Archive for October, 2009

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Week Ten’s 10 Best Matchups

Here are 10 games the GHSF Daily staff considers not-miss this weekend.

Hiram at Sprayberry
When, where: 7:30 p.m., Jim Frazier Stadium, Marietta
Records, rankings: Hiram is 8-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 7-AAAA Div. B and No. 6; Sprayberry is 6-2, 4-0 and unranked.
Last meeting: Sprayberry won 35-10 in 2008.
Three things to know:
1. The winner earns the subregion championship and a berth in the state playoffs and will play in the region championship game on Nov. 6 against Northwest Whitfield, Sequoyah or Dalton.
2. Hiram has the fourth-best offense in Class AAAA, averaging 36 points per game. But Sprayberry’s defense is No. 6 in AAAA, allowing an average of 8.1 points.
3. Sprayberry quarterback Jerick McKinnon rushed for 173 yards and had 240 yards in total offense in the Yellow Jackets’ victory against South Paulding last week.

Jefferson at North Oconee
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, North Oconee High School, Bogart
Records, rankings: Jefferson is 8-0 overall, 7-0 in Region 8-AA …

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The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Week Ten

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

This isn’t the final week of the regular season, but it will have the feel of championship weekend across the state.

Four regions will feature head-to-head matchups between the two top teams, games from which the winner will emerge with the region crown.

In at least three other regions, the first-place team will play one of its top challengers and can secure the title by winning tonight. A loss by the leader, however, could lead to a three-way tie for first place and create some tiebreaker chaos.

Here’s a look at the regions where it’s winner-take-all:

Region 1-AAAA: Westside-Macon and Thomas County Central have crushed their region opposition this season, holding a three-game lead over third-place Hardaway with two games to play. Westside has the third-best scoring offense in Class AAAA, averaging 37.5 points per game. Thomas County Central has averaged 27.4 points since a season-opening, 13-9 loss to rival Thomasville. Give Westside the nod, and its …

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Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football Week Ten scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE!

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell returns next Friday night to chat live

It’s Week Ten of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. This week, AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell is off but he’ll return next week to blog live and take your questions about high school football and related topics.

Michael Carvell’s Video Blog: SW DeKalb super-strong

We are here to talk football, football and more football. Going to a game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on at YOUR game. Got a score update, see a killer play? Keep it clean, POST IT HERE and SEND US GAME PHOTOS.

WEEK 10 SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the Week 10 results.

Here are the Week Ten games you can find stories and photos from this weekend on ajc.com…

Southwest DeKalb vs. Tucker
Roswell vs. Walton
Duluth retires Brian McCann, Nick Green baseball jerseys
North Gwinnett vs. Duluth

Don’t forget to check out these high school football gamers…

Hiram vs. Sprayberry
Brookwood vs. South Gwinnett

In the metro Atlanta roundup, …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Projecting the field for the Class AAAA playoffs

Based on GHSF Daily’s projections of the playoff teams, here’s what the first round of the playoffs would look like in Class AAAA:

Statesboro at Evans
Mount Zion (Jonesboro) at Thomas County Central
Loganville at Sandy Creek
Tucker at Northwest Whitfield
Bainbridge at Griffin
Lakeside (Evans) at Brunswick
Starr’s Mill at Apalachee
Sequoyah at Marist
Stone Mountain at Hiram
Rockdale County at Villa Rica
Alcovy at Westside (Macon)
Glynn Academy at Hephzibah
Dalton at Southwest DeKalb
Banneker at Clarke Central
Richmond Academy at Ware County
Harris County at North Clayton

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: RivalsHigh 100 moves Grayson to No. 2

Grayson and Newnan made big splashes Tuesday in the national rankings.

Grayson, Georgia’s No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAAA, is positioned for a possible national championship as it made an unexpected jump to No. 2 from No. 6 in the RivalsHigh 100, compiled by Dallas Jackson.

Grayson leaped four teams that won last week – Don Bosco Prep of Ramsey, N.J.; Byrnes of Duncan, S.C.; Skyline of Dallas; and DeMatha of Hyattsville, Md. The No. 1 team is St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“The thought was that New Jersey is very down this season, and so Don Bosco – despite the wins over Prattville and DLS – should not be the No. 2 team,” Jackson said. “Byrnes has two ‘test games’ on their schedule. One they lost to Aquinas; the other against Dorman was an unimpressive win. Texas’ best team will probably end the season above whomever wins Georgia unless they do it impressively, and right now there isn’t a clear No. 1 in Texas so I can’t justify a No. 2 team [Skyline of Dallas] …

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Michael Carvell’s Video Blog: Meet the Southwest DeKalb football all-stars

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When watching Southwest DeKalb, you feel like you are watching an all-star team.

How loaded are the Panthers? They lost their workhorse at running back after three quarters last Friday, and put in a pair of backups who refused to let the offense skip a beat. This wasn’t against any team, but Marist, which played in last year’s state championship game and returned one of the best defenses around.

After watching many of the state’s elite Class AAAAA teams for most of the season, I’d put Southwest’s talent up against any team in Georgia. Here is a quick breakdown of the Southwest DeKalb all-stars:

Ken Malcome, RB: He is the straw that stirs the drink. He’s the team leader, and face of SWD. He’s also the state’s No. 1 tailback, and proved it with 182 yards rushing, including a 74-yard touchdown run, vs. Marist in three quarters. Malcome is strong (legs like tree trunks), fast, and powerful (loves contact). He runs strong …

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AAAAA playoff draw: Brutal for some

My pal Chip Saye sent me a mock draw for the Class AAAAA playoffs today, and it’s pretty interesting.

Here are some highlights:

Lowndes is projected to play at Camden County in the second round, which is widely known by now. But the winner would face another juggernaut in the quaterfinals, probably either McEachern or the Region 7 champion (Peachtree Ridge or North Gwinnett).

How’s that for a stacked quarter of the draw?

No. 1 Grayson and No. 4 Newnan also share a quarter, and a coin flip would determine which would have home-field edge if they play.

The third quarter figures to have Northside, Woodstock and the Peachtree Ridge-North Gwinnett winner.

The lowest quarter has the fewest ‘big-name’ teams. Stephenson is the highest ranked and would be seeded to play the Region 6 champ, Roswell or Lassiter.

I’ll post the potential matchups in other classes later this week.

Here is AAAAA, and note that I’m not sure I agree with Chip that North Gwinnett and Lassiter are winning their …

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West Forsyth coach changes mind about controversial ending

Upon further review, West Forsyth coach Frank Helper said the referees “got it right” with a ruling on one of the state’s most controversial — and sensational — plays of the season.

Facing fourth down-and-2o with less than a minute remaining, Flowery Branch’s Connor Shaw rifled a 42-yard touchdown pass to Robby Boudreau in a 51-47 win over West Forsyth.

The last-second heroics had a huge impact on both teams: Flowery Branch (7-2), which finished at the Class AAA runner-up last year, clinched a playoff berth, while West Forsyth (4-4) was eliminated from postseason consideration.

After the game, Hepler told the Gainesville Times that he “thought (Shaw) was across the line (of scrimmage) there at the end and (the referees) didn’t call it, so that’s what we’ve got to go with.”

After reviewing the game film into the wee hours of Saturday morning, Hepler told the AJC he changed his stance. “The officials did a great job in getting the call right.

“As a coach, you always want to see …

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Southwest DeKalb RB Ken Malcome has statement game in win over Marist

Southwest DeKalb’s Ken Malcome, who is committed to Georgia, made his case for the state’s best running back in the 21-7 win over Marist on Friday.
Despite sitting out the fourth quarter with leg cramps, Malcome finished with 22 carries for 182 yards and one touchdown for Southwest (7-1), which is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA.
It was a signature moment for Malcome, who has often played in the shadows of one of his best friends from childhood, Florida-bound Mack Brown of M.L. King. Malcome scored Southwest’s first touchdown on a blazing 74-yard run in the first quarter, and he set up the second one by carrying 9 out of 13 plays on a game-winning drive to open the second half.
“This is a big win for our program,” said Southwest defensive end T.J. Stripling, who is also committed to Georgia. “Marist always has a great team, and they’ve gotten the best of us the last couple of years. If we’re going to compete for the state championship, then we needed this win. And we got it.”
No. 5 …

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The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Week Nine

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

Hiram coach Andy Dorsey could have been speaking for a lot of teams when he told Georgia High School Football Daily earlier this week, “It’s the playoffs for us from here on out.”

What makes Hiram’s situation a little different was the second part of his statement. “We’re 7-0, but the odds are still way against us to get in the playoffs,” Dorsey said.

Hiram is in Division B of Region 7-AAAA, one of a handful around the state in which the schedule is heavily loaded at the back end, one in which all, or at least most, of the games among the top teams have yet to be played.

No. 9 Hiram plays tonight at home against No. 10 Hillgrove and then plays at Sprayberry next week (Sprayberry, the defending region champion, handed Hillgrove its first loss of the season last week). Win both, and the Hornets claim the subregion championship and the state playoff berth that goes with it. Lose both, and they must win a region play-in game against the …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Week Nine’s 10 Best Matchups

Here are 10 games the GHSF Daily staff considers not-miss this weekend.

Baldwin at Liberty County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Olvey Field, Hinesville
Records, rankings: Baldwin is 5-2 overall, 3-0 in Region 3-AAA and No. 9. Liberty County is 6-2, 3-1 and unranked.
Last meeting: Baldwin won 35-0 in 2008.
Three things to know:
1. Baldwin has won 15 consecutive region games. Its two losses are to higher-ranked non-region foes in AAA (Peach County, Carver of Columbus).
2. Liberty County, which is coming off consecutive overtime victories against West Laurens and Burke County, is one victory from clinching its second state playoff berth in the program’s history.
3. Liberty County sophomore Shadrach Thornton rushed for 137 yards in 32 carries in Liberty’s victory over Burke.

Fitzgerald at Brooks County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Quitman
Records, rankings: Fitzgerald is 7-0 overall, 4-0 in Region 1-AA and No. 2; Brooks County is 6-1, 3-1 and No. 10.
Last …

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Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football Week Nine scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE!

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Chat live on Fridays with the AJC's Michael Carvell

It’s Week Nine of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Whenever possible, AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will try to blog live and take your questions about high school football and related topics.

CARVELL ASKS: Who’s the state’s top running back? Tell us.

We are here to talk football, football and more football. Going to a game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on at YOUR game. Got a score update, see a killer play? Keep it clean, POST IT HERE and SEND US GAME PHOTOS.

WEEK 9 SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the Week 9 results.

Here are the Week Nine games you can find stories and photos from this weekend on ajc.com…

Marist vs. Southwest DeKalb | Photos
Sandy Creek vs. Starr’s Mill | Photos
Milton vs. Roswell | Photos
Woodstock vs. Cherokee | Photos

Don’t forget to check out these high school football gamers and stories…

Stone Mountain vs. Tucker
Harrison vs. McEachern
A look at Woodstock coach Mike …

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Michael Carvell’s Video Blog: Who is the state’s top high school running back?

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Georgia’s high schools have a heralded reputation for producing some of the nation’s top running backs every year.

This year’s crop is another strong one, led by Southwest DeKalb’s Ken Malcome and M.L. King’s Mack Brown. There’s also Grayson’s Ean Pemberton, Sandy Creek’s Rajon Neal and Charles Perkins of Collins Hill, among others.

Who is my pick for the state’s top running back? The biggest talent I have seen this year is the same guy I thought was No. 1 last year – ahead of other tremendous players such as UGA freshman Washaun Ealey. The player I mention in the video below is very rare in that he projects to play both tailback and fullback at college’s highest levels. And he’s darn good in high school this year, too.

Note: By popular demand, we’ve added McEachern’s Rajaan Bennett, Loganville’s Storm Johnson, and Stephenson’s Raymond Sanders to our short list.

Who is YOUR pick for the state’s top running back? Post your …

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Harrison fights off sickness to prepare for No. 7 McEachern

Harrison High School has some sick football players, but the situation is not as bad as rumors have made it out to be.

David Hines, coach of the Hoyas, told the AJC on Wednesday afternoon that 17-15 players, including four starters, missed the first two days of this week’s practice because of flu-like symptoms.

However, Hines said that he had not considered cancelling any practices or asking for a postponement for Friday’s game at rival McEachern, which is ranked No. 7 in Class AAAAA. He expects at least two starters to return to practice on Thursday, and possibly all four by Friday.

“We’ve had our fair share of kids sick this week … the school sent home 70 on Monday,” Hines said. “[With the football players], I can’t guarantee you that all of them are the flu .. some might be sinus infections or other viruses.”

The McEachern-Harrison series is the biggest rivalry in west Cobb County, and McEachern’s undefeated 7-0 record has added to the intensity. McEachern coach Kyle …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Stephenson enters national rankings

Stephenson’s 20-0 victory over M.L. King in a nationally televised game between unbeaten teams in Region 2-AAAAA earned the Jaguars a national ranking.

The RivalsHigh 100 put Stephenson at No. 81 and ejected Peachtree Ridge, which had been No. 77, from the rankings. Ironically, Peachtree Ridge also was coming off its best victory of the season, a 21-7 decision against previously unbeaten Collins Hill.

Other Georgia teams remained fairly stable in the rankings. Northside entered the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 at No. 24 while Lowndes dropped out.

Here are seven national rankings that include Georgia teams:

ESPN Rise
14. Grayson; 36. Northside, Warner Robins; 43. North Gwinnett; 44. Lowndes

*Massey
20. Lowndes

*MaxPreps Freeman Rankings
16. Northside; 17. Lowndes

MaxPreps Xcellent 25
14. Grayson; 24. Northside

National Prep Poll
9. Grayson; 14. Northside

RivalsHigh 100
6. Grayson; 19. Northside; 28.Lowndes; 47. North Gwinnett; 69. Gainesville; 81. Stephenson

USA Today
15. Grayson; 24. …

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