Gainesville’s Watson begins bid to become state’s first 10,000-yard passer

Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson, who broke the state’s career records for passing yardage (9,360) and passing touchdowns (108) as a junior in 2012, gets a chance to begin padding those stats on Friday when the Red Elephants travel to West Forsyth.

Watson passed for 4,011 yards and 50 touchdowns last season in leading Gainesville to its first state championship. He also rushed for 1,441 yards and 24 touchdowns. Another season like that one will put him at almost 13,400 career passing yards. Only one other player in Georgia history has passed for more than 9,000 yards in his career – Metter’s Zach Stanford had 9,062 from 2001 to 2004.

Against West Forsyth last year, Watson pass for 304 yards, rushed for 60 and accounted for four touchdowns. But he also threw four interceptions – half of his season total – in a 32-30 West Forsyth victory. West Forsyth went on to win its first region title and finished 10-2, losing to Parkview 26-23 in overtime in the second round of the playoffs.

Here are some of the other big games involving Class AAAAA teams this weekend:

*Flowery Branch at Northside-Warner Robins: This was supposed to be a good game last year, too – and it was for a half – but Northside blew it open in the third quarter. The 45-7 victory launched the Eagles on their way to a third consecutive 10-0 regular season. Flowery Branch lost again the following week against West Forsyth but then won eight straight to capture the Region 8-AAAAA title over state champion Gainesville. Northside lost 14 of 22 starters from last year but always seems to reload.

*North Paulding at East Paulding: North Paulding made the first playoff appearance in the school’s five-year history last year and was fairly competitive with East Paulding in a 38-17 loss. East’s Kamani Thomas and Kyler Neal, who both graduated after rushing for more than 1,000 yards, combined for almost 400 yards against North Paulding. Quarterback Mitchell Webb and several good linemen return for East Paulding, but the Raiders will be looking for capable replacements in the backfield.

*Thomas County Central at Valdosta: Thomas County Central played Colquitt County in Week 2 last season, but Colquitt wanted out of the return date so that it could play Hoover, Ala., on television. So Thomas County Central ended up with Valdosta, which lost its date with last year’s opponent, North Augusta, S.C. Thomas Central and Valdosta both played Colquitt County last season, and both were two-point games. Valdosta won 38-36, and Thomas County Central lost 35-33.

*Elsewhere: Ware County, the Class AAAAA runner-up in 2012, travels to Class AAAAAA Coffee, which handed the Gators their only regular-season loss last season. … DeKalb County’s M.L. King and Stephenson will take on Florida teams at Hallford Stadium on Saturday in the Battle of the Borders High School Showdown. Fifth-ranked M.L. King will play Blanche Ely of Pompano Beach at 5:15, followed by third-ranked Stephenson against Norland of Miami Gardens at 8:30. … Creekside will be playing with heavy hearts when it hosts Class AAAAAA Hughes. It will be the Seminoles’ first game since junior De’Antre Turman died after being injured in a scrimmage two weeks ago.

10 comments Add your comment

"THE CANNON RULES"

August 29th, 2013
12:40 pm

It’s gonna get FUN in “THE BONEYARD” tomorrow night as the Wolf Pack from NORTH PAULDING come calling…What a way to OPEN the season…Last year’s Region 5 Undefeated Champions against one of last year’s Region 5 Playoff winners!!! NORTH PAULDING is just “chomping at the bit” to beat EAST and the Raider’s don’t lose many in “THE BONEYARD”…

There is going to be a packed house and as loud and exciting as you could expect for a GREAT Friday night of football! Counting on the CANNON getting plenty of use, this one is going to be a “BARN-BURNER”!!!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!

JAB

August 29th, 2013
1:40 pm

Hopefully in the Battle of the Boarders at Hallford stadium when fifth-ranked M.L. King will play Blanche Ely of Pompano Beach at 5:15, followed by third-ranked Stephenson against Norland of Miami Gardens at 8:30. … We will show the Florida teams what Georgia teams are really made out of in the tuff tuff region of 6AAAAA.

ifth-ranked M.L. King will play Blanche Ely of Pompano Beach at 5:15, followed by third-ranked Stephenson against Norland of Miami Gardens at 8:30. … C

JAB

August 29th, 2013
1:42 pm

Hopefully in the Battle of the Boarders at Hallford stadium when fifth-ranked M.L. King will play Blanche Ely of Pompano Beach at 5:15, followed by third-ranked Stephenson against Norland of Miami Gardens at 8:30. … We will show the Florida teams what Georgia teams are really made out of in the tuff tuff region of 6AAAAA.

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL…

5AReg6Fan

August 29th, 2013
3:14 pm

Flowery Branch/Northside-Warner Robins – The Eagles graduation loses from last year will not matter against FB. NSWR is a program that reloads – look for an Eagle victory, especially at the famous MAC. NSWR will be WELL on the way to another 10-0 regular season record. No one stands in the way but possibly the Demons of Warner Robins. NSWR competition comes in the 3rd round of the playoffs, facing region 6. Thought: If the Falcons surprise the Eagles and the rest of 5A, with a victory – Will this drop an annual top TEN team from the polls?

North Paulding/East Paulding – Now this game should draw the attention of most 5A fans – could truly be the game of the week for 5A matchups. NP appears to be a team on the raise in region 5. EAST biggest weapon, home advantage and “THE CONNON”. (LOL) I’ll be looking forward to seeing the results of this one and the comments from region 5 resident posters.

Thomas County Central/Valdosta – As a 5A supporter, backing goes out to Mr. Choice and the Yellow Jackets. A TCC victory over GA Historic Valdosta program will certainly give us 5A posters, ammunition against the mighty 6A region 1 supporters.

Ware County/Coffee – Much like the TCC/Valdosta match up. More positive posting comments for 5A with a Gator victory against the Trojans.

The Battle of the Borders – Featuring two of DeKalb’s and 5A TOP HS football programs, will have all of DeKalb County closed starting at 5:15. This showcase will have region 6 fans, wearing their individual school colors and sitting together cheering on the Jaguars and Lions – someone needs to take a picture of the stands at Halliford stadium, because this will be the last such spectacular event, for the 2013 HS football regular season. As my handle name suggest, Stephenson & MLK victories over the FLA teams, bring back redemption for GA. Oh, this allows Tucker to scout their regular season arch enemies, much like they scouted the Tigers last week. (LOL)

RISE UP JAGS & LIONS, you got our support, for this week!!!!

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

"THE CANNON RULES"

August 29th, 2013
4:03 pm

@ 5AReg6Fan…When a team goes UNDEFEATED and wins the REGION Title as EAST did last year…it’s no “CON”NON it’s ALL “CAN”NON!!! and EAST CAN and DOES!!!!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!!

Old Man Peabody

August 29th, 2013
6:50 pm

ML King should beat Ely pretty easy, they went 5-5 last yr and they have been pretty bad for a few yrs now. There best player is LB Terry McCray I think he’s committed to Miami. They also have a 1st yr coach, so I don’t know what offense they will run. Norland was decent last yr at 8-3 but they moved into Miami Central and Northwestern district this yr so they probably won’t make the playoffs since only the top 2 make it. They have 2 decent WRs, one has a few FBS offers, he’s about 6-6 190lbs. I want to see if they can pass on the Jaguars. As a FL fan, I think GA should take both of these games, with the Norland-Stephenson game being a little more competitive because of Norland’s passing game.

JAB

August 29th, 2013
9:11 pm

“STRAP IT UP, LETS PLAY SOME FOOTBALL!”

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL…

blu eagle

August 30th, 2013
8:07 am

5reg6fan Well Played! must agree totally with your analysis, you know your high school football.NSWR is not looking forward to a Region 6 matchup, you guys are scrappy and strong every year if we get that far, new year, new expectations! Are you ready for some football!!!

5AReg6Fan

August 30th, 2013
9:56 am

@THE CANNON RULES – My badd dawg, typo, that’s what I get for multi-tasking. (LOL) Should have read CANNON. Yes, 2012 the RAIDERS, went undefeated and claimed region 5 championship and possibly could reach that feat in 2013. But I would think you would agree, adding strong competition will make a team better prepared when its money time – PLAYOFFS. Like I said previous, looking forward to see if the Raiders hold home court (THE BONEYARD).

@blu eagle – We long time fans of Tucker, know very well what NSWR abilities are yearly and certainly Eagle fans know their state championships went straight thru a region 6 team – (Marist, 2006 & Tucker, 2007). Region 6 has added a couple of new players, which will make the ride to 5A championship even more challenging, not only for others in 5A, but the other region 6 teams as well. Looking forward to seeing the outcome of NSWR/FB game to verify my prediction where correct.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

itsonlywrite

August 30th, 2013
10:48 pm

if Flowery Branch would let the 3rd string QB from last year start and put the starting QB at flanker or something, they would be better.