In what promises to be a gridiron showdown of epic proportions, the Pacelli Vikings will clash with the Stratford Academy Eagles this Friday at 7:30 p.m. on the hallowed grounds of Deimel Field in Columbus. This titanic battle has garnered the esteemed title of "Georgia High School Football Daily's Top 10 Game of the Week" across the State of Georgia, a testament to the anticipation and excitement surrounding this contest in the world of GHSA and GIAA football.
Records and Rankings:
The stage is set, and the stakes are high. Stratford Academy enters this battle with an unblemished 3-0 record and the distinguished honor of being ranked No. 1 in GIAA Class 4A according to MaxPreps. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the St. Anne-Pacelli Vikings boast an impressive 3-1 record, securing their place as the No. 2 team in GIAA Class 4A per MaxPreps.
A GIAA Championship Rematch:
This clash is more than just a regular-season football game; it's a rematch of the 2022 GIAA Class 4A championship game, a contest that Pacelli won 10-0. This victory marked Pacelli's transition into the Georgia Independent School Association (GIAA), where they promptly secured their first state football championship. Stratford Academy, while also in the GIAA, has a rich history, having claimed eight state titles within the league. Last season's matchups were their first-ever meetings, with Pacelli emerging victorious on both occasions. Notably, it was Pacelli's recovery of a muffed punt that set up the decisive touchdown in the championship game.
Strength on the Ground:
When it comes to their style of play, both teams have shown a remarkable affinity for the rushing game. Pacelli's Corvee James has been a standout, amassing an impressive 452 rushing yards, while Jason Nelson has added 347 yards to the Vikings' ground attack. In terms of statistics, Pacelli averages a formidable 292.8 rushing yards and 82.0 passing yards per game. Stratford, true to form, leans even more heavily on their running game, averaging 287.3 rushing yards with just 13 pass attempts throughout the season.
Top Contenders in GIAA:
The excitement surrounding this matchup is further heightened by the recognition both teams have received from the Maxwell Ratings, which rank them among the GIAA's elite. John Milledge Academy holds the top spot, with Pacelli closely trailing at No. 2. First Presbyterian claims the No. 3 position, while Stratford is right in the mix at No. 4.
With all these factors in play, the Pacelli Vikings vs. Stratford Academy clash promises to be a football spectacle for the ages. Football fans across Georgia eagerly anticipate the outcome of this battle of giants, as two dominant forces in GIAA football collide once again, with the fate of this season's championship hopes hanging in the balance. Get ready for an unforgettable Friday night under the lights as these teams lay it all on the line in pursuit of gridiron glory.