A couple of weeks ago I promised everybody I wouldn’t make any bold predictions this year because they usually turn into seals of death.
After all the outrage generated by the idea that there wouldn’t be any predictions in the Weekly Whatup this year I’ve decided to yield - just this once.
Besides, Week 1 wouldn’t be any fun without any blind speculation, now would it?
Bulloch Academy at David Emanuel Academy
Seeing how a Bulloch County team gets the football season started (again) on a Thursday night, setting the stage for yet another year of fun on the gridiron, it’s only fitting that we start with Bulloch Academy.
There’s been a lot of talk around Gator Alley about another rebuilding season, but don’t let the boys from BA fool you. That was the worry last year around this time. That was before the Gators made a run to the GISA Class AA state semifinals. I have a feeling coach Clint Morgan has a trick or two up his sleeve this year, too.
The matchup with DEA will start off a little shaky, but much like last year, the boys in green will be too much for the Eagles from Stillmore in the second half.
BA 32, DEA 12
Josey at Statesboro
It will be interesting to see how the quarterback battle will shape up when the Blue Devils of SHS take on the Eagles of Josey Friday at Womack Field.
Coach Steve Pennington will have a good opportunity to test his QBs through fire, as Josey still hasn’t adjusted from the switch from GHSA Class AA to Class AAAA.
The score will resemble last year’s 40-8 affair in Augusta, but the QB battle will be the real story.
One thing’s for sure. No matter who’s under center, that offense will move the football. And the defense won’t be on the field for very long.
SHS 42, JHS 6
Metter at Portal
It’s safe to say that with all of the talent that has left the ranks of Region 3-A, there will be a shift in power this season.
Emanuel County Institute, Savannah Christian and Johnson County still look to be at the top, but at those play-in games on the last weekend of the season, those four playoff spots will be up for grabs. Justin Chester’s Portal Panthers and Clay Hill’s Metter Tigers are two teams that would like nothing more than to remind the region that they’re still around.
For both squads, it all starts on Friday.
Portal will look to avenge 2008’s 27-12 loss as the Tigers pulled away in the second half, and with its solid stable of running backs, PHS may just have an edge.
The transfer of Statesboro’s Theo Rich to Panthertown, USA may be the X-factor.
PHS 20, MHS 16
Dodge County at Southeast Bulloch
Southeast Bulloch has not been without its growing pains since the Yellow Jackets switched from the Wing-T to a multiple offensive attack two years ago, but last season started with a win on the road as SEB got outta Dodge with a 25-20 win to start the season on a high note.
Dodge County was plagued by turnovers in last year’s matchup, and will head to Brooklet with revenge on its mind. The 14-7 win last year against Vidalia proved that DCHS can’t be taken lightly, but SEB will be motivated after its offensive struggles against Portal in last week’s scrimmage.
The team that plays the best defense will take this one.
SEB 14, DCHS 13
Dublin at Screven County
If it weren’t for the state-wide realignment of 2007 which placed eight of the top GHSA Class AA schools into the same region, the Screven County Gamecocks would have been in the playoffs again in 2008.
Unfortunately for Pat Collins and his crew, a 6-4 record now has you on the outside looking in at the end of the Region 3-AA season.
The Gamecocks managed only three points in the season opener at Dublin a year ago, and they know that won’t be enough to get the job done. Screven learned the hard way what it takes to be at the top of this region, and they’ll come back looking to prove that they belong.
Fans of SCHS will also have the opportunity to see who will replace Travis Coles, the yearly 1,000-yard rusher who graduated in ’08.
SCHS 27, DHS 22
Now that these predictions are out of the way, let’s sit back, enjoy the start of another crazy season of prep football, and hope that my track record of dooming our area teams with my predictions will be a thing of the past in 2009.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.