By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
After a handful of games on Friday, we learned a couple of things: ELCA is still pretty good, and several teams in Class A are chomping at the bit to knock them and Emanuel County Institute off of their thrones.
Washington County 6, No. 1 ELCA 0 (Postponed before half time). The Chargers were giving the Golden Hawks, ranked No. 5 in Class AAA, all they wanted for most of the first half before the game was called. ELCA had a scoring chance after a long drive but missed a short field goal.
No. 10 Athens Academy 41, Glascock County 8. The Spartans led 34-0 at the half and never looked back. Athens Academy has outscored Glascock 81-14 in the past two season openers.
No. 2 Brooks County (AA) 26, Clinch County 14. It looks like Clinch might be Clinch again this season as this one was much more respectable than last season, when Brooks throttled the Panthers 43-3. Brooks is the No. 2 ranked team in Class AA.
Landmark Christian 30, Calvary Day 22. So far so good for Landmark without Jeremiah Kirkland. The All-State senior running back transferred to Lovejoy, but Darius Smith appears ready to pick up the slack. He scored two touchdowns, including the game clincher from 39 yards out with 5 minutes left, to lead the War Eagles to their third win over Calvary Day in four tries.
Holy Innocents 28, Lakeside-DeKalb 14. Jack Pfohl had touchdown runs of 90 and 3 yards in the win for the Bears, giving them 14 Power Ranking points with the victory over a Class AAAAA opponent.
Walker 21, Temple 0. It looks like Walker will be more pass oriented this season with 2,000-yard rusher Evan Kasian gone. Wolverine quarterback Cameron Bloebaum threw three touchdown passes in the win over Class AA Temple.
No. 3 Prince Avenue Christian 54, St. Francis 7. The debut of new Wolverine head coach Jeff Herron, formerly of Camden County, went as planned. PAC rode the efforts of two fresh faces to the win – senior Max Moorman and transfer student Zantravious Shields. Moorman, who scored a touchdown, broke his ankle in Game 2 and missed the rest of the season last year. Shields transferred from North Oconee, and rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
No. 5 Lincoln County 41, McCormick (S.C.) 0. The Red Devils recorded their second shutout in as many season openers over McCormick, as All-State running back Mike McIntire ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback LaKeith Lockhart tossed a pair of scoring strikes to Jamar Norman.
Aquinas 52, East Laurens 14. Liam Welch threw three touchdown passes to lead the Irish to their first win in the post Brendan Douglas/Matt LaZotte era. LaZotte led the school to its most successful two-year run in history, and Douglas is now pushing for playing time in the UGA backfield (more on that in a second).
Darlington 50, Murphy (N.C.) 6. The Tigers led 35-0 at the half and never looked back, beating a coach who has compiled over 300 wins in North Carolina.
Douglas representing for Class A
In an interesting turn of events that is sure to make Class A athletes, coaches and parents smile, it appears Brendan Douglas, formerly a Class A All-State RB/LB at Aquinas, is neck-and-neck with J.J. Green in the race for the third-string running back spot at UGA – behind perhaps the nation’s best college backfield tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Green is a former Class AAAAA All-State performer as a RB/DB and return specialist.
So much for the stigma that Class A players are “too something” – too small, too slow, too short, too whatever … And it will be interesting to see how Jeremiah Kirkland does at Lovejoy. Early indications are that he will be just fine.
Now it’s your turn. Until Tuesday ….