St. Pius X 31, Hart County 15

Senior fullback Ryan Braswell scored two touchdowns and St. Pius X beat Hart County 31-15 Friday night to return to the state Class AAA quarterfinals for the second straight year and for the third time in four seasons, but Golden Lions head coach Paul Standard had a suffer a few surprises on the way.

Braswell, the Lions’ leading rusher and scorer with 1,359 yards and 25 touchdowns, left the game with a sprained shoulder late in the first quarter, and once his pads came off there was anxiety among SPX fans George B. Maloof Stadium.

Add the fact that the Lions (10-2) couldn’t keep Hart County quarterback Dakota Mitchell in check, and this game was more tense than the final score would indicate. Mitchell finished with 124 rushing yards, two rushing scores and 134 passing yards and Standard was mildly surprised so see him play so much because he’d been limited recently by injury.

Ultimately, the Lions’ ground game won out as they went on to rush 52 times for 349 yards. SPX junior Branden Mitchell rushed for 55 yards on the first play of the game, and went on to rush for 126 of his 141 yards in the first half.

This game was tight for a while.

The Lions took a 7-0 lead when Braswell scored from 1 yard out to cap the first drive of the game, but the Bulldogs (6-6) drove 56, 50 and 57 yards on their first three drives.

Hart County’s first drive ended when SPX junior Nick Ruffin blocked Andrew Wilder’s 41-yard field goal attempt, and the second drive ended at the SPX 2-yard-line when Hart County running back Mikeontay Simpson was stuffed on fourth down.

“After we scored, then we fumbled [the next possession] and the next possession we were backed up deep [and had to punt],” Standard said. “If we didn’t make two big stops – with the blocked field goal and the goal-to-go – who knows?”

Hart County tied the game on the third try when Dakota Mitchell scored on a 3-yard run with 10:54 left in the second quarter.

Soon, Braswell left the field in pain and with the Bulldogs running a no-huddle offense similar to that of the University of Oregon in that they spread the field and signaled plays in from the sideline with cards, SPX was having difficulty gauging its opponent.

The Lions, though, figured it out from there and scored the next 17 points in the second quarter to lead 24-7 at halftime.

Braswell, in fact, returned to score the tie-breaking touchdown on a 9-yard run in the middle of the second quarter. As SPX forced back-to-back three-and-outs by Hart County, the Lions moved further ahead on Branden Mitchell’s 24-yard scoring run and a 44-yard field goal by Thomas O’Leary.

Each team added a score in the fourth quarter, the Lions scoring when Braswell’s backup – sophomore Dalton Wilson – scored from 9 yards.

Dakota Mitchell scored from 1 yard late in the game to close the scoring. He rushed 20 times for 124 yards despite suffering 30 yards in lost yardage on sacks and a grounding penalty. He completed 9-of-20 passes for 124 yards and Hart County amassed 355 yards of total offense. Simpson added 72 yards on 13 carries.

“That guy was pretty good,” Standard said. “He was the leader of their offense. He made that team go.”

St. Pius had 370 yards of offense as senior quarterback Jack Spear completed 2-of-3 passes for 21 yards and rushed for 39 yards on seven carries. Wilson had 57 yards on seven carries.

Hart County – 0 7 0 8 – 15
St. Pius X – 7 17 0 7 – 31

SPX – Ryan Braswell 1 run (Thomas O’Leary kick)
HC – Dakota Mitchell 3 run (Andrew Wilder kick)
SPX – Braswell 9 run (O’Leary kick)
SPX – Branden Mitchell 24 run (O’Leary kick)
SPX – O’Leary 44 field goal
SPX – Dalton Wilson 9 run (O’Leary kick)
HC – D. Mitchell 1 run (Mikeontay Simpson run)

29 comments Add your comment

Son of Waco

November 23rd, 2012
10:58 pm

Man i am so ready to play this game i might set up a tent at St. Pius school lol……..If Waco qb get off like hart co. did rushing wise, we will blow out St. Pius….Also if Waco get 355 yards of offense, we will have the points to show for it too……

Seen a few

November 23rd, 2012
11:01 pm

Well now another W and moving on. Congrats to both teams. Players and coaches great job.


November 24th, 2012
12:35 am

Son of Waco…………… Go Lions

Son of Waco

November 24th, 2012
1:32 am

Watch our 2nd round game and let the fear build for a run only team…………


November 24th, 2012
2:00 am

Son Of Waco ………………….. Go Lions


November 24th, 2012
2:03 am

We can and have run where no team has run before… Oh and by the way our Qb J Spear can throw when needed, but we haven’t needed to a lot


November 24th, 2012
12:25 pm

Waco, I absolutely love your exuberance. Keep it up as you drive to SPX next Friday but you may want to compare the SPX vs Thomson, SPX vs Lovett or the whole weak ass WACO schedule before you hurt yourself celebrating. THE GOLDEN LIONS will do what it needs to win. We have played one of the toughest schedules in AAA and Thomson barely escaped a PIUS and Lovett was no threat. We are looking forward to hosting this game and the only tents we will need if for tailgating!. :)

Son of Waco

November 24th, 2012
1:19 pm

So y’all put 24 on lovett and we put up 48 with eas and from that game y’all think what you can do what lovett did but i don’t think y’all run the spread offense….Wing-T SPX……….The Thomson game y’all like to won, we like to won but like is not on the win/loss stat line and we both loss and scored only 14….I talked to many Thomson fans that was like they didn’t want to see our Qb again and y’all who has been having problems with duel threat Qb’s will find out how good he is if you have to blitz just to get pressure on him…..

Waco schedule ranks as the 2nd toughest in AAA after Thomson……….Don’t forget SPX lost to WW 20-14 a team that got blasted by cedar grove 47-14, by North Hall 38-7….so how good are y’all really……..

Saint Teresa

November 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

Son of Waco…
FYI, St. Pius beat Cedar Grove 38-28. In regards to Lovett, once we are assured of the win, we put in our JV and don’t run up the score. We are looking forward to hosting a great game with Washington County on Friday night!


November 24th, 2012
4:40 pm

Cedar Grove’s win over WA was an event that was welcomed by SPX . Many Thomson fans have expressed their opinions about playing the SPX TEAM again, and now a resurgent one, Our team is getting more business like every game. I concede to you that according to the computer stats your schedule is 2nd and our is 4th, however we could find AAAA and AAAAA teams to beat in order to make our stats look better too: I posted your schedule below, and am not impressed. Looking forward to a GREAT game!

Eagles Lndg Christian Acad (5-A) Won 24-19
Grovetown (2-AAAAA) Won 65-14
Emanuel County Institute (3B-A) Won 48-22
Baldwin (2-AAAA) Won 22-14
Laney (3-AA) Won 51-28
Lovett (6-AA) Won 48-35
Jefferson County (3-AAA)* Won 57-14
Swainsboro (3-AAA)* Won 49-9
Thomson (3-AAA)* Lost 14-28
Dodge County (3-AAA)* Won 49-0
Pike County (2-AAA) Won 55-7
Callaway (4-AAA)Won 28-0, (2nd Rd Playoffs)

Son of Waco

November 24th, 2012
9:03 pm

You not impressed by our schedule huh!!!!….Hmm could it be you are just hating because i counted four teams on our schedule that will still be playing football Fri night in the playoffs…..I also counted 8 out of the 10 teams we played made the playoffs, so beating easy teams to make us look strong is a bad fact you tried to make lol….It also shows how much Ga high school football knowledge you lack…..It’s a proven fact that when SPX plays teams below the Atl line they lose more games than they win, so fear Waco a team that think the GA dome is it second home……….

I watched the SPX vs Decatur game, where y’all went into the half up 13-0 (son of waco was not impressed) and had to use trick plays to get near the goal line for the first score….When Waco plays teams like that (Check our schedule you posted) 90% of those points are scored in the first half and our JV holds the fort down in the 2nd half…

The Lovett game SPX played was 10-0 at the half and they scored 7 in the 3rd and 7 in the 4th, so at what point did the JV come in during this blowout!!!!!!!!!

Big Fan

November 25th, 2012
7:46 am

Waco weirdo,
SPX shut Lovett out 24-0. What did they put up on Washington County?
(35)?! I guess you didn’t notice there were 11 defenders on the line on that play against Decatur. Would you run then? Did you see the final score? The bench was cleared. Don’t start none won’t be none.


November 25th, 2012
10:00 am

WACO, Hate to be the one to break this to you but SPX plays the whole game so the half time scores really don’t count. I am not going to waste time validating your schedule comment, but SPX’s below, Please direct me to the GAHSA Book of Proven Facts you reference where it is written that SPX loose to teams “below the Atl line”. I will tell you this FACT (verifiable): SPX WINS at HOMEand has a number 1 seed we will be playing at HOME! Welcome to the JUNGLE!

Westminster Schools Away W 21-3
North Oconee High School Home W 50-14
Thomson High School Away L 14 – 21
Lovett School Home W 24-0
Towers High School – Homecoming Home W 48-6
McNair High School Avondale Stadium W 34-0
Cedar Grove – Parochial Schools Night Home W 38-28
Woodward Academy Away L 14-20
Blessed Trinity – Senior Night Home W 24-17
Decatur High School Away W 48-0
Dawson County High School Home W 72-28
Hart County High School

Region 7-AAA

November 25th, 2012
12:16 pm

That kidsballcoach guy seems like a big time troll. I wouldn’t want my kids playing for him.

Son of Waco

November 25th, 2012
12:54 pm

This list of proven facts of team y’all have lost to that are located below the Atl line…..2003 lost to Statesboro…..2006 lost to NSWR……2009 lost to Peach co……2010 lost to carrollton….2011 lost to cario…..2012 Will lose to Waco…..From 2001-2012 SPX only played one team that’s located below the Atl line in the regular season and SPX lost that game…All i am saying is tell your coach for them to take the next step in GA high school football schedule more teams from below the Atl line, so when the playoffs come the physical play want be something new….

The lovett game is old so let’s talk about the Hart County game a little…Hart Co. Qb looked to be 5′9, so he had to roll out on passing plays to see the field and even then he only saw half the field….Them roll out plays caused gaps in the O-line which is where SPX got all their sacks from…Waco qb is at least 6′1 and always throws from the pocket and got a powerful arm that can throw 70 yards passes with great accuracy…I don’t see a real pass rusher on SPX defense, so we will stretch SPX defense to its limit and take advantage of their players in the open field….Also i saw Hart Co. have break away runs and not finish them with touchdowns …I promise SPX fans we will not have them same problems…. If any of our skill players get behind SPX defense they will not be caught…

Here is the link from the Waco game Fri if you want to makes some facts from the video because a debate without facts is stupid:

Seen a Few

November 25th, 2012
1:50 pm


You spewed the same stuff weeks before the Thomson game and even after they beat y’all by 14. Give it a break man. We welcome you and all of the Washington County Fans on Friday Night. Safe Travels!


November 25th, 2012
5:15 pm

7 AAA- Honored


November 25th, 2012
6:10 pm

Washington County has the 2nd hardest schedule in the state behind thomson, and SPX has the fourth. I cant wait til friday, it will be one hell of a game for both teams.


November 25th, 2012
6:11 pm

@sonofwaco, who is cario?? because im pretty sure we lost to a school called cairo, like the place in egypt

Son of Waco

November 25th, 2012
8:49 pm

Even the writer said it was a tight game than the score say and SPX coach admitted that they struggled early in the game…So do any SPX fan think the playoffs is the time to still be struggling with teams that shouldn’t stand a chance against y’all…Now on the other hand Waco played a team that was 10-1 and at their stadium and had everything to prove to all the polls that didn’t have them ranked and losing this game to Waco…All Waco did was dominate from the start of the game till the end of it and shocked a whole county….Championship teams dominates lesser opponents……..

Big Fan

November 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

10-1 and never ranked. Nice job

What the heck?

November 26th, 2012
9:32 am

Since when does the Catholic school St. Pius call its football field “The Jungle”, and if so why? I think that poster must be a young student.


November 26th, 2012
9:34 am

Every week I find that the St. Pius bloggers are by far the most aggressively defensive of their team. What is up with that? Relax and just try to have a normal conversation.

Big Fan

November 26th, 2012
10:36 am

The Golden Lions thus the Jungle. Been that way for awhile. SMH..Look at Son of Waco’s aggressive start to the whole blog.


November 26th, 2012
4:42 pm

My daughters went to SPX and I believe they said that “The Jungle” refers to a place in front of the bleachers that is reserved for the most enthusiastic student boosters.


November 26th, 2012
9:14 pm

Thanks for the video, Ok watched it and?????? WACO really could have taken it easy on Callaway, running the score up on a beaten team who had negative hards of offense just so you guys can maintain your high scoring average? Really? The thing that counts is the score at the end of the game Friday night.


November 27th, 2012
12:56 pm

@kidsballcoach — Really, when SPX had their starting fullback score a touchdown in the 4th quarter of the beat down over Dawson, with a 37-point lead at the time, were you equally disgusted about running up the score? People in glass houses . . .


November 27th, 2012
4:15 pm

SMH, If you were at the game, I sincerely doubt you would stand by that statement. Believe it or not the game was back and forth and was not until the 4th QTR (following the Braswell score) that it became a break out. A bad snap, interception etc and PIUS put on a couple quick scores, before that, when Ryan went across it was to put the game away. Look at our record and scores, Pius takes a knee regularly vs running up the score. Your opinion is yours and my work in aggravating SOW is mine.


November 28th, 2012
9:12 am

All I know is that this going to be one heck of a game Friday night. Pius is a very solid club on both sides of the ball, and I believe Washington County is a great matchup. Going to be one of those games they could play 10 times and the record will come out 5-5. Will home field advantage make a difference this Friday? The only two games Pius has lost, they put the ball on the ground 5 times in each game. WACO, you may want to rethink your take on Pius. Against Thomson, the #1 club, we layed the ball down 5 times and still had them on the ropes in their house. That may be the key to this game. If Pius can eliminate the fumbles, they will be tough to beat. I look forward to Pius fans and alumni all coming out in support and lifting the boys up, looking forward to it!