Archive for September, 2012

HS cross country rankings: Bulldoggs move to No. 1

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

Winder-Barrow won the girls Varsity Red race at the Aubrae Gunderson Invitational at Heritage-Conyers Saturday, and climbed to No. 1 in Class AAAAA while knocking Flowery Branch down to No. 2. The Bulldoggs also won the boys meet in Conyers  and improved to No. 4 in the Class AAAAA rankings.

Roswell sneaked into the boys Class AAAAAA rankings after winning the Blue Invitational race at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, N.C., Saturday. The Hornets won a meet that included fellow Georgia programs Mill Creek and North Cobb.

Etowah won the boys AAA-AAAAAA race at the Darlington Festival and moved into the top 10 as a result. Also at Darlington, the Blessed Trinity girls turned in impressive times in their second-place finish and moved up to No. 2 in Class AAA.



1. Mill Creek

2. Milton

3. Norcross

4. Brookwood

5. Marietta

6. Walton

7. Harrison

8. Peachtree Ridge

9. Roswell

10. Etowah


1. McIntosh

2. …

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HS softball rankings: Heritage-Conyers makes a move

The latest softball rankings didn’t change that much at the top of any of the polls as the top teams continue to play well with the state playoffs approaching. Lassiter played well last week to stay atop the Class AAAAAA poll with Kennesaw Mountain right behind at No. 2. The Mustangs defeated Etowah last week to stay ahead of No. 3 Archer, No. 4 Peachtree Ridge and No. 5 East Coweta. North Gwinnett moved into the poll at No. 10.

Heritage-Conyers moved up to No. 3 in Class AAAAA behind No. 1 Union Grove and No. 2 Northgate. Pope also jumped into the poll at No. 10. Loganville fell from the rankings.

Veterans is back in the Class AAAA poll at No. 10, taking the spot previously held by LaGrange. Northwest Whitfield stayed ahead of Heritage-Catoosa at the top of the poll.

Tattnall County and Jackson traded spots in the Class AAA poll and Pierce County jumped up two spots. Defending Class AA champion Buford is No. 1 in the Class AAA rankings.

Wesleyan, Heard County and Bacon …

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Latest HS football rankings: Nine in, nine out

Nine new teams made the rankings this week.

They are Grayson for Colquitt County in AAAAAA, Kell for Heritage-Conyers in AAAAA, Stockbridge for Stephens County in AAAA, Blessed Trinity for Woodward Academy in AAA, Heard County and GAC for Early County and Bowdon in AA and Athens Academy, Charlton County and Savannah Christian for Commerce, Johnson County and Wilcox County in A.

Here are some of the good games this week (pardon my shorthand) —

lassiter v walton
camden vs. coffee (4-1)
north cobb v south cobb (both 4-0)
TCC v bainbridge
Kell vs. riverwood (r’wood is 5-0)
Cook v Fitz (2 top-5 teams)
Waco vs. lovett (both ranked)
Prince avenue vs. athens academy (both undefeated)
statesboro v swainsboro
Thomson v GAC (both ranked)
Griffin v riverdale (both 4-1)
morgan county v north oconee (probably region title)
w-wilkes v jefferson (probably region title)
Lamar county v NE Macon (ranked vs. 4-0)

Let us know if you see errors in our game sums. We’re rushing them to you. Not …

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What we learned in AAAA: Stockbridge turning heads

The Stockbridge Tigers aren’t far off from being really good. The Tigers edged Griffin 17-14 with a last-second field goal, but the truth is the game shouldn’t have been that close. Stockbridge, which became the first Henry County school to beat Griffin, finished six of its seven possessions inside the Griffin 12-yard line. The Tigers left a potential 13 points on the field, missing two field goals and coming up a yard short of a touchdown as the first half expired.

Monroe Area can handle being ranked: The No. 10 Hurricanes, who had scored more than 50 points in each of their first four games, trailed twice against Lanier but rolled behind QB Stanton Truitt, who accounted for three touchdowns.

Donquell Green looks more unstoppable by the week: The Burke County quarterback ran for three touchdowns, scored another on an interception return and passed for another in the Bears’ 55-6 win over Cross Creek Thursday. Considering that Burke beat Cross Creek 84-7 in 2011, perhaps the …

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All things being fairly equal, it’s about to get interesting in 6-AAAAA

Here are five things we learned from Week 6 in Class AAAAA:

*Advantage Tucker: If comparing scores means anything (and usually it doesn’t), then Tucker gets the slight edge over Stephenson and M.L. King when it comes to playing Arabia Mountain. M.L. King beat the Rams by 18 points (24-6) on Friday, similar to the margins in Arabia Mountain’s earlier losses to Tucker by 19 points and Stephenson by 10. Region 6-AAAAA is off next weekend, and the real fun begins on Oct. 12 when No. 2 Tucker meets No. 4 Stephenson at Hallford Stadium.

*It’s business as usual in 2-AAAAA: As expected, Northside and Warner Robins had easy times on the first weekend of region play, with Northside crushing Lakeside-Evans 56-0 and Warner Robins beating Evans 34-6. It’s likely the two will be unbeaten in region play when they meet on Nov. 2 to decide the region title. The biggest surprise in 2-AAAAA was Grovetown beating Houston County 27-23 to get its first victory of the season and break a …

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Class A: Among the five things we learned on Friday, ELCA has challengers

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Five things we learned in Class A in Week 6 …

ELCA has some challengers. Before me or anyone else crowns Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy as the private school champions this season, it would be wise to let the games play out.

No. 2 Prince Avenue Christian (5-0, 1-0 in Region 8 ) has been dominant, outscoring its opponents this season by an average score of 42-9. The Wolverines have been held under 40 points just once this season (28-12 win over Savannah Christian in Week 3). Friday, PAC blanked Athens Christian (1-4, 0-1 in Region 8 ), 40-0, behind 216 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Carl Mattox.

Also, No. 3 Aquinas continues to be impressive behind the efforts of senior running back/linebacker Brendan Douglass. The Irish (4-0) throttled Twiggs County 50-0 on Friday as Douglass added another performance to his Player of the Year resume with 305 yards of total offense (245 rushing on 12 carries, 60 receiving on 2 catches) and six …

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Wolves falter on threshold of rankings

Just when Wesleyan was knocking on the door of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA rankings, Jefferson County barred it Friday night, potentially leaving the Wolves outside as fall grows cool.

Wesleyan had atoned for a season-opening loss by beating Salem, Stone Mountain and Brookstone, but Friday’s 33-0 stumble likely will have the Region 6-AA Wolves waiting to make the top 10 some other time.

Here are other things we learned Friday night:

C.J. Jackson makes ‘em when they count: After an Armuchee timeout to ice him, the Model kicker nailed a 24-yard field goal with 53 seconds left to beat the Indians 12-10, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Region 1-AA remains a hotbed: The south Georgia region’s Brooks County, Cook and Fitzgerald, which comprise three of the state’s top 10, kept pace with wins Friday night. Only Early County, the region’s other ranked team, couldn’t. No. 2 Brooks stayed unbeaten (5-0) by beating No. 8 Early 42-8; No. 3 Cook (4-0) did also …

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AAAAAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Alpharetta 21, South Forsyth 0: The visiting Raiders took care of business on the road against South Forsyth behind the performance of quarterback Josh Dobbs. Dobbs passed for more than 200 yards, including a touchdown pass to Daniel Clements and two touchdown runs.

Archer 17, Dacula 14: Sean Fowler rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown for visiting Archer. Fowler also hauled in a scoring strike from Gabe Tiller, who finished with 117 passing yards. Dacula nearly erased all of a 14-0 halftime deficit behind two Marcus Cox touchdowns, an 82-yard reception and a 55-yard punt return.

Central (Ala.) 33, East Coweta 31: The Red Devils came out on the losing side of a see-saw battle just west of the state line. Dee Godfrey led an East Coweta offense that gained 487 total yards by rushing for 187 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Central took the lead for the final time with just over two minutes left in the game.

Collins Hill 40, Mountain View 7: Collins …

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AAAAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Creekview 31, Osborne 0: Creekview, which led 14-0 at halftime, poured in 17 more points in the fourth quarter on 1-yard touchdown runs from running back Will Kirby and quarterback Hayden Hall and a 27-yard field goal by Connor Fraser.

Drew 14, Starr’s Mill 6: The visiting Titans held the host Panthers to just five first downs on 113 total yards. Lester Knauls capped a 73-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:10 remaining to seal the victory. Drew improved their record to 3-1, while dropping Starr’s Mill to 2-3.

Flowery Branch 35, Salem 16: The visiting Falcons took down the Seminoles behind the leadership of quarterback Jackson McDonald, who accounted for all five of the Falcons’ touchdowns. He had three passing touchdowns along with 48-yard and 19-yard touchdown runs. The Seminoles struggled to convert on scoring chances missing two field goals and not taking advantage of two second half turnovers.

Gainesville 42, Heritage-Conyers 14: The Red …

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AAAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Carrollton 66, Columbus 0: The hot Trojans rolled to a 51-0 halftime lead and cruised behind a stout defense that allowed minus-19 total yards. Carrollton had 324 rushing yards, as six Trojans ran for scores. Columbus was held to minus-39 rushing yards.

Jonesboro 34, Woodland-Stockbridge 20: Mario Atkinson threw two touchdown passes to Dereon London and one to Taurean Ferguson for the host Cardinals. Wide receiver Cameron Sutton had a 12-yard rushing score out of a “Wildcat” formation, and Kenneth Hillman had a 2-yard rushing score.

Locust Grove 19, North Clayton 12: Keenan Wise ran for touchdowns of 10 and 11 yards to help Locust Grove to the road win. Cortez McDowell had a 5-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. Locust Grove batted down a pass on fourth down with under a minute to play to seal the win.

Monroe Area 33, Lanier 20: The Purple Hurricanes were perfect in the first half, scoring on each of their four possessions in the first half at Lanier. …

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AAA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Buford 63, Banks County 0: The visiting Wolves led 49-0 and kept Banks County to minus-5 yards of offense at halftime. Dontravius Wilson had two touchdowns, a 45-yard run and a 13-yard fumble return, as did Sean Reynolds with a 24-yard run and an 11-yard reception. Starting quarterback Montgomery VanGorder and backup Taylor Mitchell each had a touchdown pass.

St. Pius 48, Towers 6: St. Pius coach Paul Standard won the 100th game of his career as seven different Golden Lions scored. The visiting Titans were held to 116 yards of total offense while St. Pius accumulated 353, including 248 on the ground. The Golden Lions led 42-0 at the half.

Thomson 20, Westminster 10: Chris Jordan rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns as Thomson erased an early 10-0 deficit to get past Westminster. The visiting Wildcats did not have halfback Nigel Walker and starting quarterback Jake Forte for most of the game due to injuries. Jordan clinched the win with an 80-yard scoring …

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AA roundup

By Score Atlanta

Ft. Payne (Ala.) 28, Lovett 14: Visiting Ft. Payne tallied 380 total yards as quarterback Dale Jackson completed 20-of-28 passes for 175 and two scores while rushing for 83 yards and a touchdown. For Lovett, Willie Candler threw for 155 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown.

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Class A roundup

By Score Atlanta

North Cobb Christian 47, Cross Keys 7: Kendall Crute was a one-man show for the host Eagles. Crute scored on a 47-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, then threw for a 27-yard score and added a 103-yard interception return for another six points. Miller Forristall, David Brittingham and Daniel Galanos also found pay dirt for North Cobb Christian.

Our Lady of Mercy 33, Pace Academy 21: The Bobcats showed no mercy to the host Knights behind a stellar performance from quarterback Dylan Terrell. Terrell completed 5-of-8 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown along with 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Defensively, Kyle Wilkins dominated for the Bobcats with 12 tackles including three sacks.

Pinecrest Academy 35, Hebron Christian 0: Jimmy Strom carried the ball into the end zone four times and had another 100-yard rushing game as the visiting Paladins shut out the host Lions 35-0. Pinecrest has won three straight since losing its …

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Welcome back to the rankings Blessed Trinity?

Blessed Trinity may be making a return trip to the Class AAA rankings this week. The Titans, who opened the season as the state’s No. 9 team, fell out after a loss to Lovett in the second week. But they could be bound for the elite list once again after a 21-14 win over No. 9 Woodward Academy.

BT (4-1) got a great effort from quarterback Spencer McManes, who bounced back from throwing a pick-six to lead the Titans back from a 14-7 halftime deficit. McManes completed 11 of 15 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Robert McQuaid, Sam Roberts and Dylan Cote all caught scoring passes from McManes.

The Blessed Trinity defense, a hallmark for the team all season, was especially tough in the second half. A sack by Nathaniel Maggio forced a Woodward punt and put the Titans in position to start the winning drive. It might just be the drive that got them back in the state rankings. Blessed Trinity has a showdown with No. 5 St. Pius on Nov. 2.

Here are a few other things we …

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Norcross 49, Mill Creek 41

Norcross remained undefeated and secured its hold in the region standings but not without a scare.

With a 35-point third-quarter lead, the Blue Devils appeared to have the game in hand, but then had to withstand a furious rally before defeating Mill Creek 49-41. Alvin Kamara and Myles Autry each scored two touchdowns as the Blue Devils improved to 5-0 and 3-0 in Region 7-AAAAA. Mill Creek dropped to 3-2, 2-1.

With less than seven minutes left in the third period, Norcross took a 49-14 lead when JaQuan Simpkins returned a fumble 99 yards. But Mill Creek, which has lost all seven games against Norcross, didn’t quit. In less than a 12-minute span, the Hawks scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions, the last two by Devozea Felton. His 24-yard touchdown catch on a screen pass from Daniel David trimmed the lead to 49-41 with 6:56 remaining.

Mill Creek’s defense stopped Norcross, but the Hawks’ ensuing drive was thwarted when Brandon Garner recovered a fumble by …

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