Archive for November, 2009

Sandy Creek wins coin toss, then loses home playoff game to No. 1 Griffin

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Chat with Michael Carvell

Sandy Creek’s football team won the coin toss to play at home in the state semifinals, but now will have to play  on the road after GHSA rules clarification.

It was a huge turn of events for Sandy Creek. Who is the team’s opponent this week? Griffin, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA and heavy favorites to win the state championship.

How did it happen?  Sandy Creek’s stadium does not meet the seating capacity of 6,000 for a state semifinals game. The GHSA waives the rule for the playoff’s first three rounds, while next week’s championship games are held at the Georgia Dome.

After Sandy Creek realized the mistake, the school turned itself in and will play at Griffin at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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Continue reading Sandy Creek wins coin toss, then loses home playoff game to No. 1 Griffin »

It’s coaching: Semifinal teams have a common edge

We can talk north-south this week. (Does metro Atlanta get credit for Newnan?)

We can talk public-private. (Did two injuries last week prevent a private school sweep of Class A?)

But here’s what strikes me about the semifinals:

Coaching.

How does Camden County struggle to gain positive yardage on Aug. 29 and win 35-0 on Nov. 27?

How does Colquitt County, after years of mediocrity, go from 2-8 to 11-2 in two seasons?

How do Lassiter and North Gwinnett go decades without winning a state playoff game and become region champions?

Fizgerald in nine seasons under Robby Pruitt: 99-15-1.

Fitzgerald in the nine seasons before Robby Pruitt: 32-63.

Gainesville in eight seasons under Bruce Miller: 83-16.

Gainesville in eight seasons prior to Bruce Miller: 35-48.

Calhoun has won 111 games this decade under Hal Lamb.

Calhoun won 50 games in the 1990s and 39 games in the 1980s.

Savannah Christian has won 48 games in five seasons under Donald Chumley. Savannah Christian won 25 games in the …

Continue reading It’s coaching: Semifinal teams have a common edge »

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

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

The AJC's Michael Carvell

It’s the quarterfinals of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS. AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell is off this week but when he returns, he’ll try to blog live and take your questions about high school football and related topics.

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, and POST IT HERE.

GHSA BRACKETS: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | A

Here are the quarterfinals playoff games you can find stories and photos from later tonight on ajc.com…

Newnan vs. Grayson
Camden Co. vs. North Gwinnett
Peach Co. vs. St. Pius X
Clinch Co. vs. Holy Innocents’

Don’t forget to check out these quarterfinals gamers…

Colquitt Co. vs. Lassiter
Peachtree Ridge vs. Northside-Warner Robins

Don’t forget to check out our roundups from around the metro area. Here’s what you’ll find…

Rockdale at Westside-Macon
Griffin at …

Continue reading Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football quarterfinals playoff scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE! »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAAA Playoff Preview

Peachtree Ridge at Northside, W. Robins
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Peachtree Ridge is 10-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAAAA and unranked; Northside is 11-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAAA and ranked No. 7.
Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.
Three things to know:
1. Both teams were state champions in 2006, Peachtree Ridge in Class AAAAA, Northside in AAAA. Northside repeated as AAAA champion in 2007.
2. The teams have a common opponent in Lowndes, which defeated Peachtree Ridge 51-17 and lost to Northside 10-7.
3. Northside has won 44 consecutive games at McConnell-Talbert Stadium except when playing Warner Robins, a school with which it shares the stadium.
Winner plays: Newnan-Grayson winner

Newnan at Grayson
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson
Records, rankings: Newnan is 12-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 4-AAAAA and ranked No. 3; Grayson is 12-0, the No. 1 seed …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAAA Playoff Preview »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Reclassification in Class AAAAA — Will Camden move to Region 1?

The Georgia High School Association will place schools in regions for the 2010-14 academic years on Dec. 2. Each day this week, the GHSF Daily staff is going to look at a different classification and tell you how we’d do the regions, starting with Class AAAAA.

These are not projections. We’d have more luck predicting the exact scores of every game this week than how the GHSA will divide up the regions. Our goal is simply to bring to light some of the questions and challenges that define the GHSA’s task next week.

Here’s how we’d do Class AAAAA:

1-AAAAA (6 teams)
Camden County (moved from 3-AAAAA)
Coffee
Colquitt County
Lowndes
Tift County
Valdosta (playing up)

Going down: Houston County, Northside, Warner Robins

Notes: Four current 1-AAAAA schools were assigned to Class AAAA because of declining enrollment. Schools may choose to play in higher classes than the ones they’ve been assigned. We expect Valdosta to play up while the Houston County schools (Warner Robins, Northside, …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Reclassification in Class AAAAA — Will Camden move to Region 1? »

Can Lassiter be stopped? Records continue to fall

I know Camden County beat Lowndes, and I know DeKalb County laid an egg in the colors of Stephenson and SW DeKalb (not to mention ML King and Tucker and Marist).

But those need to wait until we’ve discussed what’s going on at Lassiter High in Marietta.

Is Hutson Mason ridiculous or what?

The Lassiter quarterback threw for 530 yards and eight touchdowns in Lassiter’s 70-49 victory over South Gwinnett, and Mason didn’t even play the fourth quarter. He’s got over 4,000 yards passing on the season and 54 touchdowns, both shattering state records, and he’s not finished.

Lassiter has scored at least 42 points in nine straight games. The 70 against South Gwinnett are a record in a regulation playoff game in the highest classification.

It’s not enough to ask if there’s a team that is able to stop Lassiter. The question is whether any team knows how to stop Lassiter.

Georgia is a traditionally run-oriented, hit-you-in-the-mouth football state. Chip Lindsey is from Alabama, where the …

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The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Playoffs Second Round

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

The road was particularly harsh for the lower-seeded teams in the first round of the playoffs last weekend. Fourth-seeded teams won only three of 40 games, down from eight in 2008 and the average of six over the previous five seasons. No. 3 seeds fared slightly better, winning 10 of 40, giving home teams a 67-13 record for the week.

Now we look to Round 2, where the competition gets tougher, and the picks get more difficult. Here are some of the stories worth watching in tonight’s games:

Region 1-AA is 4-0: Fitzgerald, Thomasville, Brooks County and Cook swept their Region 4-AA opponents last week, making 1-AA the only region in the state to go 4-0 in the first round. Things aren’t likely to go as well tonight. Fitzgerald should take care of Swainsboro to advance to the quarterfinals, but Thomasville (vs. Jefferson County), Brooks County (vs. Charlton County) and Cook (vs. Appling County) all have their work cut out for them. I expect all three to …

Continue reading The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Playoffs Second Round »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AA Playoff Preview

Swainsboro at Fitzgerald
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jaycee Stadium, Fitzgerald
Records, rankings: Swainsboro is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AA and ranked No. 8; Fitzgerald is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AA and ranked No. 2.
Last meeting: Swainsboro won 6-0 in the 2000 Class AAA championship game.
Three things to know:
1. Fitzgerald’s leading rusher is Nic Williams (904 yards, 109 carries, 17 touchdowns), and the next three in rushing each average more than 10.0 yards per carry. They are Trenton Pruitt (66-727), Latravious Stewart (54-633) and Tevin Stewart-Gaulden (19-261).
2. Swainsboro quarterback Malcolm Eady has rushed for 1,273 yards and 14 touchdowns and passed for 1,228 yards and 13 touchdowns.
3. Swainsboro is allowing 8.1.points per game (second-best in AA) while Fitzgerald is allowing 8.2 (third-best).
Winner plays: Westminster-Callaway winner

Westminster at Callaway
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Callaway Stadium, LaGrange
Records, rankings:

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AA Playoff Preview »

Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football second round playoff 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 the second round of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS. AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will try to blog live and take your questions about high school football and related topics.

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, and POST IT HERE.

Michael Carvell’s Video Spotlight: Greenville High Coach Jeremy Williams

CLICK: MORE VIDEO with the AJC’s Michael Carvell on Georgia high school football

PHOTOS: WHO’LL ADVANCE? Vote for each bracket’s best — AAAAA | AAAA-AAA | AA-A

GHSA BRACKETS: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | A

PLAYOFFS SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the Round Two results.

Here are the second round playoff games you can find stories and photos from later tonight on ajc.com…

M.L. King vs. Newnan
Roswell vs. Grayson
Wilcox Co. vs. Greenville
South Gwinnett …

Continue reading Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football second round playoff scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE! »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAA Playoff Preview

Washington County at Peach County
When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Anderson Stadium, Fort Valley
Records, rankings: Washington County is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAA and ranked No. 9; Peach County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAA and ranked No. 3.
Last meeting: Peach County won 43-29 in the 2006 semifinals.
Three things to know:
1. Peach County quarterback Patrick Taylor has completed 66 percent of his passes and thrown for more than 2,000 yards in a balanced offense.
2. Washington County completed only two passes in a 28-21 victory against Troup, but Montravious “Whistle” Gladdin had 201 yards rushing and Darius Stephens had 145.
3. Peach County leads the series between these Middle Georgia schools 9-0-2 and has averaged more than 40 points per game in their past four meetings dating to 1999.
Winner plays: North Hall-St. Pius winner

North Hall at St. Pius
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, George B. Maloof Stadium, Atlanta
Records, rankings: North Hall is 9-2, the …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAA Playoff Preview »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAA Playoff Preview

Richmond Academy at Thomas Co. Central
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jackets’ Nest, Thomasville
Records, rankings: Richmond Academy is 8-3, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAAA and unranked; Thomas County Central is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAA and ranked No. 5.
Last meeting: Thomas County Central won 35-14 in the 1993 first round.
Three things to know:
1. Thomas Central prefers to run, but Eric Dodson threw for 188 yards in last week’s 15-8 victory over Alcovy.
2. Richmond Academy has its most victories in a season since 1987 and its first state-playoff win since 1970.
3. Mar-Qon Medlock, who has missed time this season while injured, threw for more than 200 yards in last week’s come-from-behind victory over Glynn Academy.
Winner plays: Tucker-Sandy Creek winner

Tucker at Sandy Creek
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Battlefield, Tyrone
Records, rankings: Tucker is 9-2, the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AAAA and ranked No. 10; Sandy Creek is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAA Playoff Preview »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAAA Playoff Preview

Union Grove at Northside, Warner Robins
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, McConnell-Talbert Stadium, Warner Robins
Records, rankings: Union Grove is 9-2, the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AAAAA and unranked; Northside is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from Region 1-AAAAA and ranked No. 7.
Last meeting: Northside won 24-7 in the 2008 first round.
Three things to know:
1. Northside rushed for 246 yards and held Chapel Hill to minus-14 yards rushing in a 35-14 victory last week, according to the Macon Telegraph.
2. Northside held Chapel Hill to negative yards rushing in a 35-14 victory last week.
3. Union Grove operated primarily from a wildcat formation in its 47-20 victory over Windsor Forest because quarterback Ty Moore was injured last week in practice.
Winner plays: Brookwood-Peachtree Ridge winner

Brookwood at Peachtree Ridge
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Lions Den, Suwanee
Records, rankings: Brookwood is 6-5, the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAAA and unranked; Peachtree Ridge is 9-2, the No. …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAAA Playoff Preview »

Lowndes-Camden headlines a loaded second round

I can’t remember a better second round in the highest classification.

Lowndes-Camden County goes without saying. Playing a tougher schedule week in, week out, will help Lowndes, so I’m picking the Vikes on the road. I know Camden beat Northside last season in the same second round, but that was when Camden was the better team. This year, Lowndes is the better team.

Other amazin’ games in AAAAA –

MLK vs. Newnan (Mack Brown vs. Alec Ogletree)

Woodstock at North Gwinnett (I like both these teams a long and think either could’ve made the semis with another draw)

Roswell at Grayson (Is Pemberton hurt? How is Champaign? Good upset pick game here. Cool story about the backup QB at Roswell throwing the winning TD pass in OT. Who will cover Chris Boyd?)

South Gwinnett at Lassiter (Can anybody stop Hutson Mason?)

Colquitt County at Stephenson (Good news for Jags is that they get to see the spread offense before having to face Lassiter. Bad news is that they might not live to see next …

Continue reading Lowndes-Camden headlines a loaded second round »

The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Playoffs First Round

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

Life in the playoffs isn’t easy for a No. 4 seed. It isn’t supposed to be.

Most of the 40 fourth-place teams that begin the playoffs tonight had to win a crucial game last week just to qualify for the postseason. All of them will be on the road this weekend, and all will face a region champion.

But there is reason for hope. Eight fourth-place teams won first-round games last year, including three each in Class AAAAA (Coffee, Woodstock and Lassiter) and AAAA (Hillgrove, Cedar Shoals and Mt. Zion-Jonesboro). And three of those teams went on to win in the second round, as well. Over the past five seasons, about six No. 4 seeds have won their first-round games each year. I’m picking only one this year, so I’ll probably be wrong on five or six of the 1 vs. 4 matchups.

Here’s a look at the one No. 4 seed I’m predicting will win, plus a few more that I think have a good chance.

Cook (at Northeast-Macon): The Hornets have been here before. Last year, they took …

Continue reading The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Playoffs First Round »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AA Playoff Preview

Each day this week, we’ll look at the playoff draw for one of the five classifications, resuming today with Class AA. Here are five interesting facts about each of the 16 games, with an emphasis on playoff history.

Which coach just won a region title with his eighth different school? Find out below.

Favorite: Calhoun
Best draw: Charlton County
Worst draw: Jefferson
Sleeper: Charlton County
Best first-round matchup: Chattooga (9-1) at Lovett (9-1)

Greene County (4-6) at Fitzgerald (10-0)
- Greene County coach Charlie Winslette has won state championships at two schools in Georgia (Greene-Taliaferro and West Rome).
- Fitzgerald coach Robby Pruitt has won state championships at two schools in Florida (University Christian and Union County).
- Greene County is one of three playoff teams with a losing record. Social Circle and Warren County are the others.
- This is the third time in Pruitt’s six years that Fitzgerald has entered the state playoffs 10-0. Neither of the others made …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AA Playoff Preview »