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Weekly Football Forecast
by David Rutz
September 14, 2012 05:59 AM | 1607 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Holy Innocents' senior Jason Grimes tries to break away from the grip of Jack Palmore during summer practice. The Golden Bears currently top the GHSA Class A private school point standings through three games.
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Ok, I can do better than last week, when I posted my first losing record (2-4). I'll try to get back on track as we take a look at this week's matchups for local football teams.

Last week: 2-4 (12-7 overall)

Riverwood (2-0) at North Springs (0-2)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Thermopylae Stadium

Last time they met: Riverwood won 56-0 on Oct. 21, 2011. North Springs leads the all-time series 21-10-1.

Scouting the matchup: Riverwood’s riding high after drilling Holy Innocents’ last Friday for its first victory over the Golden Bears in three years, 24-14, overcoming a HIES touchdown on its first play to overpower them over the remainder of the game. North Springs, meanwhile, fell to Hapeville Charter in one of its best opportunities on the calendar to get that elusive win. Up-and-coming Riverwood pasted the Spartans in each of their past two meetings since the Sandy Springs schools started meeting again in 2010. Expect that to continue, as the Raiders roll to their first 3-0 start since 2005.

Prediction: Riverwood

North Atlanta (0-2, 0-1 6-AAAAA) at Miller Grove (1-1, 0-1 6-AAAAA)

When/Where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Avondale Stadium

Last time they met: This is their first meeting.

Scouting the matchup: It’s a chance for a region win for the Warriors, in their most favorable matchup of their first three games and a far cry from the defending Class AAAA state champion Tucker Tigers from last week. North Atlanta makes it interesting but Miller Grove pulls it out.

Prediction: Miller Grove

Marist (1-1) at Lovett (2-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Conley-Oakley Field

Last time they met: This is their first meeting.

Scouting the matchup: As we profiled earlier in the week, this is the surprising first meeting between these two Atlanta private schools, who have a long legacy of success on the gridiron. The question in this one is whether the Lions can consistently stop the option attack of the War Eagles. Lovett’s offense is still a bit of a work in progress itself, and the Lions will have to keep winning the turnover battle to take out Class AAAA’s No. 2 team. In a tight game, Marist emerges the winner.

Prediction: Marist

Thomasville (1-2) at Westminster (1-2)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Alfred E. Thompson Stadium

Last time they met: This is their first meeting.

Scouting the matchup: Special teams and defense did it for the Wildcats, who snapped an 0-2 skid with a 15-12 road win over Laney. As their offense continues to develop, the wins will continue to come. Westminster’s too big, talented and well-coached to slide to 1-3. I like them to protect the house and even their record for the year.

Prediction: Westminster

George Walton (1-1) at Holy Innocents’ (2-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Hoskyn Stadium (Riverwood)

Last time they met: This is their first meeting.

Scouting the matchup: According to the Georgia High School Football Daily Report, Holy Innocents’ tops all Class A private schools in the points standings thanks to its tough schedule and 2-1 record so far. This is the first year the GHSA is holding separate championships for private and public schools in its smallest classification, and final points standings will determine how the top 16 teams in each division are seeded for the state playoffs. The Golden Bears have a power ranking of 19.33, more than four points better than second-place Aquinas (15.17). Teams receive 10 points for a victory, five for a tie and none for a loss. There are two bonus points for each class higher than Class A an opponent is (for instance, the Golden Bears’ two Class AAAAA opponents, Riverwood and Lakeside-DeKalb, were worth an extra eight points apiece), and finally points for that opponent’s winning percentage at the time x 10. So for Holy Innocents’ beating Lakeside, that is currently worth a total of 23 points (10 for the win, 8 for it being a Class AAAAA foe and 5 for Lakeside’s .500 winning percentage x 10). Holy Innocents’ has totaled 58 points through three games, despite its 24-14 loss to Riverwood, and divided by three that comes out to 19.33. These rankings will fluctuate as the season wears on, of course, but for now, the Golden Bears rest atop them. And they’ll get back to their winning ways against a good George Walton team.

Prediction: Holy Innocents’

Pace (1-1) at King’s Ridge Christian (2-0)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at King’s Ridge

Last time they met: Pace won 22-13 on Sept. 23, 2011 and leads the all-time series 2-0.

Scouting the matchup: The Knights, after an impressive opening win over Whitefield, were humbled by Athens Academy 42-7 last week and are looking to quickly bounce back from that loss. The host Tigers have two lopsided wins to open the season, albeit against cupcake opponents that run the triple option in Pinecrest and St. Francis. Pace’s more dynamic offense should give King’s Ridge headaches. Denzel Franklin ran all over them a year ago, and while the Tigers are improved in their front seven defense, the Knights are too much of a step up in competition to handle.

Prediction: Pace

Pinecrest Academy (0-1) at Mount Vernon Presbyterian (1-1)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon

Last time they met: This is their first meeting.

Scouting the matchup: As the Mustangs get deeper into their GHSA experience and adjust more and more to the increased speed, they should be able to win these games. But Pinecrest’s been seasoned by tougher competition and spoils Mount Vernon’s hopes at a 2-1 start.

Prediction: Pinecrest

Holy Spirit (1-1, 1-0 GFC West) at Freedom Academy (1-0, 1-2 GFC West)

When/Where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Academy (Huntsville, Ala.)

Last time they met: Holy Spirit won 46-29 on Aug. 20, 2011 in their only other game.

Scouting the matchup: Ok, the Cougars outmuscled Grace Baptist last week, and as Freedom was edged by those guys in Week 1, I’ll take Holy Spirit to win a crucial divisional game and remain atop the standings.

Prediction: Holy Spirit contributed facts to this article.

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