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No panic, but urgency for teams

The Mundy’s Mill defense, which includes linebacker Devonte Haley, No. 16, and Jevan McCrary, will need a big effort against Drew in a key Region 4-AAAAA, Division A game on Friday. (Special Photo: Jason Mussell)

The Mundy’s Mill defense, which includes linebacker Devonte Haley, No. 16, and Jevan McCrary, will need a big effort against Drew in a key Region 4-AAAAA, Division A game on Friday. (Special Photo: Jason Mussell)

Upcoming Games

Friday

Morrow vs. Lovejoy (TO)

Mundy’s Mill vs. Drew (SC)

Ola vs. Mount Zion (T)

Riverdale at Spalding

Saturday

Upson-Lee vs. North Clayton (SC)

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In the first two Region 2-AAAAAA games, Lovejoy defensive coordinator Edgar Carson’s unit has only give up a combined three points in wins over Druid Hills and Rockdale. (Special Photo: Jason Mussell)

While one loss in a subregion or region game doesn’t necessarily mean your season is over, it does place a sense of urgency on the program.

Many teams are in that hurry up mode as the schedule gets short with playoff berths hanging in the balance.

Jonesboro, which enjoys a bye week, jumpstarted its season with a win over winless North Clayton last week. Now, the Cardinals are tied with Riverdale for third place in the Region 4-AAAA, Div. B standings. Upson-Lee is a game ahead of each with a 1-0 record as Griffin sits atop the standings with a 2-0 subregion record.

Griffin seems untouchable at the moment heading into its bye week at 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the subregion with blowout wins against Jonesboro (38-0) and Riverdale (49-0). Coming out of the bye week, the Bears face North Clayton, Upson-Lee and Spalding, which have a combined record of 3-13.

Several teams in the area find themselves in key region and subregion games this week.

Here is a look at some important games involving area teams:

Morrow vs. Lovejoy: The Wildcats ride a 28-game region winning streak into the home contest at Twelve Oaks Stadium. In two Region 2-AAAAAA wins, Lovejoy has only given up three points in victories over Druid Hills and Rockdale. Lovejoy is averaging a region-best 32 points per game. Morrow has lost its last two games, including a 30-6 setback to Rockdale last week in its region opener. The Mustangs are averaging only 16 points per game while giving up an average of 33 points per contest. Lovejoy leads the all-time series 12-3 and have won the last 10 games, including the last three by outscoring the Mustangs 135-8.

Mundy’s Mill vs. Drew: The winner will likely keep pace with Union Grove for the Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A title and a chance at hosting a playoff game. Union Grove sits atop the subregion with a 2-0 record heading into its bye week. Both teams got their first wins of the season. Ironically, both are seeing the resurgence of their running backs that has given them an added dimension to their offense. Rodney Smith continues to show progress from a knee injury, as he had his third straight 100-plus yard rushing game in a win over winless Mount Zion last week. Smith has 470 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Drew will counter with junior Marquis Terry, who missed the first three games of the season with a wrist injury. He comes into the game with 293 yards in two games and a pair of touchdowns. Titans quarterback Brandon Pearson is one of the county’s top passers with 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Ola vs. Mount Zion: Both teams come into the game winless overall and in the subregion. However, Ola gave region leader Union Grove all it could handle before losing 16-14 last week. Neither team has moved the both effectively as Ola is averaging only eight points per game while the Bulldogs have a six-point per game average.

Riverdale at Spalding: At this point in the season, these teams were not expected to be struggling. After winning its first two games of the season, Riverdale has struggled and now faces a must-win situation against a winless Spalding group. The Raiders have been hit by the injury bug, which cost them their quarterback Greg Taylor for the season. Sophomore Nate Williams Jr. is now the starter. He has rushed for 69 yards and passed for 31 in the last two games.