AAA blog: Cedar Grove gets huge early test against Stephenson

The headliners in AAA are more inter-classification games, and those include a couple of heavyweight matches.

A look at the top games in Class AAA this week:

1. Stephenson (1-0) at Cedar Grove (1-0), Hallford Stadium: No. 7 Cedar Grove warmed up with a 40-19 win over a fledgling Veterans club last week, and the Saints jump into the deep end with both feet this week, facing what many view as the state’s most talented team in Stephenson (ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAA). The game is a contrast in styles; the Jaguars are a power team with a strong ground game, while Cedar Grove airs it out. Saints QB Johnathan McCrary completed 10 of 12 passes for 312 yards and four TDs last week, gets a much more difficult test against a Stephenson defense that held Parkview to a field goal last week. Last year: Stephenson won 24-18.

2. Statesboro (1-0) at Washington County (1-0): Unranked Washington County steps out of AAA competition against Statesboro (ranked No. 3 in AAAA). The Golden Hawks, like Cedar Grove, got off to a solid start with a 28-17 win over AA Jefferson County last week, but this is a different realm they’re stepping into. The Blue Devils have seven 10-win seasons and two state titles since 2000. Waco QB William Walker passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns last week while rushing for 72 yards. Last year: Statesboro won 19-14.

3. Eastside-Covington (1-0) at Newton (1-0): Eastside coach Rick Hurst allows that these two teams have only been playing for nine years, but calls this one of the state’s most intense rivalries. “It’s not very old, but it’s pretty nasty,” said Hurst, whose club is looking to break a two-game losing streak against the Rams. They’ll have to do it without RB Alex Smith, who broke his armon the first play of the No. 9-ranked Eagles’ 38-15 win over Alcovy last week. Chavis Griggs filled the void with 105 yards and a pair of TDs and freshman Nick Broadwater aded 70 yards, and they’ll both be counted on heavily by Eastside, which also gets back sophomore Gamondi Smith, who is recovering from June shoulder surgery. Last year: Newton won 20-14.

4. Blessed Trinity (1-1) at Grady (1-0): Grady’s Grey Knights, ranked No. 10 in AAA, face a AA opponent before returning to the meat of their Region 5-AAA schedule. They’ll be looking to shore up their kick coverage after allowing a return for a touchdown in their opener against McNair. RB Isiah Jenkins topped 100 yards last week for Grady in a game that wasn’t a smooth as the 31-6 score might indicate. The Knights scored two touchdowns off turnovers. “We were fortunate to get through the first game,” said Grady coach Ronnie Millen. “BlessedTrinity’s going to be disciplined, their kids are strong and they’re well-coached.” Last year: Blessed Trinity won, 17-14.

5. Eagle’s Landing Christian (0-1) at Henry County (1-0): ELCA lost its opener and its No. 1 ranking in Class A last week, but in Keyante Green (109 rushing yards in the opener) they have a threat sure to cause fits for Henry, unranked in AAA. The Warhawks, who flexed their muscles in a 44-26 win over Ola, counter with DL Dalvin Tomlinson and QB Chris Moody, who is drawing raves from coaches around Region 4-AAA. Last year: ELCA won 13-6.
A couple other games to wach:

No. 6-ranked Carrollton faces out-of-state competition for the second straight week, taking on Vanguard-Ocala (Fla.) Saturday at Grisham Stadium … Mary Persons is coming off a big offensive performance in a 36-20 win over Jackson in which QB Taylor  Williams was 13 of 19 passing for 183 yards and two TDs. “I was a little disappointed in our defense,” said Bulldogs coach Rodney Walker. “We gave up some big plays because we were lined up poorly and we didn’t tackle well.” The Bulldogs play at Veterans Friday night.

20 comments Add your comment


August 31st, 2011
11:44 pm

The Saints are ready for the Stephenson powerhouse. Even if we don’t win, which everyone says we can’t, we’re not gonna lay down. We will fight it out for four quarters. I’m looking forward to seeing what our young QB can do. It should be a great game! Go Saints!!!!

Rockbridge Shawty

September 1st, 2011
12:11 am

@Sportsmommy74- be real with yourself Cedar Grove can’t stop Stephenson’s run game. And Stone Mountain is anxious to get a sneak peak to see what the hype is all about concerning Cedar Grove this year. CG got something to prove because last year they were out played and out coached by Stephenson and Stone Mountain. They had a chance to win both of those games, but laid the egg.


September 1st, 2011
6:42 am

Should be interesting. @ Rockbridge Shawty, last year is last year, but what’s really confusing is that you said that Stephenson outcoached Cedar Grove. Well, how bad is the coaching staff for the Saints because everybody outcoaches Coach Gartrell’s staff at Stephenson.

Stephenson Finest

September 1st, 2011
7:10 am

two dekalb county school playing it will be a great weekend

Tucker Dad

September 1st, 2011
8:41 am

It’s all about the Tucker Marist game Shawty!


September 1st, 2011
9:43 am

Cairo also steps outside there Class to host Bainbridge and old foe. Should be a good game. Maker’s ready to shock the world!!!!


September 1st, 2011
11:10 am

Rockbridge Shawty we beat ourselves last year, remember the illegal forward pass? 24-18, You call that outcoached, really? Umm Okay… I’m being real, I never said that we were gonna beat you to a pulp, I said its going to be great game. Outcoached and outplayed, laughable. Good luck to both teams. My statement said, we won’t lay down and quit. As for Stone Mountain, they beat us last year, fair adnd square, that’s the bottome line.
The stadium will be rocking tomorrow night. Win or lose…

River rd.boys

September 1st, 2011
12:04 pm

Shs got lucky last year 24 -18 .cg 3a -shs 5a and cg do not get everybody kids they coach the kids they winning Td call back .

Cedar Grove Fan

September 1st, 2011
12:07 pm

to all you experts, how far did your team go in the state playoffs, or just getting lucky and winning a game againgt Cedar Grove make your season? SEE YOU AT THE STATE TORNEY!


September 1st, 2011
4:34 pm

I’m still amazed at the total lack of respect the boys from River Road get. IJS…

citi slicker

September 2nd, 2011
1:37 am

ill be there im a neutral fan i hope this is a great game that being said stepheson probaly has more senior prospects but cedar grove can match stephenson speed and has no shortage of d 1 prospects everybody knows that both stephenson middle and c grove middle has probaly the best middle school programs in the county and central dekalb and gresham park are two of the best in the county


September 2nd, 2011
2:25 am

If Cedar Grove scores twice they win…. Stephenson has no offense..


September 2nd, 2011
6:06 am

Newton got a good team over there, but this Eastside’s year. One thing we have to do is take care of the football, we have 8+ turnovers in the last 2 games against the Rams. This is also one of the best defenses well face this year. Look for turnovers to make the difference again, with Eastside commiting less than they force. Eastside 20-10 LETS GO EAGLES

Old Gold Panther

September 2nd, 2011
7:56 am

@DekalbAlum….I found the “outcoached” part funny too.


September 2nd, 2011
9:26 am

Nail biting nervousness is setting in… This is a big game for the CG program.

MHC Tiger

September 2nd, 2011
12:25 pm

I dont care but it would be nice to see cairo whip bainbridge since their QB and his coach dad left the cairo program at the last min. not cool.


September 2nd, 2011
12:39 pm

Yeah MHC, that sucks. I don’t understand how they can do that and it be legal.


September 2nd, 2011
2:16 pm

In the end, none of that matters. This year St. Pius has one the best teams they have ever had talent wise. It is going to be scary for teams to face off against a well coached and talented pius squad come playoff time..

Ps. Will someone let Marist know that they can come by and look at OUR fish bowl trophy in the atheltic complex? They can get it back once Chadwick gets enough courage to put St. pius on the schedule again. Oh, and they would have to win.. haha!

Tell The Truth

September 3rd, 2011
9:12 am

@Sportsmommy74- do you think they should still get some respect? and I went to the game and saw #74 for Cedar Grove. Does he ever play?


September 7th, 2011
12:14 pm

River rd.boys

September 1st, 2011
12:04 pm
Shs got lucky last year 24 -18 .cg 3a -shs 5a and cg do not get everybody kids they coach the kids they winning Td call back .

Really??? – It wasn’t luck. SHS just beat CG last year and this year. And as for CG not getting everybody’s kids and they coach their own…….hmmmmm Well I know for a fact that the QB for CG played at Central Dekalb (Wade Walker Park) for years. His parents still live in the SHS district. #i’mjustsaying