Archive for October, 2011

AAA blog: Once a regular pairing, 8-AAA final now a rare treat

Stephens County and Gainesville are only about 40 miles apart, and one would think the two teams would make for a natural rivalry. Recent history hasn’t worked out that way.

Up until 1988, it seemed they played each other all the time. Nine times between 1971 and 1988, they played twice in the same season, but they’ve squared off just once since then.

According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website, Gainesville and Stephens played each other twice in 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1988. Gainesville won the second meeting in six of those.

This year’s Region 8-AAA finalists last played in the state playoffs in 2002, when Gainesville took a 22-9 win on its way to the state semifinals.

“We’ve scrimmaged them a couple of times, but we were in different regions, and when we got in the same region this time, the only way were going to play was in this play-in game,” said Gainesville coach Bruce Miller.

It was happenstance that …

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AA blog: A look at the playoff picture

The playoffs start in three regions this week and all leagues will determine their representatives for the state tournament on Friday night.

Regions 6, 7 and 8, three leagues that are subdivided, all opted for a play-in system. This has become a popular way to determine state playoff participants, since it makes it more equitable in the instance that one subregion is stronger than the other.

Under play-in rules, the subregion champions are both guaranteed spots in the playoffs and a first-round playoff game at home; the No. 1 teams meet to determine first place. The No. 2 teams then crossover and play the No. 3 team from the other side, with the winners moving onto the state playoffs. The other teams in the subregions then match up according to their regular-season finish, but without any playoff implications.

Here’s a look at the way the playoffs shape up going into the final week of the regular season.

Region 1-AA: No. 3-ranked Fitzgerald is the champion and No. 10-ranked …

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My best memory: Georgia Tech linebacker Daniel Drummond

Georgia Tech redshirt sophomore Daniel Drummond’s transition from running back to linebacker began in the spring, and this is not the first big change he has made in football. After playing for three years at West Hall High, he transferred to Flowery Branch for his senior year.

Drummond helped lead the Falcons to the state Class AAA championship game in 2008 along with fellow Yellow Jackets player Izaan Cross and current South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw, among others.

While Drummond said he’ll never forget Flowery Branch’s run to the title game – with four upset victories on the road – his favorite moment from high school came playing against his former team.

“They are rival schools, and I caught a lot of [grief] that week,” he said. “Then we played them at West Hall, and I had like 248 rushing yards on six carries and three touchdowns. It was a great memory.

“We made a crazy run through the playoffs. Those are great memories. That state championship game, …

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Football region standings through Week 11

Class AAAAA

Region 1-AAAAA

Team

Reg.

All

Colquitt County

3-0

8-1

Valdosta

2-1

7-2

Lowndes

2-2

7-3

Coffee

2-2

5-5

Tift County

0-4

3-7

Region 2-AAAAA

M.L. King

6-0

9-0

Stephenson

6-0

9-0

Newnan

4-2

5-4

East Coweta

3-3

6-3

Newton

2-4

5-4

Westlake

2-4

4-5

Luella

1-5

4-5

Hughes

0-6

2-7

Region 3-AAAAA

Camden County

7-0

9-0

Windsor Forest

5-2

5-3-1

Groves

4-3

6-3

Beach

4-3

5-4

Benedictine

4-3

4-5

Jenkins

3-4

4-5

Johnson (Savannah)

3-5

3-7

Savannah

2-6

2-8

Bradwell Institute

1-7

1-9

Region 4-AAAAA

Hillgrove

6-0

9-0

McEachern

5-1

8-1

Pebblebrook

4-2

4-5

South Cobb

3-3

6-3

North Cobb

3-3

4-5

Harrison

2-4

3-6

Campbell

1-5

1-8

Kennesaw Mountain

0-6

0-9

Region 5-AAAAA

Walton

5-0

9-0

Marietta

4-1

4-5

Lassiter

Continue reading Football region standings through Week 11 »

Most region titles

Teams with the most region titles since 1948, when the GHSA placed teams in regions in all classes for the first time.

35 – Lincoln County*

34 – Valdosta

29 – Carrollton

26 – Gainesville

23 – Warner Robins

22 – Buford

21 – Thomson

21 – Thomasville

21 – Marist

21 – Charlton County

20 – Americus

19 – Dalton

18 – LaGrange

18 – Vidalia

17 – Camden County

17 – Commerce

17 – Westminster

16 – Southwest DeKalb

15 – Washington-Wilkes

15 – Marietta

15 – Clinch County

15 – Clarke Central

15 – Calhoun

15 – Bowdon

15 – Fitzgerald

15 – Lovett

15 – Mary Persons

*Includes four under Lincolnton High.

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Twenty-four region titles still up for grabs

There are 16 Georgia teams that have won region titles with a week remaining in the regular season. Winning their first-ever region championships are Hillgrove (4-AAAAA), Alpharetta (6-AAAAA) and Prince Avenue Christian (8-A).

In 18 regions, a winner-take-all game this weekend will determine the region champ. In six other regions, there is one team in the driver’s seat that needs to win this week to clinch.

Here’s a region-by-region look at which teams are in contention. Region champions are marked with an asterisk.

Class AAAAA

1 – Colquitt County-Valdosta winner

2 – M.L. King-Stephenson winner

3 – *Camden County

4 – *Hillgrove

5 – *Walton

6 – *Alpharetta

7 – North Gwinnett-Peachtree Ridge winner

8 – *Grayson

Class AAAA

1 – *Northside (Warner Robins)

2 – Ware County-Statesboro winner

3 – Alcovy-Northgate winner

4 – *Lovejoy

5 – Pope if … (see notes below)

6 – *Tucker

7 – Chattahoochee if …

8 – Flowery Branch if …

Class AAA

1 – Cairo/Americus-Sumter winner

2 – Baldwin-Peach …

Continue reading Twenty-four region titles still up for grabs »

Notable results of week 11: Grady on losing streak heading into play-in

GHSF Daily’s Chip Saye ranks the most surprising results of Week 11:

1. Riverwood 44, Grady 26: Grady apparently hasn’t shaken off a 49-16 loss to St. Pius on Oct. 21 that cost the Grey Knights the subregion championship. However, this loss didn’t affect Grady’s second-place standing in Region 5-AAA, and it will play Columbia in a region play-in game this week. Riverwood finished fifth in the subregion.

2. Jefferson County 26, Dublin 7: Dublin’s hopes for an undefeated regular season were dashed, but the Fighting Irish will still win Region 3-AA with a victory this week against Southeast Bulloch (1-8). Jefferson County, which has won three consecutive games against Dublin, will make the playoffs, along with Laney and Bleckley County.

3. Archer 40, Parkview 16: Perhaps this shouldn’t be considered an upset, as Archer had won three of its past four games and was competitive in its losses. Still, it’s the biggest victory in the program’s three-year history and will send the …

Continue reading Notable results of week 11: Grady on losing streak heading into play-in »

Poll Talk: Class AA gets an adjustment leading up to region title week

We’ve got most of the ‘How The Top 10 Fared’ done so decided to post that early. …

Lots of big games this week, to state the obvious. MLK-Stephenson, P’Ridge-North, Colquitt-Valdosta and many, many more.

Rankings didn’t change except in Class AA.

Class AAAAA
1. Camden County (9-0)
Last week: Beat Johnson, Savannah 55-0. Brice Ramsey was 7-of-11 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns. J.J. Green rushed for 62 yards on two carries, caught a 30-yard pass and scored three touchdowns. Vincent Hollerman got his 10th sack of the season. Next: Friday at Beach (5-4)
2. Grayson (9-0)
Last week: Beat Brookwood 14-7. With the score 7-7, Kasey Gaines returned an interception 15 yards with 27 seconds left. Grayson scored on a 78-yard, 14-play drive to open the game, as Robert Nkemdiche scored on a 7-yard run. Grayson held Brookwood to 92 yards rushing. But Grayson had only two first downs in the second half and twice was stopped on fourth-down plays. Next: Friday at Central Gwinnett …

Continue reading Poll Talk: Class AA gets an adjustment leading up to region title week »

Results of state championship volleyball

Eagles Landing Christian Academy made an improbable rally by scoring the final six points in the deciding game to win Saturday’s Class AA/A state championship in volleyball.

After both teams had won two games each, Greater Atlanta Christian led 13-9 in the deciding game and needed to score only two more points to win the state title. However, ECLA outside hitter Mara Green had one of the most clutch performances in tournament history, scoring six straight points to reverse her team’s fortunes.

ECLA won 15-13, claiming the first state championship in volleyball for any Henry County school.

“At the end, Mara just kind of took over and just refused to lose,” ECLA coach Jim Barlow said. “I’m biased, but I think she’s the best player I’ve seen in Georgia in the last 5-6 years.”

The 6-foot-1 Green (committed to Clemson) finished with 29 kills and 13 blocks, while Kodi Patterson had 39 assists for ECLA (37-7). GAC (41-5) was led by Dede Bohannon (Georgia State) with 25 kills, …

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Class A blog: Interesting developments in Week 11

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are some significant things that went down in Week 11.

Hancock Central superintendent speaks out. On Friday attorneys for Warren County Schools released text messages reportedly from former Warren County head football coach Marleau Blount, now an assistant on the staff at Hancock County, to some current Warren County players (read the story here). The messages, which have an aggressively adversarial tone, were sent the week of the Warren County-Hancock Central game (Oct. 14), after which a brawl broke out that sent current Warren County head coach David Daniels to the hospital with significant facial injuries that required surgery.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter. Prior to the release of the text messages, Hancock County Schools Superintendent Gwendolyn Jefferson Reeves commented on several aspects of the issue, which add some interesting context to the story . Additionally, Reeves said she will release more …

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AAAAA blog: Colquitt-Valdosta, MLK-Stephenson, P’Ridge-North Gwinnett to decide final region titles in showdowns

Four teams clinched region titles Friday, and three more will be decided next week in games between teams tied for first in what will be the most intriguing Friday of the season in Class AAAAA.

First, let’s look ahead -

-Colquitt County (8-1) will play Valdosta (7-2) for the Region 1 title on Friday in Valdosta. It would be Colquitt’s first region title since 1999, Valdosta’s first since 2003.

-No. 4 Stephenson and No. 5 M.L. King, both 9-0, will play Friday at Hallford Stadium for the Region 2 title. It will be the seventh straight year that one of these DeKalb County schools has won 2-AAAAA. MLK won in 2010 and 2007. Stephenson won in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. They’ve met when they were 5-0 and 6-0, but never 9-0.

-No. 8 North Gwinnett and No. 10 Peachtree Ridge, both 8-1, will play at North Gwinnett on Friday to decide Region 7. Both Gwinnett County schools are in Suwanee. North Gwinnett is the two-time defending champion. Peachtree Ridge won in 2008.

Clinching region …

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AAA Blog: Top teams dominate with defense

Zeroes were heroes for ranked teams in Class AAA. Seven of the nine ranked teams that played put up shutouts, the closest of them No. 2 St. Pius, which escaped with a 7-0 victory against Washington. Here’s a look at some other notable games:

  • A clincher for Mary Persons: Mary Persons narrowly missed the playoffs each of the past two years but secured a week 11 game courtesy of two second-half touchdowns by Corey Head.
  • Sandy Creek has a success Kitt: DeMarre Kitt scored on two big plays (a punt return and a pass reception) while the top-ranked Patriots’ defense posted its fifth shutout and third in its past four games. The Sandy Creek winning streak grew to 38 games, and the Patriots have won 12 in a row against county rivals.
  • Burke County cooks up a shutout: Montres Kitchens scored three touchdowns, including a 92-yard pass reception on the first play of the fourth quarter, and No. 4 Burke held Butler to 157 total yards in a 35-0 victory. It was the second shutout for Burke, …

Continue reading AAA Blog: Top teams dominate with defense »

AAAA blog: Changes at the top in Region 7

Rome’s 16-0 victory against Lambert on Friday has made Region 7-AAAA full of possibilities  and no team stands to benefit more than defending state champion Chattahoochee.

The Cougars entered Friday’s games in a three-way tie for first place with Johns Creek and Lambert but looking at a possible No. 3 seed for the state playoffs because of the region tiebreakers (Chattahoochee, Johns Creek and Lambert are each 1-1 against the other two). However, Lambert’s loss left Chattahoochee tied with Johns Creek and holding the top spot because of its 19-16 victory in their head-to-head meeting on Sept. 30.

But Chattahoochee can’t celebrate yet. The Cougars conclude the regular season against Rome this Friday, and a loss could send them all the way to the No. 4 seed. Rome also clinched a playoff berth with its victory.

Other news of note:

  • Region championship games set: Northgate claimed a spot in the 3-AAAA championship game against Alcovy with a 27-24 victory against Whitewater. …

Continue reading AAAA blog: Changes at the top in Region 7 »

Class AAAAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Alpharetta 32, Centennial 26: The Raiders overcame a 26-9 halftime deficit to comeback and beat visiting Centennial. Jalen Simmons scored two touchdowns; his final touchdown came with 46 seconds remaining in the game to give Alpharetta their first lead and the eventual win.

Central Gwinnett 33, Shiloh 26: Emmanuel Westmoreland threw three touchdowns for Central Gwinnett, including the one to Daniel Lewis that broke open a fourth-quarter tie. Malachi Jones caught a pair of touchdowns and George Morris rushed for two scores to lead the visiting Black Knights.

Hillgrove 35, Kennesaw Mountain 0: Running back Kenyan Drake had 15 carries for 186 and two touchdowns for the visiting Hawks. Quarterback Elijah Ironside completed three passes, two of which were touchdowns. Hillgrove’s defense held the Mustangs to minus-8 yards in the first half.

Lassiter 30, Woodstock 10: The visiting Trojans defeated Woodstock as Niles Clark and Matt Glattstein returned kickoffs of 75 …

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AA blog: Subregion winners aim for titles

North Oconee and Fitzgerald impressively sewed up their region championships Friday.

No. 10-ranked North Oconee improved its record to 9-0 with a 17-6 victory at No. 7 Elbert County to win the Region 8-AA South title. North Oconee will play Banks County, the North subregion champion, next Friday to determine the region title and No. 1 seed for the playoffs. It’s the first undefeated season for North Oconee, which began playing football in 2004. and improved coach Terry Tuley’s record at the school to 51-13 in six seasons. The veteran coach won his 100th career game earlier this season.

No. 5 Fitzgerald completed a 9-1 regular season with a decisive 39-0 victory at No. 6 Brooks County. That clinched the Region 1-AA title for the Purple Hurricanes, who earn the right to host a first-round state playoff game.

Other news of note:

  • Region 2-AA unbeatens to meet: No. 9 Appling County set up a showdown for the league title by blanking Vidalia 19-0. The Pirates will play at Pierce …

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