Archive for November, 2010

Goodbye to South Georgia’s reign of dominance in Class AAAAA? Or is 2010 just a fluke?

Is the balance of power finally shifting in Georgia’s largest classification for high school football?

South Georgia teams have ruled in recent years, winning 6 out of the last 7 state championships in Class AAAAA. South Georgia was expected to be a top contender again this year with both Lowndes and two-time defending state champion Camden County. However, both have been eliminated in earlier rounds of the playoffs and Colquitt County is now the South’s last hope for 2010.

FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS OF GEORGIA’S LARGEST DIVISION

2003: Camden County

2004: Lowndes

2005: Lowndes

2006: Peachtree Ridge/Roswell (tie)

2007: Lowndes

2008: Camden County

2009: Camden County

2010: ???

2011: ???


Is this year’s playoffs a fluke? Or is the Atlanta area about to have a dominant reign in Class AAAAA? The other three semifinalists are Brookwood, Grayson and Collins Hill.

What do you think? Is the North finally taking control of Class AAAAA? Or is this a one-year wonder? State your case …

Continue reading Goodbye to South Georgia’s reign of dominance in Class AAAAA? Or is 2010 just a fluke? »

YOU make the call — Predict the biggest upset in football’s state semifinals

Make your prediction and post it: What will be the biggest upset in high school football’s state semifinals? And why do you say so?

As you know, this year’s state playoffs have been nothing short of remarkable, with traditional powerhouses such as North Gwinnett, Camden County, Lowndes, Northside-Warner Robins, Wilcox County being eliminated in the earlier rounds.

What will be this weekend’s biggest upset? You know at least one will happen, maybe more. Will Sandy Creek be able to hold off Peach County? Do you think Collins Hill has a chance of upsetting Brookwood? Will playing on the road hurt Carver-Columbus? Will Grayson dispose South Georgia’s last hope (Colquitt County) in the Georgia’s largest classification?

Class AAAAA

Colquitt County (8-5) at Grayson (10-3)

Collins Hill (10-3) at Brookwood (12-1)

Class AAAA

Chattahoochee (13-0) at Statesboro (11-2)

Starr’s Mill (13-0) at Tucker (13-0), Hallford Stadium

Class AAA

Peach County (13-0) at Sandy Creek (13-0)

Burke County …

Continue reading YOU make the call — Predict the biggest upset in football’s state semifinals »

On to the semifinals: Pick the winners, and the players of the year

On to the semifinals in the state playoffs …

Two questions per classification today – Who is you pick (team) to win it, and who is your player of the year in each class?

Mine:

AAAAA –

Team: Grayson. Just liking the defense. Grayson has led 31-0, 23-0 and 20-0 entering the fourth quarters of their three playoff victories, and the Nkemdiche brothers are wreaking havoc.  But can they score enough points?

Player: Collins Hill QB Taylor Heinicke is 284-of-431 for 3,906 yards and 43 touchdowns. Hard to beat that.

AAAA –

Team: Tucker. The most talent and a coaching staff that’s won before.

Player: Chattahoochee QB Timmy Byerly has accounted for 3,595 yards and 48 touchdowns rushing and passing. Note that you can pick a player whose team is done, such as Brian Randolph of Kell.

AAA—

Team: Sandy Creek. The Sandy Creek-Peach County game this week is as good a matchup as this season has given us.

Player: Peach County RB Travis Richmond went for over 250 last week vs. Grady and has right …

Continue reading On to the semifinals: Pick the winners, and the players of the year »

Weekend Forum: Talk Georgia HS Football Quarterfinals Playoffs LIVE!

Note: Follow the AJC’s coverage of the playoff quarterfinals by clicking on this link

michael carvell

The AJC

It’s the quarterfinals of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS. This week, AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell is out while recovering from surgery but welcomes discussion about the playoff quarterfinals of high school football.

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 your comments clean, respectful, limited to FOOTBALL TALK and POST THEM HERE. Personal insults won’t be tolerated and could get you banned from the board.

QUARTERFINALS SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the quarterfinals playoff results.

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

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

Hillgrove vs. Brookwood
Peach Co. vs. Grady
Wilcox Co. vs. Wesleyan
Cook vs. …

Continue reading Weekend Forum: Talk Georgia HS Football Quarterfinals Playoffs LIVE! »

Quarterfinal capsules: A look at all 40 playoff games

Class AAAAA

Mill Creek at Colquitt County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mack Tharpe Memorial Stadium, Moultrie

Records, rankings: Mill Creek is 7-5, the No. 4 seed from Region 7-AAAAA and unranked; Colquitt County is 7-5, the No. 3 seed from 1-AAAAA and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. These are the third and fourth five-loss teams to reach the quarterfinals in the highest classification since the playoffs were expanded to 32 teams in 1996. The others – 1997 Colquitt County and 2002 East Coweta – advanced to the semifinals. 2. Mill Creek, a seven-year-old school from Gwinnett County, has played four consecutive must-win games on the road beginning with the ninth game of the regular season against Peachtree Ridge. 3. Colquitt County RB Tevin King rushed for a school-record 376 yards in a 48-47 victory over M.L. King in the second round.

Winner plays: Grayson/Valdosta winner

 

Grayson at Valdosta

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, …

Continue reading Quarterfinal capsules: A look at all 40 playoff games »

Are you ready for some football? The wild and wacky football playoffs

This year’s state football playoffs are setting up to be one of the most exciting ever — and we’re only through two rounds of it.

Need some examples? The two-time defending state champion in Georgia’s largest classification, Camden County, was eliminated by little-known Hillgrove High out of Cobb County. North Gwinnett, which was ranked in nearly all the national polls, was upset by Grayson.

Also gone early from this year’s playoffs are numerous other teams that were expected to contend for this year’s championship trophy — South Gwinnett, Clarke Central, Griffin, Flowery Branch, Northside-Warner Robins and Marist — to name only a few.

The AJC’s Michael Carvell is out of the office while recovering from surgery.

However, you can follow the AJC’s coverage of this year’s wild and wacky playoffs by clicking on this link.

Continue reading Are you ready for some football? The wild and wacky football playoffs »

Georgia team ranked No. 1 in USA opens season with blowout win

Milton High, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA TODAY and several  other national high school basketball polls, opened the season with a 70-35 win over Huffman, Ala., in the Eric Snow Classic.

Huffman gave Milton a little scare, trailing only 34-24 at halftime. However,  Milton unleashed its defense in the second half, holding Huffman to 11 total  points. It was the fifth game  of the season for Huffman  and the season-opener for Milton.

Georgia Tech-bound forward Julian Royal had 17 points, while Jordan  Loyd (Furman) scored 16 and Shannon Scott (Ohio State) finished with 14.

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Continue reading Georgia team ranked No. 1 in USA opens season with blowout win »

M.L. King’s Robinson sets state record for receiving yards in season

M.L. King wide receiver DeMarco Robinson has broken the state record for receiving yards in a season.

In a 48-47 loss to Colquitt County that was the final game of his career, Robinson had 10 receptions for 246 yards and five touchdowns.  Robinson’s season totals are 73 receptions for 1,655 yards and 27 touchdowns. 

Robinson’s yardage total breaks the mark of 1,647 set in 2009 by Calhoun’s Da’Rick Rogers. Now at Tennessee, Rogers compiled his yards in 15 games. Robinson played 12.

M.L. King quarterback Jonquel Dawson was 27-of-43 passing for 522 yards and six touchdowns in the game. His season totals are 3,606 yards passing (fourth in state history) and 41 touchdowns (tied for third in state history).

Both are DeKalb County records.

Other top individual performances in Georgia last week:

Brookwood DB Nick Moore had two interceptions and a 59-yard punt return in a 34-24 victory over Norcross.

Calhoun junior LB Gabe Freeman had two sacks and two other tackles for loss in a 36-19 …

Continue reading M.L. King’s Robinson sets state record for receiving yards in season »

Class AAAAA goes topsy turvy: It’s 2006 all over again

‘’You had a bad day, you’re taking one down.

You sing a sad song just to turn it around.’’

Remember that song? Bad Day? It was No. 1 in 2006. That’s the year Roswell and Peachtree Ridge reached the Class AAAAA final, and nobody won. Georgia’s craziest season ended in a tie. 

It’s 2006 all over again.

Had a bad day: Camden County, North Gwinnett, Clarke Central, Charlton County …

Let’s talk about AAAAA first.  This is 2006. There are probably a dozen teams that could’ve won Class AAAAA this season. There’s no great team, but a bunch of good ones.

I witnessed one of these surprising outcomes – Grayson 23, North Gwinnett 19.

Conclusion: Grayson converted some critical third-down passes in the first half and scored 10 points while North Gwinnett proceeded to turn the ball over in those same key spots.

It was 10-0 at halftime, and it was over. Grayson is too well-coached, too good on defense, to let a team off the hook for making those mistakes.

Tangent: That #90 at Grayson is the …

Continue reading Class AAAAA goes topsy turvy: It’s 2006 all over again »

Computer says: MLK by 4, McEachern by 2, Kell by 2, Hooch by 11, North Gwinnett by 18 …

Here are the projected margins of victory for the second-round games by the Maxwell Ratings. The computer-generated projected winner is on the left. The projected winning margin is on the right.

 

Class AAAAA

Brookwood vs. Norcross 1

Camden County vs. Hillgrove 15

Collins Hill at Roswell 4

Lowndes vs. Newnan 9

M.L. King vs. Colquitt County 4

McEachern vs. Valdosta 2

North Gwinnett vs. Grayson 18

South Gwinnett vs. Mill Creek 6

Class AAAA

Chattahoochee vs. Marist 11

Clarke Central vs. East Paulding 18

Dutchtown vs. Glynn Academy 8

Griffin at Statesboro 12

Kell vs. Flowery Branch 2

Starr’s Mill vs. Brunswick 13

Tucker vs. Hiram 14

Whitewater at Ware County 2

Class AAA

Baldwin at Burke County 4

Cairo vs. Eastside 20

Carrollton vs. St. Pius 17

Gainesville vs. Cedar Grove 21

Grady vs. White County 6

Peach County vs. Thomson 28

Sandy Creek vs. Americus-Sumter 22

Woodward Academy at Monroe Area 2

Class AA

Brooks County at Vidalia 11

Buford vs. Callaway 32

Calhoun vs. Westminster …

Continue reading Computer says: MLK by 4, McEachern by 2, Kell by 2, Hooch by 11, North Gwinnett by 18 … »

AAAA second-round capsules: Kell faces big test vs. Flowery Branch

 

Griffin at Statesboro

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Womack Field, Statesboro

Records, rankings: Griffin is 10-1, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAAA and ranked No. 10; Statesboro is 9-2, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAA and unranked.

Last meeting: Statesboro won 7-0 in the 2005 Class AAAA semifinals.

Three things to know: 1. These are traditionally the best programs from regions 2 and 3, which were a combined 8-0 in the first round. Both schools have won 11 GHSA region titles. 2. Griffin’s go-to back is Wontavious Washington (1,381 yards, 15 TDs). DE Xzavier Dickson has 17 sacks. 3. Statesboro came from 21-7 down to beat Tri-Cities 24-21 in the first round. Statesboro tied the game on a touchdown with 2:48 left, recovered a fumble and got a 27-yard field goal from Caleb Brown with 7 seconds left to win.

Winner plays: Flowery Branch/Kell winner

 

Flowery Branch at Kell

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, C.J. Kell Stadium, Marietta

Records, rankings: Flowery Branch is 10-1, the No. 2 …

Continue reading AAAA second-round capsules: Kell faces big test vs. Flowery Branch »

AAAAA second-round capsules: Valdosta visits McEachern in game between 10-1 teams

Colquitt County at M.L. King

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallford Stadium, Clarkston

Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 6-5, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AAAAA and unranked; M.L. King is 8-3, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAAA and ranked No. 8.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Colquitt County school records have been set this season by QB Tyler Brown (2,514 yards passing), RB Tevin King (28 touchdowns) and WR Tommy Hudson (71 receptions). 2. DeKalb County records have been set by M.L. King QB Jonquel Dawson (3,085 yards passing, 34 touchdowns) and WR Demarco Robinson (1,409 yards, 21 touchdowns). 3. Colquitt County came to Hallford Stadium as a No. 3 seed in the second round last season and upset a region champion, Stephenson, 22-21 and eventually reached the semifinals.

Winner plays: Mill Creek/South Gwinnett winner

 

Mill Creek at South Gwinnett

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, South Gwinnett Community Stadium, Snellville

Records, …

Continue reading AAAAA second-round capsules: Valdosta visits McEachern in game between 10-1 teams »

Class A second-round matchups: Defending champ faces 11-0 JoCo

Miller County at Clinch County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. today, Donald Tison Field, Homerville

Records, rankings: Miller County is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-A and unranked; Clinch County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 2-A and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: Clinch County won 25-20 in 2009.

Three things to know: 1. Clinch County has two 1,000-yard rushers in QB Tray Dorsey (1,136 on 153 carries, 20 touchdowns) and RB Anthony McNeil (1,126 on 141 with 18 TDs). 2. Miller County came from down 21-0 to win 34-21 last week against Calvary Day, whose star RB Stephen Williams was lost to a concussion in the second quarter. Miller’s all-state DE/TE Juwan Jones scored two touchdowns. 3. These South Georgia schools frequently have been in the same region, including in 2009, when Miller beat Clinch 7-0 in the regular season, then lost 25-20 for the region championship in the final game of the regular season. Clinch leads the all-time series 13-8.

Winner plays: George Walton …

Continue reading Class A second-round matchups: Defending champ faces 11-0 JoCo »

AA second-round capsules: Westminster takes aim at Calhoun

Thomasville at Tattnall County

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Warrior Stadium, Reidsville

Records, rankings: Thomasville is 8-3, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AA and ranked No. 9; Tattnall County is 10-1, the No. 1 seed from 2-AA and unranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Tattnall County QB Quaysean Davis and Thomasville QB Jeffrey Dyson each have more than 1,000 yards rushing. Davis has more than 1,000 yards passing. 2. Thomasville had more interceptions (three) than receptions (two) in its 17-14 first-round victory over Jefferson County, Thomasville’s first road playoff win since 1993. 3. Tattnall County won its first state playoff game and achieved its first 10-victory season in a 33-16 victory over Southwest of Macon.

Winner plays: GAC/Carver-Columbus winner

 

GAC at Carver (Columbus)

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, Columbus

Records, rankings: Greater Atlanta Christian is 9-2, the No. 3 seed from …

Continue reading AA second-round capsules: Westminster takes aim at Calhoun »

Class AAA capsules: Big four of Cairo, Carrollton, Sandy Creek, Peach expected to roll

Thomson at Peach County
 

 

 

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Anderson Stadium, Fort Valley

Records, rankings: Thomson is 9-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 3-AAA and unranked; Peach County is 11-0, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAA and ranked No. 1.

Last meeting: Peach County won 21-7 in the first round of the 1997 Class AAA playoffs.

Three things to know: 1. Peach County RB Travis Richmond is averaging more than 10 yards per carry (1,421 yards rushing, 122 carries, 21 touchdowns), and QB Brett Montgomery is averaging a touchdown every 6.4 passing attempts (104-for-148, 1,898 yards, 23 TDs). 2. Thomson runs a Wing-T offense, and no player is averaging more than 10 rushing attempts per game. The leading rusher is FB Chris Jordan (577 yards, 87 carries), who scored two touchdowns last week in the victory over Worth County. 3. Thomson head coach Luther Welsh, 78, is retiring after this season. He has led Thomson to state titles in 1984, 1985 and 2002 and has 333 victories.

Winner plays: …

Continue reading Class AAA capsules: Big four of Cairo, Carrollton, Sandy Creek, Peach expected to roll »