MOULTRIE — The top two teams in Region 1-AAAAA will meet tonight in Warner Robins in what is probably the top game in the state, while in Tifton the last two winless region teams will try to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Lowndes, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA, will make the long trip up I-75 this afternoon to meet No. 4-ranked Northside-Warner Robins in a game between undefeated teams that continue to be state championship contenders.

The Vikings have ridden roughshod over their first five opponents, outscoring them by a combined 248-44.

Northside has played one fewer game, but is 4-0 and is always formidable when playing at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

Between them, Lowndes and Northside have won five state championships in the last five seasons, with the Vikings taking the Class AAAAA titles in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Northside won it all in 2006 and 2007 in Class AAAA before being moved up in classification last year.

Both programs have been among the state’s elite this decade, with Northside winning 112 games. Lowndes has won 101.

The Vikings featured a three-pronged rushing attack led by wingback Khary Franklin, who is second in the region in rushing with 581 yards on just 48 carries.

Wingback Troy Braswell is fourth in the league with 395 yards on 39 carries and seven touchdowns. Fullback Robert Anderson has carries 39 times for 370 yards and has scored four times.

Twice this season, Lowndes has scored on long touchdown runs on the first play from scrimmage. Against Peachtree Ridge, the Vikings returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

And the Vikings defense is fast, athletic and ferocious.

Northside has not piled up the impressive numbers, but has been efficient in victories over Perry, Carver-Columbus, Valdosta and Houston County. The region win over the Wildcats was by just three points. The Eagles defeated Carver by just eight.

Shaquille O’Neill leads the Eagles offense, having rushed for 380 yards and eight touchdowns. Northside has thrown the ball just 26 times.

But Northside will have the homefield advantage and is likely to use last year’s game against the Vikings as motivation. Lowndes won 24-7 at Martin Stadium in 2008, snapping the Eagles 35-game winning streak.

In Tifton, Tift County is hoping for a pleasant Homecoming against Houston County.

But the Blue Devils, 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the region, are struggling mightily after going two rounds deep into the playoffs last season.

In their four losses, Tift has been defeated by Roswell 42-7, Brooks County 27-7 and Lowndes 50-7. The Devils only victory was by a 20-0 score over Cook.

Houston County is still looking for its first region victory since 2006.

The Bears opened the season as they did 2008, defeating Groves, Fayette County and Bradwell Institute. But they have lost 16-2 to Coffee in the rain and 42-7 to Northside since then.

Houston does feature Region 1-AAAAA’s leading rusher in Robert Williams, who has carried 138 times for 883 yards and a region-leading 10 touchdowns. Northside held Williams to just 95 yards last week.

Also tonight, Warner Robins and Coffee will meet in Douglas in a battle between two region teams coming off tough losses.

The Demons fell to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the region when they came up short 14-7 against Valdosta on Saturday at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

The Trojans also are 3-2 and 1-1 after Colquitt County scored 10 unanswered points in the final 7:55 to take a 31-21 victory last Friday at Bonwell Royal Field at Jardine Stadium.

 Next week, it will be Tift at Colquitt, Coffee at Northside and Valdosta at Lowndes. Houston County and Warner Robins will be off.

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