Archive for November, 2012

AAAAAA blog: It’s a strong – but odd – final four in the highest class

Each of the Georgia’s survivors to the ‘final four’ in Class AAAAAA beat sine odds to make it this far.

Here is a look at how each defied one odd or another:

Colquitt County – The Packers were ranked No. 2 in preseason, so it’s no surprise they are here. But history is still being made. Colquitt is in the semifinals for the fourth straight season. The last school to do that in the highest classification was Valdosta (1968-71). What’s more surprising is that Colquitt is a No. 4 seed and won three playoff games on the road. A fourth seed makes the semis in the highest class more than in any other class, but Colquitt is still just the fifth to do it. The others were 1997 Colquitt County, 2002 East Coweta, 2006 Peachtree Ridge and 2011 Lassiter. Only Peachtree Ridge among those advanced to the final. Peachtree Ridge tied Roswell to share the title.

Lovejoy – Ranked seventh in preseason, Lovejoy also is no  surprise to win its region or make the semifinals. The Wildcats were the …

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Lovejoy 21, North Gwinnett 6

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Lovejoy’s offense – powered by five bullies on the offensive line, left handed gun-slinging quarterback Alejandro Bennefield, a bevy of filthy-good receivers, and Georgia Tech-bound running back Travis Custis – usually gets the headlines.

But Friday night against North Gwinnett, the Wildcats put their defense on display. The unit stifled North Gwinnett’s potent offense, holding the Bulldogs without a touchdown en route to 21-6 win in one Class AAAAAA quarterfinal, at Twelve Oaks Stadium in Lovejoy.

In fact, Lovejoy’s defense outscored North Gwinnett’s offense, which had been averaging nearly 40 points per game. And the defensive touchdown put the game away, for all intents and purposes.

Midway thorough the third quarter with Lovejoy up 7-3, North Gwinnett’s defense, which played valiantly in its own right, forced a Lovejoy punt. The Bulldogs took over on their 26-yard line. But four plays into the drive, North Gwinnett quarterback Michael …

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GAC 27, Early County 24

By Robert Haddocks

Brandon Holzgrefe kicked a 19-yard field goal as time expired to lift Greater Atlanta Christian to a 27-24 win over Early County and send the Spartans to the Class AA state semifinals.

Early County drove 91 yards in less than two minutes to tie the score at 24-24 with 59 seconds on the clock. GAC quarterback Rafe Chapple didn’t have his best night, but he completed five straight passes on the game-winning to set up the chip shot field goal, which sneaked just inside the right upright.

On the game-winning drive, GAC took advantage of a short field after Early County kicked the ball out of bounds at the GAC 47-yard line. The resourceful Chapple found Peter Whiteneck for two short completions and then dumped off two passes to Kyle Scales to put the Spartans within Holzgrefe’s range at the 18-yard line. He completed his third pass to Scales on the drive and, after an illegal substitution by Early County, a Scales run put the ball on the two-yard line with two …

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Colquitt County 31, Parkview 15

By Michael Alpert

For the AJC

Colquitt County’s three touchdowns in a span of two minutes and 40 seconds in the third quarter turned a touchdown deficit into a 31-15 victory over host Parkview in the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals.

Colquitt’s first victory in its last four games against Parkview advanced it to face Norcross in next week’s semifinals, the Packers’ fourth consecutive season at least that far.

“This never gets old. Just the places and times change,” Packers coach Rush Propst said of the run toward repeating Colquitt’s only state championship of 1994.

Colquitt, fourth-seeded from Region 1-AAAAAA, spotted Parkview a touchdown in the second quarter, before quickly turning the tables. Three plays after Cole Segraves’ 4-yard touchdown run tied the game with 8:51 left in the third quarter, Tim Sanders made the second of three Colquitt interceptions, and a snap later Segraves passed 35 yards to Bobby Hill for a 14-7 lead the Packers wouldn’t relinquish. Parkview fumbled the …

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North Cobb 42, Mill Creek 35

North Cobb and Mill Creek came into their Class AAAAAA quarterfinal matchup averaging a combined 90.5 points through the first two rounds, so a 7-0 game early in the second quarter was not what many people had expected to see.

Then the turnovers started, and the offensive fireworks began.

North Cobb turned four of Mill Creek’s six turnovers into 28 points in a 12-minute span midway through the second half and went on to defeat the Hawks 42-35 in Acworth on Friday. The victory puts North Cobb (11-2) in the state semifinals for the first time since 1959. Mill Creek (9-4) fell one game short of reaching the semifinals for the first time in the program’s nine-year history.

North Cobb trailed 21-7 at halftime but got back into the game on its first possession of the second half, driving 55 yards in six plays. Mill Creek appeared ready to answer the score, but Jacorey Lewis fumbled at the 7-yard line at the end of a 38-yard run, and the Warriors’ Emmanuel Slaughter recovered.

That …

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Marist 15, Stockbridge 7

Marist ended the most successful season in Stockbridge school history and outlasted the host Tigers 15-7 in a Class AAAA quarterfinal Friday night.

A last-minute drive Stockbridge drive ended 25 yards short of the goal line and Marist (12-1) advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2008. Stockbridge moved from its own 25-yard line into War Eagles territory, when Maetron Thomas was ruled down inbounds with 17 seconds left to play. A disorganized Tigers offense completed one last-ditch pass before time expired.

With the win, Marist (12-1) stopped an 11-game Stockbridge win streak and extended its own winning streak to 11. Stockbridge (11-2), in the school’s first-ever quarterfinal game, had given up only 10 points per game on defense since a 23-0 loss to M.L. King in the season opener.

The Tigers’ offense dug its own holes throughout, committing several procedure penalties and 16 violations overall.

“If it means anything to you, it should hurt,” Stockbridge …

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St. Pius X 40, Washington County 35

St. Pius X head coach Paul Standard may be known as a conservative football coach, but his Golden Lions wouldn’t have beaten Washington County 40-35 Friday night if he didn’t open it up a little in the state AAA quarterfinals.

SPX recovered its own onside kick to begin the game, the run-oriented Lions threw the ball better than they ran it on the way to a 27-21 halftime lead, and three huge fourth-down conversions carried the DeKalb County Catholic high school to the state semifinals for the fourth time. The Lions will play host to North Hall after winning a coin toss Saturday morning to determine the site.

The Lions were led by junior wingback Branden Mitchell’s 164 rushing yards and two receptions for 42 yards and a score.

It took everything that SPX (11-2) had to overcome Washington County’s 14-3 first-quarter lead, and WaCo running back Melvin Hill. He rushed 16 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns for the Golden Hawks (11-2). Each team had three …

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Sandy Creek 31, Burke County 20

Burke County had taken the lead and the momentum in the third quarter of Friday’s Class AAAA quarterfinal at Sandy Creek.

When the fourth quarter started, Sandy Creek (13-0) responded in a big way, rallying from its second deficit of the night to take a 31-20 win.

Junior receiver Demarre Kitt hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass from Cole Garvin with 10:24 to play, erasing a 20-17 Burke advantage, and tailback Eric Swinney finished the Bears off with a 38-yard run with 5:53 left.

“They had been stuffing the run and coach finally trusted us with that play,” said Kitt, who took a 15-yard sideline pattern, wheeled and made the lone Burke defender miss and had a straight sprint for the go-ahead touchdown. “They’re either going to make the tackle or miss. Most of the time they miss.”

Kitt finished with seven catches for 153 yards, and also had a 4-yard touchdown catch in the first half.

Burke County’s big-play machine, junior quarterback Donquell Green, rushed for 104 yards on 15 …

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Whitewater 24, Allatoona 3

In a battle of two young and very successful programs, only one could make its first trip to the state semifinals this year. It is the home team from Fayette County, who will now play the Gainesville-Harris County winner for a chance to go to the Georgia Dome.

The game was marked by a slow start on both sides of the field. By the early minutes of the second quarter, each team had punted twice and fumbled once.

The Wildcats broke the scoring drought with a 65-yard drive that consisted of 11 running plays and one key third-down pass completion. Kendall Conley scored from a yard out with 5:06 to go in the second quarter.

On the next possession, Whitewater defender Matt Ogle tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and came up with an interception to give the home team the ball at its own 48. Aided by a pass interference penalty, the Wildcats drove inside the 20 in the final minute of the half. On third-and-5, quarterback Jay Ashley fumbled the snap, picked up the ball and ran 18 …

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Friday: Boys basketball scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

Boys

Allatoona 60, Lithia Springs 49

Central Gwinnett 64, West Forsyth 37

Eagle’s Landing Christian 63, Jackson County 51

North Atlanta 61, Dunwoody 44

South Cobb 73, Campbell 68

Wheeler 64, Lassiter 38

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Friday: Girls basketball scores

Compiled by Score Atlanta

Girls

Archer 63, Grayson 48

Campbell 56, South Cobb 30

Carrollton 61, Oxford (Ala.) 32

Central Gwinnett 60, West Forsyth 53

Greater Atlanta Christian 53, Decatur 34

Grovetown 58, Harlem 21

Hiram 54, Rome 42

Lithia Springs 55, Allatoona 50

McIntosh 59, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 22

Paca Academy 53, Mt. Paran Christian 44

Pepperell 51, Gordon Central 31

Providence Christian 41, Our Lady of Mercy 32

River Ridge 44, Blessed Trinity 29

South Gwinnett 54, Shiloh 41

South Paulding 50, North Paulding 42

Southwest DeKalb 76, M.L. King 15

Starr’s Mill 54, Ola 9

Ware County 56, Brantley County 46

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Friday Night Chat: Talk live tonight about the quarterfinals!

We’re down to eight in Georgia’s seven classifications.  Check here tonight to talk about tonight’s 28 games around the state.

Most of them will be streamed live. See the links below.

If you’re watching one, check back in here and report what you see.

Prince Avenue Christian School
Athens Academy
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:15 PM EST

Peach County High School
North Hall High School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Gainesville High School
Harris County High School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Allatoona High School
Whitewater High School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Buford High School
Carver High School, Columbus
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Thomson High School
Cartersville High School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Early County High School
Greater Atlanta Christian School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

Lamar County High School
Lovett School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, 2012
7:30 PM EST

George Walton Academy
Walker School
0 – 0
Fri Nov 30, …

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Predictions: Expect Norcross, Northside to win big quarterfinal matchups

If you didn’t know there were two more weeks remaining in the high school football season, you might think some of the games this weekend were state championship games. Camden County-Norcross, Northside-Tucker, Burke County-Sandy Creek, Buford-Carver, Cartersville-Thomson and Brooks County-Calhoun are all title-worthy games, but they are only quarterfinals. Look for Norcross, Northside, Sandy Creek, Buford, Thomson and Calhoun to clear major hurdles on the road to the Georgia Dome (Dec. 14-15).

Congratulations go out to Bob Sosebee of Commerce, who was last week’s winner in the High School Football Pickoff contest. Sosebee was one of two contestants to correctly pick the winner in 11 of 15 games and won the tiebreaker for the closest guess of the score in the Norcross-South Gwinnett game. Click here to sign up and participate in this week’s contest.

THE WEEKEND PREDICTIONS

Last week: 41-15 (.732); Playoffs: 103-33 (.757); Overall: 1,634-357 (.821)

CLASS …

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All-region teams: 3-AA

3-AA

Coach of the year: Ron Duncan, Screven County

Player of the year: RB Jeremy Johnson, Screven County, Sr.

Offensive player of the year: RB George Myers, Laney, Sr.

Defensive player of the year: DB Chance Harkins, Screven County, Sr.

Special teams player of the year: P.J. Freeman, Westside, Sr.

First-team offense

QB – Aikeem Mingle, Screven County, Sr.

RB – Demarcus Nunnally, Laney, Sr.

RB – Taye Brantley, East Laurens, Sr.

RB – Austin Burt, Harlem, So.

TE – Tevin Sneed, Screven County, Sr.

WR – Jeremy Smith, Laney, Sr.

WR – Kewane Turner, Josey, Sr.

WR – Rashad Hughley, Screven County, Jr.

OL – Adam Austin, Screven County, Jr.

OL – Zeke George, East Laurens, Sr.

OL – Conner Lords, Dublin, So.

OL – James Holman, Laney, Jr.

OL – Tyler Sheppard, Harlem, Jr.

PK – Keaton Craw, Westside, Jr.

First-team defense

DL – Damian Harris, East Laurens, Sr.

DL – Cameron Walton, Josey, Sr.

DL – Dayquan Miller, Laney, Sr.

DL – Derrick Rogers, Dublin, Jr.

LB – Marquise Miller, Laney, Jr.

LB …

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Current coaching vacancies

Swainsboro coach David Johnson has resigned, bringing to 11 the number of reported job openings since the regular season ended. Johnson had been at Swainsboro for 11 seasons, the past three as head coach. Swainsboro was 16-15 under Johnson. The 11 job reported job openings are:

Americus-Sumter – Michael Pollock/Chris Wade*

Creekview – Al Morrell

Dacula – Jared Zito

Harrison – Marty Galbraith/Bruce Cobleigh*

Houston County – Greg Robinson

Howard – David Cape

Forsyth Central – Chris Bennett

LaFayette – Tab Gable

Lanier County – David Ward

Roswell – Justin Sanderson

Swainsboro – David Johnson

*Wade and Cobleigh were interim coaches after mid-season changes.

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