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 touchdowns (5 rushing, 1 receiving).
And No. 8 George Walton Academy (4-1, 1-0 in Region 8 ) – the only team to challenge Aquinas so far this season, losing 28-21 in overtime to the Irish in Week 2 – notched its biggest win since joining the Georgia High School Association, downing No. 9 Commerce, 26-14, on Friday. The Bulldogs showed they are more than just the Stanley “Boom” Williams show, as Nick Waters ran eight times for 95 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Hunter Rice rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Jarvis added 38 yards and a touchdown on 6 rushes. Williams added 89 yards on 17 carries.
Now who’s 2-2? Charlton County head coach Rich McWhorter had been taking a bit of heat from the locals about his proud Indians starting this season 2-2, which is downright blasphemous down in Folkston. But Charlton County showed why it is Charlton County on Friday, knocking off No. 4 Wilcox County, 32-26, in Folkston. The win gives the Indians (3-2, 1-0 in Region 2) a leg up on the Patriots, who fell to 2-2 overall, 0-1 in Region. 2.
Campbell was sandbagging, again. Last season Lincoln County’s venerable head coach Larry Campbell told us he didn’t think his club would be very good because of uncertainty at the quarterback position. Denzel Gunby stepped up and led the Red Devils to a 10-3 record and the state quarterfinals, where they gave eventual state champion Savannah Christian its best challenge of the post season.
Campbell said the same thing last month about this year’s team, lamenting how many starters Lincoln lost to graduation and an unproven quarterback.
Uh, yeah, right coach. Lincoln (3-1, 1-0 in Region 7) spotted a solid First Presbyterian Day (2-2, 0-1) team 14 points before scoring the next 42 unanswered, en route to a 49-27 win on the road in Macon on Friday. Red Devil quarterback Ben Turner was stellar. He completed 14-of-15 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Rest assured, Campbell, who picked up career win number 462 on Friday, and Lincoln will be in the thick of the Class A public school title chase.
Dooly and Marion County bounced back. After making brief appearances in the Top 10 before suffering tough losses, both Dooly County and Marion County came back and started their Region 4 schedules properly, picking up key wins on Friday.
Dooly (3-1, 1-0), which loss to No. 4 Wilcox 28-14, on Sept. 21, held off Brookstone (2-2, 0-1), 7-3, as AJ Smith hit Tyrone Anderson with a 27-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-four, midway through the third quarter, according to the Columbus Ledger Enquirer. Meanwhile, Marion (3-1, 1-0), which was thumped by Miller County 20-7 last week, defeated Greenville (2-2, 0-1) 28-21 on Friday.
Johnson County was not quite ready to be ranked. The Trogans cracked the rankings at No. 10, and were 3-0. But the combined record of their opponents was 3-9. Savannah Christian provided a big step up in the level of competition on Friday and it showed.
Johnson County led 14-7 after one quarter, and then proceeded to give up 35 unanswered points as the Raiders blitzed the Trojans 42-14 in Wrightsville. We hate to say we told you so, but …