John McClellan’s high school football picks: Darlington to open season with big win; close win for Cedartown over Rockmart; Cartersville, Calhoun to move to 2-0.

John McClellan’s high school football picks: Darlington to open season with big win; close win for Cedartown over Rockmart; Cartersville, Calhoun to move to 2-0.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports

Truett’s Chick-fli-A, 264 Shorter Ave., 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Drive-through and Door Dash.
Mount Berry Mall, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (curbside, carryout, Door Dash). Shipping Container, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. All Monday-Saturday.


Cartersville’s 59th straight regular season win to break a stae school record, Calhoun’s domination of Dalton, Rome’s come from behind win over Rockmart, Cass’s upset of Dawson County, and Armuchee’s win over Towns County to break a losing streak dating back to the start of last season highlighted an exciting opening weekend of high school football in Georgia. Rome and Darlington maintained their preseason state rankings, Cartersville moved up to Number 3 in Class 5A, and Calhoun, with the win over Dalton, and Cedartown, who did not even play, moved into the Top 10.

The Coosa Eagles, Darlington Tigers, and Cedartown Bulldogs open their 2020 schedules this Friday night. The Calhoun Yellow Jackets, following some late schedule changes, travel to Chattanooga to take on one of the best teams in Tennessee when they go up against McCallie. The Pepperell Dragons, who lost on the road at Haralson County, host state ranked Heard County in a rematch of a 2019 state playoff game, while the Unity Christian Lions meet the only team who defeated them a year ago when they travel to Peachtree Academy.

Trion (0-0) at Coosa (0-0)

Series History: Trion leads 9-7-1

Last Meeting: Trion defeated Coosa 26-14 on August 23, 2019.

The Trion Bulldogs, who did not play in opening week, finished 5-5 in the regular season in a 2019 season that ended with a 23-6 first round playoff loss to Commerce. The Coosa Eagles, who also are playing their 2020 season opener, missed the playoffs a year ago with their lone win coming in mid-season over Armuchee on their way to a 1-9 record. Trion wins by 6.

Lakeview Academy (0-0) at Class 1A Private Number 10 Darlington (0-0)

Series History: First Meeting

The Lakeview Lions, who were forced to cancel their scheduled Friday night season opener due to COVID-19 exposure issues, finished 2-7 in 2019 for their seventh straight losing record. The Darlington Tigers, who are playing their first scheduled game of 2020, won their first nine games a year ago before ending the season with losses to Fellowship Christian and Mt. Paran Christian. Darlington wins by more than 30.

Class 2A Number 10 Heard County (1-0) at Pepperell (0-1)

Series History: Heard County leads 2-1

Last Meeting: Pepperell defeated Heard County 27-7 on November 15, 2019 in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

The Heard County Braves, who won the Class 2A state championship two years ago, defeated South Atlanta 20-6 in Friday night’s season opener. The Pepperell Dragons played well most of the night on Friday before falling 28-10 at Haralson County. These teams met in the first round of the 20-19 state playoffs. Heard County wins by 2.

Model (0-1) at LaFayette (0-0)

Series History: LaFayette leads 10-4

Last Meeting: LaFayette defeated Model 18-16 on August 23, 2019.

The LaFayette Ramblers, who were off Friday night, lost their last five games a year ago to finish 5-5 in 2019. The Model Blue Devils battled their way into overtime Friday night before losing on the road 20-14 to Sonoraville. Model wins by 12.

Unity Christian School (1-0) at Peachtree Academy (1-0)

Series History: Peachtree leads 4-2

Last Meeting: Peachtree defeated UCS 26-0 on November 8, 2019 in the GAPPS Class AA semifinals.

The UCS Lions dominated their opponent two weeks ago in a 38-0 shutout of New Creation Christian Academy but were off Friday night after COVID-19 issues forced Harvester Christian to cancel its game with the Lions. The Peachtree Academy Panthers are 2-0 in 2019 following wins of 50-6 over Johnson Ferry Christian Academy and 47-6 over King’s Way Christian School. These two teams split their games with each other in 2019. Unity Christian wins by 7.

West Forsyth (1-0) at Class 5A Number 3 Cartersville (1-0)

Series History: First Meeting

The West Forsyth Wolverines were one of four teams to play on the opening night of the Corky Kell Classic and came away with a 42-6 win over then Class 4A Mays. The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes won their 59th straight regular season win in a 42-0 shutout of Morrow and broke the state record for most consecutive regular season records to stake their claim to consideration as the best Class 5A team in Georgia.  Cartersville wins by 15.

Adairsville (1-0) at Cass (1-0)

Series History: Cass leads 31-22-1

Last Meeting: Adairsville defeated Cass 14-7 on August 30, 2019.

The Adairsville Tigers, who many believe will be a playoff contender in Region 6-3A, started the season with a 35-28 win over Chattooga. The Cass Colonels, who were 4-6 a year ago, pulled off one of the bigger upsets in northwest Georgia in a 23-7 win over then Class 3A Number 10 Dawson County.  Cass wins by13.

Osborne (0-0) at Woodland (1-0)

Series History: Woodland leads 5-2

Last Meeting: Osborne defeated Woodland 37-33 on September 11, 2009.

The Osborne Cardinals, who are playing their first game of the 2020 season, are mired in a 31-game losing streak with their last win coming in a 14-8 defeat of Forest Park in the next to last game of the 2016 season. The Woodland Wildcats put up a solid defensive effort in scoring a 14-0 shutout of Gordon Central. The Wildcats have an excellent chance to get off to a 4-0 start in 2020. Woodland wins by 15.

Class 4A Number 7 Cedartown (0-0) at Rockmart (0-1)

Series History: Cedartown leads 51-23-2

Last meeting: Rockmart defeated Cedartown 31-12 on August 23, 2019.

The Cedartown Bulldogs, who canceled their scheduled season opener at Carrollton due to COVID-19 issues in the first few days teams were permitted to start practice, finished 5-6 a year ago before ending the 2019 season with a 42-22 first round playoff loss to Marist. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets moved the ball well all night but were plagued by several costly turnovers in a 28-21 loss to Class 6A Rome. Cedartown wins by 2.

Class 5A Number 7 Calhoun (1-0) v. McCallie (Tenn.) (2-1) at Finley Stadium

Series History: First Meeting

The Calhoun Yellow Jackets convinced a lot of doubters Friday night that they will be a team to be reckoned with following a stunning 41-14 defeat of the Class 6A Dalton Catamounts. The McCallie Blue Tornado, who entered Friday night ranked Number 1 in Division II-AAA in Tennessee following forfeit win over Chattanooga Christian and a 55-0 win over Webb, lost 30-27 to Number 2 ranked Brentwood Academy. Calhoun wins by 7.

Gordon Central (0-1) at Northwest Whitfield (1-0)

Series History: Northwest Whitfield leads 8-2

Last Meeting: Northwest Whitfield defeated Gordon Central 38-13 on October 12, 2007.

The Gordon Central Warriors failed to put points on the scoreboard in a 14-0 shutout loss to Woodland. The Northwest Whitfield Bruins, who generally are touted as the second-best team behind Cedartown in Region 7-4A, defeated Coahulla Creek 27-6. Northwest Whitfield wins by 14.

Pickens (1-0) at Chattooga (0-1)

Series History: First Meeting

The Pickens Dragons were embroiled in a close battle all evening before pulling out a 17-8 win over traditional rival Gilmer. The Chattooga Indians, who many believe will be one of the favorites in Region 7-2A, lost their season opener 35-28 to Adairsville. Pickens wins by 9.

OFF THIS WEEK—Armuchee (1-0 after defeating Towns County 10-7) ,Class 6A Number 5 Rome (1-0 after defeating Rockmart 28-21), Sonoraville (1-0 after defeating Model 20-14 in overtime)

In other games involving teams in regions in northwest Georgia:

  • North Paulding (0-1) over South Paulding (1-0) by 6
  • Alexander (1-0) over Lithia Springs (0-1) by more than 30
  • Class 6A Number 9 Carrollton (0-1) over Newnan (1-0) by 11
  • Dalton (0-1) over Ridgeland (0-1) by 28
  • Class 6A Number 10 Douglas County (1-0) over Stockbridge (0-1) by 2
  • East Paulding (1-0) over Campbell (0-1) by 15
  • Hiram (0-1) over Paulding County (1-0) by 8
  • Central of Carrollton (0-0) over Temple by 12
  • Heritage-Catoosa (1-0) over Ringgold (0-0) by 21
  • Coahulla Creek (0-1) over Southeast Whitfield (0-0) by 1
  • Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (0-1) over Gordon Lee (1-0) by 7
  • Class 2A Number 9 Bremen (1-0) over Bowdon (0-1)by 24
  • Manchester (0-1) over Haralson County (1-0) by 3
  • Christian Heritage (0-1) over Landmark Christian (0-1) by 28
  • Mt. Paran Christian (0-1) over Mt. Pisgah Christian (0-1) by 16
  • Hebron Christian (0-0) over North Cobb Christian (0-1) by 1
  • Brookstone (1-0) over Walker (0-1) by 18
  • BEST Academy (0-0) over North Clayton (0-1) by 8 (Saturday)
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