Ten intriguing matchups among this week’s scrimmages

There are more than 100 scrimmages scheduled this week, starting with tonight’s game between Walton and Hillgrove, a pair of Class AAAAA region champions from 2011.

Scrimmage schedule

Here are 10 of the more intriguing matchups:

Tuesday

*Walton at Hillgrove: Expect Walton, the 2011 runner-up in Class AAAAA, to start with a top-five state ranking. The Raiders return the state’s leading rusher (Tyren Jones) and quarterback Parker McLeod. Both are committed to Alabama. Also back is all-state lineman Brandon Kublanow, who has committed to Georgia. Hillgrove is coming off an 11-1 finish and region title but lost star RB Kenyan Drake to Alabama.

Friday

*Cook at Coffee: Coffee from Region 1-AAAAAA begins the coaching era of Robby Pruitt, a 293-game winner who spent the past decade at Fitzgerald. Cook should be a top-10 team in Class AA with preseason all-state players Zack Williams (56 receptions in 2011) and DE/TE Matthew Foster (10 sacks). The south Georgia schools have not met in a real game since 1979.

*Lovejoy at Peachtree Ridge: Lovejoy is moving up to AAAAAA after reaching the Class AAAA in 2011 and brings back many key starters, including Georgia Tech-committed RB Travis Custis (1,839 yards rushing in 2011). Peachtree Ridge has no superstar but might be a sleeper with its front seven on defense returning.

*Marietta at Kell: Marietta QB Anthony Jennings, who is committed to LSU, will test one of the state’s best secondaries. Safety Quincy Mauger has committed to Georgia, and cornerback Brendan Langley is bound for South Carolina.

*Norcross at Colquitt County: Norcross (8-3 in 2011) has all-state RB Alvin Kamara and a cornerback, Shon Akins, who is committed to Cal. Colquitt County has attention from the national rankings. The Packers (11-3 in 2011) are led by QB Cole Segraves (160-for-268 passing for 2,115 yards).

*Peach County at Northside (Warner Robins): Don’t be surprised if either is ranked No. 1 in preseason – Peach in AAA, Northside in AAAAA. The best player on each team might be a wide receiver. Demarcus Robinson (52 receptions, 1,027 yards in 2011) has committed to Clemson, but Northside’s Keshun Hill (47 receptions, 730 yards receiving, 292 rushing) is no slouch, either.

*St. Pius at Stephens County: Chaz Thornton, who rushed for 2,179 yards in 2011, leads Stephens County, probably the team to beat in 8-AAAA. St. Pius has a couple of juniors being recruited in the secondary who are blue-chippers in Nick Glass (committed to Georgia) and Nick Ruffin (offers from seven ACC or SEC schools).

*Vidalia at Lincoln County: Vidalia (6-4 in 2011) was 5-0 last season, but the wheels fell off when star RB Juan Foster was lost to an injury. He ran for 1,480 yards as a sophomore. He’s back. Lincoln County (12-1) is perhaps the favorite to win the new public school title in Class A. The only times these schools have met in a real game was a 1983 quarterfinal. Lincoln won.

Saturday

*Cedar Grove vs. M.L. King: All-state QB Johnathon McCrary has more than 6,000 yards passing in his career. M.L. King has one of its most talented teams ever, but finding a quarterback to replace Jonquel Dawson (8,798 career passing yards) is a priority. The candidates are senior Dean Bickley and juniors Monqavious Johnson and Roland Rivers. The teams will play at Panthersville Stadium.

*Southwest DeKalb at Newton: Newton coach Cortez Allen is facing his former coach, Buck Godfrey. Allen was a member of Southwest DeKalb’s state championship team in 1995. Allen says he has the state’s best defensive line. NT Treyvon Richardson and DE Kingsley Ejike have the most college offers.

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88 comments Add your comment

dirty727

August 14th, 2012
11:07 am

dekalbcounty1

August 14th, 2012
1:12 pm

I am READY to see the MLK vs Cedar Grove game! Go LIONS we don’t rebuild; we RELOAD!!!

Tiger4Life

August 14th, 2012
2:13 pm

From the “Score Atlanta” website these are the Pre-season Rankings

Class AAAAAA

1. Grayson

2. Camden County

3. Colquitt County

4. Walton

5. Lassiter

6. Lovejoy

7. Valdosta

8. Peachtree Ridge

9. McEachern

10. Brookwood

Class AAAAA

1. Tucker

2. Stephenson

3. Northside-WR

4. Gainesville

5. Warner Robins

6. East Paulding

7. Flowery Branch

8. ML King

9. Ware County

10. Kell

Class AAAA

1. Burke County

2. Sandy Creek

3. Cairo

4. Marist

5. Carrollton

6. Statesboro

7. Baldwin

8. Grady

9. Stephens County

10. Griffin

DekalbFAN#

August 14th, 2012
2:45 pm

Stephenson vs North Gwinnett is the GAME TO WATCH!

BamaBornDukie

August 14th, 2012
3:18 pm

@Tiger4Life…..Thanks for the posting the rankings….I didn’t realize they were already available.

Tech82

August 14th, 2012
4:01 pm

@Tiger4Life – Can you provide a link to those rankings? Thanks.

5AReg6Fan

August 14th, 2012
4:05 pm

A few comments on Tiger4Life posting of the pre-season ranking from “Score Atlanta”:
1) In 6A, south GA is well represented with 3 from region 1. Appears that the metro Atlanta area will be strong again. If you take this ranking as true, then Camden will be the team to beat in the south…much too some surprise, based on the region they played in the past. Camden 74 is smiling. (LOL)
2) In 5A, not many surprises here. Region 6 will be TOP dog, as expected. I do see a few differences when the AJC announces its pre-season ranking…mainly 2 – 10, with the same teams, but different order.
3) In 4A, there are some very good teams listed. If any of the two higher classifications have these teams on their regular season schedule, well, be prepare for a fight…they will not just lie down.

Waiting to see what the AJC predicts. Football fans “ITS JUST ABOUT THAT TIME”, let the chest beating begin!!!

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……

Tiger4Life

August 14th, 2012
4:11 pm

Jimmy

August 14th, 2012
4:37 pm

ECI Vs Fitzgerald

JAB

August 14th, 2012
4:57 pm

Let’s go Region 6AAAAA, let get at em Stephenson MLK Tucker SWD, WOW it’s going to be a great season. Coaches make sure you tell the guys to play with good sportsmanship throughout the season, because we are Dekalb County Football, “One Big Family”…:)

Sportsmommy74

August 14th, 2012
5:06 pm

So looking forward to the River Road Rumble…. Its the kickoff to the season. Good luck out there this season on the gridiron boys. Represent Dekalb County Football with integrity, respect and intensity. We already know you’ve got the athleticism down. Let’s try to bring it home in all of the classifications 3-5A this year! Good Luck again!!!

WE ARE TUCKER

August 14th, 2012
5:09 pm

Northside of Warner Robins beat your ass all up and down the field I was there,but the gift fumble gave Tucker the game.Waiting for a rematch and see who is pounding their chest.

Northside Dawg

August 14th, 2012
5:21 pm

I wonder if the Warner Robins Demons deserve such a high ranking since they lost a lot of folks from last year’s team?

Camden74

August 14th, 2012
5:26 pm

5AReg6Fan…….Smiling, but not for reasons you might think! Camden lost 36 seniors from last year’s team, this is a SHOT in the dark ranking at best. Besides, IMO, rankings mean nothing until the end of the season……..I believe Colquitt is the team to beat in Region 1 and Camden has to play them on the road. One good thing about realignment though, Region 1 6A teams, HOPEFULLY, don’t have to knock each other off in the early rounds of the playoffs! Looking forward to the start of the season! :-D

blu eagle

August 14th, 2012
5:53 pm

Oh no NSWR at #3 when they they have not proven anything yet. Probably about right,I will call it Tucker’s region because they will be the team to beat, but whoever comes out of that region into the playoffs is gonna be hard to beat because they will have been battle tested at that point.As for W.R. and NSWR their schedules may be too easy to help them out in the playoffs, if they get there right?

Tiger4Life

August 14th, 2012
5:59 pm

Lol, we still have a left over sour “puss” from last year. Grow up kid, ya bother me!

But you are right about one thing…

WE ARE TUCKER
Run With Us or Run From US

kennyh

August 14th, 2012
6:49 pm

Calhoun at Rome ..thursday night!

Gamer

August 14th, 2012
7:06 pm

Let what happened in 2011 stay there! If your team was not one of the five champions; you like me can only hope for a better ending this year.

donthavadogindisfight

August 14th, 2012
7:49 pm

Awwww……nothing like the smell of bermuda grass when you are doing belly flops! Dam, I just had a 35 yr flashback :lol:

Vince

August 14th, 2012
9:07 pm

What about East Paulding at McEachern, that should be a good game! Go Raiders!!!

uwillbtuckedaway

August 14th, 2012
9:16 pm

NSWR vs Tucker game last year not even close if the Tucker long touchdown pass not called back for a phantom holding call. Don’t know what game you watched. NSWR went home crying while WE ARE TUCKER won its second state title in three years!

WE ARE TUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sportsnut

August 14th, 2012
9:20 pm

The top three playing in the Dome on the 25th. Does anyone drop if they lose and the season is still a week away for the rest of the class ? Will this be a problem later in the season or does it speak to a pressing need for adjustments on a more immediate time frame ? AAAAAA is wide open. Do not look for a repeat. Do not slip. This is going to be a most interesting season.

mistermak

August 14th, 2012
11:13 pm

It could be an all region 1AAAAAA state final!!!

FridayNightLightsFan

August 14th, 2012
11:20 pm

@Vince I agree 100% how can you not list the East Paulding at McEachern game. 2 top 10s.

Camden74

August 15th, 2012
12:00 am

sportsnut…….Losing in the C-K-C is not a season killer! It only drops a team in the rankings……Remember 2009? Camden lost a close game to Grayson and another game on a last second field goal to Hoover. They were a very shaky 1-2 after 3 games. Then, 12 straight wins and another State Title! :-D

High School announcer

August 15th, 2012
12:46 am

What? No love for Union County at White County :-P

CoffeeC100

August 15th, 2012
4:19 am

Wow! Coffee under Coach Pruitt is going to live well or die hard with this years schedule.

8/17 – Cook – #2 in AA
8/31 – Ware – #9 in AAAAA
9/14 – Burke – #1 in AAAA
10/5 – Camden – #2 in AAAAAA
11/2 – Colquitt – #3 in AAAAAA
11/9 – Valdosta #7 in AAAAAA

And you can bet Lowndes will be ranked when Coffee plays them on 10/19. Just WOW!

It gets started this weekend. I am so looking forward to it.

HS_Footballfan

August 15th, 2012
7:04 am

Went out to see the Walton-Hillgrove match-up(21 – 16).

Not sure about the Half game concept but understand that the coaches didn’t want to get anyone injured before the season starts. Is this new? These are high school kids not NFL assets!!! Observation Walton is not as good as the Hype. Granted they may not take scrimmages serious but they couldn’t get anything going offensively and I’m sure the Alabama tandem were trying(although the backup QB did look good for them)!!! #25, 9, 10 for the Hillgrove D will give OCs nightmares this year. Hillgrove O observations – #23 is the real deal, #1 is a beast and will explode, #11 is small for a QB(looks like a RB) but threw the ball well 2 TD, INT and over 150 yards passing in a half. Can’t wait to see the entire package from Hillgrove. They may be the sleeper again. Hope the Alabama crew is serious about winning a state title and not just trying to stay healthy till they arrive on Campus in 2013. Can’t wait to see them in the Corky-Kell next week.

BamaBornDukie

August 15th, 2012
8:12 am

@HS_Footballfan……..see my comments on the Walton-Hillgrove game in the below link. Walton better step-up or they will go 6-4 this year. There were not impressive at all.

http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia-high-school-sports/2012/08/13/schedule-of-preseason-scrimmage-games/?cxntfid=blogs_georgia_high_school_sports

BamaBornDukie

August 15th, 2012
8:14 am

“They” [in the above post] were not impressive at all.

Hummm

August 15th, 2012
8:55 am

Do preseason games really give a lot away about a program. Didn’t Walton lose their preseason game last year and then ended their season second in the State?

Do you really think a coaching staff is really going to show all they have and risk getting their best players hurt?

I would think a SMART coach wouldn’t risk the rest of a teams season for a game that counts for NOTHING.

BamaBornDukie

August 15th, 2012
9:34 am

Last year they lost basically because they took their top guys out of the game early as the offense was effective in the 2011 scrimmage. Last night they lost because Hillgrove’s defense essentially dominated Walton’s 1st team offense in a similar manner to what Grayson did to Walton in last year’s state title game. Walton had problems getting the snap to center as they fumbled 3 snaps in the 1st quarter and the Hillgrove defense was in the backfield when Tyren Jones received the hand-off.

What’s the point in playing a scrimmage if you are “intentionally” going to play bad? Better off just having a normal practice if that’s the case. Most “smart” coaches play their top guys 2-3 series, and have them go hard to establish a rhythm and confidence. Again, don’t even play if you are going to intentionally develop bad habits during the scrimmage.

Walton’s offense is very predictable as teams know Tyren Jones will run the ball 1st & 2nd down. Grayson established the model to stack the box on early downs and Hillgrove did the same. It appears that Walton’s Offensive Coordinator refuses to take what they defense is giving him and you don’t run “EVERY” 1st & 2nd down into 9-10 guys in the box.

Northside Dawg

August 15th, 2012
9:40 am

Northside looks pretty formidable on both sides of the ball this year. I think Tucker has lost some offense. I don’t think Tucker has ever gotten over that game in the Dome, when they lost a 28-7 halftime lead to Northside.

5AReg6Fan

August 15th, 2012
9:42 am

@WE ARE TUCKER – First, you are NOT based on your handle. Use a blog handle that represent truly the football team you support. Lastly, get pass the idea of “the gift fumble”. Turnovers are a part of the game and NSWR did not beat Tucker up and down the field, because I was there along with MANY Tiger and DeKalb supporters. It’s surprising how some will write things that are not accurate to make their point of view appear correct. Oh’ don’t forget the early drop TD pass by Tucker, that would possibly made the game lopsided and you wouldn’t be talking about one play that is part of the game of FOOTBALL. NSWR had 3 opportunities following the play you mention and history tells you what happen. GET OVER IT DUDE, it’s a NEW season.

@Camden74 – DITTO to your points about your 2012 Wildcat’s early predictions and I agree with your point, the FINAL rankings are the true representation. Camden is a GREAT HS football program lead by one of GA’s best HC. The Wildcats will compete well in that impressive region. One point, the way GHSA sets the playoff brackets, each of the four region representatives are placed in different quadrant, which means that they will not matchup until the semi round, so the point of region 1 teams knocking each other off early in the playoffs shouldn’t be an issue, but I’m sure there are a few metro Atlanta teams that feel different about an ALL region 1 semi final. (LOL)

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……

5AReg6Fan

August 15th, 2012
9:51 am

@Northside Dawg – Believe me, Tucker has moved on from the 2007 lost to NSWR, 2 State Championships and one semi final appearance, since then. History tells you that the Tigers have moved on. Oh, on Tucker’s offense comment, just to let you know, Tucker did not lose much on that side of the ball and there are a couple of new faces to continue the Tigers HIGH POWER offense rumbling up and down the field.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……

Northside Dawg

August 15th, 2012
9:58 am

Northside might not get by Flowery Branch in the opener, although the Branch has supposedly lost some offense. Peach County will be a good test this Friday. I wish Northside would move up to 6A and get back in that region with the South Georgia powerhouses.

Golden Isles Fan

August 15th, 2012
10:07 am

I would not fall asleep on Coffee……in the next 4 years everyone will be talking about Coffee like they do about camden lowndes etc……..Coach Pruitt will make a dynasty out of coffee.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH YES A DYNASTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RowdyRaider

August 15th, 2012
10:35 am

I am not expecting a tight game between East and McEachern. Here are my reasons…
1) East lost Kamani Thomas for several games after the preseason against Chapel Hill last year making it almost impossible for him to play at full potential. This crippled the Raiders last year.
2) one of the returning seniors that play on both sides of the ball has been hurt and will not play due to an injury suffered in spring practice.
3)at least five new coaches on the staff, not to mention a new principal and new AD.

This team will have to overcome some obstacles before they can be a real threat.

Camden74

August 15th, 2012
1:39 pm

5AReg6Fan…….There’s still one problem with the realignment, a playoff worthy team from Region 1 will not make the playoffs. At least when Camden was in Region 3, five of the TOP teams from South Georgia would be included in the State Title hunt. Now, there will only be four. But you’re right, they will no longer have to meet before the semi finals…..One thing for sure though, ALL of the teams will be BATTLE TESTED! Let’s get it on, BABEE! :-D

Northside Dawg

August 15th, 2012
1:46 pm

Brice Ramsey, he better not be waffling towards Alabama, either.

JAB

August 15th, 2012
4:16 pm

AAAAA, We (ALL) know that the 2013 state champion will be crowned from region 6AAAAA (The SEC of HS Football) Here is where they stand!!! TUCKER (Alabama) will be dethrone by STEPHENSON (Georgia Bulldogs), SWD (Auburn) will play hard but don’t have the juice, MLK (Florida) will be rebuilding and play some hard close games, MAYS (LSU) will be the suprising team and will upset somebody, Dunwoody (Tennessee) will be looking to get back in the lime light but just don’t have the players to compete, and the rest of the division will play below 500 ball… ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!

Camden74

August 15th, 2012
5:22 pm

Northside Dawg…….Bama doesn’t need him anymore. The Utah Kid has a higher ranking, don’t know if he’s better though! :-)

Northside Dawg

August 15th, 2012
5:22 pm

Isn’t The SEC of high school football, Region 1 in 6A?

Northside Dawg

August 15th, 2012
5:30 pm

Brice looked tough in that 7 on 7 verse the Midwest team.

JAB

August 15th, 2012
7:42 pm

Sorry Northside Dawg, one of us from region 6AAAAA would probably see you during the state semis but the State championship will stay in region 6AAAAA.
:)

JAB

August 15th, 2012
7:44 pm

Oh! You was talking about AAAAAA, they will beat up on each other but Grayson will take it (ALL)…

CoffeeC100

August 15th, 2012
8:33 pm

JAB – You make a very good point that all the seeded teams in 1-6A will be going into the playoffs beaten up, sore and exausted. Another thing that may have a significant impact on performance in the tournament is the number of serious and even season ending injuries that may happen during the region schedule in 1-6A. No team is going to be able to rest their “starters” at any point during region play.

The 1-6A teams beating up on each other, as you say, may indeed give Grayson a tangible advantage in the tournament since they do have a few games later in region play in which they should be able to “rest” their A Team.

Camden74

August 16th, 2012
12:08 am

As much as I dislike saying this, it MUST be said! Injuries are a part of the game and they can happen to anyone at any time………Let’s hope everyone can avoid serious injury! :-)

mistermak

August 16th, 2012
2:08 am

Nick Saban came to Camden to see Bryce Ramsey! I heard his girlfriend graduated last year and is going to Bama. Bulldogs might lose another great recruit!!!

Northside Dawg

August 16th, 2012
9:49 am

Bama has 2 quarterbacks committed for 2013, the guy from Walton and the stud from Utah, so they don’t need Ramsey.

1-6A may beat up on each other, but they are still the SEC of the GHSA, not some Atlanta region.