North Gwinnett 35, Grayson 0

LOGANVILLE – Two things were confirmed Friday at Britt-Moody Field with the North Gwinnett Falcons’ 35-0 victory over the Grayson Rams. First, North Gwinnett – ranked No. 3 in AAAAAA – is a legit contender for a state title. Second, Grayson has fallen from the ranks of elite status, a luxury it has enjoyed the past six seasons.

The Bulldogs (2-0) jumped out to an early 16-0 lead thanks to three scores in a 1-minute span in the first quarter, highlighted by an Avery Elford safety, a 28-yard touchdown pass by Hayden Sphire to Nate Brown and a 52-yard interception return by Jaye Stackhouse.

The Bulldogs led 19-0 at halftime and 35-0 after three quarters, which led to a running clock in the fourth quarter.

Sphire, a first-year starting senior, completed 12 of his 26 passes for 115 yards and his main target, Brown, caught 6 passes for 72 yards. The Bulldogs relied almost solely on the passing game, gaining just 8 yards on three carries though the first three quarters. Starters were benched in the fourth quarter.

North Gwinnett appears poised for a deep run in the state playoffs after its 34-14 victory last week against then-No. 5 Camden County. The Bulldogs reached the state quarterfinals last year.

For the Rams (0-2), it was another tough opponent to start the season. They faced AAAAAA’s No. 1-ranked Colquitt County last week and lost 21-6.

Grayson never seemed to find its rhythm on offense, committing four turnovers – including two safeties.

The Rams now find themselves in unfamiliar territory after entering the season owning a 70-11 record since 2007, including an undefeated 2011 season that saw them win a state title.

The Bulldogs will seek to further validate themselves as a contender when they begin their 7-AAAAAA schedule next week at No. 6 Norcross. The defending state-champion Blue Devils are looking to rebound from its embarrassing 55-0 season-opening loss to Booker T. Washington (Fla.), which was televised on ESPN.

The Rams will host Parkview to open their 8-AAAAAA schedule.

North Gwinnett 16 3 16 – 35

Grayson 0 0 0 0 – 0

N – Avery Elford Safety

N – Nate Brown 28 pass from Hayden Sphire (Michael D’Angola kick)

N – Jaye Stackhouse 52 INT (D’Angola kick)

N – D’Angola 37 FG

N – Wesley Edwards 1 run (D’Angola kick)

N – Noah Lyman Safety

N – Jacob McCoy 7 Fumble Recover (D’Angola kick)

Follow Adam Krohn @AdamKrohnAJC.

24 comments Add your comment

Camden74

August 30th, 2013
10:10 pm

North Gwinnett is looking like the states number 1 team in 6A…….. :-)

O.G.

August 30th, 2013
10:55 pm

OUCH!!!! Rams rebuilding, Should still do well in region and limp into playoffs……….Region 8 all almost in rebuild year……..Parkview will be on top again after long absence. Lots of young talent on Grayson with heck of a future, just hope they can bounce back from these beatings this early in season. Grayson might be 0 and 3 before they have a shot at a win but young ones may not know how to bounce back. Season prediction 6 and 4 regular season and making a little noise in the playoffs if Coach Conn can make some magic happen and pick theses kids up after 3 straight beatings. Have faith, you can do it.

Sportsnut

August 30th, 2013
11:24 pm

Slow your roll there 74. Lovejoy 41, Mundy’s Mill 12. We are coming !

Camden74

August 30th, 2013
11:32 pm

Sportsnut……Until I see something different, gotta go with what I know! You guys will have your shot, soon! :-)

ole ram

August 30th, 2013
11:46 pm

coaching NG 35 coaching G 0, young ones have talent ole coaching does not gain results, Conn has no magic just blowing smoke.

Sportsnut

August 30th, 2013
11:52 pm

I hear you 74. That’s reasonable.

Suwanee 0wns

August 31st, 2013
7:16 am

It is way too early to crown North Gwinnett, Camden74. Last year North was defeated by Norcross and Lovejoy. While the North defense was stout against Lovejoy, the Lovejoy D-Line dominated the game. Until we see otherwise, I think we have to assume that Lovejoy would do the same thing this year.

Given Lovejoy’s weak division there is a strong possibility they will enter the playoffs undefeated and uninjured. They simply have to beat the now exposed Colquitt (1W – 1L) next week, before running the table in their division. I would think a Camden fan would know all about running the table in a weak division after their years in the East Coast Georgia Pony League.

North still has to slog through a Gwinnett meat grinder in Norcross, Collins Hill, and Mill Creek among others. And no matter how they do in those games, the resurgent Peachtree Ridge will be happy to knock them off in the final game of the regular season. There are plenty of great games of Georgia High School football remaining in the regular season before the playoff picture comes into focus.

Way too early to even consider favoring North over Lovejoy; even if the Camden fans want to pretend they could only have been beaten by the Number 1 team in Georgia. McEachern also looks mighty tough.

Good luck to Camden this season. I think they have to be the odds on favorite to win Region 1 of 6A. Lowndes impressive win over Luella, wasn’t really very impressive.

Hopefully, I have insulted everyone, and y’all are now free to kick me on the ground and spit on the corpse.

blowfish

August 31st, 2013
7:56 am

Conn accused the kids of not having heart. Character is revealed in adversity. Conn’s character is being revealed. He talks about selflessness and sacrifice. In the end, it’s all about him. He should have gone to Clemson when he had the chance.

blowfish

August 31st, 2013
8:18 am

With Andrews at the NG DC, Grayson never had a chance. Conn and his staff are confused. Instead of passing out of the wingT, he goes to passing formations which completely gives away the deception factor of the wingT. He does not have the QB to run a wingT spread. Get the right people on the offensive side of the ball and grind it out. Here’s another observation – in seasons past, when the kids came off the field, they were coached by position coaches. Last night, that didn’t happen. the coaches checked out.

ole ram

August 31st, 2013
8:49 am

very well stated blowfish. there is plenty of coachable talent on that Grayson team however they need a real coach.

DOSTA DAWG

August 31st, 2013
9:01 am

Thats what happens when you don’t have any transfers our Div1 players, you have to coach up what you have!!! I’d like to see what would happen to a couple of North Georgia schools if they had to play without transfers and all the Blue-Chip prospects.

Sportsnut

August 31st, 2013
9:19 am

Cycles. It runs in cycles. It is time for another group of schools to be on top. There are schools on the rise and a few coming back into focus after their lull. A few of the powers are starting to see what the other teams see, those that have been looking up at them for a few years now. Right now, Grayson would lose to Rockdale County and East Coweta. From what is taking place right now, Region 2 and 3 can compete. If the upper echelon wants to stay there, they had better get things fixed now.

Although it is early, time is running out.

grayram

August 31st, 2013
11:31 am

Ole Ram you spouted the same nonesense when The Rams were undefeated or a 1 loss team. Still pouting about not getting any playing time i expect.

Sportsnut, Losing to Colquitt and North Gwinnett is hardly a reason to think the Rams would lose to Rocckdale or any other teams from that region.

Dosta Dawg. Most of the players that graduated played at Grayson all the way from 8th grade on. Im sure that occassionly a high school athlete even moves into Lowndes county.

Observer

August 31st, 2013
11:35 am

After watching the game last night, Grayson’s offense needs some re-structuring. The offense gave up 18 points, turned the ball over multiple times, and had a ton of penalties. You can’t win that way. They made North’s defense look like they were doing something great. Grayson’s offense was just that bad. On a positive note, I did notice a Grayson defense that was coached very well. They held North’s high powered offense down pretty darn good. North rushed for almost 200 yards and threw for over 200 yards against Camden last week. Grayson’s defense kept North’s passing game in check and allowed maybe 10 yards rushing last night. Grayson’s D-coordinator didn’t check out. He did some good coaching. But, the defense had their backs against the wall the entire game, just like the Colquitt game last week. Grayson’s offense really needs to get it together, if they want to contend this year.

Camden74

August 31st, 2013
12:18 pm

Suwanee Owns……I have to call it like I see it. Right now, North Gwinett has shown more than any other school in Class 6A, regardless of who they’ll play in the future. They’ve played two perennial powers in GHSF and have comfortably defeated both. I’m sure they’ll run into a defense that will be able to pressure their QB, that’s when we’ll truly know if they’re for real or not. But, as it stands right now, NG is the TOP Team in 6A…….One of these days, the CATS will be, RELEASED! :-D

NGHS 09

September 1st, 2013
12:52 am

@ Observer…The truth is a rough pill to swallow. NG’s defense dismantled Grayson’s offense worse than Colquitt did. Grayson has a very good team, but they aren’t showing it right now. Sloppy play doesn’t mean that NG’s defense was not great, because they actually were. They stopped everything Grayson tried to do. Literally everything…inside, outside, and through the air. Sphire has Conn’s number and having Andrews as our new DC certainly helped…BUT remember now that NG embarrased Grayson last year on their own field just the same. I’m still waiting on a Grayson fan to admit (or realize) that most turnovers are CAUSED, not just given away. Grayson’s team this year reminds me of 2010’s team. The season is young.

NGHS 09`

September 1st, 2013
12:58 am

Also, Hayden Sphire was in quick drop mode all night because of the anticipated Grayson heavy pass rush. However, this strategy was not actually needed since there wasn’t any real pass rush threat from Grayson. If Sphire would have let his son sit back in the pocket, the score would have been worse. That’s not just observation, that’s a football fact. These receivers only need 2 or 3 seconds to get open and when Hayden gets in rhythym, it’s like a firework show; great spiral and accuracy…throws short, med. and deep balls very well. The OL has done an oustanding job keeping Hayden upright.

Camden74

September 1st, 2013
12:42 pm

NGHS 09…….Someone will figure out a way to pressure NG’s QB, let’s see what happens then. NG’s offense right now is based strictly on timing. How the team responds when that timing is disrupted will tell the story……….One of these days, the CATS will be, RELEASED! :-D

bksmith14

September 1st, 2013
3:34 pm

nghs09…. you guy blew away camden and grayso . neither team has the defenses they usually have. however this north gwinnett team is legit and deserves to be number 1 right now.

Camden74

September 1st, 2013
5:22 pm

CoffeeC100, CoffeeTrojan#44…….Who’s Will Gardner, is he a former Coffee QB? :-)

Fred

September 2nd, 2013
12:21 am

Someone from Valdosta talking transfers like there isn’t a revolving door in Valdosta? Really?

Fred

September 2nd, 2013
12:24 am

@Blowfish – Please tell us all what your credentials are so that we can better understand your basis for your sterling observations. I mean, do you coach at the 6A level in Gwinnett or some similar level? It certainly would help your position which otherwise looks a lot like envy from here.

Observer

September 2nd, 2013
10:10 am

@ NGHS 09….As an objective observer, I am only saying what I saw. North’s defense is really good. They also have a really good offense. Grayson’s offense needs to get it together. They did not look like a varsity level team on offense. Of course, most turnovers are always caused; but some turnovers are just bad play. i.e under throwing passes, fumbling snaps, etc. North’s quarterback is really good, so is their running back. With that being said, as an observer, Grayson’s defense disrupted North’s offense. North had to throw in quick mode, because of the pressure. Throwing the ball almost 30 times; for maybe 100 yards…and maybe getting a couple yards rushing. A little over 100 yards of total offense. A team can’t continue to win with those stats. I’m sure North’s coaches are not pleased with their offensive performance. It’s going to be interesting to see if other teams will mimic the way Grayson played defense; especially teams with an offense that can score points.

prof.jess

September 2nd, 2013
7:01 pm

North Gwinette is the team to beat and I believe it will be the Colquitt County packers. I am not a CC Packer fan. Prost is a jerk. But a fairly good coach. Lowndes would be okay but the coach Mc Pherason is dumb. He will not or cannot throw the ball and he does not play his best players. He has the good old boy syndrom.