Newnan 38, Marietta 29

LSU-bound quarterback Anthony Jennings lived up to the preseason hype in Marietta’s season-opening game against Newnan on Friday, but it was Newnan’s Bailey Bryant who stole the show.

Bryant, a sophomore making his first varsity start, completed 16 of 19 passes for 181 yards and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Cougars rallied for a 38-29 victory at the Blue Devils’ Northcutt Stadium.

“We were able to do some things that worked against them and I’m just proud of my kids,” Newnan coach Mike McDonald said.

Newnan led for most of the first half but trailed 22-17 entering the fourth quarter. Bryant then connected with Traon Moss for touchdown passes of 19 and 35 yards over the next three minutes to give Newnan the lead for good at 32-29.

Jennings quickly answered Bryant’s first touchdown pass with a 25-yard TD to Wake Forest commitment Tyree Harris, briefly giving Marietta a 29-25 lead, but Newnan scored again less than a minute later after taking possession on the Marietta 40 when two penalties forced the Blue Devils to kick off from their 12-yard line.

Jennings rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns, completed 15 of 23 passes for 191 yards and a score and added a 21-yard touchdown reception on a halfback pass from Jordan Mathis. But he also lost a fumble deep in Marietta territory in the fourth quarter that led to the Cougars’ final score.

Marietta outgained Newnan 219-82 in the first two quarters but did not have the lead until Jennings’ second touchdown run just before halftime. His 2-yard run and a subsequent two-point conversion run by Mathis put the Blue Devils ahead 22-14 with 16 seconds to play in the half.

Newnan closed to within 22-17 on a 33-yard field goal by Tyler Mulvenna with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter. Marietta ran just seven plays in the quarter, a drive that ended on an interception by Newnan’s Tonaris Portress.

Newnan’s star player, Trey Matthews, made an impact as well. The 6-foot-1 defensive back, who has committed to Georgia, partially blocked Marietta’s first punt, giving the Cougars the ball at the Marietta 39. Seven plays later, he gave Newnan a 7-0 lead with a 3-yard run on a play set up by a pass interference penalty on the Blue Devils. Matthews had two receptions for 26 yards on the drive. He finished the night with seven receptions for 82 yards, two rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion run.

Newnan – 7-7-3-21 – 38

Marietta – 7-15-0-7 – 29

N – Trey Matthews 3 run (Tyler Mulvenna kick)

M – Anthony Jennings 2 run (Ian Shannon kick)

N – Quinton Dix 15 run (Mulvenna kick)

M – Jordan Mathis 21 pass to Jennings (Shannon kick)

M – Jennings 25 run (Mathis run)

N – Mulvenna 33 field goal

N – Bailey Bryant 19 pass to Traon Moss (Matthews run)

M – Jennings 25 pass to Tyree Harris (Shannon kick)

N – Bryant 35 pass to Moss (Mulvenna kick)

N – Matthews 4 run (kick failed)

18 comments Add your comment


August 24th, 2012
11:27 pm

Way to go Bailey, Poythress, Moss and all the Cougars! Great game!


August 25th, 2012
12:28 am

Newnan QB a 10th grader? How big is he?


August 25th, 2012
12:46 am

According to reports….Bailey is ~ 6′2″ and 180#’s.


August 25th, 2012
1:02 am

Hard fought game from both teams.

chip kelly

August 25th, 2012
2:52 am

good job newnan!! i really like how they tried to get the ball to tray mathews by any way possible.


August 25th, 2012
8:56 am

Probably the most under rated high school program in the state.

Newnan football

August 25th, 2012
9:47 am

We have a quarterback that will only get better. Bryant is the real deal and Dix is a beast running the ball. Matthews can do it all. Defense did good against one of the best Players in the country, in Jennings. Glad we played them early. They are only going to get better. Go Cougars.

Cougar Fan

August 25th, 2012
11:09 am

Enter your comments here
AJC do you guys ever make any comments about the defensive……..that’s help win the game! That one player Tonarius Portress #24 is a beast. That young man had an awesome game. When he made that interception it turned the game around. An interception, fumble recovery, and numerious fearful tackles….that boy was HOT!!! So proud of Bailey for a job well done. Be on the lookout for Tonarius Portress #24. That will be a well known household name.


August 25th, 2012
11:19 am

Congrats to the Newnan Cougars. You guys had an excellent game plan and you made adjustments when needed. More than I can say for our coaches. Now we did make some bonehead penalties which were costly; you just can’t do that. Your team remained poised. As for the coaching, you cannot have our corners playing 8-10 yards which allowed Newnan to nickle and dime those 5 and 6 passes. We have to put them in position to be agrressive and make plays, and not “coach scared”. let these guys play. Don’t blame the secondary for their play; blame the SCHEME. I’m just saying!!!!


August 25th, 2012
11:35 am

@Blue…I was on the other side and I would have to agree. Seemed your team was being held back. With all that talent turn them loose.


August 25th, 2012
12:00 pm

Newnan is inexperienced and is in rebuilding mode at several positions. Both lines need a ton of work. I am thankful that it wasn’t 95 degrees and just as thankful that Marietta had the “big head”. But, an excellent job of coaching and attitude control by McDonald and staff. Very level headed and with a goal in mind. Good job of getting the ball to your impact players.
Now on to LaGrange. They do not care that Newnan is rebuilding.

Cobb fan

August 25th, 2012
12:01 pm

Agree marietta defense once again gave up tons of points..No adjustments or substitutions to much talent to look that bad again!


August 25th, 2012
2:33 pm

Bryant is 6′4″, 180’s


August 25th, 2012
3:37 pm

@Cobb Fan…You are righin some aspects. On paper it looks as if the defense didn’t show up, but If I am not mistaken, Marietta outgained Newnan on total offense. It was the miscues on offense in crucial situaions combined poor play selection in those situations which put the defense on a short field for most of the game. Now it would appear that our secondary is not very good, but they can only play the schemes they are instructed to play. Don’t get me wrong, there were some costly breakdowns, but for the most part we were just giving them 5-6 yards on that little quick-hitch pass time after time. Kell did the same thing and we did not make any adjustments. Please bring our corners closer to the line; not just in press coverage, but close enough to close out on that hitch and maybe even pick a couple off or at least deflect a few. This will discourage teams from running that play against Marietta all night. Again…I’m just saying!!!!!


August 25th, 2012
10:41 pm

Great game! I was caught off guard by the location of the MHS football field. It also scared me that the sidelines were so dangerously small.


August 26th, 2012
7:09 pm

6′4? where does he want to go to school? Does he like UGA?


August 26th, 2012
9:51 pm

Bryant’s father is UGA Alum


August 26th, 2012
10:10 pm