Class A Blog: New Divided Public-Private Top 5s, heading into Week 8

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Time for the new Divided Top 5s, heading into Week 8. The temperature is getting cooler while the races for region titles and Power Ranking spots are heating up. Here we go:

PUBLIC

1. Emanuel County Institute (5-1, 1-0 in Region 3-Division B; No. 4 overall). ECI trounced Wheeler County (0-5, 0-1) 68-7 last week, churning out 414 yards rushing. The Bulldogs should get a little tougher test Friday when Treutlen (3-2, 1-0) comes to Twin City.

2. Lincoln County (4-1, 1-0 in Region 7; No. 7 overall). The Red Devils beat Warren County (1-4, 1-2) 49-6 last week, in a match-up of two of the best nicknames in Georgia. Mike McIntire ran for 126 yards and a touchdown while the Lincoln defense yielded just 47 yards. Lincoln will travel to Augusta to take on No. 2 Aquinas (5-0, 2-0) in a game that will most likely decide the region championship. The Red Devils won 44-22 last season, and according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, Lincoln is 31-2-1 against the Irish and have won 31 straight against them since the tie (6-6) in 1970, and a two consecutive wins by Aquinas in 1971 (13-6) and 1972 (45-0).

3. Clinch County (3-2, 1-0 in Region 2; No. 10 overall). The Panthers were off last week and will welcome Irwin County (3-2, 1-0) to Homerville on Friday, as both teams vie for the region title and a guaranteed spot and first round home game in the public school playoffs.

4. Turner County (5-1, 2-0 in Region 2; unranked). The Rebels blasted the Indians 38-6 in a game that was played with a running clock in the fourth quarter. It was Turner’s first win over Charlton since 1993 (14-6), according to the Tifton Gazette. The Rebels will have their biggest game of the year on Friday when they travel north to Rochelle to face Wilcox County (3-2, 1-1) in another key Region 2 match-up.

5. Miller County (5-1, 2-0 in Region 1; unranked). The Pirates won their fourth in a row last week, blanking Calhoun County 22-0. Miller will head north to Cuthbert on Friday to face Randolph-Clay (3-2, 1-1) as the Pirates attempt to tighten their strangle hold on a weak field in Region 1.

TRENDING (In alphabetical order): Claxton (3-2, 1-1 in Region 3-Division A) will look to rebound from its 24-14 loss last week to surging Savannah Christian when the Tigers travel to winless Portal (0-5, 0-1), which has been outscored this season 12-167 … Dooly County (4-1, 2-0 in Region 4) downed Hawkinsville 24-16 last week and will travel to winless Central-Talbotton (0-5, 0-1) Friday before a showdown at home Oct. 19 against Marion County (4-1, 2-0) … Irwin County (3-2, 1-0 in Region 2) makes its first appearance in our public school rankings and will see how good it is Friday at No. 10 Clinch. The Indians are led by running back Robert Moore, who had 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just six carries in one-and-a-half quarters of football in last week’s 55-21 win over Telfair County (3-3, 0-2), according to the Tifton Gazette … Marion County (4-1, 2-0 in Region 4) will start a big three-game stretch on Friday in Columbus at Pacelli (4-1, 1-1 in Region 4) … Wilcox County (3-2, 1-1 in Region 2) will try to win two games in a row for the first time this season when the Patriots host Turner County (5-1, 2-0).

PRIVATE

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (4-1, 1-0 in Region 5, No. 1 overall). The Chargers were off last week and will host Mt. Vernon Presbyterian (2-4, 0-2 in Region 5) on Friday.

2. Aquinas (5-0, 2-0 in Region 7, No. 2 overall). The Irish struggled a bit in the first half against Hancock Central (3-2, 1-1 in Region 7), leading just 7-0 after two quarters. But Aquinas exploded in the second half behind 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns by Brendan Douglas in a 31-6 win. The Irish will host No. 7 Lincoln County in a Thursday night showdown.

3. Calvary Day (5-0, 1-0 in Region 3-Division A, No. 3 overall). The Cavaliers are 23-5 over the last two-and-a-half seasons but have been overshadowed by city rival No. 9 Savannah Christian, the defending Class A champs. After smashing Savannah Country Day last week, 48-7, Calvary Day will attempt to win the “Savannah Private School Championship” on Friday when it travels across town to face Savannah Christian (3-2, 1-0 in Region 3-Division A, No. 9 overall).

4. Georgia Walton Academy (5-1, 2-0 in Region 8, No. 5 overall). The Bulldogs pounded Hebron Christian Academy 52-10 last week, as Stanley “Boom” Williams ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries. GWA will take this week off before another “tune up” against another young program, Pinecrest Academy (3-1, 2-0), next week, and then a trip to Athens Oct. 26 to face undefeated Athens Academy.

5. Athens Academy (5-0, 2-0 in Region 8, No. 6 overall). The Spartans claimed their biggest win of the season thus far, when they traveled to Bogart and knocked off Prince Avenue Christian, ranked No. 2 at the time, 14-7 on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Austin Schulte to Jordan Lawson midway through the fourth quarter. Athens Academy will head to Cumming on Friday to face Pinecrest Academy.

TRENDING (In alphabetical order):  Prince Avenue Christian (5-1, 1-1 in Region 8, No. 8 overall) visits Commerce (4-2, 0-2) on Friday to face a Tiger team that desperately needs a region win … Savannah Christian will have its biggest game of the season on Friday, at home against No. 3 Calvary Day … Landmark Christian (4-2, 2-0 in Region 5) rallied for a huge win at Our Lady of Mercy last week, 30-27 in overtime, and will host Strong Rock Christian (3-2, 0-1 in Region 5) on Friday … Our Lady of Mercy (4-2, 1-1 in Region 5) let one get away last week against Landmark and faces a tough road challenge at Holy Innocents (3-3, 1-1) on Friday in a game the Bears need desperately as well … Brookstone (3-2, 1-1 in Region 4) exposed previously unbeaten Pacelli 41-14 last week in the “Battle for the Broccelli Jug” in Columbus, and will travel south to Hawkinsville (1-4, 1-1 in Region 4) on Friday.

What say you?

12 comments Add your comment

Tom Jones

October 9th, 2012
2:31 pm

sorry to go on a rant, but i believe Brookstone is very underrated. Does anyone? they lost 17-14 at Wesleyan on a nfl like 49 yard field goal. Wesleyan also averages about 250 pass yards a game and brookstone held them to 70. Bstone lost 7-3 to dooly after getting within doolys 10 yard line 3 times and twice inside doolys 20 yard line. The most they’ve been scored on is 14 points. Im not saying they are better than GeorgeWA or Prince A or Eagles or Alquines e.t.c, but still. I think they are being overlooked just a little because of that 3-2 record. any thoughts?

Tom Jones

October 9th, 2012
2:35 pm

the field goal happened as time expired

moto

October 9th, 2012
2:50 pm

Tom — I saw Wesleyan play early in the season and thought their passing offense was just about unstoppable with Will Anderson healthy. So playing Wesleyan even, at Wesleyan, would have been a real plus before Wesleyan was shut out by a Jefferson County team with only 1 win and them was handily beaten by Webb School in Tennessee. It’s awfully hard to judge a team until it has played a full schedule of its peers. Good luck to Brookhaven, and may they have better luck in the red zone.

Tom Jones

October 9th, 2012
3:54 pm

jefferson is 3-3 now and Webb is 6-1 with one lost to Alcoa which is very very good team, but you are right. i guess we will have to see

Swamp Lizard

October 9th, 2012
5:40 pm

Week # 2 “movers” & “shakers” …. ( Private Side ) …. We’ll see who the best team is in Region 3 ( at least in Div A ) when Calvary Day takes on Sav Christian …. I’m still going with ECI on the other side …. Region 3 Div B. We’ll find out who can bounch back after a tough loss in Region 8 when Prince Ave Christian takes on Commerce.

Week # 2 “movers” & “shakers” …. ( Public Side ) …. Will we know the real “players” in Region 2 after this week or will it be even muddier? Looking forward to seeing the outcome of Turner Co / Wilcox Co and the Clinch Co / Irwin Co games.

Week # 2 “movers” & “shakers” ( Public vs Private ) …. # 2 Aquinas & # 7 Lincoln Co are going to battle in a hugh Region 7 game this Thursday night. We will all know a lot more after this game and the others mentioned above after this week.

Turner co. Class of '93

October 9th, 2012
8:19 pm

Turner is ready to take region 2A by storm! Little hint it’s like 1993 down here in Ashburn n there’s no looking back region champs again!!!!!!

Swamp Lizard

October 9th, 2012
9:17 pm

JUST MY TAKE … We all know the Top 10 in Class A is dominated by the Private Schools, but I really think it’s kind of misleading right now. I’m not saying ELCA isn’t the best team in Class A, because I think they are. They have proved it on the field by playing # 3 ranked, AAA Washington Co ( 24-19 loss ) … a game they could have easily won … by beating Briarwood Academy ( Alabama AAAAA school ), beating # 10 Clinch Co ( 40-0 at the half), and by beating Holy Innocents 42-3. They still have toplay Our Lady of Mercy & Landmark Christian … two teams that could crack the Top 10 before the season is over. My point is …. they have played some very solid teams and have faired well … thus, a #1 ranking.
The “Privates” look dominate right now, but I think a lot of those teams haven’t played as tough a schedule as a lot of “Publics” . To back this up, I do think Region 2 …. Wilcox Co, Charlton Co, Clinch Co, Irwin Co & Turner Co are beating each other up and have played tough out of region schedules too. A lot of the “Privates” still have to “prove” themselves a little more …. we will know more this week about Calvary Day & Sav Christian as they play this Thursday night … we’ll know more about Aquinas this week as they take on Public power Lincoln Co.
I guess what I’m saying is …. we still need a little more time before we can get a real good take on a true Top 10. It just looks better to have a 4-1 team ranked over a 3-2 team.

Give me YOUR TAKE

S. Thomas Coleman

October 10th, 2012
3:40 am

@Tom: No need to apologize for the “rant”. Brookstone will be in the private school mix when it’s all said and done. Coach Dehem seems like he’s continuing the tradition of winning that Coach Harrison established.

Thanks for reading and ranting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 10th, 2012
3:44 am

@Turner: Congrats to Coach Soliday and the Rebel Nation! Good luck in Rochelle. Should be a good one because I know Coach Ledford will have the Pats ready to play.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

October 10th, 2012
3:59 am

@Swamp: As I’ve said before, I think ELCA is the clear beast in Class A, but they can get got just like everyone else … and Coach Gess lets them know that from time to time by reminding them about last season, when they were favored to go all the way and meet Savannah Christian in the finals.

That said, I still think ELCA is the best in Class A, public or private. But there are some very good private schools that can push them — Aquinas, George Walton Academy, Prince Avenue Christian, Athens Academy and Savannah Christian is getting better and more experienced each week.

On the public side I think it’s WIDE open but I have a feeling Coach Campbell and Lincoln will be there in the end. There are a bunch of teams in the public school mix: ECI, Turner, Wilcox, Dooly, Miller and Marion are the main contenders, and I still wouldn’t count out Clinch and Commerce as two squads that could make a run.

Bottom line: There’s still a lot that needs to be decided, on both the public and private sides. Should be fun watching both!!

PS — Thanks, Swamp, for the kind words about my son!

moto

October 10th, 2012
11:07 am

@Tom Jones — Thanks for the update on Jeff. County and Webb. I stand corrected. Actually I was already relenting after seeing that Jeff. County is ranked #13 in AAA. Could be that Brookstone will surprise some folks in the coming weeks.

jesse james

October 10th, 2012
5:40 pm

tom after calvary beats scps this week maybe you will give the cavs some props.