Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle's Landing coach Joe Teknipp will lead his team against Lamar County, which is coached by Franklin Stephens, who led Tucker to two state titles.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Eagle's Landing coach Joe Teknipp will lead his team against Lamar County, which is coached by Franklin Stephens, who led Tucker to two state titles.

Southern Crescent Top 5

Each week throughout the season, the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald ranks the top five football teams in Clayton and Henry counties.

1. Lovejoy (1-0)

The Wildcats made easy work of Mundy’s Mill in their season-opening 44-6 victory last week. Several of the usual suspects played well — quarterback Alejandro Bennifield finished 11-of-15 passing for 203 yards and four touchdowns and running back Travis Custis had 165 yards of offense and two touchdowns. That helped Lovejoy move into the Associated Press Top 10 Poll in Class AAAAAA at No. 9.

2. ELCA (1-1)

A week after a tough 24-19 loss to Washington County, a top 10 team in Class AAA, the Chargers bounced back with a resounding statement — a 32-7 win at Briarwood Christian, a top 10 team in Alabama’s second highest classification. Keyante Green rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, but Green, Notre Dame commit Isaac Rochell and pre-season all-state defensive back D.J. Curl are questionable this week with injuries.

3. Jonesboro (1-0)

Despite missing coach Tim Floyd, who served the first game in a two-game suspension for a recruiting violation, the Cardinals cruised past Mount Zion, 33-7, with an impressive balance of scoring on offense and defense. Patrick Petty and Cameron Sutton both returned an interception for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown. Taurean Ferguson blocked a punt and caught a touchdown pass.

4. Drew (0-0)

The Titans were idle to open the season and get started with their first taste of Clayton County football in program history. Seriously, after two years of varsity competition, Drew meets its first opponent (Riverdale) from Clayton.

5. Riverdale (1-0)

The Raiders move into the Southern Crescent Top 5 after shutting out rival North Clayton for a 21-0 victory in the Southern Classic despite getting out-gained on offense 219-176. Quarterback Greg Taylor ran and passed for touchdowns, running back Kahmad Magwood rushed for a touchdown and Josh Powell had an interception to set up Taylor’s rushing score.

Clinch County at ELCA

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Commitment Field, McDonough

Records, rankings: Clinch County is 1-1 and unranked; ELCA is 1-1 and ranked No. 4 in Class A

Last meeting: Clinch won 34-27 in 2010

Noteworthy: This will be ELCA’s first game against a Class A opponent since opening the season against Washington County (Class AAA) and Briarwood Christian (AAAAA in Alabama). Chargers players Isaac Rochell (defensive lineman), D.J. Curl (defensive back) and Keyante Green (running back/linebacker) might not play because of injuries. In its win over Briarwood last week, Green scored three touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter. Clinch moved running back Kenyun Morehead from running back to quarterback after the first week of the season. In his first start, he ran for four touchdowns and three for another in a win over Mitchell County.

Drew vs. Riverdale

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Southern Crescent Stadium, Riverdale

Records, rankings: This is Drew’s first game; Riverdale is 1-0. Neither team is ranked.

Last meeting: This is first meeting

Noteworthy: This will be Drew’s first game against another Clayton County school. When Drew opened four years ago, it pulled students from both Riverdale and North Clayton high schools. Drew was idle last week as Riverdale opened with a big win over North Clayton.

Eagle’s Landing at Lamar County

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Trojan Field, Barnesville

Records, rankings: Eagle’s Landing is 0-1 and unranked. Lamar County is 0-0-1and is ranked No. 6 in Class AA.

Last meeting: These two teams have never met.

Noteworthy: Eagle’s Landing lost a dramatic nailbiter, 38-30 at Ola last week and will look to avoid getting off to its sixth 0-2 start in its last seven seasons. The task will be monumental, as the Golden Eagles will face a Lamar County team that has had three consecutive winning seasons, including a 12-1 mark last year where the Trojans suffered a 35-33 playoff loss to Appling County in the quarterfinals.

Grady vs. North Clayton

When, where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Southern Crescent Stadium, Riverdale

Records, rankings: Grady is 1-0; North Clayton is 0-1. Neither team is ranked.

Last meeting: North Clayton won 36-14.

Noteworthy: North Clayton leads the series 3-2. Last week’s 21-0 loss to Riverdale was the first time in eight games that the Eagles have been shutout. North Clayton senior La’Darrius Mathis rushed for 156 yards, and had a long touchdown run called back because of a penalty.

Henry County at Dutchtown

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Bulldogs Stadium, Hampton.

Records, rankings: Both teams are 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: Dutchtown won 41-36 in 2007.

Noteworthy: It was an inauspicious start to the season last week for two teams accustomed to winning, or at least being competitive. The Bulldogs were competitive for a half against Griffin, leading 16-7 at halftime, but were outscored 36-0 in the second half for a 42-16 loss. Henry County never threatened at East Coweta, gaining just three first downs in a 35-7 loss to the Indians; not a good start to the Joe Dupree era.

Jonesboro at Westover

When, where: Today 7:30 p.m., Hugh Mills Stadium, in Albany.

Records, rankings: Both teams are 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Noteworthy: After a strong showing in its 33-7 season opening win over Mt. Zion last week, Jonesboro just missed cracking the Associated Press Class AAAA Top 10 poll. Coach Tim Floyd will be missing from the sidelines for the second straight game as he serves a two-game suspension for a recruiting violation. Despite the absence of their leader, the Cardinals didn’t skip a beat, and will hope to carry that momentum on the road at Westover. The Patriots also were victorious in their 2012 debut, beating Tift County 33-29. Jonesboro will try not to look ahead to its week three playoff rematch at Griffin.

Langston Hughes at Luella

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Luella High Stadium, in Locust Grove.

Records, rankings: Langston Hughes is 1-0 and unranked. Luella is 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: Luella won 20-13 last season.

Noteworthy: The two former Region 2-AAAAA members meet in a non-region contest. Luella lost 50-23 at Lowndes and allowed 408 yards rushing. Linebacker Mannie Lowery led the team with 12 tackles. But run defense won’t be the Lions’ biggest concern this week against a Langston Hughes team that works through the air. The Panthers got a great performance by quarterback Kenny Moxey, who threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in a 26-14 season-opening victory over Creekside.

Lovejoy at Colquitt County

When, where: Today, 8 p.m., Mack Tharpe Memorial Stadium in Moultrie.

Records, rankings: Lovejoy is 1-0 and ranked No. 9 in Class AAAAAA. Colquitt County is 1-1 and ranked No. 10 in AAAAAA.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between these two schools.

Noteworthy: Both of these teams are playoff contenders who will be looking to test themselves against each other. Both the Wildcats and the Packers were close enough to sniff state titles last year only to lose in the finals and semifinals, respectively. And both of them loaded offensively. Lovejoy took a 41-0 halftime lead before cruising to a 44-6 win over Mundy’s Mill while Colquitt split games, losing to North Gwinnett and winning at Thomas County Central. The Wildcats stout defense will be looking to stop the Packer tandem of quarterback Cole Seagraves and receiver Bobby Hill. Hill caught 13 balls for 141 yards last week against Thomas County Central.

Morrow vs. Forest Park

When, where: Today 7:30 p.m, Tara Stadium, in Jonesboro.

Records, rankings: Both teams are 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: Forest Park defeated Morrow 34-6 last season.

Noteworthy: This game could be pegged the Rebuilding Bowl, as both Morrow and Forest Park feature lengthy losing season streaks and first-year head coaches trying to clean up the mess. The Panthers lone victory in 2011 came against Morrow, but still notched its 12th straight losing season with a 1-9 finish. Morrow didn’t fair any better last season, going 0-10 for the second time in three seasons. But new coaches bring hope. For Morrow, Leroy Foster brings a winning pedigree from the state of Florida where he won three high state championships as a head coach. Meanwhile, Forest Park’s Don Williams hopes his team’s attitude overhaul will translate onto the field. Both teams lost in lopsided fashion last week and will hope to grab some early season momentum with a win.

Stockbridge at Upson-Lee

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Matthews Field, in Thomaston.

Records, rankings: Both teams are 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: Upson-Lee won 35-28 in 2007.

Noteworthy: Stockbridge opened the season ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA, but after suffering a 23-0 shutout at the hands of Class AAAAA No. 5 M.L. King Saturday, the Tigers promptly fell out. Fourth-year coach Kevin Whitley is far from pressing the panic button, however and plans to use its season opening embarrassment as a teachable moment. Meanwhile, Upson-Lee lost 40-39 in double overtime to Pike County last Friday. The Knights are hoping a win Friday would start them on the track of achieving back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 2004-2005 seasons.

Strong Rock at Clarkston

When, where: Today, 5:15 p.m., Hallford Stadium, Clarkston

Records, rankings: Strong Rock is 1-0 and unranked; Clarkston is 0-2 and unranked.

Last meeting: First meeting

Noteworthy: Clarkston is a Class AAAAA school, but are playing a non-region schedule against teams in lower classification. The Patriots season opening win over Social Circle last week was its first opening game win in school history. Strong Rock scored 36 points against Social Circle, which is the second most points it has scored on an opponent since joining the Georgia High School Association in 2010.

Ola at Locust Grove

When, where: Today 7:30 p.m., Locust Grove High School in Locust Grove.

Records, rankings: Ola is 1-0 and unranked. Locust Grove is 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Noteworthy: After losing 25-21 to Union Grove in its season debut, Locust Grove is hoping to bounce back against an Ola team that is riding an emotional high after its come-from-behind victory against Eagle’s Landing. Ola defeated the Golden Eagles 38-30 and senior JoJo Spann had a huge game, scoring two rushing touchdowns and recording the game clinching interception. Another big night from Spann, and the Mustangs have a shot at its first 2-0 start in school history.

Union Grove at Woodland

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Wolfpack Stadium in Stockbridge.

Records, rankings: Both teams are 1-0 and unranked.

Last meeting: Union Grove won 24-14 last season.

Noteworthy: A rivalry just three years old, it’s already turned into a good one, even if the Wolverines own a 2-0 record against the Wolfpack. Both teams got off to strong starts last week thanks to their work on the ground. In Union Grove’s 25-21 victory over Locust Grove, running backs Derrick Craine (15 carries, 97 yards, two TDs) and Miles Vaughn (16 carries, 92 yards) had big days. In Woodland’s 27-10 victory over Walnut Grove, senior Malcolm Miller rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and also had a touchdown reception. Quarterbacks Jonathan Slade (Union Grove) and Taylor Poff (Woodland) may be crucial in this match-up.

Whitewater vs. Mundy’s Mill

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m., Twelve Oaks Stadium, Hampton

Records, rankings: Whitewater is 0-1 and unranked; Mundy’s Mill is 0-1 and unranked.

Last meeting: First meeting

Noteworthy: Neither team did well in their season opener, although they faced some stiff competition. Whitewater lost 41-3 at Coffee. Mistakes hurt Whitewater in its loss to Coffee, which had 405 yards of offense while limiting the Wildcats to only 113 for the game.