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PREP FOOTBALL: Player of the Week/Friday's preview capsules

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Dylon Smith, Westwood

Westwood's Dylon Smith racked up 1,676 votes this week in The Albany Herald's Player of the Week poll to edge out Mitchell County senior Bruce Bryant with 47 percent of the vote. Bryant came in second with 39 percent, followed by Baconton Charter running back Narocis Lewis (13 percent) and Monroe quarterback Charles Stafford (2 percent).

Smith wins the weekly award after playing hero in last Friday's game against Brookwood when he intercepted a pass in the final minute and ran it back 90 yards for a TD to tie the game. Westwood eventually won the thriller in overtime, 33-30.

Smith and the Wildcats return to the gridiron Friday night for a Region 1-AA game against Sherwood.


Friday's games

Cairo Syrupmakers (2-3, 1-1) at Worth County Rams (2-3, 1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Worth County High School, Sylvester

Overview: The Syrupmakers have had two weeks to stew over their loss to Herald No. 3 Westover. If Cairo hopes to remain in the running for the region title, they can’t afford any more losses. The same can be said for Worth County, which must keep winning if it plans on making the state playoffs.

Cook Hornets (2-3, 0-2) at Pelham Hornets (2-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Pelham High School, Pelham

Overview: It’s Homecoming in Pelham, and the Hornets look to shake off a two-game losing streak. Cook also must win to keep its hopes of a postseason berth alive. After starting the season scoring 135 points in victories over Baconton Charter, Mitchell County and Miller County, the Hornets have scored just 12 points in their last two games against Herald No. 2 Seminole County and Fitzgerald.

Randolph-Clay Red Devils (2-3, 1-1) at Miller County Pirates (2-4, 1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Miller County High School, Colquitt

Overview: Miller County broke a four-game losing skid last week, beating Calhoun County, 21-15. Randolph-Clay allowed Mitchell County to score three unanswered second-half touchdowns in its 44-20 loss last week. The loser won’t be officially eliminated from the Region 1-A playoff chase. However, it will be a major uphill climb.

Seminole County Indians (5-0, 1-0) at Stewart County Knights (0-5, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Stewart County High School, Lumpkin

Overview: Stewart hasn’t played since a 34-6 setback to Baconton Charter on Sept. 26. The Knights can’t afford to come out rusty against Herald No. 2 Seminole, which has scored 40 or more points in three of its five wins this season. This is the last of three straight road games for the Indians, who play the next three of four in Donalsonville.

Terrell County Greenwave (3-3, 1-1) at Mitchell County Eagles (3-3, 2-0)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Centennial Stadium, Camilla

Overview: Mitchell has won two straight, both of them Region 1-A games, and looks to remain tied with Seminole County atop the Region 1-A standings. Terrell County had its three-game winning streak snapped last week against Seminole and can’t afford another region setback. The Greenwave won’t be eliminated from the postseason with a loss. However, with Miller County, Stewart County and Randolph-Clay left, Terrell would likely need to win out.

Bulloch Academy Gators (3-2) at Deerfield-Windsor Knights (3-2)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Deerfield-Windsor School

Overview: It’s the GISA Region 1-AAA opener for both schools. After a big victory over Sherwood Christian two weeks ago, the Knights were off last week. The Gators were also off. Bulloch hopes to have a better showing than it did last season when Deerfield routed the Gators, 31-0.

Westwood Wildcats (4-1-1, 1-0) at Sherwood Christian Eagles (2-4, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Sherwood Christian School

Overview: This is the last of Sherwood’s gauntlet. The Eagles have faced two defending state champions — Deerfield-Windsor and Valwood in the last two weeks. Westwood is the defending Class AA state runner-up. The Wildcats needed overtime last week to oust Brookwood in a wild game.

Terrell Academy Eagles (3-3, 0-1) at Valwood Valiants (5-0, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Valwood School, Valdosta

Overview: The Eagles were pounded by Southwest Georgia Academy last week. The road doesn’t get any easier as Terrell Academy meets defending Class AA champion Valwood, who is allowing opponents just 12 points per game.

Southwest Georgia Warriors (4-2, 1-0) at Brookwood Warriors (2-4, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Brookwood School, Thomasville

Overview: After a heartbreaking overtime loss to Westwood last week, the Warriors hope to avoid falling behind farther in the region standings. They face a Southwest Georgia squad that can score plenty of points as evidenced in last week’s 63-21 victory over Terrell Academy.

Westfield Hornets (4-1) at Southland Raiders (4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Southland Academy, Americus

Overview: It’s the region opener for a pair of streaking schools. The Hornets have won four straight since their season-opening loss to Tattnall Square. Southland, meanwhile, has won three straight.

Fullington Academy Trojans (3-2) at Crisp Academy Wildcats (4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Crisp Academy, Cordele

Overview: The Trojans were open last week, while Crisp Academy lost its second straight game. It’s the region opener for both and what better way to open than against your arch-rival. The Wildcats will be looking to get back to its winning ways.

Bainbridge Bearcats (2-3, 0-1) at Harris County Tigers (4-1, 0-0)

When: 8 p.m.

Site: Harris County High School, Hamilton

Overview: The Bearcats lost their Region 1-AAAAA opener to Thomas County Central last week. Things don’t get easier as Bainbridge will make the near four-hour trip to face Harris County, who is opening its region schedule. The Bearcats have lost two straight and need a victory to remain in the postseason chase.

Saturday's games

Saint Francis Knights (4-2) at Baconton Charter Blazers (2-4)

When: 3 p.m.

Site: Centennial Stadium, Camilla

Overview: After starting the season 0-4, Baconton has won two in a row, including last week’s 27-19 victory over North Cobb Christian. Sparked by Narocis Lewis in both wins, the Blazers have piled up some big offensive numbers. St. Francis also has an offense capable of putting up big numbers. The Knights have averaged 42.5 points per game in their four victories this year.

Dougherty Trojans (0-6, 0-2) at Albany Indians (1-4, 0-2)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Hugh Mills Stadium

Overview: Dougherty and Albany are two teams on the opposite end of the spectrum. Dougherty has allowed teams to build insurmountable leads early in the game before trying to catch up. Albany has built leads in the first half, then lost it as the game progressed. Both teams are searching for their first Region 1-AAAA victory.