Here’s a recap of some of the big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 1, with a peek ahead to this weekend:
*Starring in a new role: Perhaps one of the most overlooked performances from the opening weekend was the play of Jenkins’ Paris Baker in the Warriors’ 21-20 victory against defending Class A champion Savannah Christian. Baker, a star linebacker last season, made his first start at quarterback, rushing for 141 yards on 25 carries and completing 6-of-11 passes for 63 yards, according to the Savannah Morning News. Baker scored all three of Jenkins’ touchdowns on runs of 12, 54 and 4 yards.
*Tucker rolls to 16th consecutive victory: It wasn’t the drubbing that some might have expected from 2011 Class AAAA champion Tucker, but the second-ranked Tigers put up some impressive numbers in their 36-14 victory against Cedar Grove, which was ranked No. 7 in the preseason Class AAA poll. Tucker had 411 yards of total offense, paced by the rushing of Yusuf Minor (124 yards), Dallas Rivers (115) and Joseph Farrar (97). And the Tigers held preseason all-state quarterback Johnathan McCrary to 92 yards passing. He averaged 240 yards per game last season.
*Rough start for the Wildcats: Things couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for Whitewater, a 7-3 team last season that barely missed qualifying for the playoffs. Facing a Class AAAAAA Coffee team that seems rejuvenated after the hiring of coach Robby Pruitt, Whitewater suffered a 20-yard sack on the first play from scrimmage, and things went downhill from there in a 41-3 loss. Coffee outgained Whitewater 405-113. It was Whitewater’s most-lopsided loss in the program’s nine-year history. The Wildcats have the week off to regroup for their next game on Sept. 7 against Mundy’s Mill.
*A big weekend in store: Some of Class AAAAA’s best teams will be tested right off the bat with big non-region games this weekend. Some of the top games include Colquitt County (No. 7 in AAAAAA) at No. 9 Thomas County Central; No. 1 Northside-Warner Robins at No. 10 Flowery Branch; Class AAAAAA Coffee at Ware County; Marist (No. 3 in AAAA) at Clarke Central; and Class AAAAAA West Forsyth at No. 8 Gainesville. I’ll have more on these later in the week.