Topics from Friday: North Gwinnett power … Norcross outage … 87-0? … Archer & Grayson … Room in the Top 10

North Gwinnett became the first No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA to defend it ranking successfully this season with its 36-17 victory over Norcross.

The Bulldogs trailed 14-0 on the road but dominated most of the final three quarters.  Hayden Sphire threw four touchdown passes, all to Nate Brown.

What’s the story with Norcross? Nobody should given up on what is probably the most talented roster in AAAAAA, but it’s hard to figure how a team that returns 16 starters from a 15-0 team can be handled pretty easily twice.

This is a little unlike 2012 Grayson, which returned a similar talent from a 15-0 team last year. Grayson remained a dominant team, except twice when it made multiple turnovers. This Norcross is not close to last season’s form. Not yet.

Other topics that emerged from Friday:

- Should Region 1 teams schedule a Savannah opponent again? Region 1 powerhouses Lowndes and Camden County played smaller Savannah schools in non-region games Friday, and the scores were ugly. Lowndes beat Windsor Forest 87-0, and Camden County beat Beach 91-6. Did they run up the score? Let’s not say that. Five freshmen scored touchdowns for Camden. But can’t they find somebody more competitive to play? It is that hard?

- Can Archer win Region 8? Archer, a 4-year-old school in Lawrenceville, avenged a heart-breaking 2012 loss and beat Brookwood 25-20 to improve to 3-0 in a pivotal Region 8 game. Brookwood is 0-3 for the first time since 1986. Archer will settle for making the playoffs, but this team is thinking championship at the moment.

- Did anyone doubt Grayson? An 0-2 start (losses to No. 1 North Gwinnett and No. 3 Colquitt County) doesn’t mean Grayson isn’t the team to beat in Region 8. The Rams avenged a 2012 loss and beat Parkview 34-10. Grayson is 44-4 in Region 8 since 2008. This is a team that replaced 21 starters, but the talent is there to get back to the top, especially with no ranked team at the moment in the region.

– What happened to North Cobb? North Cobb made the semifinals in 2012 and returned its quarterback, preseason all-state Tyler Queen. The offense didn’t get going Friday. Walton, on the brink of its first 0-3 start since 1988, upset the Warriors 28-13 as sophomore Karekin Brooks had 46 carries for 228 yards and scored three touchdowns. Walton takes pride in its defense, and last season’s 49-17 beating to North Cobb wasn’t easy to take.

- Who makes the Top 10 now? No. 10 Marietta was ranked for the first time since 2007 but failed to validate it. Hillgrove beat the Blue Devils in a Region 4 game 21-13. Richardre Bagley scored all three of Hillgrove’s touchdowns. Hillgrove (3-0) has avenged losses to Lassiter and Marietta.  So Norcross, North Cobb and Marietta each lost. Should we have three new Top 10 teams? The top undefeated contenders to replace them, if three are spit out, are Hillgrove, Valdosta, Coffee and Archer.

117 comments Add your comment

CoffeeC100

September 14th, 2013
3:01 am

Yeah Todd. The Camden and Lowndes scores were vulgar. I made a comment on another blog in which I asked BK and Camden74 why they didn’t just start punting the ball back on 1st down after they were ahead by 60 points and everyone on each team and the band and water girls all had a quarter or so of playing time. Seems that I remember teams doing that back in the dark ages when I played, (The early to mid ’60’s) It was just common courtesy to the already humiliated teams.

Laheinus McCoggle

September 14th, 2013
3:01 am

Coffee has the 2nd hardest schedule in the state behind Colquitt County. Has beaten Whitewater, Ware County and Burke County soundly, all of which were rank in the top 10 when we beat them. Ranking are overrated because the games are decided on the field not by journalist or coaches. A passing attack in high school football gives opposing defenses major problems, combined with a solid defense makes Coffee a force to be reckoned with. We are not the same old Coffee County teams in the past we have a proven head coach a lot of talent and believes in the system thats been implemented, GO TROJANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CoffeeC100

September 14th, 2013
3:26 am

On who deserves to be in the top ten. Coffee was pretty impressive tonight. 32 unanswered points after being down 14-0. That’s poise. Coffee’s Nose Guard really got into the head of the Bears Center big time tonight.

3-0 against pretty respectable teams. Two top 10 AAAAA schools, Whitewater and Ware, and top 5 AAAA Burke and their Mr Green tonight. They may be in lower classifications but all three are still unbeaten except for Coffee. (And all may very well still be ranked after this weekend.)

I know it doesn’t really count until region play but IMO Coffee finally, for the first time, has a program that believes in itself courtesy of Coach Robby and his staff. A word on the future. fifty percent of The Trojans are Freshmen and Sophomores. With eight starting and many more running in and out to keep the team fresh.

Please forgive my enthusiasm… But it’s been so long since we Trojan fans have had a program to be truly excited about and proud of.

And by the way. Mr. Green is all that. He is truly an exceptional football player and very frustrating to contain.

Let’s play some football!

High 5

September 14th, 2013
6:41 am

Region 1 better take notice of Coffee Co now! They are a force to be reckoned with! I see them finishing in second place. I still have Colquitt Co winning the region but they better not sleep on those Trojans because they could easily come in first! They made it through a brutal first half schedule! Now the fun begins!!!!

DA CAT FAN

September 14th, 2013
6:50 am

After seeing Valdosta Friday, I do not consider them a top ten team. They looked very, very, very, very sloppy Friday. Valdosta has the talent, but mentally and physically, they are not ready for 1AAAAAA or AAAAAA all together. The loss of their starting QB has crippled them in the passing game. The Valdosta defense is somewhat overrated. They are very poor tacklers and show a weakness in pass coverage as well. Against a strong team, all of this will be evident. I guess they are going to try to jet sweep their way through the region. Maybe Gillespie wants an excuse to move down to five A, where he may be more competitive. He will have a tough time this season in 1AAAAAA. I am sorry cat fans, I’m just calling it like I see it. You can’t just show up in this region, you have to show up ready to play. Valdosta looked like they implemented their game plan just before game time.

5-Time

September 14th, 2013
7:01 am

Did Camden and Lowndes set some kind of record in GA last night? When was the last time 2 teams from the same Region scored more than 85 points while limiting their opponents to under 7 points??

MADDBALL

September 14th, 2013
7:03 am

until coffee or valdosta lose,,imo i feel they should be ranked..coffee is impressive on both sides of the ball…nobody’s sleeping on them,,another sleeper in region 1 is tift co. but tift havent played a more brutal schedule than coffee and colquitt but any undefeated team is someone 2 keep your eye on..we shall see in a couple of weeks how things play out. goooo pack

5-Time

September 14th, 2013
7:16 am

I feel like Lowndes didn’t run up the score. I believe the 2nd team players have something to prove. They have to showcase their talents and athletic abilities to the Coaches. Those kid’s are competing for a starting job when their time comes. So no, they didn’t run up the score. The most important thing is that those young kid’s got valuable playing time.

Reeze

September 14th, 2013
7:22 am

Looks like a big 3rd rounder between Lovejoy and NG in the playoffs if both teams win out……Should be a big one looking fwd to it.

Southern GA Pride

September 14th, 2013
7:43 am

In two weeks Lowndes wont score 87 points. Warning: The Packers are coming!

68 Viking

September 14th, 2013
7:46 am

Todd now lowndes did not run up the score we play who’s on next on the list. To pull up and not let your kids play is just plain wrong headed. Coach Mac played his best in the first half. Then played his JV and younger. One should not let PC decide the out come of an sporting event. It would have been just as WRONG to tell your team to let up and not do your best. It is not fairs to them. There a valuable life’s lessons learned on the grid iron in how to deal with big disappointments. Kids learn that life is not fair and find out that they are able overcome these disappointments and learn how to improve for the next event. The PC bunch never learned these life’s lessons, No wonder they cant deal with it. Heck I bet we could have played the middle school 8th grade team and the out come would have been the same. Let them just play ball thats all im saying

Timus

September 14th, 2013
7:57 am

Since Hillgrove spanked Walton and Walton beat North Cobb then it makes sense that Hillgrove should be at least ranked where NC was before their loss!!

Rich

September 14th, 2013
8:07 am

The problem for Camden County in particular is who else are they supposed to play? 1-6A has seven teams, so they all need four nonregion games. It’s the only 6A region that isn’t in metro Atlanta, so they can’t exactly schedule four 6-A teams (because even if they wanted to, how are you going to convince the Atlanta 6-A schools to go practically all the way to Florida to fulfill a home-and-home?).

Camden did play North Gwinnett in the Dome, so that’s one trip to Atlanta — should we expect them to make another? Especially when it’s entirely possible that they could have to make three in the postseason? I’d suggest not.

So you have to play schools from smaller classifications, many of which have more region games to play and wouldn’t be particularly strong tests anyway. The main issue, in my mind? Who on earth wants to play Camden County? What possible good does it do?

So Camden ends up playing North Gwinnett in the Dome, a Florida team and two Savannah schools. Why did the Savannah schools agree to play Camden? Check the schedules: They were home games for Camden in both 2012 and 2013. That’s what it comes down to. Camden, I’m gonna guess, can’t get anyone anywhere near it to play a home-and-home, so it goes out and offers a few bucks to a program that probably badly needs it and gets two home games.

Lowndes, by the way, did that for all FOUR of its nonregion games in 2012 and 2013.

Is it ideal? No. Is it nice? No. But it’s the product of being a 6-A powerhouse (and the only 6-A school) in the very bottom corner of a very large state whose population is heavily tilted toward the northern half.

68 Viking

September 14th, 2013
8:08 am

to Coffee 100 I do believe if lowndes would have taken your suggestion it would have been even more embarrassing for this team. At least they would keep their dignity by not giving up and still fighting to the end. Your suggestion, I believe would have been rubbing salt into the wound. No just let them learn some of life’s tuff lessons Lowndes like most schools had to deal with such lopsided scores

Kevin

September 14th, 2013
8:24 am

Should Region 1 teams schedule a Savannah opponent again? Region 1 powerhouses Lowndes and Camden County played smaller Savannah schools in non-region games Friday, and the scores were ugly. Lowndes beat Windsor Forest 87-0, and Camden County beat Beach 91-6. Did they run up the score? Let’s not say that. Five freshmen scored touchdowns for Camden. But can’t they find somebody more competitive to play? It is that hard?

How is that even fun to play small teams like this??????????

robert

September 14th, 2013
8:37 am

My suggestion for Camden and I live here is. Play bigger schools from Florida if they will or even those to our north in Ga. like South Effingham or Richmond Hill both schools are headed toward higher classes with their growth. Even good teams from South Carolina near the border. I believe Ware Co has showed interest in playing Camden. Ware plays us in Jr Varisty and Nith grade games.

SouthGARules

September 14th, 2013
8:49 am

Todd: Archer made the playoffs in 2011. They were the #4 seed in Region 8-lost to North Gwinnett in 1st round 49-3.

Dosta Dawg

September 14th, 2013
8:57 am

DA CAT FAN – I don’t know how many Valdosta games you have been to this year, but you are way off base. Valdosta didnt play with any emotion last nite, but sometimes you have to win when your not at your best. The offense will be just fine. We are what we are. We are now a read option team. The “JET SWEEP” is no different than lining up in the “I- formation” and running toss sweep. I think the problem is coach Gillespie hasn’t excepted the fact that we are a “READ OPTION” offense. When you have the speed and talent we have to run the ball, it is what it is. The vertical passing game needs work, but it will come around. I don’t know what defense you were watching, but they have played well all year.

Reeze

September 14th, 2013
9:31 am

What ever the circumstances it’s embarrassing for the Savannah schools , Camden ,Lowndes and Georgia football as a whole to run up 94 and 87 points on a team………When you get to a certain point run str8 dives plays or something ,use to whole play clock …….Dang!

Dekalb Co Guy

September 14th, 2013
10:03 am

The scores are definitely discerning. I guess those should be expected. I dont have a problem with them scheduling the Savannah schools. As someone else mention, there arent many south GA teams in 6A or even 5A for that matter. And you cant expect them to travel to Atlanta every week. Maybe they should have played the starters the 1st qtr and then let the JV and 9th grade team play the rest of the game. Did they have a running clock the 2nd half? That usually limits scores from getting into the 80’s and 90’s.

Dekalb Co Guy

September 14th, 2013
10:14 am

@Reeze

I would tend to agree with you, seems like you should just run dive plays and work on your running game and your blocking when you are up against an overmatched opponent. I dont know what happen in the Lowndes or Camden games, but I will call out one other 6A program for something they did last week. I was attending the MLK/SWD game, the first game was Redan and Shiloh, its the halftime and Shiloh is winning like 42-0. Well I figured Shiloh would just line up and just run basic plays and get out of there. I understand that Shiloh wants to play an Oregon style offense and run as many plays as fast as they can. But you had thouroughly beaten Redan and it was uncalled for to continue at that pace. I mean passing all over the field, calling time outs during a running clock so you could get extra plays in? just run the ball up the middle and take your victory and go home.

Camden74

September 14th, 2013
10:25 am

I see a lot of post on here about Camden and Lowndes running up the score. First, I don’t think either team ran up the score. Secondly, I don’t like the scores any more than anyone else. But, I am happy to know there are 9th and 10th graders on Camden’s team who will play hard and go all out regardless of the score. Which one of you would ask a kid NOT to play his best when he gets his chance? As far as scheduling Savannah Teams, how do any of you know that these games weren’t scheduled before Coach Coffey took the HC position or if he had a choice on which teams to schedule? When scheduling, I’m sure coaches and AD’s have to look at a number of things, which, cost is probably # 1. All of you on here doing the talking, have your HC schedule a home and home series against Camden, let’s see what happens! The CATS will be, RELEASED! And your team doesn’t want to be on the field when they are! :-D

SportsFan31313

September 14th, 2013
10:29 am

Camden County 91
Beach Of Savannah 06

Lowndes 87
Savannah Windsor Forest 00

That was a Killing. Someone should have called the Football Police to arrest all of the Camden County Football team for Killing Beach High Of Savannah, and Lowndes Football Team as well for the massacre of Windsor Forest. . I haven’t seen such a lopsided win in many many years. :-)

TITLE THIS GAME THE NIGHT THE EARTH, AND THE SAVANNAH FOOTBALL TEAMS STOOD STILL!!!!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

Double Standard

September 14th, 2013
10:33 am

Camden and Lowndes are welcome to schedule NSWR or WR if they need to fill their schedule .It would be a very good gate.The stadium has been remodeled and looks fabulous. NSWR needs some payback from the beatdown Camden gave them the last time they met a few years back.

region4fan

September 14th, 2013
10:34 am

North Cobb dropped a lot of passes and two fake punts by Walton kept two of their scoring drives alive.North Cobb sputtered on offense and Walton’s running game was effective. No one’s talking about the fight at the end of the game which was started by Walton.I don’t remember ever seeing a winning team on its home field start a brawl but they did. One North Cobb player was being kicked and stomped on by Walton players and was literally dragged off the field by his teammates.I have heard that a well known former Walton player was on the field and actually started the fight and hit a North Cobb player with a helmet.I did not see that but I did see the injured North Cobb player that was kicked when he was on the ground. I assume there will be video to review.

FarTrain

September 14th, 2013
11:03 am

I have lost all respect for Camden and Lowndes coaches. It’s obvious what was going on last night. Lowndes was mad because Newton beat them last week and Camden is mad because they were at #10 in the 6A rankings. It’s like the “big bully” on the block walking down the street, passing by some big husky guy til he finds a little kid on the corner and beats him up. Nobody says you have to score after it gets above, let’s say 60. There’s plenty of ways not to. Let the young ones play, but inside the 10 take a knee, intentionally fumble, run out of bounds, anything. SHOW SOME CLASS, Region 1-AAAAAA! There needs to be rules change to stop this kind of crap! Coaches egos are getting in the way.

DA CAT FAN

September 14th, 2013
11:36 am

Dosta Dawg – Read the Valdosta Daily Times dated 9/13/2013. Read the DC Alan Rodemaker’s comment about his defense.

Colquitt Fan

September 14th, 2013
11:59 am

Lol @ the lowndes fans saying they didn’t run up the score.

Camden74

September 14th, 2013
12:08 pm

FarTrain……I’m sure everyone’s concerned about you losing respect for Camden. Talk to the HC of your favorite team and have them schedule a home and home series against Camden. Then maybe, you’ll have something else to talk about…….. :-)

Colquitt Fan

September 14th, 2013
12:18 pm

What I don’t get is how people say they have a tough time scheduling games but Colquitt has zero problems with it?

WildcatNowRaiderForever

September 14th, 2013
12:34 pm

Man, haters are hating. Short of taking a knee on 1st down and punting on 2nd down in the second half, there was no way that the Beach-Camden score could have been kept “respectable”. And how fair is it to the younger players who are practicing just as hard as the starters to expect them to lay down? Bear in mind it was 63-0 at the half. Yes, Camden threw some passes (which they certainly need practice with) and they did run in a 2-point conversion (which was balanced out by a missed extra point). Also, Beach is–let’s be honest–not a very good football team right now. They lost to Jenkins of Savannah 62-0, the same Class AAAAA Jenkins that was tied 6-6 by Class A Savannah Christian.

I would like to see Camden play tougher opponents (and there are some in the general area–Ware, Wayne County, even some of the Jacksonville schools), but I am not in charge of scheduling. I don’t know who asked who for this game; it certainly is a moneymaker for the Savannah schools to come to Camden.

Ego has nothing to do with the Beach-Camden score. Anyone who questions Coach Coffey’s personal integrity does not know him (I will leave it at that). We who wear blue on Friday nights also know that the road is about to get a lot tougher. I hope we are up to the challenge.

FarTrain

September 14th, 2013
12:43 pm

CF, it’s all a “cop-out”. They use that as an excuse. I laughed all the way through “RICH’s” comment up above. It was all “hooey-pooey”.

57Cat

September 14th, 2013
12:45 pm

I haven’t thought this out, but I post it to stimulate ideas. When a team gets ahead 50 or 60 to 0, it is obvious the other team is outclassed. If coach still wants to run plays and give youngsters reps, go ahead. Just don’t count the score.. Lowndes could have played its game Friday night (as could have Camden), got all their kids game experience, and won 53 (or whatever) to 0 but not counting second half scores. Just a thought.

Max Sizemore

September 14th, 2013
12:46 pm

When T. McFerrin was coaching at Peachtree in the early 1980s, he once — with the game well in hand — ordered his backup quarterback (who was the starting safety on defense — Hogan, maybe?) to intentionally fumble the ball to the other team. My recollection is the score was 21-0 in the fourth quarter. There ARE, in fact, ways to hold the score down.

rwdekalb

September 14th, 2013
1:28 pm

@Dekalb Co Guy. I noticed that too, Shiloh should have took starting qb out and worked on fundamentals with non-starters.

rwdekalb

September 14th, 2013
1:31 pm

Mlk did same thing against Swd. 30 pt lead with 7min left in game and starting offensive unit still in game. These kinds of actions have a way to come back and bite you in the butt

FridayNightLightsFan

September 14th, 2013
1:50 pm

Any scoop on Tift?

WildHawg2012

September 14th, 2013
1:59 pm

I think Coffee and Hillgrove should be ranked in the next set of ranking. Now who the third team should be I don’t know, could it be Valdosta or Archer.

Camden74

September 14th, 2013
2:01 pm

To the people who are complaining about the Camden-Beach score, did any of you, attend, watch or listen to the game? Or are you basing your opinions on what someone said? Camden has nothing to apologize for or be sorry about. Stop whining and hope your team doesn’t get blown off the field too! I remember beating a team 60-0 when I was at Camden. The coaches played defensive players on offense and used a defensive player at QB and we still scored! If you know anything at all about football, you would know that you always want the best from your players, win, lose or draw. With Camden’s starting offense having limited playing time in the first quarter, it only made sense to allow them to play longer. I don’t know of any HC who would want his starters to take two weeks off before the start of their region schedule. For all of you who are, shocked, disgusted, embarrassed or lost respect, here’s what you need to do. Have your school do whatever possible to get Camden on your schedule. Otherwise, you need to GET OVER IT!!!! :-D

Flyer

September 14th, 2013
2:22 pm

@Max Sizemore- Dan Hogan’s last season at Peachtree was 1979 and he played RB. Back in the day, Coach Mcferrin liked for his back up QB’s to play free safety. You are probably thinking of Mike Yancey. For Coach Mcferrin 21-0 was a blowout!

Dekalb Co Guy

September 14th, 2013
2:26 pm

@rwdekalb

IT wasnt as bad in the SWD/MLK game, maybe they could have took them out, but the game didnt really get out of hand until the 4th qtr. By then i had left, so cant say for sure. But there are lots of instances when teams do that, and I agree that it does have a way to come back to bite you.

Reeze

September 14th, 2013
2:54 pm

@Camden74 and the rest……..Yes , all coaches enjoy giving their young ones live PT , At what cost…..I was watching the replay of the Charlton/Brantley game last week…….Charlton was ahead by I think 30 plus . 3 mins left in the 4th and Charlton still going for the Home run , and scored ….During the PAT one of the Brantley kids , out of no where ,ran over and crushed the holder for no reason…..The Charlton HC ran onto the field ranting and raving.. The kid was dead wrong for what he did , But it could have been avoided by The Charlton coach practicing a little common sense….Emotional game football is , these are the things a good HC should take into consideration when the score is lopsided……We coached Rec ball a few years back , when the score was out of hand simple basic plays were run , we instructed the kids not to bounce outside on runs , there are many things that can be done…….If 8,9,10 year olds can do it ………A staff that knows a hell of lot more than me and their 14 thru 18 year olds should as well,

Jammer

September 14th, 2013
3:34 pm

Everyone can carry on and on about how lopsided the score was last night, but if you take a look at the series, http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgo.php?GOPPONENTID=Beach&gTeamID=Camden%20County
it has been a very lopsided affair in the last 10 years. If Beach had a problem you would think they would have not resigned to play this game (money talks) after re-alignment. Yes 94 points is excessive but you cant play your underclassmen who might have played on thursday in a JV game but so many quarters in a weeks time due to GHSA rules. Being a home game I am sure Camden dresses kids who only have one quarter of eligability. These kids then got a chance to show themselves infront of thousands instead of the hundreds that show for the JV games.

Jammer

September 14th, 2013
3:37 pm

BTW, Lowndes has scored 50 points or better 3 of the 4 times they have played windsor forest

Camden74

September 14th, 2013
3:41 pm

Reeze….Did you attend, watch or listen to the game? Obviously not, because if you had, you would have known that the JV and 9th graders played possibly, most of the game. There was no cost, this is football, a competitive team sport. If your team quits in the first quarter, that’s not the other team’s fault. You’re supposed to teach your players to play until the game is over. Until the last second ticks off the clock, you should continue to play to the best of your ability! Beach will learn not to quit on the field during a game. I applaud every one of Camden’s players for playing to the best of their ability every time they touched the field. If I were the HC, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Y’all had better be ready, the CATS will be RELEASED!!!! :-D

NGHS 09

September 14th, 2013
6:55 pm

How bout them DAWGS. Who cares if Camden scored 91 on the 5th grade team…they’ve done it for the last 15 years. Same thing, different year. Who cares.

Where’s all the FOOTBALL talk? How did the Top 10 look last night? etc..

Rich

September 14th, 2013
7:01 pm

They actually changed that rule a while ago so that the “week” for determining eligibility starts on Friday. In other words, rather than if you play four JV quarters Thursday, you can only play one Friday, it’s now, if you play two varsity quarters Friday, you can only play three the next Thursday.

As far as laughing through my comment, rest assured I have f-all to do with any of the schools and haven’t lived in Georgia for close to 10 years. But I know enough to know that Florida doesn’t set its schedules the same way Georgia does, i.e., all the nonregion games first. They basically set particular weeks for district games, and the more you have, the more of those weeks you have to use. It’s not consecutive, more like 9, 2, 5, 7, 3 or some such. So you can’t necessarily play a Florida school in week 3, say, because they may be required to play a district game.

CatDad

September 14th, 2013
8:25 pm

Coach Coffey had zero to do with this years schedule. Savannah schools were Herron’s security blanket. Camden fans have been complaining for years about our weak schedule. It has gotten so bad that ticket sales plummet for those Savannah games. I look for Coach Coffey to use his connections in the Jacksonville Fla. area to schedule some better competition in the future. Until then we are a stuck with the current schedule.

Grayram

September 14th, 2013
8:40 pm

North Gwinnett should be in the conversation for toughest schedule. They play Camden,Grayson, Norcross, mill Creek, Peachtree Ridge, Collins Hill.

Colquitt Fan

September 14th, 2013
9:10 pm

Grayram; You have Colquitts schedule then everybody else battling for second