Walton 30, Lassiter 24

It’s been 44 years since a Cobb County team won a state championship in football. Walton (14-0) moved within one victory of rewriting that history Friday.

Tyren Jones rushed for 187 yards on 23 carries and scored on a dazzling 65-yard run at the end of the third quarter that spurred Walton to a 30-24 victory over Region 5-AAAAA rival and east Cobb neighbor Lassiter at Walton’s Raider Valley.

But Lassiter – a No. 4 seed seeking its fourth straight road victory in the playoffs – was alive until the final minute, when Walton defended a fourth-and-goal pass from the 9-yard line. It fell incomplete, and Walton moved on to the Class AAAAA final set for Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Walton will be the first Cobb team to play for a championship since Harrison in 2000. The last Cobb team to win a state title was Marietta in 1967.

“For years, people told us we’d never win a state championship in Cobb County or at Walton,’’ Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “This staff has been together for 10 years, and we’ve been building and building and building. I’m not saying what will happen, but by gosh we’ve got a chance. And God-willing, we’ll win the game.’’

Jones, a junior who transferred from Lassiter, ran his season rushing total to 2,298, the best in AAAAA, and scored his 37th and 38th touchdowns.

The last one was the deal-maker as he spun away from a defender in the backfield and made a second nifty cut just past the line of scrimmage and went 65. It gave Walton a 30-17 lead with 9.4 seconds left in the third quarter.

‘’We know if we get our blocks down, he’ll be gone,’’ said Walton’s Brandon Kublanow, a tackle on one of the state’s top offensive lines.

But Lassiter would battle on. Eddie Printz – who was 34-of-57 passing for 395 yards and two touchdowns – hit Juwan Dickey for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 9:44 left to make it to 30-24.

Walton drove deep into Lassiter territory, with Jones making a 33-yard run, but missed a field goal.

Lassiter went 76 yards to the Walton 4-yard line but was backed up to the 9 when Printz failed to connect with a well-covered Dickey in the end zone.

Walton led by as much as 21-3 in the first half when Parker McLeod (6-of-10 passing, 172 yards) hit Dakota Richardson on a 79-yard pass.

But Lassiter made a game of it with an 88-yard drive on 16 plays – three that were fourth-down conversions – and scored on Printz’s 2-yard pass to Charlie Hegedus (nine catches, 146 yards) with 10 seconds left in the half.

Walton’s Zack Blaylock, who is committed to Kentucky, set up another first-half touchdown with a 38-yard interception return but suffered a dislocated shoulder on the play and didn’t return to the game. He’s expected to play in the championship game.

Lassiter 0-10-7-7 – 24

Walton 14-7-9-0 – 30

W – Parker McLeod 2 run (Nathan Dittmer kick). 7:45

W – Tyren Jones 13 run (Dittmer kick), 3:15

L – Alex Hanks 37 FG 10:59

W – Dakota Richardson 79 pass from McLeod (Dittmer kick) 10;03

L – Charlie Hegedus 2 pass from Eddie Printz (Hanks kick)

W – Dittmer 28 FG

L – Isiah Willis 5 run (Hanks kick)

W – Jones 65 run (kick failed)

L – Juwan Dickey 9 pass from Printz (Hanks kick)

77 comments Add your comment

G-town

December 2nd, 2011
10:41 pm

Playing for second, boys.

HS Football Fan

December 2nd, 2011
10:48 pm

So proud to be a Walton Raider!!!!!!

Great game Lassiter you hung in there til the end, made us hold our breath and scream our heads off! I love this game!!!!

Congratulations to all the Raider boys, hope all the coaches from other teams and scouts loved you as much as we all do!

On to the Dome!

dawg555

December 2nd, 2011
10:50 pm

That was a great game. Congrats to Walton. Jones is an unbelievably talented back. But, WR Hegedus from Lassiter was extremely impressive. I know he is committed to NC State, but I sure hope UGA takes a good look at him.

Glen

December 2nd, 2011
11:10 pm

Great Game! Lassiter should be proud. A month ago no one would have thought they would be in this game and the played Walton to the end. Good luck Walton!

Glen

December 2nd, 2011
11:15 pm

Awesome Game!
Best wishes Walton.
Hold your head up Lassiter…you played a great game…both team represented Cobb as champions!!!

daddy_ball

December 2nd, 2011
11:16 pm

Tyren Jones Lassiter played for Lassiter last year. With Tyren Jones Lassiter would have won all their games this year also. Without Tyren Jones Walton would have lost all their games. Which high school will Tyren’s daddy move him too next year, in order to get him noticed, or because he has does not agree with the coach’s offense strategy? Grayson if they win? Go Grayson!

DeanM

December 2nd, 2011
11:19 pm

Great game tonight, and congratulations to the Raiders. As a Walton fan, all I can say is that Lassiter, and young men like Eddie Printz, and John Yoder, were all class, and all of Cobb County should be proud of them. Way to go Walton, bring on Grayson!

Football Fan

December 2nd, 2011
11:19 pm

Walton won the game tonight, but Cobb County was the big WINNER! What a game and a great showcase of all the talent that is in Cobb County. Both of these teams are to be applauded.

Great Game Walton! Great Game Lassiter!

On to the Dome!

Nike 11

December 2nd, 2011
11:20 pm

Great game. A play here or there abs the outcome its probably different. Represent cobb well walton. Jones was the difference being able to bounce off tackles for positive yards. Both teams should be good again next year…but I think the trojans may have the upper hand then.

And juwan dickey has some great hands! Hegedus should hold multiple sec offers as should niles clark. If they both still go to nc state they are getting 2 great players.

BamaBornDukie

December 2nd, 2011
11:47 pm

Just in from the game. Tyren Jones…..BEAST….2,300 yards and 38 TDs in 5A and just an 11th grader. PLEASE Alabama…..or Duke…..PLEASE get this kid.

Charlie Hegedus- He’s a BOSS. Very good size, 4.4 speed and great ball skills. UGA you need to offer this kid.

Brandon Kublanow- Just NASTY. I’m 37 and I could run behind this dude as he creates major lanes.

Walton’s Defense- Stood up strong without their primary playmaker as Zack Blaylock’s injury really opened things up for Lassiter’s passing game. Hats off to Walton’s Defense for not folding like a lawn chair.

Walton RISE UP!

WaltonRaiderFan

December 2nd, 2011
11:47 pm

Typo- says L: Jones 65 yard run, but that should be W: 65 yard run.

FB Fan

December 2nd, 2011
11:49 pm

Yep, Tyren Jones transferred quite clearly for athletic purposes from Lassiter to Walton. Therefore, Walton’s wins (especially against Lassiter) should be ethically forfeited. I say ethically since there are no GA laws against rigging a team with transfers like Walton did this year. Texas has better rules to prevent stacking teams like this: see: http://www.uiltexas.org/

Football Fan

December 2nd, 2011
11:50 pm

@daddyball…you are obviously a kid! Your comment is just plain stupid. The Jones move to Walton actually worked out for both Lassiter and Walton. Coach Irwin didn’t have to change his offensive philosophy to try and force carries to Jones and Jones is the perfect back for the Walton offense. Two good teams that were able to do what they do best tonight and made it a great game.

LassiterTrojanFan

December 2nd, 2011
11:52 pm

FB Fan- actually, both Walton and Lassiter’s coaching staffs agreed that Jones’ style didn’t fit Lassiter’s passing attack, and they’re both happy where they are. Plus, he lives right on the border between the two school districts, so it’s not ethically wrong at all.

Football Fan

December 2nd, 2011
11:52 pm

@FB Fan…give it a break. Georgia has rules to and the Jones family did their move by the letter of the law. They looked out for the best interests of their son which any PARENT should do and again, it worked out for both teams. Don’t disgrace Lassiter and what they have done this season by starting that crap and throwing that around as an excuse!

BamaBornDukie

December 2nd, 2011
11:56 pm

@daddy_ball…..

I saw Tyren’s mom & dad at the end of the Dacula Game last week and I wanted to go shake their hand and applaud them. If my son was as good as Tyren and he played in a Pass-Happy, Big 12 Type-Oklahoma St or Arkansas Type Offense….I’d transfer my son too. The kid wouldn’t even get noticed in that offense…..and now he may end up being the #1 RB in the nation for the 2013 Class.

Tyren was TOO talented to not get carries at Lassiter. He’s the best RB I’ve seen….but he wasn’t good enough for Lassiter’s coach to change up his offense,a little? Seriously? Heck, If my child played for Lassiter I’d be asking our coach…..

“Coach Irwin…..You mean to tell me you couldn’t figure out a way to get that Marshall Faulk Jr…..I mean that Barry Sanders Jr…OH….that Mark Ingram Jr….yeah know his name….that Tyren Jones kid…..you mean to tell me he’s the best offensive player in the whole state of Georgia and one of the best in the nation….and you couldn’t get him the ball? We’d have won the state with Tyren, Eddie, Charlie & Juwan this year. Coach….YOU NEED to ADAPT your offense and stop being so Stubborn”….

WaltonRaiderFan

December 3rd, 2011
12:03 am

I tell you what, it IS fun to have a guy like Tyren on our team, he’s so darn SHIFTY. That spin move on that 65 yard TD was just nasty.

Nike 11

December 3rd, 2011
12:06 am

Lassiter and Walton have different personnel. Lassiter is more of a spread team adn Walton has always been a run first team.

Don’t turn this blog hateful or mean like the MLK game blog was last week and comments got shut down.

Both teams had/are having great years. Be proud for Cobb. Walton made a couple more plays tonight. If that tip that was almost intercepted by Lassiter doesn’t go into the WR for Walton hand’s, game may have turned. That last penalty by Lassiter for motion, maybe you run it in and win?

Who knows. It was a fantastic game with very few penalties thrown, so people can’t complain about that.

Lassiter is growing up in football the past 4 years. It means only good things for Cobb County for the future if there are schools that are doing in football now what they have done in baseball for the past 15+ years.

East Cobb Dad

December 3rd, 2011
12:09 am

Congratulations to Lassiter for an awesome season. What impressed me most was Walton’s line play. The o-line did a great job of blocking, and the d-line was tenacious, especially in the first half. That 4th quarter was incredible…it was a real heart breaker to come up short. Congratulations Raider Nation, great game.

Farley Throckmartin

December 3rd, 2011
12:12 am

Howe in the world di Eddie Printz throw for 395 yards? The Lassiter Oline stinks.

FB Fan

December 3rd, 2011
12:13 am

@BamaBornDukie Your reasoning clearly favors transfers for “athletic purposes”. And…it is unethical. There are no laws against this in Georgia. BTW, has Duke ever won a football game?

Football Fan

December 3rd, 2011
12:14 am

You are so right Nike 11…this was a great game and no need to drag this blog thread down with junk about Tyren Jones’ transfer…that is old news! This game could have gone either way. The big play players on both teams made plays tonight…again, a W for Cobb County!

Football Fan

December 3rd, 2011
12:22 am

@ FB Fan…what if the move was less about Tyren who was actually a darn good player even in Lassiter’s system where he started as a freshman, but about getting the younger sister (from what I heard is the best athlete in the family) into a better academic situation in middle school because the middle school that is in Walton District is a School of Excellence and has some teachers and services that would benefit her greatly…since the family has more than one kid, would that make it ethical? How do you know they only moved for Tyren (which again I say make since if he were my son and worked out for both football programs). Why get on here and attack one kid and his family for their decision. Be bigger than that…clearly the team you wanted to win didn’t but it was a hell of a game that either team could have won.

Todd Holcomb

December 3rd, 2011
12:24 am

Super game. … Early on, Walton’s lines were dominating. Especially the OL. The injury to Zack seemed to allow Lassiter’s receivers to get more opportunities. I think Walton had 4 sacks in the first half, then 1 or none in the second. Hegedus was quiet early (covered by #2), then was on fire.

re: Jones – He’s got a great OL, but not many backs in Georgia would’ve made that 65-yard TD run. He made 2-3 nice moves, then out-ran everybody.

As for the transfer, if anyone wants to question the GHSA and its rules, that’s fine. Maybe the GHSA should make it harder to transfer. Maybe not. But if it’s within the rules, I can’t imagine anyone really questioning a family of a kid who has a chance to play big-time college football and their decision to move to a school that gives him his best chance at reaching those dreams. Are there really people who think it’s unethical to move into another school district because another school provides better opportunities to succeed in life?

Lassiter has a pretty good RB in Isiah Willis, btw.

Nike 11

December 3rd, 2011
12:26 am

The Lassiter o-line is YOUNG, not horrible. Walton’s front is experienced and has given many teams problems this year. Eddie Printz is a great QB. I imagine he is going to get many, many more offers to try and be persuaded to de-commit from SMU. The early interceptions hurt, but he bounced back strong later. He is a blue-chipper for a reason.

And I imagine the o-line will become a strength for the Trojans the next 2 years. And that could make them a VERY dangerous team next year if they have people step up in the secondary and can find a WR or 2 to replace what Hegedus gave them.

I am just sick of people on blogs always talkign down to other teams and schools just to do it. What Cobb as a whole has done this year is remarkable. BE PROUD! Football was the last sport the county has yet to be players at on a state level consistently. Believe me, the rest of the state is taking notice and know what that could mean. Just look at the success in lacrosse/swimming/softball/baseball/softball/soccer/etc. Combine that with great academics at many schools and nationally recognized fine arts programs… BE PROUD!

And as far as the transfer thing goes (for ANY school), while many may not like it, if you move into the district there is NOTHING that can be done. And I imagine with the year that Walton and Lassiter have had, you might see some new faces at those schools next year. Could be from another part of the metro/state/out of state or even in the same county from a neighboring. But if you move into a district, that is all that matters. I am not saying this is right, but if the family is able to do it legally and within the framework of the rules, NO ONE should complain. (Just look at the Wheelers/Miltons/etc in the basketball world)

walton86alum

December 3rd, 2011
12:27 am

Proud to be a part of such a great community with Walton Lassiter.

Football Fan

December 3rd, 2011
12:30 am

The game was great and Lassiter showed some heart and character to give themselves a chance to win. Tyren’s parents did the best thing for him and Lassiter’s running back Isiah Willis is no buster. He played great tonight and had a great season.He had a over 800 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving, 11 tds on team full of weapons and has a 4.30 gpa and to think he just turned 17 and should be a junior. Now that’s what I call the a complete player!! I hope Walton brings the title to Cobb County next week!!!

Nike 11

December 3rd, 2011
12:31 am

And yes Willis for Lassiter had a very good year at RB. I believe he will be over 800 yards and has supposedly got some interest from IVY league schools and is starting to get looks from elsewhere from what I understand. Thank you for mentioning him Todd.

It was a GREAT game from 2 GREAT teams who are building a foundation for regular success on the STATE level. Nothing to be mad about.

LassiterFan

December 3rd, 2011
12:32 am

Don’t forget, Lassiter is a good school academically, but I have to admit, Walton blows it and very other school in the state out of the water with that. I can’t really blame Tyren for transferring to a school where a) He’d get a big role like he has and b) where he’d get the best possible education.

Trojan Man

December 3rd, 2011
12:35 am

It was a truly great game, and I’m proud to be a Trojan. Even though we lost, we came back from a 20-3 deficit to a 6 point game. I think we could have won it if we played the first half like we did in the second. I proud of my Trojans and always will be. Always a Trojan.

WaltonRaiderFan

December 3rd, 2011
12:43 am

I’m just tickled pink that we get to go to a state CHAMPIONSHIP game. This is incredible!

Raider2

December 3rd, 2011
12:44 am

Todd H., I’m a big HS football (and Walton) fan and the 65 yard TD run that TJ had was simply sick, especially the spin move to break free. As well as Walton played, Lassiter was in it to the end, and to me it says a lot about E. Cobb football that these two schools were in the semifinals (and both teams (Lassiter especially) beat several really good teams to get there).

Football Fan

December 3rd, 2011
12:47 am

Lassiter kids played and showed heart and character. My hat goes out to Lassiter’s running back Isiah Willis. Complete player, he blocked , ran, and caught the ball well tonight. He had a good year for running back in the offense. Over 800 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 11 tds. I also hear that he just turned 17 and should be a junior, but has a 4.30 gpa. Not to bad for a kid on the same team as Dickey, Police, and Hegadus and Prince for a QB. Walton bring home the title to Cobb County!!

GA Legal

December 3rd, 2011
1:20 am

@Football Fan. FB Fan never said they did NOT do it “by the letter of the law”. Nor is he questioning the GHSA rules. He said there are no rules preventing transfer for “athletic purposes” like Texas has. GA HS athletic laws are not so much governed by state legislature as they are by GHSA rules which only require release of prior residence and playing in school that serves current residence. Renters are just as legitimate has homeowners, thus a district could in fact ban together and pay the rent to parents of recruits and stack a team.

A common argument against such transfer prevention is this “prevents a star from being born” clearly running along as thread in here. It could be argued the former 1st stringer and now 2nd stringer pushed out by the recruit suffers greater harm. Also if the team the recruit left suffers more losses they suffer from less notoriety and more harm as a whole than the recruit gained.

This is a major problem throughout the USA, especially with the obsession of college recruits and getting face time with their scouts.

Many states such as Texas have addressed this transfer issue by determining ‘transfer for athletic purposes’ is always assumed to be the case; and by a 3rd party (made up of former and new residence school principals and coaches panel) reviewed and then determined not to be case after the fact; i.e a review board stamps the approval.

It is quite clear on this blog that most agree Tyren Jones transferred to Walton from Lassiter was for athletic purposes and condone this act to promote his athletic career. This does make Walton’s wins over Lassiter slightly less ethical than legitimate.

East Cobb Dad

December 3rd, 2011
1:40 am

Isiah Willis is a great kid, and I loved seeing him have such a terrific year. The difference maker to me is still the Walton o-line. Last year they had a beast, (Vorstad?), that also had a big season. I’ve read a lot about Grayson’s defense/lineman, and think the title game will be a very physical, entertaining game

lifetimeincobb

December 3rd, 2011
1:54 am

Years ago, I went to Campbell (those were some good days)……graduated from UGA….and taught at Walton. My daughter went to Lassiter and now my nephew is doing very well playing football there. My point is, I felt a tremendous amount of pride attending that game tonight. They are both exceptional schools. But, as large as Cobb has gotten, that “old” feeling of community diminished as growth skyrocketed. Until tonight. That wasn’t just a football game for me, it was nostalgia at it’s best. Those two teams played their hearts out. Although I was partial towards Lassiter, Walton will represent us well. Congrats to Walton. Bring home a title to Cobb!

80 Raider

December 3rd, 2011
1:58 am

I have no idea who will win the AAAAA C-ship, but I have to say this……Lassiter does not suck, whoever said that. If you’re still in this thing, nobody sucks. The guys calling this game on channel 23,778 El Ocho tonight said it was better than many highly touted Superbowls…..it was the Superbowl of Cobb! Kids who are down 21-3 aren’t programmed to come back, they fold right? Not the way it went down in Raider valley tonight. The Trojans marched back, and damn near won it. Personally, I am a “torn fan” I played at Walton in the 70’s, but my 3 daughters will go to Lassiter….my heart will always be with the Raiders though. I switched to the Cc Grayson game tonight for a few minutes and saw a running back who looks like NYG Brandon Jacobs for crying out loud! in the Grayson backfield. Wow…..big fellah. I have HUGE concerns with #18 Blaylock being carted off tonight if he can’t go, it will create a weak spot. To the Class acts of the Grayson fanbase I bid you a friendly tip of the hat. Lets remember that this is THEIR TIME to play the game, and create a lifetime of memories. I’m speaking of the players now…These are THEIR moments to do with what they will. If you’ve ever strapped on the pads on Friday night, or are the parent of a player, you get it. If you didn’t, PLEASE try to be an example for the kids here, and not another wannabe trying to re-write the history of your life with classless taunts. I’m no angel, but at this level, let’s show some love for the simple fact that we both fought like hell to get here.

East Cobb Dad

December 3rd, 2011
2:30 am

Every Friday night for the past three months our whole family has been going to the Lassiter Games. It’s been a great event for all of us as we cheer for the Trojans with friends and neighbors. Tonight was one of those games that you hate to see somebody lose, (especially when it’s your team). These games are super community events that remind me of how much we hate not playing Roswell, Pope and Kell any longer. Our kids hung in there and fought, even after getting dominated through most of the first half. Great game tonight played by both teams. Good luck next week against Grayson.

Hornetsfan

December 3rd, 2011
7:42 am

Next year Roswell is taking state

DeanM

December 3rd, 2011
8:32 am

@Hornetsfan…you got up early to post that?????

MacMain

December 3rd, 2011
8:36 am

Played and watched Georgia high school football all over the state for a lifetime– 59yrs. I get juiced come Friday night! This game was the best that I have seen. Everyone involved displayed ultimate class and made me proud to be a Cobb Countian. Looking forward to Waltons and Cobb County’s state championship next Saturday. Then, I will start marking off the days until next years season arrives–should be a good one, if, nobody comes out early!! GooooTrojans!!!!!!

Wutehvah

December 3rd, 2011
9:05 am

LOL @Hornetsfan… Perhaps your goal should be a .500 season next year

Dylan Farley

December 3rd, 2011
9:38 am

Enter your comments here

GA Fan

December 3rd, 2011
10:22 am

The Jones family did the right thing for their son. Parents make decsions all the time to do what’s in the best interest of their child. Funny how Lassiter fans don’t comment about the Jones kid leaving Wheeler’s program to join Lassoter’s or one of their top DB’s leaving a school in the South part of Cobb to play at Lassiter. Good job Walton. Continue to represent Cobb well. Good game both teams last night.

GA Fan

December 3rd, 2011
10:23 am

SP check Lassiter

Trojans Dad

December 3rd, 2011
2:36 pm

@Farley Throckmartin…It was a great game between 2 of the best teams in the state and you have to bash Lassiter’s o-line? 4 of the 6 are 10th grader’s…15 years old! They have been a big part of this teams success. And, by the way, what about the fact that this is HIGH SCHOOL football do you not get? You want to bash football…do it to the pro teams!

RaiderNation

December 3rd, 2011
4:28 pm

WOW, ThaT was one of the best games ever! Grayson/Colquitt Another Amazing Game! We all should just be happy we have such great football to watch in our high schools teams. I dont care what the AP or RIVALS or any other Dimwitted twit ranks teams CUZ i have seen the the best teams in the country playing football these last 4 weeks right here in GEORGIA
Grats to Walton, Lassiter, Grayson, Colquitt and Thank you for your Greatness in giving us one FANTASTIC friday nite!

ALAN DUCK

December 3rd, 2011
7:29 pm

OH COME ON…..WALTON SHOULD BE THANKING THE LASSITER COACHES ESPECIALLY THE ONE CALLING THE PLAYS..A FIRST DOWN ON THE 4 YEAR LINE AND YOU CALL 4 PASS PLAYS. THE QUARTERBACK OR RUNNING BACK CLEARLY COULD HAVE GOTTEN 4 YARDS IN 4 PLAYS. WATCH THE FILM. CONGRADS TO THIS LASSITER TEAM ..YOU SHOULD BE PLAYING IN THE DOME NOT WALTON.

SportsFan

December 3rd, 2011
8:35 pm

I am always amazed at the level of play I see when I go to one of these games. The coaches have done such a great job prepareing these kids sometimes I forget these are high school kids playing. Both Lassiter and Walton are quality programs and have proved they are 2 of the better teams in Georgia. So to all the crazy comments remember these are high school kid playing a game which is fun, All the other stuff is your personal problem and you should probably keep that stuff to yourself.

RaiderNation

December 3rd, 2011
10:32 pm

@ ALAN DUCK
Shoulda, coulda, woulda, They did, they are not, walton is (dome bound that is) Now quit your cryin and go home.