Regional title, playoff spots on the line in DeKalb

Arabia Mountain High School and Tucker High School will play for the region 4-5A football region title on Nov. 3 at Adams Stadium at 7:30 p.m., as part of a football schedule that includes 10 home games for DeKalb teams in the final week of the regular season.

Both the Arabia Mountain Rams (8-1, 4-0) and Tucker Tigers (6-3, 4-0) are undefeated in region play and the winner comes out with the No. 1 seed heading into the Class 5A state playoffs. Regardless of the outcome, both teams get a home playoff game in the opening round to be played Nov. 10.

Arabia Mountain’s defense has been key to the Rams’ season, limiting teams to 11 points per game – which is tied for the best in DeKalb County with Dunwoody.

Senior linebacker Daniel Turpin (58 tackles, one sack, 13 tackles for loss, and two interceptions) and senior defensive end Kendall Brown (27 tackles, nine sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss) lead a defense that is allowing just 148.4 yards per game. Senior Daniel Ndukwe (40 tackles, one sack, 10.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions) also plays a big role on the defensive side.

The offense is averaging 27 points a game led by quarterback Julian Shanks (937 yards passing, 12 touchdowns; 243 yards rushing, three touchdowns), running back Laron Jones (488 yards rushing, four touchdowns) and receivers Alex Richard and Ndukwe both have four touchdowns. The Rams are coming off a 21-6 win over Martin Luther King Jr. in region play.

Tucker counters with an explosive offense that has scored 40 or more points in its past five games and seven of its nine games. The Tigers went for 55 points in defeating Lithonia 55-6 on Oct. 26.

Senior running back Jordan McCoy is averaging 184.4 yards/game (1,475 yards, 24 touchdowns) to lead the Tiger attack and has run for 2,625 yards and 38 touchdowns in 16 games over the past two seasons. Jamar Graham has thrown for 1,316 yards and 12 touchdowns while receiver Christian Whitmore has 22 catches for 426 yards and four touchdowns.

The Tiger defense is allowing 26 points per game but has allowed just 20 total in its last three games heading into the showdown with the Rams. Senior linebacker Dallas Kelly (56 tackles, one sack, 12 tackles for loss, one interception, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries) is the leader on defense. Senior defensive end Seth Hardin (26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss) chips in with big plays.

The two teams have played three times previously with Tucker winning the first two games and the Rams taking a 14-13 win last season.

There are six all-DeKalb matchups this week, including a pair of games with playoff implications including Nov. 2’s region 4-5A tussle between host Chamblee (3-6) and visiting Lithonia (1-8) at North DeKalb at 7 p.m.

Chamblee dropped a tough 36-34 double-overtime thriller at Decatur on Oct. 26 and needs a win to clinch the No. 4 seed heading into next week’s state playoffs. Lithonia is trying to get its first region win of the season. Chamblee holds an 11-8 advantage in the series as last year’s win by Chamblee broke Lithonia’s seven-game win streak in the series.

A big rivalry is on tap at Hallford Stadium on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. when the Southwest DeKalb Panthers (2-7) host the Stephenson Jaguars (7-2) on Senior Night.

Stephenson is on the verge of winning the Region 6-4A title with a win over Southwest DeKalb in this region matchup. Stephenson owns a 12-6 advantage in the series after winning the last three. The Jaguars are coming off a big 21-14 win over Holy Innocents, while the Panthers dropped a 37-19 decision to Westminster.

The Columbia Eagles (6-3, 4-1) travel to Avondale Stadium for their neighborhood rivalry with the Towers Titans (1-8, 1-4) to clinch the No. 2 seed from region 5-2A. The series dates back to 1968, and the Eagles hold a 16-4-2 mark and seven wins in a row.

Other all-DeKalb matchups include Druid Hills (7-1-1) against Stone Mountain (1-8) at Godfrey Stadium and Lakeside (4-5) versus Clarkston (1-8) at North DeKalb Stadium on Nov. 3.


The Dunwoody Wildcats (8-1, 3-1) travel to Henderson Stadium on Nov. 3 to play the North Atlanta Warriors (8-1, 3-1) with the region 4-6A No. 2 playoff seed and home playoff game on the line. The Wildcats sealed their first playoff berth since the 2008 season with a 32-18 win over Riverwood.

Cedar Grove (4-5) goes on the road to Lakewood Stadium to take on Carver-Atlanta (2-6). The Saints will play to close out the region 5-3A slate undefeated and take the No. 1 seed heading into the state playoffs.

The full schedule for all DeKalb teams playing week 12 is listed below:

Nov. 2

Godfrey Stadium

Decatur (4-5) vs. M.L. King (2-7), 7 p.m.

Hallford Stadium

Eagle’s Landing Christian (4-5) vs. McNair (4-5), 7 p.m.

North DeKalb Stadium

Lithonia (1-8) vs. Chamblee (3-6), 7 p.m.


Nov. 3

Adams Stadium

Arabia Mountain (8-1) vs. Tucker (6-3), 7:30 p.m.

Avondale Stadium

Columbia (6-3) vs. Towers (1-8), 7:30 p.m.

Godfrey Stadium

Druid Hills (7-1-1) vs. Stone Mountain (1-8), 7:30 p.m.

Hallford Stadium

Stephenson (7-2) vs. SW DeKalb (2-7), 7:30 p.m.

North DeKalb Stadium

Lakeside (4-5) vs. Clarkston (1-8), 7:30 p.m.

Hughes Spalding Stadium

Marist (8-1) vs. Riverwood (3-6), 7:30 p.m.
George B. Maloof Stadium
St. Pius (2-7) vs. South Cobb (0-9), 7:30 p.m.

Away games

Miller Grove (5-4) at Westminster (6-3), 7 p.m.

Henderson Stadium

Dunwoody (8-1) vs. North Atlanta (8-1), 8 p.m.

Lakewood Stadium

Cedar Grove (4-5) vs. Carver-Atl (2-6), 8 p.m.


The Champion Editor Jay Phillips contributed to this article.



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