devils opened up the season with the big win over Wheeler but then dropped four straight, McEachern, Camden County, Parkview and Brookwood. In three of those games, they gave up 50 ppg and over 400 yards, over 500 to Brookwood. Now then ended the losing streak with a win in their region opener against North Paulding, but they still allowed the Wolfpack to put up 37 points. Defensively, I believe that Hillgrove has the edge and playing at home and needing a win to stay in the running for a final four spot in region standings, I’m giving the edge to the Hawks. Pick: Hillgrove
2. Parkview (5-1, 1-0) vs Grayson (6-0, 1-0) – All eyes will be on this one literally as it will be broadcasted on ESPN 2. And now that the Georgia High School Association has approved USC commit, quarterback Jake Garcia’s transfer, people will really be tuned in to see if he plays Friday. He was allowed to begin practice this week so there’s a good chance he sees playing time. Not much Grayson has not done well they season at 6-0. They struggled offensively against Collins Hill and needed two overtime periods to get the win over Mill Creek but overall, the Rams have been pretty solid offensively and with a defense that has only allowed more than 14 points once and only seven points in three of their six wins.
Parkview has held their own thus far this season, stumbling once when they fell to North Gwinnett, a game in which they were held scoreless and sophomore quarterback Colin Houck only threw for 89 yards and senior running back, Cody Brown had a decent game with 115 yards on the ground but was held out of the endzone. It’s also worth noting that of all their five wins four of those teams are below .500 so Grayson will hands down be their toughest test to date. It’s a big stage for Houck and he’s facing a Rams defense that flies to the ball. With the Rams playing at home on national TV, I’ll give the Edge to Grayson. Pick:Grayson
3. Ola (6-0, 3-0) vs Jones County (3-3, 3-0) – I think it is safe to say that the winner of this match up will take the top spot in the region at the end of the season. Jones County won the region last season and Ola won the region in 2017. Jones County opened up the season with three straight losses, Grayson, North Gwinnett and Veterans. But they have since won three in a row, all region wins with junior quarterback J Ritcher and senior running back Andrew Carner playing well in all three.
Ola has been blazing the trail right out of the gate offensively with junior quarterback Jake Hall who has over 600 yards passing with six touchdowns and over 600 yards rushing with nine touchdowns on the ground. His ability to make plays happen with his legs allows the Mustang offense get other players involved like junior running back Micah Bell in the running game. This will undoubtedly be each teams toughest opponent but with Jones County at home, I like the Hounds slowing the Mustangs down. Pick: Jones County