Let's start with the toughest game and work our way down.
Henry County travels to Eagle's Landing Christian, in a matchup of teams with high expectations, a measuring-stick game for both teams.
Henry County should be motivated for this game, given that ELCA won last year's matchup 13-6. But the Chargers have reason to be plenty motivated themselves, after a fade borne of fatigue down the stretch cost them in a 21-18 loss to Briarwood Christian. But even in that game, but for a couple of bounces the other way, ELCA could've overcome the odds stacked against it.
The Warhawks have avenged themselves against one of the teams that beat them in 2010, but two this quickly is asking a little much of them. If the Chargers can figure out how to pace themselves, use a few more players in non-critical situations to give their key guys some much needed rest, they're the pick to bounce back. If nothing else, this might be one of the sweatiest games, given the extra efforts ELCA players have undertaken during the week to make sure they are amply hydrated.
The slight edge, and the victory, go to Eagle's Landing Christian.
Somebody out there sees Luella as a 34-point favorite against Eagle's Landing. The Golden Eagles saw themselves down by 21 points last week and proceeded to walk down Rutland, taking a 34-27 victory. So I'm not sure I buy a rout.
But, tell the truth, how many out there expected this to be a battle of unbeatens, even three tender weeks into the season? Expect Luella and its superior numbers to prevail, but Eagle's Landing is going to put up a better fight than many might expect.
If you're looking for revenge, look no further than Union Grove's game against Fayette County. The Wolverines lost last season at home, but get the nod this week on the road.
Mount Zion beat Jonesboro on the field last season, then had to forfeit the game for off-the-field reasons. That stings. Look for the Bulldogs to prevail on the field and to make sure it sticks this time.
Woodland gave Starr's Mill a ferocious battle before fading in the second half last year against the Panthers. The Wolfpack will not be able to sneak up on Starr's Mill and the Class AAAA runner-up from last season should win a little easier this time.
Stockbridge heads to one of coach Kevin Whitley's old stomping grounds tonight when it plays North Springs. The words "stomping grounds" may be appropriate here as the Tigers should have no trouble winning against a team that new schools like New Manchester over in Douglas County have made certain to schedule.