Crystal Ball: Week One Predictions

It’s go time! Week one is here, ready or not! Weekly, we will make our picks for all local games. Don’t worry…we’ve been doing this for quite awhile…since 2006, we’ve predicted on 2,831 total games, with a success rate of 74.3%. Since 2013, that has been 83%.

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

#1 Jefferson Dragons vs #1 Rabun County Wildcats

This might be the best game you’ll see all year, and it comes in the very first week. There’s so much hype around these programs and their bushel of D-I players it’s guaranteed to be the Game of the Week! VERDICT: Too Close/Fan Vote

Stephens County Indians vs White County Warriors

The Indians play host to the Warriors. One team (Stephens) has a solid QB who’s supposedly taken huge strides from year one to year two. However, they lost some talented skill players. The other team (White) has had a QB competition all summer, so either way there will be a learning curve. However, that team returns a ton of talent at the skill positions. This one won’t be easy for either team. VERDICT: White County

#5 Commerce Tigers vs Banks County Leopards

The Tigers open a new era under coach Mark Hollars and aside from Dreylan Martin, the skill positions will look a lot different than the previous season. Banks County is looking to shed the injury bug, and have a dynamic trio that will dictate the season for them. The Tigers are at home…and for the first time, they’ll play home games at 7:30 like everybody else. VERDICT: Commerce

Dawson County Tigers vs Cass Colonels

The Tigers’ Zach Holtzclaw will look to open his senior season with a bang. Cass won this battle last season, but Dawson being at home should help. We’re taking home field advantage and revenge for the Tigers. VERDICT: Dawson County

Habersham Central Raiders @ Madison County Red Raiders

The Raiders must find new go-to players, including at QB, RB, and WR. The Red Raiders may have the home field in this one, but this team went just 3-7 last year and averaged only 16.9 points per game. That Madison team will be better than last year’s version, but Habersham should make enough stops, and find enough offense, to win this one. VERDICT: Habersham Central

Lumpkin County Indians @ Franklin County Lions

The Indians travel to Franklin County in search of their first win since 2019. The Lions went 7-3 on the way to the postseason last year, and had a fairly good defense with enough going on offense to win some ball games. Lumpkin will be better this season, but it may not end up with a win here. VERDICT: Franklin County

Union County Panthers @ Fannin County Rebels

The Panthers pen a new chapter under coach Michael Perry, who has a very good offensive mind. Union travels to the Blue Ridge to take on a quarterfinals team that went 10-1 last year. It may be too ambitious to expect a win out of the gate for the young Panthers on the road against a good team like Fannin. VERDICT: Fannin County

Towns County Indians @ King’s Academy (was originally vs Pinecrest Academy)

The Indians were set to open up at home with a brand new turf field against Pinecrest. That plan has changed, as the opponent had to cancel due to COVID issues. Instead, Towns salvaged the game by picking up King’s Academy, but will play on the road. Pinecrest would have been a nearly certain win (7 total wins from ’17-’19 and did not play in ’20). King’s Academy went 3-7 last season but did make the semifinals in their association, GAPPS. VERDICT: Towns County

THE OTHERS

Predicted winners are in bold

Gainesville vs Johns Creek
Denmark vs #4 Cedartown
Johnson vs #8 Cherokee Bluff
East Jackson vs West Hall
Hart County vs Elbert County
Riverside Military vs Notre Dame
#1 Buford @ #2 North Cobb
#5 Flowery Branch @ #8 St. Pius X
North Hall @ Paulding
Lakeview Academy @ Mt. Paran

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