North Oconee is one of the few teams in the state that hasn’t played a game. The Titans, who have won two straight region championships, start this week by hosting No. 2 St. Pius.
Coach Terry Tuley’s team is jumping right into the fire, but they’re highly motivated after absorbing a 50-14 spanking at St. Pius a year ago. The Titans went on to have a great season. They didn’t allow a total of 50 points over their next five games, had three shutouts and limited two other teams to one score.
North Oconee will have a healthy Kawon Bryant back for his junior season. Bryant had a badly sprained ankle and missed a big chunk of the early games. He still finished with 1,174 yards and 14 touchdowns and is a highly recruited prospect.
North Oconee is on the cusp of making the state rankings, something that will likely occur if it knocks of St. Pius. North probably would have gone in the rankings ahead of Jefferson County, but the pollsters no doubt wanted to see the Titans play a game first.
Lions legs are golden: St. Pius will have an edge in the kicking game this year. The No. 2-ranked Golden Lions can be comforted by the presence of Thomas O’Leary, who put his mighty leg to work in the 27-13 opening win over Westminster.
O’Leary kicked field goals of 47 and 22 yards and blasted all but one of his kickoffs into the end zone, forcing Westminster to start each drive at the 20.
The St. Pius special teams even blocked a Westminster punt and returned it for a touchdown.
Don’t do that, you’ll only make them mad. Elbert County drove the ball inside the 10 on its first possession against Buford. That seemed to rile up the defense, which pushed Elbert back out of field goal range and made the Blue Devils turn it over on downs. Buford then scored on three of its next four possessions en route to a 46-7 win. The Buford defense then caused Elbert to go three-and-out the next four times it had the ball. By that time the matter was settled.
Jackson’s winning combination: The duo of quarterback Keenan Moore and receiver Quintavious Monday may be worth watching this year for Maynard Jackson. Moore threw for 227 yards, completing 9 of 17 passes. Monday caught three balls for 101 yards. Two of their hookups were for touchdowns of 38 and 48 yards.
Woodward bounces back: The War Eagles were dismissed from the state rankings after dropping their season opener, but they rebounded with a 25-6 win over Fayette County. Terry Googer, who does a little bit of everything for Woodward, ran for 87 yards and one touchdown, and caught a 41-yard touchdown pass. Googer has committed to play at South Carolina.