Archive for October, 2011

Longest winning streaks in GHSA history

Sandy Creek won its 37th consecutive game last week to move into a fifth-place tie for the longest winning streaks in GHSA history. Here are the top 10:

47 – Buford (2001-04)

46 – Parkview (2000-03)

44 – Lincoln County (1989-91)

38 – Lincoln County (1976-78)

37 – Sandy Creek (2009-current)

37 – Valdosta (1960-63)

37 – West Rome (1982-84)

36 – Thomson (1967-69)

35 – Northside, Warner Robins (2006-08)

34 – Southeast Bulloch (1972-74)

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POY Watch: Flowery Branch QB Coker makes debut in top 10

Kanler Coker, the Flowery Branch quarterback who rushed for four touchdowns and passed for three last week in a 49-21 victory over Loganville, is the newest addition to GHSF Daily’s Player of the Year Watch. Out this week is Eagle’s Landing Christian running back/linebacker Keyante Green, who played sparingly last week because of a mild groin injury and might sit out another game before getting to full speed.

Also strongly considered, but not making it, this week were running backs Marteze Waller of Putnam County, Janier Ferguson of Pepperell, Imani Cross of North Hall and Chaz Thornton of Stephens County and quarterbacks Jonquel Dawson of M.L. King, Scotty Hosch of North Gwinnett and Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta.

Let us know if you think we missed someone.

1. RB Kenyan Drake, Hillgrove: Drake, who has committed to Alabama, rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a 41-25 victory over Pebblebrook. On the season, Drake has rushed for 1,196 yards on 122 carries …

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AAA blog: It’s free-for-alls and donnybrooks

A poster who calls himself Thoroughbred commented about the AAA playoffs potentially being a free-for-all on here last week (thanks for the idea dude), and it got me to thinking. Dangerous, I know, but I’m going there.
Really, it’s anybody’s guess what might happen in the season’s last two weeks and who ends up in what playoff slot, particularly in the class’ four sub-divided regions. We here at the AAA blog have no reservations with making some assumptions. A coach or two – if they’re reading – undoubtedly will express grievances about all this, but I’m making some anyway. Here they are.

• Region most likely to need an abacus: Actually, not much in the way of assumptions here. For my money, it’s Region 2, where third-place Mary Persons and Westside-Macon, who face each other this week, have two region losses. Meanwhile, Perry and West Laurens have three region losses each. There is some head-to-head in the last two weeks of the regular sason, but that’s four teams duking it …

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Losses in close games hard to overcome

Here are 16 teams that can’t win the close ones this year. Their seasons might be much different if they did.

*Apalachee: The Wildcats were 12-1 in 2009 and just missed the playoffs in 2010 at 6-4. This season, they have an elite sophomore running back Stanley Williams, who is committed to Georgia. But they started 0-4 with tough losses to Habersham Central (38-35), Salem (17-14) and Heritage (22-17). They also played Clarke Central close (37-28) but are 0-4 in games decided by nine points or fewer. Win any one of those and they’re possibly playoff-bound. But now the best they can do is 5-5 and wait until next year. At least they’ll have Williams.

*Cedar Grove: The Saints have a star quarterback in Johnathon McCrary and had a No. 7 preseason ranking but probably blew their chance to win a Region 5-AAA title with a 27-24 loss to Woodward Academy on Oct. 14. The Saints also lost to LaGrange 35-34. If it had won those two, Cedar Grove – a Class AAA quarterfinalist last year that …

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15 games that could go either way

The 15 hardest-to-predict games this week, according to the Maxwell Ratings:

Aquinas vs. Washington-Wilkes

Banks Co. vs. East Hall

Brooks Co. vs. Fitzgerald

Drew vs. Henry Co.

Gordon Lee vs. Trion

Habersham Central vs. Loganville

Harlem vs. Josey

Houston Co. vs. Hardaway

LaFayette vs. Ringgold

Lovett vs. Westminster

Paulding Co. vs. Douglas Co.

Shaw vs. Central (Carrollton)

Toombs Co. vs. Brantley Co.

Woodland (Cartersville) vs. Creekview

Woodward Academy vs. Columbia

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Top performances from Week 10

Here are some of the top individual performances from last week:

*Adairsville RB Mike Upshaw rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in a 28-14 victory over Model.

*Aquinas RB/LB Brendan Douglas rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and had 18 tackles in a 44-22 loss to Lincoln County.

*Bleckley County QB Tavon Ross rushed for 215 yards on 18 carries and was 9-of-13 passing for 145 yards in a 39-34 victory over Swainsboro. He had a hand in five touchdowns.

*Brookwood RB Nick Tompkins returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown with 15 seconds left in a 23-19 victory over Parkview.

*Cairo RB/LB Terrell Cason scored all four of his team’s touchdowns in the second half of a 28-20 victory over Westover. Cairo trailed 20-0 at halftime.

*Charlton County RB Tre Hamilton rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-13 victory over Bacon County.

*Dunwoody QB Justin King rushed for 294 yards and five touchdowns on 24 attempts in a 42-32 victory over Carver of …

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AA blog: Fitzgerald, Brooks play for prize

The consensus around the state is that Region 1 is the toughest league in Class AA. It may not produce a state champion, but it will send four very good teams to the state playoffs. There will be at least one good team staying home when the playoffs begin in three weeks.

After running through the region gauntlet, the two teams standing with unbeaten region records are Fitzgerald and Brooks County. The two state-ranked clubs meet this week at Brooks County to determine the region title and No. 1 seed for the state playoffs. The two teams each have one loss to a larger school; Fitzgerald was beaten by Tift County, Brooks County lost to Valdosta.

Fitzgerald will be going to the state playoffs for the 12th straight season, a streak that began in 2000 under coach Robby Pruitt. The only thing missing from the streak is a state championship. Brooks County will be going to the playoffs for the fourth straight year under coach Maurice Freeman; the school’s all-time winningest coach …

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Football region standings through Week 10


Region 1-AAAAA




Colquitt County












Tift County



Region 2-AAAAA

M.L. King









East Coweta















Region 3-AAAAA

Camden County



Windsor Forest















Johnson (Savannah)






Bradwell Institute



Region 4-AAAAA







South Cobb









North Cobb






Kennesaw Mountain



Region 5-AAAAA








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10 region champions from 2010 that can’t repeat

Athens Academy







Starr’s Mill


Tattnall County

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Notable results of week 10: Pope, Marietta pull off shockers

GHSF Daily’s Chip Saye ranks the most surprising results of Week 10:

1. Pope 29, East Paulding 23: Pope moved into a three-way tie with East Paulding and Kell for first place in Region 5-AAAA North with a victory against an East Paulding team that was ranked No. 4 last week. Pope’s 29 points matched the total that East Paulding had allowed in its first seven games combined.

2. Marietta 35, Lassiter 28: Marietta’s recovery from a 0-4 start continued with the biggest victory of its current four-game winning streak. The win enabled the Blue Devils to remain tied for first place with Walton in 5-AAAAA and set up what will be a region championship game when the teams meet this week.

3. Athens Christian 13, Athens Academy 7: Athens Christian collected its first victory against Athens Academy in eight meetings since moving to the GHSA in 2000. The Eagles, who are 2-6 after having to forfeit three victories for using an ineligible player, still have a shot at the playoffs but probably …

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HS rankings: Grady falls out, East Paulding holds on

Not much a changin’ in the rankings this week as only Grady and East Paulding lost among last week’s top 10.

Grady is out, while EP stayed at #10, though EP likely blew its chance to win the region title with the loss to Pope.

This week, some of the big games are Brookwood-Grayson, Brooks County-Fitzgerald, Marist-Mays & North Oconee-Elbert County.


1. Camden County (8-0)

Last week: Beat Jenkins 56-7. Camden led 42-0 in the first quarter. QB Brice Ramsey was 6-of-9 passing for 102 yards and three touchdowns, and he put all nine of his kickoffs into the end zone. J.J. Green scored two touchdowns on just two carries (15 yards) and three receptions (63 yards). LB Rafael Hardee had two sacks. Next: Friday vs. Johnson, Savannah (3-6)

2. Grayson (8-0)

Last week: Beat South Gwinnett 40-0. Grayson led 27-0 at halftime and held South Gwinnett to eight yards rushing. Grayson rushed for 303 yards, and QB Nick Schuessler was 7-of-9 passing for 113 yards. Next: Friday vs. …

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AAA blog: St. Pius proves its standing

Five things we learned Friday night in Class AAA:

St. Pius is as good as advertised and may be even better: The No. 2-ranked Golden Lions hit the gas early against Region 5-AAA rival Grady and never let up, rushing for 387 yards and leading 21-0 before the No. 5 Grey Knights ran their second offensive play in a 49-16 victory. T.J. Holloman scored four touchdowns for St. Pius (8-0), which plays Washington next week for the sub-region title.

LaGrange has played itself into contention: Behind quarterback Quinton Jackson, LaGrange topped Central-Carrollton 34-6, forging a three-way tie for third place in 6-AAA with Central and Haralson County. Jackson rushed for 80 yards and passed for 116 for LaGrange (3-5, 2-2), which likely must beat Shaw and Troup to get into the playoffs.

Burke County can survive a close one: The No. 4-ranked Bears got a touchdown from Montres Kitchens to put away Washington County 28-20. Burke, which had outscored its AAA opponents by an average of 50 …

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Class A blog: No. 1 smashes rival

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

What we learned in Class A games Friday:

Savannah Christian dominates Calvary Day: During the week, Savannah Christian coach Donald Chumley said he was a bit worried about his undefeated and No. 1 Raiders because they had yet to play a close game. And they still haven’t. Savannah Christian (8-0, 4-0) smashed their private school rivals 49-7. Calvary Day handed the Raiders their only regular season loss last season. Senior running back Will Austin was the star, finishing with 173 yards and four touchdowns on just six carries, all in the first half. The win essentially gives Savannah Christian the Region 3 East championship. Chumley has his team primed to make its third consecutive run to the state finals, where they have lost both times.

ELCA keeps rolling: The No. 2 in the state fell behind when Our Lady of Mercy junior Rashard Fant sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown out of the Wildcat formation. But the Chargers (7-1, 4-0) scored the next 52 …

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AAAA blog: Pope’s upset creates three-way tie in 5-AAAA North

What we learned in Class AAAA Friday night:

*Upset of the week: East Paulding’s leisurely drive through Region 5-AAAA ran into a big roadblock. Pope knocked off the fourth-ranked Raiders 29-23 to move into a tie with East Paulding and Kell for first place in the North subregion. Pope currently holds the advantage in case they finish in a three-way tie. Unlike most subdivided regions, however, 5-AAAA will not have a championship game between subregion winners. Instead, the top seed from each subregion will play the No. 4 seed from the other (and No. 2s will meet No. 3s) in region play-in games, with the winners advancing to the state playoffs.

*Player of the year candidates: The top quarterbacks in Region 8-AAAA keep on rolling. In a 49-21 victory against Loganville, Flowery Branch’s Kanler Coker rushed for four touchdowns, passed for three scores and had 325 total yards of offense, according to the Gainesville Times. Habersham Central’s Kevin Ellison scored five touchdowns in …

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AAAAA blog: Marietta upset of Lassiter brings back good ole days

Metro Atlanta grows so fast that there might be people out there that didn’t know Marietta used to be somebody in high school football (to borrow Ben Wilkins’ phrase).

The Blue Devils – a state power in the 1990s and a region champion as recently as 2005 – started 0-4 this season and was 2-12 under second-year coach Scott Burton. That’s the worst patch for Marietta since the Reagan Adminstration. Now, the Devils have won four straight after dumping Lassiter (6-2) 35-28 on Friday night in the state’s top upset in AAAAA. Quarterback Anthony Jennings scored on a 4-yard run with seven seconds remaining.

Next is what could be a region championship game vs. Walton (8-0) next week. Never saw that scenario unfolding.

Burton, who came from the college ranks as an assistant at the University of Richmond, seems to have figured things out.

(btw, the late Ben Wilkins was a long-time Marietta coach, icon and inspirational figure who used to always say, “Be somebody.” It’s on a banner at …

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