Archive for August, 2012

Top performances from Week 1

Here are some of the top individual performances from last week. Let us know if we missed any.

*Aquinas RB/LB Brendan Douglas rushed for 146 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 33-13 victory over East Laurens.

*Blessed Trinity freshman RB Milton Shelton rushed for 108 yards, all in the second half, in a 25-20 victory over Westminster.

*Brooks County QB Malcolm Parrish was 15-of-22 passing for 198 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 150 yards and two scores in a 43-3 victory over Clinch County. Parrish played on 2.5 quarters.

*Calvary Day QB Jake Clemens passed for 185 yards and rushed for 80 in a 28-21 victory over 2011 Class A runner-up Landmark Christian. Calvary Day trailed 21-0.

*Camden County QB Brice Ramsey was 6-for-8 passing for 133 yards and three touchdowns, and WB/CB J.J. Green rushed for 88 yards on eight carries, caught three passes for 38 yards, scored a touchdown, forced a fumble and made two tackles in a 42-0 victory over Peachtree Ridge.

*Dawson …

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Class AA blog: It’s Week 2, and where are you?

If you weren’t settled in for last weekend’s start of football season, sit down now.

You’re missing the action.

Greater Atlanta Christian, Westminster and 15 other Class AA teams kicked off the season dramatically. This week, most all of the class’ other 45 join the fray with potentially similar excitement.

No. 8 GAC’s two touchdowns and two field goals put it 20-0 ahead of Stone Mountain on Friday, but things got crazy before the Spartans survived, 34-26. GAC’s defense withstood its AAAA opponent’s 271 yards and three aerial touchdowns, all to one wideout.

No. 9 Westminster wasted little time jumping a touchdown ahead of Blessed Trinity on Nigel Walker’s 1-yard run in the first quarter. But even with Jake Forte’s 3-yard scoring run in the fourth, the Wildcats’ three turnovers and 115 penalty yards kept it on the losing end to AAA Blessed Trinity, 25-20.

No shuffle

After Week 1, AA is the only of six classes whose AJC rankings haven’t changed from the preseason. Region 1-AA …

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Georgia teams to take on the Southeast in Week 2

The top high school football game in the country this week will take place in Georgia on Friday when Grayson gets a visit from Miami Central.

Grayson is No. 1 in ESPN’s national rankings. Central is No. 1 in USA Today.

This will be one of 14 games this week in which Georgia teams are playing out-of-state opponents. Georgia was 1-4 last week against out-of-state teams but 29-16 in 2011. Perhaps it bodes well for Grayson that Georgia’s Class AAAAA teams were 11-0 against out-of-state teams in 2011.

Here’s a look at each of the 14 out-of-state teams.

There are many state contenders, top prospects and fun facts, such as the South Carolina team that averages 54 points a game, and the Alabama school that first played its Georgia rival in 1931.

*A.C. Flora (S.C.) at North Gwinnett – A.C. Flora is a Columbia-area school that reached South Carolina’s Class AAA semifinals last season and finished 12-2, losing to Bluffton (which plays Georgia’s South Effingham this week). Flora’s alumni …

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Week 3 volleyball rankings

By Score Atlanta

The top spot in the latest Class A volleyball rankings has once again changed hands as George Walton Academy has taken over the No. 1 spot in the poll thanks to another strong week. Eagles’ Landing Christian Academy remains No. 2 in the poll based on a strong showing Saturday when the Chargers defeated Class AA No. 1 GAC, as well as Class A No. 10 Holy Innocents’, a team ranked No. 3 at the time of the match. The former No. 1 Landmark Christian lost three times Saturday, falling to Class AAA No. 3 St. Pius X, Class AAAAA No. 3 McIntosh and Class AAAA No. 4 Northview. The War Eagles dropped to No. 7.

Ringgold fell out of the Class AAA poll as East Hall moved into the rankings at No. 10. North Oconee and Hart County each moved up a spot as well.

In Class AAAAA, Ola moved to No. 8 after claiming the Decatur Invitational title, but Woodland-Henry and Locust Grove each made their way into the Class AAAA poll after knocking off Ola over the weekend. Columbus fell in …

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Teams that played in the Corky Kell and won state titles

Twelve teams have played in the Corky Kell Classic and won state titles in the same season since the event began in 1992. With five Kell teams ranked in the current top five (Grayson, Camden County, North Gwinnett, Walton and Kell), there’s a decent chance it will happen in 2012. (We wrote Friday that 10 eventual state champions had played in the Kell. We should’ve said that 10 have won in the Kell and won a state title. Two state champions lost in the Kell – 1996 Brookwood and 2009 Camden County.) Here are the 12:

1996 Brookwood

1997 Parkview

1997 Thomas County Central

1998 Carrollton

2000 Parkview

2001 Parkview

2002 Parkview

2006 Roswell

2008 Camden County

2009 Camden County

2010 Brookwood

2011 Grayson

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Week 1 surprises: Two defending champs lose openers

1. Thomson 21, Burke County 14: Thomson ended a four-game losing streak against Burke County and snapped the defending Class AAA champion’s 12-game winning streak. Burke County beat Thomson in the region championship game each of the past two seasons by a combined score of 58-17.

2. Jenkins 21, Savannah Christian 20: Defending Class A champion Savannah Christian had its 15-game winning streak snapped when it missed an extra-point attempt after cutting the lead to one point with 3:01 remaining. Jenkins is a AAAAA school that went 4-6 last season.

3. New Manchester 23, Paulding County 20: New Manchester, a Douglasville school playing its first full varsity season, is in first place in 5-AAAAA after winning the first region game in the program’s brief history. New Manchester is 3-0 all-time in varsity games after beating Cross Keys and North Springs in 2011.

4. Calvary Day 28, Landmark Christian 21: Landmark, the Class A runner-up in 2011 and the fourth-ranked team in the …

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HS softball rankings: Mill Creek moves up

By Score Atlanta

The cream is starting to rise to the top as softball teams across the state are kicking it up a notch with high profile weekend tournaments. Several teams have moved up in the polls with success in these tournaments such as Kennesaw Mountain and Mill Creek, while other teams have dropped based on a rocky week. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe fell out of the Class AAA poll after dropping contests to Class AAA No. 1 Buford and North Forsyth Saturday.

In Class AAAAAA, Collins Hill, Brookwood and Kennesaw Mountain remain No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, but Mill Creek moved up to No. 5. Peachtree Ridge also moved up, as did Hillgrove while Lassiter debuted at No. 10.

Northgate and Whitewater stayed at the top of the Class AAAAA poll with Greenbrier jumping up a few spots along with Houston County moving up one spot. Columbus jumped into the Class AAAA poll while Wayne County could not improve its spot in the rankings and dropped out.

Defending Class AAA champion Oconee …

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Poll Talk: Upsets claim one No. 1 team, two No. 2 teams … Lincoln County is new No. 1 in A …

We’re not used to underrating Camden County in preseason, but that was some performance Saturday at the Georgia Dome – 42-0 over Peachtree Ridge. PeaRidge returned its front seven on defense, so not many saw that coming.

Two 2011 state champions lost in the first weekend – Burke County (to Thomson) and Savannah Christian (to Jenkins). Three teams ranked No. 2 lost – Burke, Colquitt County (to North Gwinnett) and ELCA (to Washington County).

Upcoming –

Grayson vs. Central of Miami on Friday. Grayson is No. 1 in the ESPN rankings. Central is No. 1 in USA Today.

Six games match two state-ranked teams –

Blessed Trinity at Lovett
Buford at Elbert County
Colquitt County at Thomas County Central
Northside (Warner Robins) at Flowery Branch
St. Pius at Westminster
Wilkinson County at Wilcox County

Here are 13 more games that caught my eye to give us a 20 best. (Who did we miss?)

Baldwin at Jefferson County
Brunswick at Glynn Academy
Coffee at Ware County
Griffin at …

Continue reading Poll Talk: Upsets claim one No. 1 team, two No. 2 teams … Lincoln County is new No. 1 in A … »

Walton 35, Brookwood 24

Tyren Jones gave Alabama fans a little peek of what might be soon coming their way. The Crimson Tide commitment ran 26 times for 254 yards and scored five touchdowns Saturday to help Class AAAAAA No. 4 Walton to a 35-24 win over unranked Brookwood in the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome.

It was only the second time in five meetings that Walton, ranked fourth in has managed to beat the Broncos, the first since a 14-9 win in the 2008 Kickoff Classic. It was Walton’s fifth victory in the showcase event.

Jones, who led the state with 2,375 rushing yards a year ago, scored on a runs of 71, 1, 48, 6 and 52 yards. He also caught two passes for 11 yards.

Brookwood was led by senior Jamaal Cole, who ran 25 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Walton stunned Brookwood with an onside kick to start the game. No Brookwood player ever touched the ball, which was recovered by kicker Anthony Price at the Brookwood 48. But Walton wasted the momentum, as a holding penalty …

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Wheeler 10, Sprayberry 7

Wheeler overcame twelve penalities and a crucial fumble to squeak out a 10-7 win over Sprayberry for their first win of the season. On the Wildcats first possession, they drove sixty yards in 8 plays for a 37 yard field goal by J.D. Barron. Running back Kahlem Looney had a 43 yard run to get the ball into field goal range. On Wheeler’s second possession, they drove down to the Sprayberry 18 yard line where they went for it on fourth down and did not make it. Sprayberry’s offense sputtered in the first half and punted four times.

Looney continued to run well and gained 104 yards on 12 carries in the first half alone (Finishing with 118 yards). He had a 62 yard run for a touchdown called back by a penalty and several Wildcat receivers were wide open and the passes fell incomplete. Wheeler again drove down with a long 15-play drive to the one yard line but fumbled the ball killing the chance to stretch the lead.

Sprayberry made adjustments over halftime and their second …

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Camden County 42, Peachtree Ridge 0

Camden County was efficient offensively and stingy defensively when it needed to be, and the Wildcats rolled to a 42-0 victory against Peachtree Ridge in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

It was the sixth victory in seven appearances in the event for Camden County.

Camden County took control with touchdowns on two of its three possessions in the first quarter. After Camden missed a 38-yard field goal on its first drive, the Wildcats’ defense forced a Lions punt after three plays. A low snap led to a 7-yard punt, giving Camden possession at the Peachtree Ridge 29. Four plays later, Antonio Wimbush scored from the 2 for a 7-0 lead.

Camden County drove 80 yards in five plays, aided by a 15-yard penalty against the Lions, for its second score. Jaccob Johnson capped the drive with a 19-yard run with 1:22 remaining in the quarter to make it 14-0.

Camden County ran just eight offensive plays in the second quarter but added to the lead when Brice Ramsey threw a …

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North Gwinnett 16, Colquitt County 14

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

North Gwinnett junior kicker Michael D’Angola calmly drilled a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Bulldogs to a 16-14 win over Colquitt County, Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Game 3 of the Corky Kell Classic.

North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said he and his staff never mentioned the 17-7 loss, at home, that his Bulldogs suffered at the hands of Colquitt County last season in the second round of the state playoffs.

He didn’t have to.

“We studied the film so we could prepare, but that was it,” Sphire said. “This is high school football and it’s important to these kids. They want to compete with the best. I’m sure [the loss] was on their minds, but eveything was unsaid.”

The Bulldogs let their play and effort do the talking in the rematch. North Gwinnett’s defense was stout throughout the contest, holding the Packers to less than half of the 30 points per game they averaged last season.

“It was an unbelievable effort,” Sphire …

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Grayson 31, McEachern 12

Any concerns that Grayson coach Mickey Conn might have had about his offense, which has an inexperienced line and a new starting quarterback, were quickly put to rest at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

The Rams rushed for 314 yards, had three long time-consuming scoring drives and never trailed in their season-opening 31-12 victory against McEachern in the Corky Kell Classic. It was the 16th consecutive victory for Grayson, which won the Class AAAAA championship in 2011.

Conn knew that his defense, a unit loaded with college prospects, would be a good one, but it was the offense that stood out against McEachern.

“I liked the way we ran the football,” Conn said. “Our offensive line and our running backs really came off the football. And [quarterback] David McTier, for his first game, what a great job he did at the line of scrimmage. My hat’s off to the O-line. That’s the thing we lost off of last year’s team, and that offensive line just came out here and took control of the line …

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Kell 19, Chattahoochee 8

Kell, ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAA, got a pair of first-half touchdown passes from Matthew McGuigan to Brendan Langley in the opener of the Corky Kell Classic and the defense did the rest in a 19-8 win.

The Longhorn secondary was as good as advertised, forcing Chattahoochee quarterback Travis Marshall into short passes most of the day, causing two turnovers and collecting a safety.

“For our front seven, it’s got to be a good feeling to look behind you and see those guys back there,” said Kell coach Derek Cook. “It’s hard to be wrong right now with them … We were able to take [Marshall's] eyes off the receivers to find the rush, and when he did that, we were able to converge on him.”

Marshall completed 14 of 18 passes, all but one of the completions coming on short-range passes. He finished with 101 passing yards and rushed for 56.

“Defensively, you take away that one series to start the second half- and that was on a short field – take that away and we played near perfect,” …

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Class A Blog: Week 1 Wrap Up

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Week 1 is in the books. It’s just Week 1, so it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. So for now, we’ll go the “Jeopardy” route and pose everything as a question.

Road to private school title still goes through Savannah? Defending Class A champion Savannah Christian, the pre-season No. 1 team in Class A, is rebuilding this season after losing 15 seniors, including standout running back Will Austin and two players now playing at Division I schools – linebacker/safety Nardo Govan, at Georgia Southern, and defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown, at Louisville. The Raiders’ youth showed a bit Friday night in a 21-20 loss to Jenkins, a Class AAAAA school that is 26-26 over the last five seasons. (Note: The Raiders probably shouldn’t have been ranked that high to begin the season.)

But Calvary Day looks primed to pick up the flag for Savannah. The Cavaliers, who have most of their starters back from a 10-2 season in 2011, battled back from a 21-0 …

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