Gainesville turns its attention to region play after loss to Buford

Gainesville’s high-powered, pass-happy offense was no match for Buford’s running game and stingy defense.

Buford ran for 344 yards and limited Gainesville’s record-setting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to less than 200 yards passing as the Wolves routed Gainesville 38-14 Friday in a matchup of defending state champions.

Class AAA Buford earned a measure of revenge after losing to Gainesville 19-15 last season, the Wolves’ only loss (excluding two forfeits) in what would become their eighth state championship season in 12 years. It also was Buford’s fifth victory in six all-time meetings with the Red Elephants.

Gainesville will open play in Region 8-AAAAA next weekend at home against Winder-Barrow.

Here are some of the things we learned about Class AAAAA on Friday:

- The losing streak is over: North Springs entered play with the longest losing streak in Class AAAAA, a drought of 34 games that would have been 40 if not for a forfeit victory against Stone Mountain 2009. But the Spartans’ slump ended with a 35-34 victory against Class AA Hapeville Charter. The victory also was the first at the school for new coach Steve Horton, the former Lithia Springs coach who was hired from Mason Creek Middle School to replace Maj. (Ret.) Todd Powers.

- Region 6-AAAAA goes according to plan: This marked the first week of region play in 6-AAAAA, and the top three teams had no trouble, as expected. No. 2 Tucker got touchdowns from seven players in a 75-0 rout of North Atlanta. No. 3 Stephenson cruised past an Arabia Mountain team that played the Jaguars close last year. No. 5 M.L. King beat Southwest DeKalb 48-10, dropping the Panthers to 0-2 for the first time since 2005. Lakeside-DeKalb also won, beating Dunwoody for the second consecutive season.

- TCC still has Marist’s number: Thomas County Central’s 28-21 victory over Class AAAA Marist was the Yellow Jackets’ seventh win in eight all-time meetings. Only two of the games – Marist’s 35-21 victory in 2003 and Thomas County Central’s 34-16 win in 1997 – were decided by more than a touchdown, and three of the games were one-point contests. Thomas County Central quarterback Adam Choice had 145 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 70 yards in a game that was tied 14-14 at halftime.

- Fame can be fleeting: North Paulding was the talk of 5-AAAAA after knocking off defending region champion East Paulding 27-13 in the teams’ opener last week. But the Wolfpack didn’t stay at the top very long, losing to third-year program New Manchester 41-30. Critics who scoffed at New Manchester’s 2-0 start in 2012 were justified, as the Jaguars finished 2-8. Now New Manchester is alone in first place in the region at 3-0, with a victory against a strong playoff contender, and has to be considered a legitimate threat.

- Lakeside-Evans can take advantage: The Panthers pulled off one of the bigger surprises of the weekend when they rallied for a 23-14 victory against Thomson, the No. 10 team in Class AAA. Thomson, playing its first game after its opener against Burke County was cancelled because of bad weather, lost three fumbles, threw two interceptions and picked up 103 yards in penalties, according to the Augusta Chronicle, in squandering a 14-3 first-half lead. Lakeside had lost 12 of the previous 13 meetings with Thomson.

26 comments Add your comment

MC 12

September 7th, 2013
11:47 am

Wow! Good win for Buford, tough lost for Gainesville. That goes to show you that no matter how good the quarterback is and Watson is very good. You still need receivers who run good routes, have speed, SIZE and can CATCH the ball . Watson only threw the ball deep maybe 4 time with one completion. I will say it again! I dont care how good the quarterback is he needs good receivers like he had last year.

BW

September 7th, 2013
12:23 pm

Yes the receivers dropped some passes but to me it is the OL, they were soft and gave DW no time to throw most of the night!!

MC 12

September 7th, 2013
1:20 pm

@BW – I hope the OL gets harder by the end of the season, inwhich I think they will. They should be alright by the end of the regular season.

"THE CANNON RULES"

September 7th, 2013
1:32 pm

Well EAST PAULDING tried to get back on the winning track last night at WOODLAND / BARTOW…however the win doesn’t really tell much as while EAST won 30 / 0 BUT WOODLAND / BARTOW is now 0 / 3 on the season by a combined score of 3 / 107 against VILLA RICA, ALLATOONA and now EAST.

EAST tried different QB’s and scored with passing, on the ground, by a touchback and with an interception. After a scoreless 1st quarter EAST used the rest of the game learning how to play without Mitchell Webb the starting Senior QB who watched from the sidelines after being injured in last weeks game against NORTH.

EAST now has to visit PAULDING COUNTY next week before hosting a surprising NEW MANCHESTER team on the 20th who is now 3 / 0 after beating NORTH PAULDING last night.

Last night’s win was good to see but proved NOTHING as far as the coaching ability of Coach Goddard and talk in the stands was even stronger about how EAST can replace him. The kids HAVE to stay focused and win this coming week AT PAULDING COUNTY…that would put EAST at 2 / 1 on the season and in the region with the next game at home against NEW MANCHESTER then an away game at VILLA RICA… EAST has to go no worse than 2 / 1 over these 3 games (3 / 0 would be HUGE) before an open week. This gives Mitchell time to heal and be ready for the big games at the end of the schedule.

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!

JAB

September 7th, 2013
5:45 pm

Gainesville to me is just like Norcross, they were good last year, but not a #1 team this year!!!

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL & #1 IN THE STATE…

Longhorn nation

September 7th, 2013
7:35 pm

The only thing that resembles the sec is a lot of jail birds

itsonlywrite

September 7th, 2013
9:33 pm

@MC 12 the receivers that play this year ARE receivers that played last year. We’re only missing Harrison, Haymon, and one other guy. Lackey, Newman, Gaudlock played last year. We just had bad game given that the Buford defense is pretty tough.

@Jab Dont sleep on us. We played a top tier team Friday that could probably contend with any team in any classification. And on the contrary, in relation to Norcross, I think we regressed a lil while it seems Norcross regressed a lot. But there’s alot more season left. We lost 3 games last year(due to mistakes and complacency) We should be ok.

JAB

September 8th, 2013
8:10 am

@ itsonlywire, no sir indeed, my point is that Gainesville and Norcross was overated as thetwo top teams in their classifications, much respect for both teams my friend…

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL & #1 IN THE STATE…

JAB

September 8th, 2013
8:33 am

@ Longhorn nation, I hope you are not referring to my comment on Region 6AAAAA because if you are friend it just means that you are a hater, because we have top quality players and schools. Mays is one of the top athlectics & academic schools in APS, in Dekalb all of the schools in region 6AAAAA are academically sound. We at Stephenson graduate top quality players which many go on to play ball for D1 schools. Didn’t we proved that last year with 3 of our teams winning in the first round of the playpff and this year again with 3 of our teams ranked in the top 5.

Some of you guys really are annoying on here by saying things like that instead of congratulated schools with such talented players..

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL & #1 IN THE STATE…

5AReg6Fan

September 8th, 2013
6:02 pm

@JAB – Good come back to Longhorn Nation. He and a couple other posters hide their backward thinking and up bring thru faceless media like blogs to show their true ignorance. Kell HS has just as many jailbirds as any other school.

Did you see the new 5A rankings? Man, its region 6 top heavy!!!! (LOL)

“WE ARE TUCKER” – The Tigers have been RELEASED!!!

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

`1

September 8th, 2013
6:11 pm

Enter your comments here

JAB

September 8th, 2013
6:18 pm

@ 5AReg6Fan, yeah you right man, but I just hope AJC don’t drop Tucker too far down after Stephenson beats them Lol., @ I hope they put us on two other sides of the brackets, so that we can meet up at the Dome. In order for that to happen, Tucker needs to finish in 3rd place again…:)

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL & #1 IN THE STATE…

Black123456789

September 8th, 2013
8:44 pm

You can’t brag if your school haven’t won championship!

itsonlywrite

September 9th, 2013
4:42 am

@Jab … trust… we’re not overrated.. you’ll see lol

#ELEPHANTNATION

JAB

September 9th, 2013
7:27 pm

@ Black123456789, we can brag all we want too, because we’re still a relatively young school and have been a playoff contender every since we entered region play in the States top classification. RANKED EVERY YEAR IN THE TOP 10, CURRENTLY RANKED #2 right where we belong! Do you want to know Stephenson accomplishments they were in the quarter finals at the Dome, won their Region or came in 2nd place every year, lost the eventual state champion 3 times while playing in the top classification, has lead the state in D1 players over the last 5 years.

Stephenson has drop down a classification last year and dethrone Tucker as Region champs & won 2 games in the playoffs. NOTE: They probably would have been playing in the Dome if their QB hadn’t went down in the 1st half against (Ware County) with a rookie QB came into the game. ‘ENOUGH SAID!”

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL & #1 IN THE STATE…

raider from the start

September 9th, 2013
9:59 pm

East showed nothing in their victory except…they have forgotten how to block on the line of scrimmage and downfield, they have forgotten how to hit, they have lost all their intensity, their injured quarterback congratulates players when they “score” a cheap hit. This team is headed full throttle to mediocrity. I hate to see it, they have been there and done that. They don’t deserve to go through it again. It’s amazing how coach Goddard has dismantled a winning team so quickly. I hate to see it, I was optimistic when he was hired. I was wrong.

"THE CANNON RULES"

September 10th, 2013
8:00 am

@ raider from the start…

I (along with MANY in the stands around me last week) agree with you 110% about the Coach and what he has done to a fine EAST program. SO with that said…WHAT’S THE FIX?…How do you get a coach to understand HE IS NOT WANTED? Obviously the Booster Club doesn’t have the “juice”, “clout”, whatever you want to call it and from past experience with the School Board I don’t think they will intercede…actually they are probably HAPPY watching EAST and it’s boosters squirm and lose.

The change / fix has to happen QUICK, like when a doctor goes in and cuts out a fast spreading cancer, BEFORE it has the chance to permanently harm the patient!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!

Lifelong Friend

September 10th, 2013
1:46 pm

This isn’t a personal attack – just a different perspective on what’s going on at East. And no – I never went there, and have never visited the campus. But, I am a life-long (since 2nd grade) friend of one of the assistant coaches on Goddard’s staff. You will not find a harder working, more upstanding person to coach your football team. He has wanted to teach and coach for as long as I have known him, and he lives for success on the field and for the success of the individual kids that he coaches. It crushes me to think that parents look at any part of the effort or job that he does and think that ANYONE could do more.

Looking at East’s history, between 1991 and 2005, the school’s record was 38-109. That’s a winning percentage of .259. Coach Reid put the school on the map in his 6 seasons there, going 60-15 (.800). So far, Coach Goddard has gone 12-2 in his one season plus two games there (.857). I don’t know anything about the man or about the history of who the booster club wanted hired or anything like that, other than reading some of the posts on here. All I know is that – even if you argue he’s doing it with Reid’s players – he’s winning at a HIGHER winning percentage than Reid did with those players. And frankly, the sniping and grousing about needing to replace the coach looks (insert whatever adjective you’d like – stupid, insane, premature, sour grapes…..). I respect your posts. You do a nice job of stirring the pot on here about East and their opponents. But frankly, no one feels sorry for East or its booster club or its disgruntled parents who are talking about firing a coach who has lost 2 games out of 14. Please step back and take a deep breath before continuing to beat that drum – and consider for a second that the folks who are in place may – just may – know what they’re doing. 12-2 looks an awful lot like they do.

"THE CANNON RULES"

September 10th, 2013
2:44 pm

@ Lifelong Friend…

FIRST let me say this…I’m sure Coach Goddard is a fine individual PERSONALLY…and he is probably a good family man and wants nothing but the best for the kids he coach’s. BUT that DOES NOT address the problem at hand…You said yourself in your post that you have no connection to the school, have never been on the campus…you therefore have NO IDEA of how far the EAST program has really come in the last 6 years. Not just on the field but in the community support the team receives, the stands are loud and full for the games with the crowd swelling out onto the hillside.

The team used to take the field FIRED UP! EXPECTING TO WIN! They won games they probably shouldn’t have because they didn’t know better…they have played teams bigger, faster and more talented and came away with wins! This is what is MISSING NOW! You can see it from the stands, this is an EAST team that has NO DIRECTION…NO LEADERSHIP!!

Last year Coach GODDARD stepped into (Thanks to ANOTHER buddy of his) a VERY talented group of kids, a JR. QB who could both pass and run, (2) 1,000+ Yard rushers, a strong “O” line that protected the QB and a STINGY Defense! On top of that he had a Field Goal Kicker that we really don’t know how far he can kick one (remember the 61+ yard FG in the playoff loss). These were 100% kids that Coach Reid had trained and coached!!! Many of these kids have now moved on and you can see the difference as the UNDEFEATED Region 5 Champions from 2012 are now 1 / 1 and without the use of their on the field leader in Mitchell Webb the Starting Sr. QB. because the Coach you come on here to defend used him to RETURN PUNTS!!! How BONE HEADED kind of play calling is that? Read the other post from people from OTHER schools commenting on how STUPID that was…

I am not say Coach Goddard doesn’t have basic football knowledge, or that he wouldn’t be a decent assistant Coach at a different level. The problem is he is OVER HIS HEAD at AAAAA and has been out-coached so far in every game since coming to EAST. Most winning programs when they have to replace a WINNING Coach HIRE UP! They go out and find an individual to IMPROVE the team to take it to the NEXT LEVEL! In Coach Goddard EAST got a coach who has NEVER WON at ANY level!

I’ll give you 2 quick examples…the NORTH PAULDING game when they went for it on 4th down people were screaming in the stands…”Watch the FAKE”…he NEVER even considered it and NORTH converted on 4th…Later they tried the onside kick and recovered…these two plays were GAME CHANGERS that resulted in 14 points!

At this point Coach Goddard IS NOT as you put it 12 / 2…He is now 1 / 1 with kids he has really spent any time with. EAST travels to PAULDING COUNTY this week and has NEW MANCHESTER in “THE BONEYARD” next week…let’s see what happens with these two games.

STILL KEEPING THE FAITH!!!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!!

raider from the start

September 10th, 2013
4:55 pm

@Lifelong Friend Just as Cannon says, nobody is impugning the integrity, the personality or the willingness of coach Goddard. I’m sure he loves that team and the school. So do I, that’s why I am so concerned. If you could go to the film room and review the team year 2 for coach Reid vs coach Goddard, I feel certain you would be amazed at the difference. Coach Reid in year 2 taking a miserably losing team and coach Goddard in year 2 taking a superior team both making changes that reflect their coaching ability. I’ll take the coach Reid year 2 team any day. I have no relatives at East, my children graduated years ago. I go to the games for the love of the team, to support them and the band as a member of the community. I don’t pretend to know if coach Goddard should be replaced…I do know he needs to do a far better job.

JAB

September 10th, 2013
5:33 pm

HICKORY DICKORY DOC,
STEPHENSON, MLK & TUCKER ARE ON THE TOP,
REGION 6AAAAA IS THE HIGH SCHOOL SEC,
THE REST OF YOU LET IT BE
HICKORY DICKORY DOC….

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL &1 IN THE STATE…

POOMAN

September 11th, 2013
2:50 am

What beat GAINESVILLE was the trenches on both sides of the ball. Buford dominated the trenches all night. Keep DW off the field, hit him all night, stay in his face and keep him on the run and GAINESVILLE will be beat. It’s a one man show from what I saw in City Park. Gonna take a lot of mental/physical toughness for Gainesville to challenge for another state title. Someone other than DW has to step up and make some big plays on both sides of the ball. Question is……WHO WILL IT BE?

RealisticFan

September 11th, 2013
8:33 am

East commentary.

To me the difference is pretty simple. Paulding county for years have been mediocre at best in terms of competing successfully at the state level in athletics. When Coach Reid was brought in (I have no insight to how that all transpired), within his first year he made the football team, the parents, the student body, the community, and probably even the county school administrators feel as if they were SPECIAL. I remember that Christmas parade after going to the dome that first year, the Raider Brigade band and team brought up the rear of the parade like conquering heros coming home. The community pride was incredible, and in the span of a few short months WE felt special. We hoped it would last but were always fearful it would come crashing down Coach Reid had let the genie out of the bottle and we believed anything was possible. Often times undersized and with less athleticism the team continued to overachieve and the boys and community bought in fully. We hated the yearly rumors that Reid was looking at other more high profile jobs and exhaled each of the next 5 years when he came back. Then finally with seemingly his most talented and experienced team ever, Coach Reid moved on to begin the rebuilding process of the Tift County Blue Devils. We all wondered if he had stayed would that have been the year…….and after that demoralizing loss to Stephensen last year in which we were out played and coached in every facet(except special teams)……. We all knew we were no,longer special. The thought of reverting back to mediocrity hurts.

I’m not qualified to know who should be the coach, only that the coach needs to made the boys, the parents, the community, and us fans feel as if we are part of something SPECIAL when we sit down in those seats on Friday night. I don’t right now.

"THE CANNON RULES"

September 11th, 2013
9:19 am

@ RealisticFan…

GOOD POST…!!

STILL KEEPING THE FAITH!!!

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!!

JAB

September 11th, 2013
9:35 pm

@ RealisticFan, I just read your post and don’t agree with you for the mere fact that; winning your region and making the playoff in high school football is not mediocrity. We (ALL) get on here and jokingly trash talk, but on the real you have several school with a Region with many high school boys of whom work hard in the spring & summer believing and hoping that they can win their Region and make the playoffs.

It is a great accomplishment when your team makes the playoff and began the state playoff run, there are many teams who wish that they could be in your place, remember these are high school kids many of who would never play football on the next level, to some winning 2 games, breaking the 500 mark or even making the playoff is a great accomplishment. When you play different teams on the state level and loose it’s nothing to drop your head about, like you said you outplayed you or maybe even out coached, broken play, or loose on a field goal and maybe even your start player gets injured which was the case in the Stephenson game when they played Ware County (There QB broke his foot in the 1st quarter and they had to bring a nervous inexperience QB.

Remember these are High school guys playing, many of whom are learning their position not mature enough yet to learn all of the X’s and O’s of the game. NOTE: You guys have a nice facilities at EP, I really enjoyed myself last year when Stephenson played you guys. Good luck the rest of the season…!!!

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL &1 IN THE STATE…

JAB

September 11th, 2013
9:40 pm

Please forgive my typo’s, lack of proofreading, I wish AJC had an “edit” option on here…

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS AND REGION 6AAAAA, THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL &1 IN THE STATE…