Crystal Ball: Week 8 Predictions

Turning the page to Week 8 means games are becoming more and more important. Whether it’s final tune-ups before region play, simply grabbing momentum, or actual region games with playoff implications, we’ve got some good ones on tap for Friday night.

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

Banks County vs Union County

The Leopards play host to Union County for the second year in a row. This is a big-time region matchup, as both teams are guaranteed to play in the state playoffs. Though this one (and all 8-AA games) determine seeding. Banks has struggled for consistency, although their schedule has been fairly difficult. Union hasn’t played in three weeks with a game canceled due to COVID concerns, and then a regularly-scheduled bye week. Will they come out well-rested and sharp, or rusty? VERDICT: UNION COUNTY

#3 Commerce vs Towns County

The Tigers are fresh off an opening region win, and a shutout at that. Towns County comes in having not played in three weeks due to a COVID-related concern, and a regular bye week. Just like Union above, the question is whether they’ll come rested and sharp or rusty? Commerce has too much firepower here though for us to pick against them. VERDICT: COMMERCE

#1 Jefferson vs Cedar Shoals

The Dragons got an unexpected bye week last week when East Hall couldn’t play due to COVID. So now Jefferson turns to Cedar Shoals at Memorial Stadium for the first home game since September 25. The Dragons will look to go to 2-0 in region play. VERDICT: JEFFERSON

Dawson County vs Gilmer

The Tigers got a well-time bye week after their big win over White County. Dawson will face a Gilmer team that really poured it on Lumpkin last week. VERDICT: DAWSON COUNTY

White County vs West Hall

The Warriors have dropped back-to-back region games after starting out 4-0. Though Riley Stancil has been great in his role filling in for J Ben Haynes, there can’t be any argument that the Warriors need their starting QB. Playing at home against West Hall gives White County the opportunity to get their first region victory, which is pivotal at this point. West Hall has struggled mightily this season, so this one favors White County pretty good. VERDICT: WHITE COUNTY

#2 Rabun County @ Columbia Academy (TN)

Rabun’s scheduling fiasco continues! The final version of the approved schedule had St. Anne’s Pacelli in this spot. Pacelli backed out of the agreement, and Rabun scrambled to get Claxton on the schedule for a home game. Claxton had a change of heart hours later, leaving the Cats looking like they’d have no opponent. Jaybo Shaw and company again made it work, finding an opponent from Tennessee. They’ll play at a neutral location in Chattanooga. Columbia is 1-7 overall on their season. VERDICT: RABUN COUNTY

Lumpkin County @ North Hall

The Indians took a licking against Gilmer last week. Unfortunately, North Hall has proven to be much-improved and might present some problems at The Brickyard. VERDICT: NORTH HALL

Habersham Central @ #7 Dacula

The Raiders’ brutal region slate continues. A week after taking on and losing to #2-ranked Buford, #7 Dacula is a slightly less difficult task. This one is on the road for Habersham. VERDICT: DACULA

Stephens County @ Franklin County

Stephens County had a tough loss to Monroe Area last week. Franklin County has been awesome so far, losing only to Hart County. This one should be tough. Though Franklin is favored, we like Stephens for the upset here. VERDICT: STEPHENS COUNTY

THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

East Hall vs Chestatee
#5 Flowery Branch vs North Oconee
Lakeview vs King’s Ridge
Johnson @ Jackson County
#2 Buford @ Shiloh
Denmark @ Lambert

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