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Peachtree Ridge's Amari McNeill blocks Friday against Pebblebrook.

Collins Hill Eagles (8-AAAAAAA)

Coach: Lenny Gregory

Record: 4-2

Last week: Lost to East Coweta 24-17 in overtime

Peachtree Ridge Lions (8-AAAAAAA)

Coach: Reggie Stancil

Record: 3-0

Last week: Had a bye

Peachtree Ridge is eager to get back on the field for both teams’ Region 8-AAAAAAA opener after seeing its past two games wiped out by COVID-19 issues stemming from a matchup with Centennial, which had a player test positive after that game. The Lions had eight players impacted by the in-game contact, mostly linemen, which cost them an important two-game stretch before region play.

“They’re ready (to play),” Stancil said. “We had such good momentum going. Those guys, espeically the seniors, they go into a season where you don’t know how many games you’ll get to play, or if you’ll get to have a season, then you get it going and have success, you want to continue with the success. … We felt like we had an opportunity to possibly go 5-0 and then to get shut down. For the seniors, it was tough for those guys.”

Stancil’s unbeaten team used the past two weeks to work in smaller position groups, cleaning some things up with talented Collins Hill up next on the schedule. Peachtree Ridge’s offensive line has been pivotal in its early-season success, and that strength goes head-to-head with a talented Eagles defensive line this week.

“It’s almost a measuring stick a little bit for our guys to see how good we can be offensive line-wise because (Collins Hill’s) always going to pay hard and Lenny always does a great job with those guys,” Stancil said.

Collins Hill got its full six games in to this point, but it has been an up-and-down stretch from looking sharp in an opening win over Carrollton to holding a fourth-quarter lead against Grayson to falling at East Coweta in overtime last Friday. The Eagles looked good in a win over a talented Rome team, then they didn’t play their best in a hard-fought, 30-22 win at Alpharetta.

“We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve played good enough at times and we’ve played bad enough at times,” Gregory said. “I think the preseason, or non-region, has been a little bit of learning, too. The way we look at it is we can easily be sitting at 6-0 right now. But I think with the two losses we’ve had, I think that’s it’s given us an opportunity to look at ourselves a little better, just to go back to work and get things fixed.”

Cleaning those things up by region play is the goal.

“It’s 0-0, everybody’s record is 0-0 now (in region),” Gregory said. “We just finished six games of preseason and really it means nothing. Now every game counts.”

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Collins Hill won 35-0 last year

Location: Peachtree Ridge High School

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