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Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander coach Matt Combs will lead the Cougars against Langston Hughes in a key Region 5-AAAAAA contest on Friday.

Alexander looks to keep pace with defending region champion Mays when Langston Hughes pays a visit on Friday.

As Langston Hughes continues to keep its playoff hopes alive, Alexander is tied with Mays for the lead in the Region 5-AAAAAA standings.

The Cougars have had close contest with Northgate and Tri-Cities the last two weeks, and can expect another tough challenge for Langston Hughes, which has two region losses.

The Panthers have lost close contest to third-ranked Mays and No. 10 Douglas County to fall into third place in the region standings.

Here is a look at the upcoming games this week:

Langston Hughes at Alexander: Alexander is ranked No. 9 in the latest Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings while Langston Hughes is ranked No. 10 in the AJC/Georgia High School Football Daily poll. Hughes and Northgate are both 3-2 in the region and are currently tied for the fourth and final playoff spot. Northgate is idle this week before meeting Tri-Cities on Oct. 20 and Hughes on Oct. 27 before closing the season against Mays. Panthers senior running back Christian Royalston is 36 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark. He has 1,275 all-purpose yards on the season.

Central at Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill is coming off a big, emotional win at Sandy Creek, its first against the Tyrone school. Quarterback K.J. Burton had four touchdowns in the 35-32 win over Sandy Creek. The Lions have enjoyed a bi turnaround in Darius Smiley’s first season back at Central. He spent last year as an assistant at Newnan after leaving when Rico Zackery, who is now at Villa Rica, stepped down as head coach following the 2015 season. The Lions are 3-4 overall and 1-2 in region play coming off Friday's 35-14 homecoming setback to No. 10 Cedartown. Central jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but self-inflicted wounds offensively and an inability to stop Cedartown quarterback Trevon Wofford proved to be its undoing in the second half. Offensively, they base out of the Wing-T and are a run-oriented, ball-control offense that will throw it from time-to-time.

Tri-Cities at Douglas County: The Tigers will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season in this homecoming contest. Douglas County is the third straight ranked opponent the Bulldogs will face. The Tigers lead the all-time series 4-3.

Maynard Jackson at Lithia Springs: Jackson is tied with Banneker and Decatur for second place with a 2-1 record in Region 6-AAAAA behind Carver-Atlanta. The Jaguars are led by quarterback Roderick Hammond, who has passed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns. He has also rushed for two touchdowns. Syracuse commit Hassan Hall has rushed for 351 yards and two touchdowns.

New Manchester at South Paulding: For a second straight season, South Paulding has struggled as it is 0-6 heading into this region contest. Freshman Miles Campbell and sophomore Austin Seymour have split time at quarterback to combine for 486 yards and five touchdowns with five interceptions. Junior Austin Ruben is the team’s leading rusher with 453 yards. Campbell has 204 rushing yards and the team’s only rushing touchdown.

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