Class A: Wilcox at Dooly this weekend’s best game, GWA at Holy Innocents next

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

There’s only one truly huge Class A game in Week 4 (of course they are all big to the teams involved), but there are several intriguing match-ups.

The Big One

Wilcox County at Dooly County. Wilcox will try to make a statement about its supremacy in Class A when the Patriots travel to “The Grove” in Vienna to face the Bobcats in their home opener. Wilcox is 1-1, No. 2 overall and the top public school in our divided Top 5 list. Dooly is 2-0, No. 8 overall and the No. 4 public school in the divided Top 5. Dooly is coming off of close wins over teams from larger classifications – 21-20 over AA Macon County on Aug. 31 and 21-12 over AAAA Americus-Sumter last week. The Bobcats are led by the state’s top defensive tackle recruit, Montravius Adams, as well as quarterback AJ Smith. Wilcox’s all-state quarterback/safety Mikail Grace will return to action after sitting out last week’s loss to AAAA Monroe (28-14). He was injured in the Patriots’ dramatic 43-39 Week 1 win over Wilkinson County.

Others worth checking out

George Walton Academy at Holy Innocents. This is the next best game on the Class A board, with both teams looking to come back from losses last week. Holy Innocents (2-1) will try to rebound after getting thumped (24-14) by the team whose stadium they share, Riverwood (2-0), a AAAAA school on the rise. The Golden Bears had picked up at least 33 points in their first two games, with wins over AAAAA Lakeside-DeKalb (20-14) and AA Wesleyan (10-9). George Walton (1-1) fell at home in overtime to Aquinas (2-0), No. 5 overall and the No. 3 private school in our divided Top 5. The Bulldogs are led by speedy junior running back/defensive back Stanley Williams, who is committed to Georgia but still being pursued by several schools.

Warren County at Washington-Wilkes. Warren County (1-0), the team with one of the best nicknames in the state, the Screaming Devils, will try to make its claim as one of the best teams in a tough Region 7, which includes Aquinas, First Presbyterian, Lincoln County and Wilkinson County. They travel to Washington to take on the No. 9 team in AA. The Tigers are coming off of a big win over rival Lincoln County (21-6) last week in the Highway 378 War. It was the first time they had beaten Lincoln in the last 10 games between the two schools.

Greenville at Decatur. Region 4 appears to be a toss-up with four teams – Brookstone, Dooly, Greenville and Marion County – in the mix for the title and a coveted guaranteed spot in the divided playoffs (only region champions are guaranteed a spot, regardless of the points they have accumulated). Greenville, which already has picked up at least 16 points with a win over AAAA Albany (20-18), will go after another larger foe, AAA Decatur (1-1). A win by the Patriots brings in at least 15 points.

Pace Academy at King’s Ridge Christian. This one features two teams trying to find out just how good they really are. Pace (1-1) whipped Whitefield Academy (24-8) in Week 1, but were whipped by Athens Academy (42-7) last week. The Knights are led by junior running back/defensive back Denzel Franklin and sophomore quarterback Kevin Johnson. King’s Ridge (2-0) has exploded out of the gate, averaging 47 points in their two wins while yielding just seven. However, the teams they beat – Pinecrest Academy and St. Francis – are a combined 0-4 this season. King’s Ridge is led by quarterback Bailey Miller, running backs Tarez Miller and Connor Henderson, linebacker Josh Carter and defensive back Jordan Harris.

9 comments Add your comment

moto

September 13th, 2012
4:15 pm

Good analysis. I agree with you on Wilcox vs. Dooly. I’m anxious to see whether Dooly really has it as a team or just has a couple of great players who can carry them only so far.

Also agree with you on George Walton vs. Holy Innocents’. Do you know whether or not GWA’s fine QB, Hunter Rice, will be back behind center? That could make a big difference.

I don’t know what to think about Pace. Last year their young skill players were awesome as 9th and 10th graders, so I expected them to push the team to the next level this year. Are they lacking strong line play or what?

Swamp Lizard

September 13th, 2012
8:09 pm

STC …. great preview! I’m like “moto”, I’m curious to see how Dooly Co fares against what I think is a strong Wilcox Co team. That should be a great game that’s has “star” power to itas well with Mikail Grace & Montravius Adams

Swamp Lizard

September 13th, 2012
8:17 pm

George Walton @ Holy Innocents ….. Very interesting match up between what I think is two ( Private ) playoff teams. The winner of this game could be a top 8 seed, while the loser could be in the lower half of seeds.

Swamp Lizard

September 13th, 2012
8:23 pm

STC …. another interesting match up this week is Seminole Co @ Clinch Co. Two teams that are kind of on the “bubble” and in need for a big win to kick start their season. Maybe we’ll get some updates from our friends in South Georgia on this one.

S. Thomas Coleman

September 14th, 2012
1:52 am

@moto: Great point on Dooly. I’m not sure about GWA’s QB. It would help keep HI from keying on Williams all night. And not sure about Pace’s line either. One of their young skill players, DE/WR Kam Uter, didn’t play last week because of a foot injury.

Thanks for reading, and for posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

September 14th, 2012
1:59 am

@Swamp: Thanks for the love! I’m covering Alpharetta at Lovejoy tonight. I could have asked to cover GWA-HI, but Alpharetta-Lovejoy is a big game and its in AAAAAA. Not sure if I would have been allowed to drop that one to cover GWA-HI, as neither team is ranked yet. But it was probably worth me asking. (Inside scoop: We reporters are assigned games at the beginning of the week, but allowed to make suggestions on covering another game, if we think it’s worthy.)

And yes, I probably should have said something about Seminole-Clinch. That’s another one where both teams are trying to find themselves. I may check in with coach Dickerson and/or coach Ingram late tonight to get a score and some details from one or both of them.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

TCDOG25

September 14th, 2012
9:39 am

It would be excellent if ajc put out a weekly post of the number of points that each school in Class A has. Both private and public because this format is going to be interesting as the weeks go one.

moto

September 14th, 2012
12:11 pm

S. Thomas — I don’t blame you for going to the Alpharetta game (check out WR Carlos Burse, headed to Vanderbilt). But as to neither GWA nor Holy Innocents’ being ranked, the ONLY ranking that really counts comes from the GHSA’s points system, and there Holy Innocents’ is 1st and GWA is 9th. That said, have fun at let me know what you think of Carlos Burse, please.

GWADAWG

September 14th, 2012
4:20 pm

George Walton will have their QB back tonight. He will be under center but not in the defensive backfield. GO DAWGS!!