Crystal Ball: Week 1 Predictions

Can you believe it’s really here? Football season is set to kick off officially on Friday night under those beautiful lights around the state. With that, we begin our weekly predictions, which are usually accurate but sure to be wrong on occasion.

In 2019, we made good on 84.9% of our predictions, the second-best we have ever been in over a dozen years of doing this. All told last year, BLITZ was 169-30 in total guesses. Here are the Week 1 matchups and our respective guesses.

DISCLAIMER: We dissect the numbers, check against other projections, utilize the brain and not the heart. If we pick against any of our beloved 11 programs, take it as a diss if you want, or use it as motivation. We obviously would love to see all 11 programs win every single game, so we’ll celebrate even if we’re wrong if it means our locals walk off the field as winners.

THE LOCALS

White County vs Stephens County

The Warriors and Indians clash in a much-anticipated matchup in Cleveland. With both programs moving down from Class 4A into 3A, they both have been through the rigors and ready to take the next step. While Stephens County has some great talent like Gamarion Carter (Liberty commit), White County has a lot going for them, starting with J Ben Haynes, Cooper Turner, Zion McMullen, Silas Mulligan, Riley Stancil, and the list goes on. VERDICT: FAN VOTE

Habersham Central vs Madison County

The Raiders take on a Madison County in a rematch from last season where Habersham had Madison on the ropes but let it slip away in a 26-20 final score. Madison County was at home this time. At home, and with a new-look at QB in Joshua Pickett, as well as proven gamers like Jackson Clouatre, Grayson Taylor, Austin Wood, and others are ready to get the first one in the win column. VERDICT: HABERSHAM CENTRAL

Lumpkin County vs Franklin County

Lumpkin opens a season in which we should see some big growth. Franklin is in the same boat. They are known to be a tough-nosed bunch, and Lumpkin and Franklin have gone 2-2 all-time in the head-to-head. At home, we’ll take the Indians. VERDICT: LUMPKIN COUNTY

#9 Union County vs Fannin County

The Panthers open life without Pierson Allison, Sawyer Drake, Kyle Morlock, John Mancuso, and Sloan Sutton. Logan Helcher has grown up some, and so has stud RB Jonah Daniel. They’re young in many places. Fannin is coming off a playoff run, and this rematch from last year (33-14 Union) should be closer this time around, but still in favor of Union. VERDICT: UNION COUNTY

Banks County vs #7 Commerce

The Leopards should bounce back from a really tough 2019. They are a year older and stronger, and have some guys that are ready to show what they’re capable of. That said, Commerce, who is again state ranked, is still the king of this series, going 30-2 all-time against Banks. VERDICT: COMMERCE

Towns County vs Armuchee

The Indians open up at home against Armuchee, a team that went 0-10 a year ago. Towns is a year older from their own rough season, but return many guys from last year, and are playing on the home turf. VERDICT: TOWNS COUNTY

#1 Rabun County @ Ridgeland

Rabun opens its season on a LONG bus ride to Ridgeland, who made state last season and is two classifications larger. However, Gunner Stockton and his new go-to target, Adriel Clark, are ready to ball out. VERDICT: RABUN COUNTY

#8 Dawson County @ Cass

The Tigers have a LOT of weapons, starting with Zach Holtzclaw at QB, Dakohta Sonnichsen as the Swiss Army knife, and Caleb Bonesteel at kicker. Dawson should chalk up a win here with little trouble. VERDICT: DAWSON COUNTY

THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

Cherokee Bluff vs Johnson
#4 Flowery Branch vs St. Pius
North Hall vs Paulding County
West Hall vs Jackson County
Denmark vs #3 GAC (Saturday Corky Kell)
Gainesville @ Stockbridge

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