Here’s a recap of the big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 2:
*Rough debut for Tanks: Southwest DeKalb, playing its first game since Buck Godfrey resigned after 30 seasons as the Panthers’ head coach, were upset by Pebblebrook in coach Michael Tanks’ debut. Pebblebrook was 0-10 last season and lost to Southwest DeKalb 23-0. Godfrey is DeKalb County Schools’ winningest coach with a 273-89-1 record. Tanks, who played for Godfrey’s first two Southwest DeKalb teams, has been out of coaching for the past five years to spend time with his school-age children.
*Watson Watch: Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson, who last season became the state’s career leader in passing yardage and touchdowns, got off to a hot start, leading the defending state champions to a 58-28 victory against Class AAAAAA West Forsyth. Watson passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score, according to the Gainesville Times. He needs about 278 more yards to become the first 10,000-yard passer in state history. Gainesville plays at home next week against AAA No. 1 Buford.
*5-AAAAA is upside down: Nowhere were the upsets more widespread than in 5-AAAAA, where two of the four playoff teams from last season lost their openers. East Paulding, which won the region title in 2012, had its 12-game regular-season winning streak broken in a 27-13 loss to North Paulding. Rome, the No. 3 seed last year, opened the 2013 season with a 42-35 loss to South Paulding. And Hiram, which went to the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, lost to a Paulding County team that was 4-27 since 2010.
*Missed opportunity: Thomas County Central led Class AAAAAA Valdosta 24-14 but allowed 14 points in the fourth quarter and lost 28-24. Valdosta used several big plays to escape the upset. Malcolm Joseph returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score, and Nelson Herring had two long touchdown runs – an 80-yarder in the first quarter and a 91-yarder that was the game-winner with 5:09 to play. Thomas County Central quarterback Adam Choice rushed for 187, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.
*Notable: Winder-Barrow, which went 4-46 over the past four seasons, beat Jackson County 26-21 for its first opening-game victory since 2007. Chandon Sullivan ran for three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter. … Creekside, playing its first game since the death of cornerback De’Antre Turman, beat Class AAAAAA Hughes 16-14. Turman died after suffering a broken neck in the Seminoles’ scrimmage two weeks ago. The game also was the debut of Creekside coach Olten Downs, who was hired from Riverdale. … Northside-Warner Robins junior Willie Jordan, making his first start at tailback, had 147 of the fourth-ranked Eagles’ 256 yards rushing in a 28-6 victory against No. 9 Flowery Branch.