Tucker vs. Southwest DeKalb (Aug. 27, Hallford): The season opener for both teams has special meaning because 6-AAAA teams play a straight region schedule this season after expansion. Both teams should qualify for state, but the loser is immediately playing catch-up in the hunt for the top seed. Southwest leads the series 3-2 over the past five years but will face a star-studded Tucker defense this season.
Tucker at Marist (Sept. 3): Wins over SWD and Marist to start the season would make the Tigers hard to beat in 6-AAAA. This has become one of the most anticipated games in the state in recent years. Marist has won the past two regular-season matchups by a combined score of 70-7. However, Tucker beat Marist 15-3 in the 2008 AAAA championship game.
Arabia Mountain vs. Towers (Sept. 18, Hallford): Expect to see the ball in the air plenty of times in this game between two spread offenses. It is also Arabia Mountain’s first region game, after playing a limited varsity schedule in its first season last year. Several of the top receivers in the county will be on display, including Mials Woodberry of Arabia and Justyn Shackelford of Towers.
Woodward Academy at Stone Mountain (Sept. 24, Avondale): This will be a tough test for the Pirates in their second 5-AAA Division B game. Woodward was 8-4 last year and is one of the favorites to win the subregion. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. The Pirates’ high-powered offense should be a test for Woodward, which held seven opponents to a touchdown or less last season
Towers vs. Stone Mountain (Oct. 8, Avondale): This rivalry that began in 1964 resumes after a 10-year hiatus because the Pirates drop from AAAA to AAA. Stone Mountain leads the series 7-1. This should be the first pivotal subregion game for the Titans and new coach Marvin Jones as both teams will be trying to keep pace with Woodward Academy.
Grady at St. Pius (Oct. 22): This game decided the top seed in Region 5-AAA, Division A last season and likely will do the same this time around. St. Pius has not lost a region game in two seasons and has a good chance to run the table again this season. Starting quarterback Trey White returns after helping the Lions advance to the AAA state quarterfinals last season.
Decatur at Avondale (Oct. 23): Avondale sealed its first playoff spot in 20 years with a win in this game last season and broke a three-game losing streak against the Bulldogs in the process. Region 6-AA is subdivided this year, but the game still could have playoff implications. The series began in 1958 and Avondale holds a 26-8 advantage.
Stephenson at Newnan (Oct. 29): Region 2-AAAAA newcomer Newnan will be a threat to win the region. It isn’t likely that Stephenson will be looking ahead one week to the showdown with M.L. King, but the Jaguars will need to have their full attention on the Cougars. Newnan has advanced to the AAAAA semifinals for two straight seasons and is 37-4 over the past three years.
Chamblee vs. Dunwoody (Oct. 29, North DeKalb): Dunwoody moves back up to AAAA to renew an off-and-on rivalry that started in 1974. Chamblee won five of six games played from 2002-07. Marist, Southwest DeKalb and Tucker should claim the top three spots in Region 6-AAAA, leaving this as a possible make-or-break game for both teams. It is especially crucial to Dunwoody, which does not have to play Tucker this season.
Stephenson vs. M.L. King (Nov. 5, Hallford): The biggest game in the county for the past few years could decide the regular season 2-AAAAA champion. Stephenson has won two in a row in the series, each by 20 points. The Jaguars are loaded again with college-level talent and will likely have to ramp up its passing defense as M.L. King may be throwing the ball more under new coach Michael Carson.