Big comebacks highlighted the opening week of the season in a rather sparse week for Class AAA competition.
No. 6-ranked Thomson rallied from a two-score deficit to upset reigning state champion Burke County 21-14. Central Carroll spotted Haralson County a 20-0 lead before fighting back to score a 35-20 win. Callaway blew a two-touchdown lead in the second half and lost 43-37 to Class AA Heard County.
Thomson’s comeback was sparked by the running of Chris Jordan, who rushed for 165 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs defense was stout, but Burke had some self-inflicted wounds, with numerous false start penalties that short-circuited potential drives and encouraged Thomson’s comeback.
Central quarterback Wesley Long, making his first start, completed 3 of 4 for 140 yards and two touchdowns, a 60-yarder to A.J. King and a 53-yarder to Jacob Barnes. The Lions also scored on an interception return by Jacob Lewis. King’s status for this week’s game against Douglass is uncertain, as he left the opener with a knee injury. Haralson County quarterback Bryce Wrenn threw for 139 yards and one touchdown and also ran for a touchdown.
Callaway was up by two scores and looked like they were going to add to their lead in the Pulpwood Classic. But a fumble sparked Heard County to a remarkable comeback, as the Braves won the fourth quarter 16-0 and beat Callaway 43-37. Callaway, one of the favorites in Region 4-AAA, had the ball twice in the final minutes, but failed to capitalize.
Chapel Hill looks for more
Chapel Hill’s Tre Mitchell was the star of the season-opening 28-0 win over Osborne, but the Panthers are likely to have a tougher going in their second game this week.
Chapel Hill, the lone Douglas County team in AAA, plays its only county opponent this week. The Panthers, who host Douglas County on Friday, beat the Tigers for the first time a year ago, 21-20. It broke a seven-game losing streak to the county’s patriarchal school, a skid that extended to 2002.
Mitchell ran for 225 yards and scored three touchdowns on runs of 10, 39 and 21 yards to give first-year coach Geoff Pastrick a win in his Chapel Hill debut. The Panthers had a winning season in three of the year years they were coached by Chris Parker, but haven’t qualified for postseason since 2009.
New sheriff at Mary Persons
Brian Nelson becomes only the fourth man to serve as head coach of the Mary Persons football team over the last 50 years. He takes over for Rodney Walker, who spent six years at the school. Steve Chafin was the coach from 1998-2005 after taking over for the legendary Dan Pitts, who served from 1959-1997 and retired as the state’s winningest coach.
This and that
Brantley County’s 14-0 win over Baconton was the school’s first shutout victory since it blanked Bacon County 24-0 in the 2007 opener. . . . Neighborhood rivals Peach County and Perry renew acquaintances on Friday. Peach has won 17 of the last 18 meetings, with Perry’s last win coming in 2007. . . . Washington County QB William Walker completed 10 of 13 for 134 yards, with Deonte Latimer getting five receptions and 90 yards. . . . Dodge County back Marcus Brown ran for 91 yards and one touchdown in the 35-6 win over Southwest Macon. Brown played little in the second half, as Dodge led 35-0 at the break. . . . Nice debut for Blessed Trinity freshman Milton Shelton, who ran for 108 second-half yards in the 25-20 win over rival Westminster. . . . . East Hall and Dawson County moved their game from Oct. 12 to Aug. 24 to create a bye during the season. Dawson wound up winning the Region 7 game 42-0 with QB Tyler Dominy throwing for 257 yards and three touchdowns.