Georgia High School Football: Grayson admits it passed tough South Gwinnett ‘test’

Grayson, which is ranked in several national polls and No. 2 in Class AAAAA, survived a major scare on Friday.

The Rams held on to defeat South Gwinnett 27-16 in a battle of unbeaten teams. The game was much closer than the final score indicated.

“Yes, we got tested … would you expect anything else?” Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. “Those guys at South want a region championship just as much as we do.

“I think it’s good when your backs are against the wall near the end of a game and you come away with the win.”

Unranked South Gwinnett (3-1) had the momentum at the start of the fourth quarter. Trailing 20-16 with 11:17 left, quarterback Kent Rollins scrambled and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Chad Ross. The Grayson crowd was silent, but then erupted when it saw a yellow flag on the ground.

The touchdown, which gave South the lead, was nullified because of a holding penalty. It also ended the Comets’ chance for an upset.

“I can’t comment on the penalty, but that was obviously a huge swing in momentum,” South Gwinnett coach John Small said. “It took some fire away from us, but we’ve got to grow up as a football team and learn how to respond in those situations.

“But we’ll be OK. We played one of the best teams in the state and had them on the ropes. If we want another shot at them in the playoffs, we have to keep on winning.”

Grayson’s Ean Pemberton scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run with 4:16 left to put the game away for the Rams (4-0). The 5-foot-4 Pemberton carried 37 times for 177 yards.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Ean,” Conn said. “What a great player he is … he’s just a winner. And our quarterback, Patrick Santry, played an incredible game with making checks at the line of scrimmage and throwing as well as he did.”

Santry, who is a first-year starter, completed all four of his attempts for 77 yards. His development is critical for Grayson, as defenses stack the line of scrimmage to focus on Pemberton.

“I’m proud of our offense for keeping their offense off the field,” Conn said. “They haven’t gotten a lot of credit this year. But those guys work hard. Sometimes your offense is your best defense.”

21 comments Add your comment


September 19th, 2009
12:01 am

I’m a big Grayson, but that is the best SG team and maybe the best team we faced in a couple years

Michael 18

September 19th, 2009
12:40 am

Great game from both teams, south work on those penalties but overall best game so far

[...] South Gwinnett vs. Grayson | Photos East Paulding vs. McEachern | Photos Grady vs. Washington | Photos Lovett vs. Towers | Photos [...]


September 19th, 2009
2:56 am

Man-o ‘ LIVE…those mighty Griffin Bears broke out the BEAST CLAW Whooping Club Friday against a gritty tough Mt. Zion Team. I was WAAAAY off in my prediction of the Bears losing. (I’ll keep my day job I ’spoze!) An absolute BONE-CRUSHING stop on a critical fourth down for Mt. Zion just deflated the whole team, and probably South Clayton County in general. Trust me, that one hit was YOU-TUBE good. Great game on TV (saw the replay) and the Bears Den was ROCKIN and the fans were into it. I’d venture as far as to say Mt. Zion will still make the playoffs, they are that good of a team, but this week they were no match for the Bears as they were really out for revenge and got it! Dont DARE overlook those mighty Griffin Bears. I sorta feel sorry for poor Forest Park next week…..just sayin…Get on Board the AIR-BEAR EXPRESS!!!


September 19th, 2009
8:18 am

That game was a great game. I’m actually a senior at South Gwinnett so that was a critical game for us against our biggest rivalry team. We lost, but we fought until the end. Great job Comets and Rams. This is only the start of a great season for both teams.


September 19th, 2009
8:25 am

I’m a neutral observer (being a coach at another high school) BUT south Gwinnett had the game TAKEN from them again and again by the REFs!

SOOOOOO many bad calls

It was really disappointing to see a good game taken from kids that deserved to have a fair game


September 19th, 2009
9:06 am

coach i agree with you. Taking NOTHING away from a great Grayson team, the officiating was terrible. I’ve never seen a penalty flag thrown, the penalty walked off, and then after the coach from Grayson comes onto the field the referee stopping play and talking to him and then waiving the flag off. Then flagging the opposing coach a couple of plays later for doing basically the same thing. Officiating in high school football is a disgrace to the GHSA and it happens week after week across Georgia. Sometimes you are on the good side sometimes you’re on the bad. A great game last night between two well coached teams with great athletes and the zebras interject themselves into the contest. Both teams will make deep runs into the playoffs, I just hope that neither of them run into that officiating crew ever again.

Jim Reavis

September 19th, 2009
10:34 am

Enter your comments hereFirst time that I have seen either team play and the yellow laundry was all over the field the entire game.Congrats for the South and Grayson teams,I think you will meet again hopefully with a better crew of officials.

Grayson Student

September 19th, 2009
11:26 am

sick and tired, grayson coach called a timeout… But i have to agree with you, there is no reason they should of been able to walk it back to the original line. The penalty was sideline infraction and because of the cameramen were inside an area they shouldnt be… Stupid penalty, regardless no excuse. I think the time of possesion was costly for the comets because that last drive south was exhausted and had 3 really stupid penalties. It was fun watching 2 vastly different teams go at it and be so evenly matched. Would love to see the matchup again down the road


September 19th, 2009
12:02 pm

I’m pretty sure the penalty on South’s touchdown pass was not holding but a block in the back. Grayson’s #61 was chasing the QB (with no chance of catching him) when a Comet player foolishly shoved him from behind. The sidline penalty that was waived off appeard to be due to members of the media standing to close to the field, i guess the ref decided Grayson wasn’t responsible for their actions.

South’s QB was very impressive and if they can improve on defense especially interior run defense they will be a dangerous team.


September 19th, 2009
12:10 pm

There were alot of penalties called but they all looked like they should have been called. There was one off side penalty agains the South defense that looked questionable. Maybe someone can help me out?
In high school rules when the defense walks up to the line if they are offside before the snap can they not move back? The South Gwinnett kid walked up looked down the line to see where the ball was and then moved back a step well before grayson snapped the ball and was flagged.


September 19th, 2009
12:17 pm

Thankyou BroncoVision for making viewing this game from Souhern California possible!!!! (sure you’ll keep some grat scouting film as well LOL) Great game;;;SG almost took themselves out too early but came back hard. That spread O is hard to defend at HS level football. Grayson ate up clock like O’Line at a BBQ. Penalties took SG out at the end. Good luck to both squads in the future!


September 19th, 2009
12:22 pm



September 19th, 2009
12:26 pm

The officiating was terrible. But I think it went both ways however. There were a lot of holds on the South line that was not called. If you look at all the calls and non calls the game would have still shaken out the same way. Number one team has not changed in 8 AAAAA but number two team is for sure, South Gwinnett is the real deal. Good luck to both teams the rest of the year. I am sure neither will lose again in regular season play. Although the number three team will say differently, beware of the Parview Panthers, could surprise either team. Rest of 8 AAAAA can not match up to South Gwinnett and Grayson.


September 19th, 2009
1:49 pm

I hope we see South in the playoffs, hopefully in the Finals. Then we can finally win a state championship.

viking lover

September 19th, 2009
3:45 pm

Enter your comments here Whenever I read about or hear about Grayson, the only name I ever see mentioned is Ean Pemberton. If this kid is a senior this year I suggest Grayson win all the marbles in 2009. Sounds like when Pemberton goes, so do the hopes and drerams of a State Championship.


September 19th, 2009
5:09 pm

i personally think that was a great game and this year is souths best football team they’ve had in years . they didnt get beat terribly either its just the reffs were callin unnessary plays and it wasnt fair and would’ve won if it wasnt for the reffs . and trust you will be seeing south in the playoffs playing grayson again . and that will be a game to see .

football fan

September 20th, 2009
1:21 am

I truly enjoyed the game. And am a big Rams fan. But they had their hands full Friday night! And I would love to see the game when the refs let the boys play! The call involving Champaign was unnecessary..I think if you look at the reply you’ll see it wasn’t as bad as he made it out. That was a GREAT play by South. Grayson played hard and was the winner in the end but the boys had to know they each played football Friday night! Best game I’ve seen in a while and it really could have gone either way. South hurt themselves with those penalties in the fourth quarter (kind of like Georgia almost did!) Love the Rams but boys you got to get better if you’re looking at state this year. North and Lowndes are not gonna go easy!! And I think South is a real contender! Lots of speed on both sides of the ball!!! Where have these guys been! Congrats Rams.


September 20th, 2009
10:25 am

Go to Grayson Rams website to watch the game and judge for yourself.


September 20th, 2009
5:34 pm

What a game friday night between Grady and Washington! Hard hitting, ball runing, speed all over the place football game! For a minute, I thought the officials were wearing blue stripes instead of black. They did all that they could to give Washington the game. However, the Grady defense came to play and handed out lickins all night!


September 22nd, 2009
4:31 pm


If you can make it pass Peachtree Ridge, then you will see just how great the South Georgia Teams are this year in the playoffs…..